Grulla Dun Horse: All About This Fascinating Color

Last Updated on May 4, 2022 by admin

Some of the most common colors of horses you will see are bay, black, chestnut, gray, and palomino. A grulla dun horse is not something you see everyday, as this color is relatively rare. However, there are a handful of breeds where you can find horses of this beautiful color.

Though this color is rare, some horse breeders will specifically try to breed for this color. The color is not unique to any particular breed, as there are multiple breeds that can produce the grulla dun color. This exquisite coat coloring stands out and is a favorite among color enthusiasts in horses.

What is a Grulla Dun Horse?

Grulla dun is a type of coloring that is the dun dilution of the color black. It is also referred to as grullo, gray dun, mouse dun, or blue dun.

Grulla dun horses often have a coat that is slate gray or mouse color, but it can range anywhere from silvery white to chocolate brown. All grulla horses will have a head darker than their body, brown or black legs, dark tips on the ears, and a dorsal stripe. They will also commonly have leg stripes, mottling, cob webbing, dark rings around the ears, and stripes across the back, shoulders, and neck.

In Spanish, the world grulla means gray crane, which is the same color as the horse coat color. The color comes from the black coat base with the dun factor gene. There are even a couple of variations of grulla including silver grulla and smoky grulla.

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Primitive Markings – Grulla Dun Horse

One of the signature features of the grulla horse is primitive markings, which are seen in dun horses. Primitive markings include a dorsal stripe, which is a dark stripe that runs along a horse’s spine. Other markings include leg bars or zebra stripes, which are transverse stripes located in or above the region of the knees and hocks.

Primitive markings also include dark ear tips and transverse stripes on the shoulders. Cobwebbing is another common feature which is fine, radial stripes on the forehead. Horses may even have mottling, which consists of a pattern of irregular marks, spots, or patches of different shades.

What is the Grulla Coloring a Result Of?

To get a grulla horse, you can breed a black horse with a dun mare. Though it is not a guarantee the foal will be a grulla, there is a chance it will be. The best chance to get a grulla is to breed two grulla horses together or even breed a black horse with a grulla.

Examples of Horse Breeds That Can Be Grulla

Grulla is a rare color and it is not found in every breed. However, there are nearly 30 breeds that can produce the grulla color. Some breeders will even specialize in breeding grulla-colored horses.

Here is a look at some of the breeds that can have the grulla color. Though these aren’t all of them, they are some of the most common breeds you will find in this color.

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Quarter Horse

The most common breed you will find the grulla color in is the Quarter horse. However, the color is still rare within the breed as less than 1% of registered Quarter horses being grulla.

Though the color might not be too common, there is still a demand for it in the breed. Some Quarter horse barns will particularly breed for the grulla color, as there are many people who love it.

Mustang – Grulla Dun Horse

Mustang horses come in just about every color you can imagine. Though not as common as other colors within the breed, Mustangs are one of the breeds the grulla is a more common color. It is not uncommon to see very distinct primitive markings in Mustangs.


The most common colors in the Morgan breed are bay, chestnut and black. However, Morgans can come in many different colors including grulla. Though not a common color in the breed, there are Morgan breeders dedicated to breeding colorful Morgans.


Paint horses are best known for their coat patterns which include tobiano, overo and tovero. However, many people don’t realize that these coat patterns can come in a variety of different colors. Of the many colors paints can come in, grulla is one of the most unique coat colors.

Icelandic – Grulla Dun Horse

Icelandic horses can come in several different coat colors. There are a handful of grulla Icelandic horses, though the coloring is commonly referred to as gray dun in the breed.

Examples of Horse Breeds That Can Be Grulla - Icelandic

Highland Pony

Highland ponies are a relatively rare breed. Of the many colors they come in, they can be grulla, however, within the breed the color is referred to as mouse dun.

Norwegian Fjord

All Norwegian Fjord horses are dun in color, with about 90% of the breed being brown dun. Norwegian Fjord horses can be grulla in colors, which is called “graa” or gray dun.

The Rare Color of Grulla Dun Horse

Grulla is a beautiful coat color found in only a handful of horse breeds. This rare color comes from the black base coat with the dun gene.

Do you have any questions regarding a grulla dun horse? If so, please ask any questions regarding horse coat colors in the comments.


What Breeds of Horses Can Be Grulla?

There are nearly 30 different horse breeds that can be grulla. Some of the more notable breeds that can have grulla-colored horses include the Quarter horse, Mustang, Morgan, Paint, Icelandic, Highland and Norwegian Fjord.

What’s the Difference Between Grulla and Grullo?

Grulla and grullo are the same color of dun that features a silvery white to chocolate brown coat (typically slate gray) with dark points. Some people refer to female horses as grulla and male horses as grullo, though the terms can be used interchangeably.

How Rare is a Grulla Horse?

The grulla color is rare color, found in less than 30 breeds. In the American Quarter Horse Association, less than 1% of registered horses are grulla.

How Do You Get a Grullo Horse?

The best way to get a grulla horse is to find a breeder who sells them. You can also breed two grulla horses, a black and a grulla horse or a black and a dun horse together. However, even by breeding these color combinations, you aren't guaranteed to get a grulla horse.