Cremello horses look like they are straight out of a fairytale.
Indeed, all they need is a single horn to become real-life unicorns. Bred for their distinct physical characteristics, they are unquestionably creatures of otherworldly beauty.
But what is a Cremello horse exactly? What sets them apart from other horses besides their majestic appearance? Are they as rare as people think?
Learn more about these stunning steeds with these ten fascinating facts
1. Cremello horses are just cream colored horses of many breeds
Many people think Cremello is a breed. It isn’t. Cremello is a light cream color found in any breed but most common in draft horses, Quarter horses, Saddlebreds, and Shetland ponies. Often, Cremello is confused with Perlino and albino horses. But Perlinos have darker manes and tails, with a reddish tinge, while albino horses are snowy white with no hint of pigmentation. On the other hand, Cremello horses are distinctly off-white.
They are showcase horses and prized for their color. Most light-colored horses are born darker and gradually lighten over time, but Cremello horses are born cream-colored and maintain the same color their entire life.
2. They have a stunning cream coat with rosy pink skin
Cremello horses are gorgeous creatures. They are known for their spotless, cream-colored coat, which lacks any marking. Apart from this distinct feature, these horses have rosy pink skin, white mane and tail, pale glassy blue eyes, and a pink nose. Their bodies are lean and compact with long and robust limbs, well-defined upper back, relaxed shoulders, elegantly arched neck, and expressive face.
3. Cremllo horses get their color through a process called color dilution
A Cremello horse’s unique color is a clever work of genetics. They select horses with cream genes and mate them with each other. The cream gene is responsible for a horse’s color. Breeding a horse that possesses a cream gene with a horse that has a chestnut base coat may result in a lighter-colored foal, such as the palomino.
Breeding two horses with cream genes increases the possibility of producing a Cremello. Most horses with cream genes only have one copy. They are unique because they have two copies of the cream genes, making them double diluted. Draft horses, Saddlebreds, Shetland ponies, and Quarter horses are the most common breeds used in producing these stunning horses.
4. They have a good temperament?
Generally, Cremello horses are docile, laidback, and enthusiastic. But because Cremello is not a breed, the way these horses behave and their temperament depend on factors specific to their particular breed. For example, if the Cremello is a Quarter horse, expect it to be gentle, loyal, affectionate, and versatile. On the other hand, one from the bloodline of aggressive breeds, such as the Arabian, may possess opposite qualities. They may be ferocious and wild. In other words, the temperament of Cremello horses is diverse and varies according to their breed.
5. Cremello horses are herbivores
Their diet should consist of fiber so that their sensitive digestive tract can function well. It includes grass and good-quality hay. However, a block of salt, fruits, and vegetables enhance their diet and provide additional nutrition. If the horse is young, old, nursing, or pregnant, it may benefit from concentrates, such as barley, corn, and oats. Experts also recommend that horses eat often but little, about one to two percent of their body weight.
The digestive process of horses requires sufficient blood and oxygen to operate smoothly. For this reason, never feed your Cremello right after or before exercise because strenuous activities divert blood from the digestive organs and may cause colic. It is also essential for Cremellos to drink fresh and clean water.
6. They require a lot of work to keep them healthy
The foremost need of Cremello horses is a good and balanced diet, but they also should have access to proper care. Regular deworming and vaccinations are essential as parasites cause weight loss and colic and dull their coat.
They should also have appropriate housing, regular exercise and enough rest. It is advisable to trim the hooves once every six to eight weeks. They might require shoes as well, depending on their activities.
Because their teeth never stop growing, horses are susceptible to dental problems, which lead to foul breath, esophageal blockage, and undigested food in the stool. Their teeth can rot and wear unevenly, forming sharp edges and causing painful chewing. Adding roughage to their diet helps them file their teeth naturally. They should also see the vet twice a year to prevent dental problems.
7. Cremello horses can live pretty long
A Cremello horse has an average life expectancy of between 25 to 30 years. But with proper care and a balanced diet, they may live up to 40 years. It is worth taking note, though, that not all well-raised horses make it to 40 years old.
8. In contrary to popular belief, they are quite naturally healthy
There is a misconception that Cremello horses are predisposed to blood clotting and eye and hearing problems. In reality, they do not have specific health problems tied to them.
Cremello horses, however, may sunburn quickly, just like any other light-colored horse. Sunburn may occur around the eyes, on the muzzle, and in other areas that got prolonged sun exposure. Using protection such as sunblock resolves this issue.
9. Cremello horses make good pets
Cremellos are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful horses to exist and are sure to turn heads wherever they go. However, they are not cheap. If you decide to own one, you should have all the resources necessary to keep the horse happy, content, and healthy. In addition to being high-maintenance, Cremello horses are unsuitable for non-experienced owners.
10. They are expensive horses
Because they are rare and highly in demand, Cremello horses cost more than regular horses. The price, however, depends on the breed you want to buy. For instance, a Quarter filly would be around $2,700 to $3,000, while a Lusitano – a powerful breed known for intelligence and gentle nature – could go as high as $20,000. Other factors that affect the price are conformation, height and pedigree.