Grulla Horse – Fun Facts & Breed Profile

The word Grulla has a Spanish origin, which means “crane,” and many people refer merely as grulla. Its name is usually termed according to its origin; for example, the Icelandic horse is called grey dun. Similarly, Highland Pony is called a mouse dun, and Norwegian horse is called grey dun.


Grulla or Grullo horse is pronounced as “grew ya” or “grew yo” is very popular among equine lovers because of its rare colour.

The Dun Gene

Grullo has a “dun gene “along with the black gene. That’s why grullo is also called Blue dun, grey dun, or mouse dun. The dun gene is a key factor for a variety of grullo horse colours.  The shades of the coat colour depend upon the dilation of the dun gene on dark genes. As a result, we get blue dun, grey dun, and a mouse dun from a dun family.


Grullo belongs to a rare horse, and many people breed them to get a black dun, blue dun, slate dun, silver grulla or light Grulla, silver dun, or Lobo dun. The primary coat colour of grullo remains the same, but there are minor shade variations during the summer and winter season.

  • Grullo has different body colours, such as darker head colour than the body.
  • Its hair is tan grey or mouse-coloured in uniformity, unlike the Roan, which has multiple shades in hair.
  • It has distinct shoulder stripes that, sometimes, extends back to its tail and mane.

Colour Shifts in Grulla

Usually, Grulla carries the same body colour from birth to the next stages of life. But, sometimes, it shows colour variation due to changing seasons. If a gorilla carries a grey dun gene, then the newborn will have a mouse tan grey shade. With age, the young grulla develops a white hair coat, and primitive markings get lighter.

Grullo is Rare

Even many breeders breed and raise grullo’s, but it’s not always sure whether a horse is grulla or not. Not all horses carry the dun gene to the next generation. The statistics show that only 0.7% of quartered registered horses are grullo. So, the horse is rarer and sometimes challenging to recognize.

How to Recognise a Grulla?

The surest way to confirm whether a horse is grulla or not is observing body color and primitive markings. The body color should be dark grey or tan grey.

 While there are many primitive markings to help you recognize a grulla, these markings include: 

  • Dark face
  • Cobwebbing around eyes and forehead
  • Cark mottling on the body
  • Leg barring (also called tiger striping)
  • Dark ear tips and edges
  • Dark ear barring
  • Dark shadowing of the neck
  • Dark dorsal and transverse striping
  • Light guard hair on borders of dark tail and mane

The Grullo Foals vs. Dun Foals

Many equine lovers and even the experts get confused between these two. Sometimes, grullo foals born as red dun, but they later shed their red grullo in almost a year. 

Even the long-time breeders’ mistaken black foal as grullo only because they shed off black colour in four months. Always clear misconceptions to avoid getting a black foal at the premium price of grullo.Keep in mind; the newly born grulla is a light tan with distinct dorsal stripes.

Grulla Horse Pictures

grullo horse


How do you get Grulla Horse?

Grulla horse comes with a dark stripe with leg barring and shoulder stripe too. As it is not specific to produce grulla horse because grulla is very rare. However black stallion and dun mare can produce Grulla horse.

How do you Pronounce Grulla horse?

Grulla is pronounced as “grew ya” or “grew yo”.Term Grulla for female and Grullo for male but that is not something associated with their names.

What is the difference between Grulla and Grullo?

Grullo is recognized by AQHA and Grulla is a Spanish term. Sometimes horse lovers give Grulla to female and Grullo to the male horse.

>>> Related Dapple Grey Horse


Grulla is maybe a combination of a black male horse and female dun horse. They are very rare in the world in term of numbers. Comment your review of the article and quote your grulla’s behaviour.

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