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Published: 2024-01-18 10:15:36 Categories: Guides Rss feed


Albinism is a condition found in mammals that causes a lack of pigmentation in skin and hair (there is a specific gene that contains this information). It is said that albinism is not present in horses (albinism also causes eyes to be red).

Albino horse – is a colloquial expression for an animal with a white coat, light brown or blue eyes, pink unpigmented skin, and light hooves.

Albino (white coat) differs from the grey coat. A horse with a white coat does not have any markings and is born white (sometimes with a slightly yellowish undertone). This is a big difference in comparison to grey horses which are born in a basic coat colour (bay, black, or chestnut) that slowly turns to grey while the horse ages. What’s more, grey horses might have markings on legs as well as flea-bitten coat (small brown-red dots), dapples (circular pattern in the size of apples, slightly darker than the rest of the horse), or tobiano coat (bigger pattern, darker or in a different colour than the coat).

American Albino – is a rare western breed, not fully standardized. These horses also do not have a gene that encodes coat colour; this includes white and cremello horses.

It’s worth noting that not every albino horse can be categorized as an American Albino. For example, an albino Friesian.

Albino can also refer to the breed as well as the condition.


American Albino – breed history

The western riding horse – Albino – is not a truly standardized breed, the most important characteristic is the lack of pigmentation in skin and hair, colour only present in eyes which are most commonly blue. However, the eyes are never red, therefore horses cannot be true albinos. The coat is either white or cremello (lightened chestnut coat due to the influence of two copies of the cream gene; the hair and coat are cream while the eyes are blue). As mentioned above, foals are born white.

The American version of albino was created in the States; the founder horse was a stallion called Old King (born in 1906) that stood out with its light coat. The stallion’s lineage included mainly Morgan and Arabian horses. Today, people cross breed Quarter and Morgan horses as well as Arabians with Thoroughbreds.

In modern days, the American Albino is not a recognized breed in most stud books. However, in 1937 breeders created an association that treats albino characteristics with utmost importance.

American Albino is a rarely bred horse, mainly in the USA, Germany, Spain, and England.

Albino – anatomy and characteristics

An Albino horse has a slim, medium-sized head with light muzzle and either blue, dark, or light brown eyes. The neck is strong and muscular. These horses usually have compact and round bodies with sloping shoulders, muscular croup, and extremely long tails. The hooves are frequently weak. The gait is flat and smooth.

Height: around 150 cm

Coat: white or cremello with a slightly yellowish undertone and pink skin


Albino – importance

These horses are regarded as brave with a nice temperament. Especially in the USA, Albino horses are commonly used in western horse riding. In England and Spain, the breed is used during court ceremonies.



When referring to an Albino horse, you should be cautious whether you want to mention a rare, western American breed or simply a horse with a lack of pigmentation in the skin (despite the fact that horses do not have real albinism – lack of red coloured eyes). The albino gene can be present in various horses, it all depends on the DNA. Not every albino horse can be categorized as the Albino breed. Something worth remembering :)

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