Everything You Need to Know About Smoky Cream Horses

If you’ve been looking for information about smoky cream horses, you’re in the right place. It seems that not only is the horse itself rare, but so is the information about it!

Also known as smokey creme or smokey cream, this variety of horses isn’t one you’d usually see around and is often mistaken for other types.

However, today, we’ll help you learn all about the smoky cream horse’s background, genetic makeup, physical attributes, and much more. 


The Genetics Behind Smoky Cream Horses

One of the main ways experts differentiate between similar horses is through their genetic makeup. However, considering that this isn’t something you, or any equestrian enthusiast, can easily do, we’ll just discuss the scientific grounds.

You see, there are a couple of reasons why horses’ colors are the way they are; chief among those reasons are the cream gene and the horse’s coat base color.

As you can tell, the cream gene offers a sunny yellow color, while the base coat is usually chestnut, bay, or even black.

Now, the mixture of the cream dilution gene and the base color is what we’re looking for when it comes to smoky cream horses.

For instance, if the horse has one cream gene copy and a chestnut base coat color, it’s a palomino! Palomino horses’ fur often turns a pretty golden brown, like the color of sand.

On the other hand, If the horse has double dilution cream gene copies and a chestnut base color, then it’s a cremello. Those horses have an almost white ivory fur with a hint of their original chestnut peeking through. 

Now, what if the horse has the cream gene with a different base coat than the chestnut? Well, for horses with one copy of the gene and a black base coat, you get the smoky black horse! 

This horse variety is rare and might look almost like a regular black one, but closer inspection can show you how its coat glints like the midnight sky.

Oddly enough, with the same black base color and two copies of the cream gene, you get our beloved smoky cream! Even rarer than the smoky black, the smoky cream’s fur turns a beautiful silver-gray like the moonlight.

Identifying a Smoky Cream Horse

Now that you know what’s inside the genetic makeup of smoky cream horses, it’s time to learn what exactly these rare and captivating horses look like. 

And yes, while we already know they’re cream-colored, it can be challenging to distinguish them from other horses with similar coats.

To start, the smoky cream horse’s size can vary greatly depending on the breed. They can be small with a more refined build, like the Morgans, to the more muscular build typical to breeds such as the Quarter horses.

When it comes to colors, the primary coat color is a very light cream, close to off-white or ivory. They can also have white markings on their bodies.

Unlike different horses, smoky cream ones often have a more homogeneous palette across their body, lacking the reddish or golden hues seen in buckskins or palominos.

Another thing to look for when identifying a smoky cream is skin color. Smoky cream horses usually have pink skin, which you can notice around the eyes, muzzle, and underbelly.

As for the eye color, they’re usually blue or glass eyes.

Of course, as with every rule, there are a few exceptions that can make identifying them tricky. Smoky cream horses can sometimes have different colored manes or tails. For instance, they can have bronze, silver, or white colors.

That’s why you must look at everything, not just the outer colors, before deciding what variety of horse is standing in front of you.

Similar Horses That Get Mistaken for the Smoky Cream

Before we move on from describing these pretty horses, allow us to share with you a few tips that can help you distinguish them from other similar horses. The main two types that confuse people the most are:

  • Perlino 

Perlino horses are some of the prettiest ones you can see. Generally, perlinos are often cream or silver colored with a mane that’s distinguishable from the rest of their body. This is because while its body is cream-colored, the mane is often bronze with orange hues.

Why, you might wonder?

When it comes to the genetic makeup, both the perlino and smoky cream have the double dilute gene, i.e., two copies of the cream gene. 

However, unlike the smoky cream’s black base coat color, the perlinos have a bay base coat color—one of the most common colors for horses. 

Now, while the smoky cream horses can have bronze or orange manes, they can also have white or silver ones, distinguishing them from perlinos.

Another problem that can hinder you from telling the difference is that they both have pink skin.

The only way to tell them apart is through genetic testing, getting lucky with a different mane color, or thoroughly examining their coats. 

Though their colors can be pretty close, perlino horses lean more toward a tanned or orange hue due to their bay horse coat.

  • Cremello

Besides the genetic difference, the outer differences between these cremellos and smoky creams can be hard to spot.

For starters, their mane and tail are often similar to each other. However, cremellos horses almost always have white manes and tails. If the horse you’re looking at has a bronze, orangey, or reddish mane or tail, there are bigger chances it’s a smoky cream one or a perlino.

Also, the coat color isn’t that helpful when differentiating them. However, it’s known that the smoky cream horses often have a pearly or silvery sheen to their coat. Cremello horses, on the other hand, have a lighter, more golden coat than the smoky cream.

What Breeds Have Smoky Cream Horses

The smoky cream color can occur in virtually any breed that has the cream gene. However, its prevalence varies significantly among breeds. Some of the breeds where the smoky cream color is observed include the following:

  1. Quarter Horses: These horses are known for their versatility and agile performance in almost any sport.
  2. Saddlebreds: Though not as common in the smoky cream color, saddlebreds are often celebrated for their charisma and showmanship.
  3. Morgans: This breed is known for its compact size compared to others but also for its strength and endurance.
  4. American Paint Horses: With their striking patterns and amiable nature, American paint horses can be extra beautiful when they’re smoky cream.
  5. Akhal Tekes: Famed for their metallic sheen and sleek build, Akhal Tekes can further their exotic reputation with a smoky pale cream horse.

On the other hand, there are a few breeds where finding a smoky cream horse can be almost impossible due to animal genetics or regulations, like the following ones:

  1. Arabians: Though they have a wide range of vibrant colors, Arabian horses aren’t found in smoky cream because it’s not in their gene pool.
  2. Fjords: While these horses are relatively small horses, with a beautiful golden coat, it’s not creamy enough to be considered a smokey cream and isn’t often found in that coloring.
  3. Friesians: These horses are known for their great muscular build, agility, and most importantly, almost pitch-black coloring. Finding one in smoky cream is nearly impossible due to the strict color requirements.
  4. Haflingers: Haflinger horses have a chestnut coat with a flaxen mane that’s similar to the smoky cream one. However, only the mane is cream-color, while the rest of the horse is simply a brownish chestnut.
  5. Belgian Draft Horses/ Belgian Draught: Big, strong, and wearing stylish “boots,” that’s how people might describe the Belgian draft horses with their feathered hooves and strong stature. Yet, there aren’t smoky cream versions of them.

Smoky Cream Specific Health Considerations

With its distinct coat and beautiful allure, smoky cream horses also bring with them a few unique health complications. The following aren’t exclusive to smoky cream horses, but they’re the most prevalent among this horse coloring: 

  • Increased Sun Sensitivity 

Due to their pale coat and pink skin, smoky cream horses can easily get sunburned like humans, particularly in areas where the hair is thin. Symptoms to look for in this case include redness, peeling, and sensitivity.

Sunburns can lead to discomfort, especially if it’s frequent, and may impact your horses’ overall well-being and mood. 

So, it’s essentially to look for the previous sign if your smoky cream horse loves hanging out under the blazing sun often.

  • Potential For Skin Cancer

Another problem smoky cream horses suffer from due to their light coat is skin cancer. The most common in horses, related to the sun, is squamous-cell carcinoma

It often appears in areas that are directly exposed to the sun, like around the mouth, eye, and genitals area.

The only way to prevent such an issue from festering is through regular health checks and thorough observation of any sores or changes in skin color and texture. Most of the time, early detection can guarantee a more successful treatment.

Health Myths Associated With Smoky Cream Horses

Thankfully, there aren’t many myths associated with the smoky cream color. However, some people believe that it can cause or prompt a few issues with their horses, like the ones mentioned above. This is false, though. 

The above issues aren’t due to the genes but because of how the sun and the colors interact with each other. 

It’s the same issue pale humans out there face. Having a smoky cream horse doesn’t mean it’s weaker than other horses, just that its coloring makes it more prone to particular issues, which can require extra care.

Caring For Smoky Cream Horses

If you get your hands on a beautiful smoky cream horse, no matter the beads, then you must learn a few things to keep it happy and healthy. Here are the main ones:

  1. Include Sun Protection

As discussed, the main problem that’ll face you with any kind of smoky cream horse is the sun and its consequences on the skin.

So, for starters, you can search for the best horse sunscreen and apply it to sensitive areas such as the nose and around the eyes. 

The second thing you can do is provide shade from the sun using UV-protective gear like a fly sheet. While the stables can keep them away from the sun, you can’t hold them inside forever, so an option like a fly sheet can be beneficial. 

Finally, regularly groom your horse. This not only keeps their coat beautiful and tangle-free but helps with early detection of any skin issues like sunburns or irritations.

  1. Watch Their Diet

While your horse can be naturally cream-colored, to get its coat to truly shine you need to focus on a healthy diet.

A well-balanced diet can both maintain the overall health of your horse and ensure it remains beautiful with a shiny, healthy coat. 

To find the perfect diet, you must understand your horse’s breed, needs, and wants. Only then can you successfully build the perfect meal for them.

  1. Maintain a Consistent Training Schedule

Just like humans, when your smokey cream horse sits around without any exercise, it can develop health issues related to inactivity, such as weight gain and muscle atrophy.

Hence, a consistent training schedule is vital to maintaining the physical and mental well-being of your horse.

You can establish a routine that includes regular exercise tailored to fit your horse’s age, breed, and physical conditions. This often involves a mix of walking, racing, trotting, and other activities.

Also, don’t forget about mental stimulation! You can do some simple obstacle courses to get your horse thinking and engaged!

Final Words 

So, do you feel like you’d recognize a smoky cream horse if you saw one today? To recap, smoky cream horses have two copies of the cream gene mixed with a black base coat color.

They often have blue or glass eyes, and their body palette is homogeneous, with a silvery white sheen covering them from head to hooves! 

However, some smoky cream horses can have a slightly bronze mane or tail, making them extra special—and hard to differentiate from other horses!

The cream gene doesn’t affect them physically besides changing the color. Yet, you’ll have to watch out for the UV rays as they can damage their skin more than other horses because of their lighter pigmentation. 

Regular sun protection measures, grooming, and constant health checks can keep your smoky cream horse happy and healthy.


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