Base coat colours
Coat colour dilutions
Genetic disorder tests
Pearl is different from the other equine coat colour dilution genes. When a single copy of the pearl gene is present in a horse, the effect on their coat colour is minimal. Experienced pearl horse breeders describe foals with a single copy of the pearl gene as having coats that are slightly shiny or irridescent. There are some reports of ununusal coat colour changes, for example dark patches that appear and disappear with successive sheddings. Foal skin colour (if visible) may also be slightly lighter than non-pearl horses. As adults, horses with a single copy of the pearl gene are ususally indistinguishable from horses with no copies of this gene.
Horses with a chestnut base coat colour and two copies of the pearl gene are a uniform colour often described as golden or apricot, usually with a beautiful sheen. Horses with one copy of the pearl gene and one copy of the cream gene have the same range of appearance as horses with two copies of the cream gene (cremello, perlino or smoky black). Pearl and cream are alternative versions of same gene - SLC45A2.