Palomino Horse

Horse Breeds

What are Palomino Horses known for?

Since ancient times, the relationship between the horse and men has been one of the closest in nature. Although in the beginning, horses, in general, were used for work purposes only, nowadays, this relationship has grown into a deeper level, a level in which horse and men are partners.

As with other animal species, the development of new races or characteristics in horses has obsessed breeders and enthusiast to obtain the desired traits they want. This is the case of the Palomino Horse.

Even tough Palomino Horses are very popular among enthusiasts and high-class men and women; they are not a breed themselves. The Palomino title can be conferred to various races that comply with a complex pattern of color on its coat, crin, mane, eyes and ‘naked skin’.

What does the Palomino Horse look like?

Palomino Horse pattern is distinguished for having a yellow to golden coat – the best color is ‘gold coin’ – with white or ivory mane and tail (at least 75% of the hair must be pure white). Other characteristics of the Palomino Horse is that it must have – with a few exceptions – dark skin underneath the coat with the only exception of having pink spots in the eye’s area.

Another kind of skin color, like pink, may be enough to consider that particular horse as non-Palomino.  Another characteristic of the Palomino Horse is the white markings on its ankles and pasterns. The iris of the Palomino Horses should be hazel, brown or black – blue, partial blue or glass color can be accepted under certain circumstances. As for the markings on the face, they aren’t required to have a particular pattern, but if they are present in the horse’s face, they must be white. Also, mature horses must have a height between 14 and 17 hands.

How did the Palomino Horse breed come about?

The ‘history’ of the Palomino Horse is quite interesting, as this pattern was recently recognized – in the early 1900s – worldwide. Even though most of the experts consider that the origin of this coat pattern can be traced to the middle age in Spain, the reality is that official recognition of this kind of horse took place in 1936 when the first registry was made by the Palomino Horse Association, which based in the state of California USA. Most of the people agree that the Palomino name can be probably related to the Spanish captain Juan Alonso Palomino who – approximately in 1519 – along with Hernan Cortes is supposed to have carried these horses into the current territory of Mexico. It is said, that Queen Isabel from Spain probably gave a dozen of those horses to the conquerors so they could populate the new world with these majestic animals. Some historians refer as well that Queen Isabel had more than a hundred of Palomino Horses in her private collection.

How do Palomino Horses behave?

Although Quarter Horses are the primary ‘source’ of the Palomino pattern, specialists consider that this ‘breed’ has is own and particular temperament. Palomino Horses are generally calm and very intelligent, but they tend to be sensitive, so they need a lot of care and love – indifference can turn them into rebels. As for the vocation of this kind of horses, they are very versatile, they can fit well as working horses in farms, some can race, and they even are good at doing tricks.

What horses are similar to the Palomino Horse?

Without the cream gene, a horse cannot be a true Palomino, It can be hard to tell, however, when certain horse breeds produce chestnut coats that can look golden in color.

The Haflinger horse is a good example of this. This breed does not carry the cream dilution gene required of all Palominos. But looking at a Haflinger’s light coat and white mane and tail, it can be easy to see why they are sometimes confused for Palominos. They are, however, genetically chestnut horses.

How were the Palomino Horse used?

During the Crusades, Palominos were considered the ideal mount. Not only did they look impressive riding into battle, they were also strong, fast, and easily trained.

Who first started the Palomino Horse?

In 1935, Dick Halliday officially registered his golden stallion named El Rey de los Reys. Halliday’s horse started a chain reaction that led many other breeders to specialize in this beautiful coloring and register their own horses.

Palomino Horse can change color

A Palomino’s coat color can change based on a few factors. First, diet can affect how light or dark a horse’s coat color is. Hay or grain that is high in protein can lead to a darker coat color or even dappling.

Palominos can also undergo dramatic color changes as the seasons change. Their winter and summer coats can be so different that they look like completely different horses.

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