The modern Palomino is only a color and not a breed, as evidenced
by the color being present in most equine breeds. The ideal
body color is that of a golden coin, but the shade can vary
from light, medium, to dark gold. The mane and tail should
be white, ivory, or silver, with not more than 15 dark or
sorrel hair mixed in. The word Palomino is a Spanish surname
which was derived from a Latin word meaning pale dove and
many Palominos are pale. Additionally, the coat of many Palominos
changes shades from cream in the winter to golden in the summer,
and these are referred to as seasonal Palominos.
Palomino horses are found among the finest bloodlines of
many breeds; their coloration and appeal is clearly international.
They are admired not only for their beauty but for their versatility,
maneuverability, and endurance and multi purpose use across
all disciplines within all breeds. Some have even become TV
stars such as, Mr. Ed, Trigger, and Trigger Jr., all of which
were registered with The Palomino Horse Association. And of
course, who can forget the strikingly beautiful dark golden
Palomino in the movie Blazing Saddles ?
But nowhere has the history of the Palomino been recorded
and the origin of the golden horse will probably never be
determined since myths and legends of various countries cloud
its beginnings. Although most agree that all light colored
horses have descended from the Arabian and the Barb, they
still aren’t sure where it may have come from before that.
The golden horse with ivory colored mane and tail appears
in the ancient tapestries and paintings of Europe and Asia,
as well in centuries old Japanese and Chinese art dating back
2000 years. It was the choice of ancient royalty and also
the beloved steed in Greek mythology. There stories about
them among the Arabs and the Moors. There are stories linked
to the maille clad Crusaders who saw the Golden Horses on
the battlefield when they fought the desert chiefs of Saladin
who rode them. During the days of the Crusades, the Emir Saladin
presented Richard the Lion Hearted with two splendid war horses;
one was a gray and the other a Golden Palomino.
Palominos were favored by her Majesty Queen Isabella de Bourbon
of Spain who kept 100 of these animals in the Remuda Real.
Only the members of the royal family and the nobles of the
household were permitted to ride them and commoners were forbidden
to own one. History records that Queen Isabella sent a Palomino
stallion and five mares to her Viceroy in Mexico to perpetuate
the Golden Horse in the New World, and from there, the color
spread from sea to shining sea in the Americas.
The Palomino of Spanish times was known as the Golden Dorado
and was very close to being a breed. The Dorado was of Arabian,
Moorish Barb and Spanish blood and was not bred by being crossed
with sorrels as the modern Palomino is. The Spanish had many
shades of golden horses, and when they used corral breeding
(a way of isolating a mating pair); a light color Palomino
mare would be mated with a very dark colored Palomino stallion.
This has been noted in a book that was printed in Barcelona
There are two Palomino Horse Registries in the United States
that began in the 1930’s. The Palomino Horse Association (PHA)
is the original Palomino registry which officially began in
California in 1935, with the registration of the golden stallion
El Rey de los Reyes by Dick Halliday who had researched the
golden horse for many years. He wrote many articles that brought
the Palomino into the attention of the public, and created
a great deal of interest in the Palomino. Within a few years,
hundreds of breeders were specializing in the production of
this color. Horses from many different countries and from
every breed have been registered with the PHA.
The PHA does not discriminate against any breed and recognizes
all breeds based on color and conformation. If a particular
horse is not registered with a breed registry and the color
proves to be Palomino it will be registered on color. In the
last few years they have decided to allow the creme colored
horse with blue eyes claiming it has been researched and proven
that these light colored Palominos always produce a Palomino
and therefore, they are definite breeding stock for the Palomino.
Yet on many horse genetics websites it is stated that Palomino
horses do not breed true at all they produce both chestnut
and cremello foals when bred together because the Palomino
color is defined by a heterozygous dilution gene. However,
Champagne is a dominant gene that dilutes pigment from black
to brown and red to gold; and Champagne on a chestnut background
(gold) produces a gold body color and often a flaxen mane
and tail that can be mistaken for Palomino.
The other one is the Palomino Horse Breeders of America,
Inc. (PHBA) that was founded in the late 1930’s in California
by a group of horse lovers who had a passion for the golden
horse. PHBA became a corporation in 1941 as a member owned,
non profit organization for the purpose of registering and
improving the breeding of Palomino Horses. It is a color registry
for Palomino horses standing between 13 and 17 hands high
and exhibiting body color, with variations from light to dark,
of a 14 karat gold coin. The Palomino’s skin is usually grey,
black, brown, or mottled without underlying pink skin or spots
except on the face or legs. The eyes are usually black, hazel,
or brown, never blue. The mane and tail must be white with
no more than 15 percent of dark, sorrel or chestnut hairs.
There are three basic divisions for the Palomino horses within
the registry. The Stock type is the western horse that is
mainly represented by the Quarter Horse. The Golden American
Saddlebred division is typically represented by Saddlebreds
and the Pleasure type is represented by the Morgan, Arabian,
and Tennessee Walking Horses.
Horse enthusiasts who own Palominos that are registered with
any of the following breed registries: American Morgan Horse
Association (AMHA), American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA),
American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA), Arabian Horse
Registry (AHR), International Arabian Horse Association (IAHA),
Jockey Club (TB), and the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders
and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA) are eligible to file for
color registration and participating in events with the PHBA.
Palomino Horses not registered with any of the above recognized
breed registries are eligible for registration with PHBA only
if one of the parents is registered with any of the above
recognized breed registries. However, owners are asked to
provide documents to verify bloodlines. Individuals with Palomino
geldings and spayed mares of unknown parentage may also apply
for PHBA registration based on color and conformation standards
since they are incapable of reproducing.
Now, in these trying financial times, wouldn’t you really
rather invest in gold? The gold of a Palomino, that is.
Author Resource:-> Crystal is a writer for http://www.HorseClicks.com,
classifieds of Palominos for sale