Palomino Horse Facts – Everything You Wanted To Know

January 10, 2023
Beautiful palomino horse

Palomino can mean “divine” in several languages. However, if you want to know what “Palomino” means in Latin, it’s simply “dove-in.” Their white mane and tail certainly make them look like it. When you seek a multi-purpose horse, the Palomino is the right one. If you are a beginner in the palomino horse game, there are many things you need to know.

American quarter horse palomino horses have many things you must know before you can get one. There is a long list of facts, including their calm temperament, desert origins, and golden coat color. The palominos also come in more than one color. They might be pricey if their breed and bloodline are from a good line.

Palomino horses have speed and endurance and can maneuver great. That is why they are excellent horses for just about any task. Ranching and rodeos are also some of their many talents. They are great horses, and their gold coats match the white manes. They are renowned worldwide, and many people enjoy riding them.

Appearance Of Palomino Horses

Palomino horses usually have a goldish coat, whitetail, and mane. The white of their hair can range from yellow to bright white. This color comes from crossing a chestnut and a cream-colored horse. Many other coat colors are similar to the Palomino, which can be mistaken for one. However, the horse is not a true palomino without these two base coats.

girl love with palomino horse

Your horse’s diet will significantly affect the coat, mane, and tail color. You can add minerals and proteins to their diet to darken or lighten their hair or coat. You can also give your Palomino a coat and hair a shinier look with specific proteins. On the other hand, some minerals can cause a red tint to appear on the horse’s mane and tail.

Another thing that can also influence the color of the horse’s hair and coat is the temperature. When the winter starts, your Palomino will shed its summer coat, becoming a much lighter color than in the summer.

Colors Of Palomino Horses’ Coats

Light palominos are a sandy color with a white mane and tail. Their coats can be confused for a Cremello as they can be very light. However, skin pigmentation is the difference between them. While the Cremellos have pink skin, a palomino has brown skin. In addition, the Palomino has only one creme gene, while the Cremello has two.

Golden palominos are the most recognized color of them. The golden palominos have a coat similar to a gold coin, and their tails and manes are white. This color is also the one most people desire. However, the Palomino’s diet and age can change their coat color. So the golden palominos can have a balanced coat, or sometimes the coat can vary between light and dark.

Chocolate palominos are rare. They have a coat that is much darker than any other of the palominos. Once again, a white mane and tail come with a dark coat. However, sometimes they can have black or brown hair between the white. The brown and white color scheme makes a great combination on the horse.

Pearl palominos are also a rare color. They will have green or blue eyes with a sheen to their light cream coat. When you pair the Andalusian breed and the Lusitano, you are more likely to get a pearl palomino horse.

Origins Of The Palomino Horse

Many different horse breeds can produce palominos, as the term refers to the color, not the breed. Arabian, Quater horse, and even Thorougbred hosres can be palominos. The palomino horses have existed for as long as horses have.

palomino horse grazing grass

Many people believe that palomino horses originated in the desert. Their light coats evolved because of the desert sand to protect them against predators, and they blended in with the sand. The light color of the coat also doesn’t absorb the heat like darker colors. However, these horses have spread from the desert all over the world. Palominos also existed in Rome, Greece, and China.

The royalty of Spain also loved the palomino horses. Queen Isabella kept over 100 palomino horses in the 1500s for only the noble of birth to ride. Juan de Palomino, the Spanish conquistador, got a horse as a gift from the Cortez. This horse then got the name Palomino from the conquistador.

Life Expectancy And Health Issues Of A Palomino Horse

Many things come with buying a horse, and it can work out expensive for some of these other things. Health issues are a significant risk for any horse. Getting pet insurance is a good idea. They will cover any unexpected health problems or sicknesses your horse might get. Another thing to consider is when your pet decides it’s time to move on, it’s unpredictable and heartbreaking.

Health Issues Of Palomino Horses

Palomino horses don’t have any abnormal health issues. The health issues are the same for almost every horse breed. Some common health issues may be back problems since they often carry a hefty weight around on their backs. Another one may be arthritis since their legs are moving the whole day.

  • Gastric Ulcers – Generally develop in the lining of the horse’s stomach and affect the horse’s performance in shows and events. You can prevent them with a proper diet and a tight feeding schedule.
  • Colic – An abdominal ache is mostly just mild stomach pains but can cause a displacement of the intestines. The condition comes when the horse gets dehydration, excess gas, and ulcers. You can use Analgesics to treat it, but your horse may have surgery in worse cases.
  • Laminitis – This is when the soft tissue in the hoof has inflammation. You can avoid this by tracking your horse’s weight. It would be best to euthanize the horse when the pedal bone pierced through the sole.
  • Osteoarthritis – This is a joint disease when the joints have inflammation. The joint which swells can make it difficult for the horse to walk. You can avoid this by ensuring your horse warms up before any training or show. Your horse should also have enough time to cool down afterward.
  • Desmitis – This is lameness caused by inflammation in the limbs. You can avoid it by ensuring your horse gets enough exercise and exercising regularly.

Life Expectancy Of Palomino Horses

Palomino horses are usually in excellent health and must see the vet often for check-ups. That way, they will enjoy their lifespan and not develop serious health issues. However, there are still things you should look out for in their daily care, as some diseases are prone to all horse breeds. In addition, any pet can get sick and have health issues.

palomino horse

Are Palomino Horses Rare?

Palomino horses are common and easy to find. However, you do have some of the palomino horse colors that are rare to find. Chocolate and pearl palominos are rare colors to come by. Palominos are almost everywhere, and some even participate in Jockey races. They are more often known there as chestnuts in the races.

Native Americans And Palomino Horses

Thanks to Queen Isabella sending her horses to the New World, She significantly altered the Native American culture. The increase in the horse population allowed the Native Americans to tame the horses. This way, they could hunt and travel faster and more effectively. Most of these horses were palominos. The tribe’s time of war was also significantly influenced by the increase of horses.

Tempermant Of Palomino Horses

As the Palomino refers to a color more than a breed, the temperament can vary depending on their parent breeds. When you have a Quater horse, they will be calm and easy to train. Many factors can also play a role in the horse’s temperament, like training, management, and social opportunities.

You must determine if the horse is warm, cold, or hot-blooded. While the cold-blooded palominos are more cooperative and willing to work, warm-blooded ones are a little aggressive and have high energy levels. On the other hand, the hot-blooded ones are very passionate and challenging. Then you can begin the training.

Price Of A Palomino Horse

The cost of a palomino horse can differ significantly depending on quite a few things. First, you should consider the horse’s color and breed, as some people will pay more for a specific color. Some species are also more expensive than others. Different breeders also have different prices, so you should look around and not be hasty to buy one.

Quarter horses can go for an average of $4000. This steep price is because they are the most famous horse breed in the U.S. and are calm and versatile. However, some horses can go for over $50,000, depending on their bloodline. On the other hand, a Tennesee walking horse goes for an average of $3000. Again, this is because they are comfortable riding in trailing.

You can go for an Akhal Tekes when looking for a rare breed. They average $20,000 a horse and have glimmering coats with slender bodies. In addition, the horses have excellent endurance and eventing. Another more expensive breed is a Lusitano. These horses are Spanish and are known as matador horses. Graceful movements are their forte and are related to one of the oldest brees in the world.

Cost Of Maintaining A Palomino

standing palomino horse

Any horse owner knows that keeping your horse healthy and fed isn’t a cheap story. Not to mention the cost of keeping your horse at a tall if you don’t have a place to keep it yourself. Caring for your horse can cost between $200 and $400 a month. This price can include your feed, hay, minerals, vet care, bedding, insurance, and average supplies.

Before you buy a horse, set up a budget on how much you think you’ll spend annually. Boarding costs are pretty hefty in some areas. They can go up to $600 a month. A farm in an affluent area can even go up to $1300 per month for one horse. That’s why it’s better to house your horse on your property.

Grooming is an essential part of your horse’s daily life. It can help your horse have a shiny and healthy coat. There are quite a few items you need to groom your horse correctly. For example, you will need a hoof pick, comb or grooming mitt, stiff body brush, soft cloth, and a mane comb. You should know that grooming your horse will take time, and you must be willing to do it.

IS A Palomino A Good Horse For Beginners?

Whether palominos are beginner-friendly is a challenging issue since, as you know by now, they are not a breed. There are many different types of palominos, and whether or not they are suitable for beginners depends on the characteristics they inherited from their ancestors. Temperament is also a thing to take into account. Different breeds also have different temperament levels.

The Perfect Palomino Horse

You must cross a creme gene with a chestnut to get the perfect palomino horse. These two colors are the base coats for a palomino. You can also cross a palomino with a Cremello to increase your chances of getting one. When you begin to breed, color is the first thing to consider. It would be best to put quality, personality, and temperament above everything else.

You may use a color calculator to know which horse will be the progeny. The probability of all possible colors in the offspring’s genetic makeup will display on the calculator. Even if you have never bred horses, this is a fantastic method for getting reliable outcomes. It’s also crucial that neither parent horse has any heritable diseases that might affect the foal.

Interesting Facts About The Palomino Horses

The palomino horses were the perfect mount during the Time of Crusades. The horses are robust, fast, and easy to train, which is ideal for a battle. They also looked impressive while they rode into battle. Another interesting fact is that many people named their horses Isabella, after queen Isabella who loved the palomino horse color very much.

The first palomino horse registered was El Ray de os Reyes, the king of kings. Dick Halliday officially registered his golden stallion in 1935. A chain reaction then began where many other breeders also began to specialize in the color, and they registered their horses as well. Today there are thousands of palomino horse breeders worldwide.

beautiful palomino horse

Palominos have their own U.S. associations. The leading associations are the Palomino Horse Association and the Palomino Horse Breeders of America. You can check if your horse qualifies for registry at these associations. Your horse only needs the coloring of a palomino to qualify. Their eye and skin color don’t matter, but the mane and tail do.

Most of the palomino horses are quarter horses. Most breeders specializing in palominos breed them from quarter horses as they have the highest chance of obtaining one. Usually, 5 out of 10 palominos are quarter horses. However, the list of horses that can bring forth a palomino is quite long.

Renowned Palomino Horses

There are a few palomino horses who have made an impact on society, and we can’t forget them. Mr. Ed, the star of a popular 1960s comedy program, is one of the most well-known Palominos. That stunning white mane and tail don’t deceive, even though the show is in black and white. Bamboo Harvester, a gelding, filled the role of the talking horse.

Roy Rogers’s horse Trigger was also a palomino. Roy Rogers was a movie star in Hollywood, and so was his horse Trigger. Yet, despite his fame, the Trigger was never officially recognized as a horse. Instead, the Trigger was a “grade horse,” the term used to describe horses not registered. The director of Roy Rogers’s films claimed that the Trigger was registered, which is incorrect.

Registration for palomino horses didn’t begin at the time trigger lived. Roy Roger was born in 1932, and although he registered his sire as a thoroughbred, his dam was not. In addition, the Trigger’s name was Golden Cloud, but it changed after another actor said he was as quick as a trigger. Roy Rogers bought Trigger for $2500, which was a hefty amount then. After a long career, Trigger died at age 33.


Palomino horses are beautiful with their color coats. The palomino range in sizes and can fit all your needs. Although they have health issues like any other horse, they are perfect for just about anything you need. They were involved in many histories, including the Native Americans, queen Isabella, and the Time of Crusades.


30 Interesting Palomino Horse Facts You Never Knew About


I'm Bo, the owner of Smarter Horse. Helping horses be smarter by educating their people.  To find out more about me, click here

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