Palomino horse: characteristics

Palomino horse: characteristics

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One immediately catches the eye Palomino horse, this breed is not like others that are easy to confuse because even non-experts cannot fail to notice the wonderful and rare color of its fur, a hair golden ocher color which is accompanied with a tending mane and tail that tend to silvery white. This feature distinguishes some American breeds but in the Palomino it stands out more than ever and has become distinctive of the breed.

Palomino horse: origins

The Palomino like as a breed in America where it exists Palomino Horse Association congregation, a federation that lends itself to pass on and improve the Palomino through the registration of blood lines and the issue of certificates for the qualification of horses.

However, there is a legend around the origins of these horses, a legend that takes us back to the old continent and more precisely to Spain. It is said that the name Palomino derives from Don Juan de Palomino, a Spanish man who received as a gift from the conquistadors Hernan Cortes a horse with the coat and physique that we see today in this breed.

This legend fits well with the reality of the facts we know because it seems to have been the Spaniards who introduced this horse to America, responsible for the golden color of other coats of horses of other breeds: the Quarter Horse, the English Thoroughbred, the Saddlebred. Also in Arabic we find this color even if in truth there are no pure breed Arab horses of this color and they are used in crossbreeding to produce this color.

This special clear coat would be a legacy of the Lusitanian horse and comes called Isabela, like that of the queen who favored the propagation of this color, pure and clear, like that of a new coin without stains or signs of wear.

Palomino horse: characteristics

The coat color as you will have understood, it is the characteristic feature of this breed which is sometimes crossed with the Saurus when it is desired to obtain a golden coat of a more charged shade, alternatively the chestnut can be crossed with the cream color. For the rest this horse has one medium-sized physical structure, its height at the withers can vary from 144 to 163 cm and its rather handsome body can recall that of an Arab or a Thoroughbred or a Quarter Horse.

There are some characteristics that are required to belong to this breed such as the color of the eyes that must be dark or tending towards hazelnut, and the presence of white markings on the muzzle which must be limited to a spot, stripe or star.

Even the mane and tail are not enough that they are light in color, they are in a certain sense also measured in this, because in theory they should not contain more than 15% dark hair. The colors of this horse are observed very carefully and according to the standard the specimens of this breed cannot have spots on the legs, or if they have them they must remain below the knee. Also banned from the Palomino breed zebra stripes on the legs or the mule stripe trace on the back.

Palomino horse: genetics

Behind this dazzling cloak, there is genetics, a scientific explanation for such great beauty. Everything is due to the gene (Cr) which encodes this coat, that of the dilution of the cream or incomplete dominant cremello, which in a single dose (heterozygosity) causes the reduction of about 50% of the red pigment (pheomelanin) of the chestnut coat.

So when a palomino horse is crossed with another palomino, alone 50% of the time another palomino is born. If this does not happen we can expect a chestnut horse (25% probability) or a cremello (25% probability). For this reason many argue that the Palomino should not be considered a breed but only a variety of color.

Palomino horse: breeding

True race or not that should be considered, that of Palomino is a type of horse that has become much loved and populated in the world, starting with America where we have seen that there is even a dedicated association, the American Palomino Horse Association, in charge of registering the subjects that present very specific morphological aspects.

In order for a horse to be registered by the association, at least one of the parents must already be in the register and the other can be a Quarter Horse, an Arab or an English Thoroughbred. American breeders have studied to try to get foals of this beautiful color various crossings noting that the only guaranteed way to get them is to pair sorrel horses with cremello horses.

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