Palomino Horse Profile

Known as "the smartest horse in movies," the super mount of Hollywood's Roy Rogers was a Palomino horse. In the 1960's, Mr. Ed, a Palomino, had his own TV show! 

Equitrekking interviews Melonie Furnish, President of The Palomino Horse Breeders Association to learn more about the horse with the golden coat... the Palomino horse.

A light colored Palomino

Raina Paucar for Equitrekking: What are the origins of the Palomino horse?

Melonie Furnish: The modern day Palomino Horse has a legacy to follow and a promise to fulfill. This golden colored horse was the choice of ancient emperors, kings and queens, the beloved steed in Greek mythology, the subject of artists' canvas, the pride of Queen Isabella's Spanish court, the treasured mount of ancient tribes and companion of the Conquistadors, and is still with us today. He was tamed by the Indians of the Southwest, rediscovered by today's horse lover, made a star on the "Silver Screen" and exhibited at horse shows throughout the world. Palomino horses are found among the finest bloodlines of breeds; their appeal is international.

Equitrekking: What are the general conformation characteristics of Palominos?

Melonie Furnish: The Palomino is a color breed, which means that any breed of horse can be the color of Palomino. You can have a Palomino Quarter Horse, Fox Trotter, Thoroughbred, Morgan, Paint, Saddlebred, Appaloosa, Arabian or Walking Horse.

Equitrekking: How has the Palomino horse been used throughout history?

Melonie Furnish: The Palomino in history was a sign of royalty and wealth. Artists used the Palomino horse to include richness in their work.

A beautiful, deep golden Palomino with the typical white mane and tail / Photo courtesy of the PHBA

Equitrekking: What are some fun facts people may not know about the Palomino horse?

Melonie Furnish: You can change the color of Palominos by what grain and hay you feed them, by what water they drink or by what you use to bathe them in.

For example high protein grain and hay can dapple or cause dark shadows in their hair coat. Palominos that live in an area with rusty water will have a red cast to their white tails. The color of shampoo might leave the tail a different color than white.

Equitrekking: What kind of temperament is this horse breed best known?

Melonie Furnish: The temperament of the Palomino is directed toward the breed of the horse. A Thoroughbred may be more high spirited, while the Quarter Horse could be more of a family horse.

Equitrekking: What style of rider best suits the Palomino?

Melonie Furnish: The best style of rider for the Palomino is anyone that loves the golden horse and the beauty they portray. The golden horse can make any rider feel blessed to own one. They have become a tradition in many parades fitted with silver saddles.

A Palomino being ridden Western in the World Championship Palomino Show / Photo Courtesy of PHBA

Equitrekking: Has the Palomino evolved over time?

Melonie Furnish: The Palomino has evolved over time as a color breed that anyone can own and love. History tells us that the rich and famous owned palominos because of their golden coats.

Some famous Palomino horses:

  • Mr. Ed – The talking horse of the American TV sitcom
  • Trigger – Roy Rogers' horse
  • Rising Sun – Elvis Presley’s horse

For more information on the Palomino visit: Palominohba.