History of the Palomino Horse

Palomino coloured horses have appeared in various stages of history therefore where they were first bred has not been clearly defined.

These golden horses were usually prized by royalty and they have been known to have been mounts for ancient Chinese Emperors, the Kings of Yemen and the Royal Spanish Court.

One documented account refers to Queen Isabella of Spain (1599 – 1660) who bred these golden horses by crossing them with Barb Arabs.  She would only ride a golden horse and they were highly prized.  With the fall of the reign of Queen Isabella and King Phillip VI of Spain many of these horses found their way to Mexico with the Conquistador Cortez.  These horses were presented to the Spanish Lord Juan de Palomino who marvelled at the beauty of these horses and decided to give them his name which has remained over the centuries.

From 1599 – 1660 Diego de Silva Velasquez, Spain’s greatest baroque painter, used the Palomino many times in his romantically extravagant paintings depicting King Phillip VI and Queen Isabella of Spain mounted on these beautiful golden horses.  Some appeared as the perfect golden Andalusian with huge flowing manes and tails in war scenes.  They also appeared as the more delicate beautiful Arab type with huge eyes, dished faces, curved necks and long thick manes and tails.