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What is a rare color palomino?

The palomino horse coat color is one of the most popular and recognizable horse colors. Known for its distinctive golden coat color, palominos have a loyal following among horse enthusiasts. While the typical palomino sports a rich golden coat, there are some rare and unique variations of this color that stand out as exceptionally beautiful. In this article, we’ll explore what makes a palomino rare and some of the most sought-after shades and patterns.

What Makes a Palomino Rare?

Most palominos have a golden coat color that ranges from creamy pale to rich metallic gold. However, any variations from this norm are considered rare. Some factors that make a palomino rare include:

  • Unique genetic make-up – Certain rare genes produce unusual coat colors in palominos.
  • Low population – Some color shades are not commonly seen due to low numbers of horses with that genetic makeup.
  • Unusual coat patterns – Palominos with coats that have additional patterning are rarer than solid coats.
  • Metallic sheen – A brilliant, shiny coat is more prized than duller shades.

The most valued rare palominos combine several of these traits to produce a truly dazzling and unique horse.

Rare Palomino Coat Colors

While the typical palomino is some shade of gold, there are a few unusual coat colors that pop up occasionally that are highly prized. Here are some of the rarest palomino color variations:

Chocolate Palomino

The chocolate palomino has a dark, rich coat in hues of chocolate, bronze, or brown. Rather than gold, these palominos exhibit a warm, brownish tone to their coat yet still qualify as palominos. This color results from a dilution gene that modifies the usual chestnut base coat seen in palominos. Chocolate palominos are exceptionally rare.

Silver Palomino

Silver palominos showcase a gorgeous coat colored in gleaming silver rather than gold hues. The silver color is produced by a dilution gene that lightens and washes out the base chestnut coat. Manes, tails, and legs will be a lighter flaxen shade. The silver color combined with the creamy mane and tail makes for a striking look.

Pearl Palomino

The pearl palomino has a light coat diluted to pale cream, ivory, or isabella shades. The body color is so light and lustrous that it takes on a pearly sheen, hence the name. Pearl palominos almost seem to glow from within and are highly unique.

White Palomino

White palominos have a cream-colored coat so pale that it appears virtually white. They still qualify as palominos rather than true white horses due to small amounts of chestnut coloring visible. White palominos are exceptionally rare and exude a delicate beauty.

Unique Palomino Markings & Patterns

While a solid, all-over coat color is most common, palominos with additional markings or patterns are highly valued for their striking looks. Some rare and beautiful patterns seen in palominos:

Dapple Palomino

The dapple palomino has a golden based coat that exhibits a mottled pattern of small darker spots across the body. The dapple effect adds depth and dimension to the palomino’s appearance.

Speckled Palomino

Speckled palominos feature tiny flecks of darker color scattered throughout the coat. The effect is subtle but adds lovely character to the horse.

Pintaloosa Palomino

The Pintaloosa combines characteristics from both the palomino and Appaloosa breeds. These palominos sport the colorful leopard spotting pattern over top their golden coat. The result is a visually striking horse.

Roan Palomino

Palominos with roaning have an even mix of white and chestnut hairs mingled together. Roan palominos have a strawberry roan or red roan appearance. The blended look is eye-catching.

Brindle Palomino

Extremely rare are palominos exhibiting brindling. These horses have dark tiger stripes occurring randomly throughout their coat. The bold stripes provide great contrast on the golden palomino background.

Most Popular Rare Palomino Colors

Of all the rare shades and patterns found in palominos, a few specialized colors tend to be the most sought-after and command the highest prices:

Silver Palominos

The gleaming silver coat of this variety attracts a lot of attention and turns heads wherever they go. There are very few silver palominos around, making them highly in demand.

Champagne Palominos

Featuring a gorgeous hazelnut shade with a metallic sheen, champagne palominos have an otherworldly beauty about them. Their lush coat seems to shine with a golden iridescence.

Cremello Palominos

With a pale ivory coat, pink skin, and blue eyes, the cremello palomino has an angelic appearance. Their soft coloring is uniquely striking.

Rare Palomino Type Description What Makes It Rare
Chocolate Palomino Rich chocolate, bronze or brown coat color Unusual dilution gene modifies typical chestnut coat
Silver Palomino Gleaming silver coat Dilution gene lightens and washes out chestnut to silver
Pearl Palomino Pale creamy ivory coat with pearly sheen Extreme dilution of the coat
White Palomino Creamy white coat High levels of dilution to point of appearing white

Rare Palomino Prices

For horse collectors and breeders, rare colored palominos are highly desirable. The unusual and unique colors make them stand out from the crowd. As a result, buyers are often willing to pay premium prices to acquire rare palominos:

  • Average palomino horse price – $5,000 to $10,000
  • Rare color palomino horses – $25,000 to $50,000+
  • Top examples could potentially sell for $100,000 or more

Of course, factors like pedigree, confirmation, and training will impact price as well. But in general, rare colored palominos sell for exponentially more than common golden ones, assuming equivalent qualities otherwise.

Breeding for Rare Palominos

Dedicated breeders invest great effort into producing rare colored palominos. Strategically breeding select bloodlines that carry the genetics for unusual colors and patterns is key. Some breeding methods include:

  • Crossing palominos with cremellos or perlinos to produce cremello or pearl palominos
  • Breeding chocolate palominos to get more dark brown foals
  • Pairing palominos with dilution genes to produce silver or champagne foals
  • Adding horses with pinto patterns to introduce spotting genes

Raising the odds of rare colored foals requires patience and care in choosing breeding pairs. But the resulting flashy palomino foals can be quite lucrative for the breeder.

Caring for Rare Palominos

Though their color is unique, rare palominos have the same basic care needs as other horses. Providing excellent nutrition, regular hoof and dental care, parasite control, vaccinations, and ample room to exercise are essential.

A few considerations for rare palomino varieties:

  • White palominos are sun sensitive. Use sunscreen and masks to prevent burning.
  • Champagne and pearl palominos are prone to skin cancer. Monitor skin closely.
  • Dappled coats benefit from conditioner to enhance the pattern.

Take advantage of their lovely colors by showing them off with polished coats. But avoid using coloring products, which are unsafe for horses. With proper care, rare palominos live long, healthy lives.

Training Rare Palominos

Rare colored palominos attract a lot of attention, making them wonderful show horses. But they require proper training first, just like any horse. Keys to successfully training a rare palomino include:

  • Work slowly and use only positive reinforcement.
  • Get them accustomed to increased attention from crowds.
  • Expose them to travel early if you plan to show them.
  • Teach discipline and manners to handle all the admiration.
  • Install a solid foundation before teaching intricate skills or cues.

With good training, beautiful rare palominos can excel in the show ring, demonstrate skills in exhibitions, or simply be impressive riding horses.

Exhibiting Rare Palominos

The exotic and striking looks of rare palominos make them magnets for attention at equine shows and exhibitions. They tend to practically show themselves! Consider exhibiting rare colored palominos in:

  • Color breed classes that highlight their rare coats
  • 4H and open horse shows
  • Competitions that include palomino categories
  • Parades
  • Exhibitions
  • Fun shows focused on color and beauty

Combine their gorgeous and unique colors with quality training to really help rare palominos stand out in the show ring.


The rare palomino horse displays an exceptionally beautiful and vibrant coat in unique shades of silver, chocolate, ivory, and more. These unusual colors paired with prized patterns result from rare genetic quirks. For palomino aficionados, the rare varieties are highly coveted additions. Breeders dedicate themselves to producing the vibrant foals. Competing, exhibiting, or simply owning one of these remarkable horses is a dream come true for many in the equestrian community. With their glamorous good looks and colorful mystique, it’s easy to see why rare palominos are so passionately admired.