The goal of this page is to tell you a little more on what palomino horses are
A palomino's coat must be golden or be no more than three shades lighter or darker than a freshly minted penny. The mane and tail are to be white with less than 10% of other colours. "White markings are permitted on the legs, but must not extend beyond the knees or hocks. A small amount of white is also permitted on the face" (Wikipedia). The skin is gray, black, brown or motley without underlying pink skin or spots, except on the face or legs. The eyes are black, hazel, or brown. The qualification is based only on the colour ; the breed can be anything. Some breeds, like haflingers, are not palomino but chestnut with light mane and tail ; they don't have the gene that makes a proper palomino horse.
History and origin
As for most colour breeds, the palomino's origin is unclear. "It is believed that the Palomino horse existed in China, although they were introduced to the US from Spain where their colouring was popular and their breeding was encouraged by Queen Isabella." (Equine World UK) The first associations arose in the United States, and it is the only country to recognize it as an official breed. Generally, palominos are symbols of the Sun in some cultures, a sign of God in others, and they are found all around History, scattered here and there but definitely present. It is likely that the colour is as old as the horse kind itself.
Nowadays, palominos in general are seen not as rarely as one could have thought. They are particularly sought for parades and competitions, as their colour stands out a lot of the usual chestnuts and bays.
Most modern associations are fighting to make the palomino a worldwide breed, but unfortunately, to be recognized as such, two horses of the same characteristics have to be able to produce a foal bearing them. If two palominos were to mate, the odds are extremely strong that the offspring will be a cremello. The best match found has been to cross a chestnut and a palomino, but there is still fifty percent chances to fail.
Color variations : palomino.free.fr/page16.html