Palomino Mustang Mare

Category: Horses

Palomino horses are a color pattern and can be of any breed. Nevertheless, there are two Palomino registries in the United States that keep track of these lovely horses. They usually register Palomino horses based upon their color pattern and specific body conformations rather than their lineages. The Palomino Horse Breeders of America (PHBA) has much stricter guidelines than the Palomino Horse Association (PHA), which registers solely on coat color. Palomino Mustangs combine the rugged good looks of a Mustang with the eye-catching beauty of a golden horse with a creamy mane and tail.

Palomino Mustang Mare

Palomino Mustang Mare

Scientific & Common Names

Genus & Species - Equus ferus caballus

Common Names - Palomino, Mustang

Characteristics

Palomino horses can be of many breeds, as long as they exhibit the classic color pattern. However, PHBA only permits horses of particular breeds in their registries. Palomino horses must have a golden body color, although there are several acceptable shades of gold. The tale and mane have to be ivory, white or silver hue. PHBA-registered Palominos must have dark skin and brown eyes, although the PHA does permit the entry of blue-eyed, light-skinned horses to their registries. Palomino Mustangs also have the wild beauty of Mustangs, with strong, sturdy legs and feet, smaller frames, and refined heads.

Breeding

Palomino Mustang mares are able to reproduce around age 2 in the wild. However, most domesticated horses are not permitted to breed until they are closer to age 3. This allows the mare to reach most of her adult size before being subjected to the rigors of pregnancy and foaling. Mares give birth after a pregnancy of about 11 months. Foaling occurs quickly, usually taking less than a few hours. The foal nurses from its mother for almost a year before it is weaned. A foal's Palomino color pattern is not guaranteed in breeding, even if both parents are Palominos. Only about half of the time do two Palomino parents produce foals that are Palominos.

Behavior

Mustangs live in wild herds in the West, Southwest, and on some of the Eastern barrier islands. The females and their young live in larger herds dominated by a single stallion. Once males reach sexual maturity, the dominant stallion drives them away where they join with other males to form bachelor herds. The young females are also driven away, and they will join another herd as part of another stallion's harem. Many Mustangs are captured or bred on farms. The wild Mustangs are tamed and are useful for pleasure riding and ranching.

History

Until Spanish explorers arrived on the North American continent after the discovery of the New World, horses had been extinct on the continent for centuries. The Spaniards brought their horses, some of which escaped or were abandoned. Over the years, these wild horses formed herds that spread across the continent. Other breeds of horses brought to the New World by settlers mixed with the Spanish herds, and the horses adapted to life in the wild.

Present Status

After the West was largely settled, large herds of untamed horses became a problem, since they competed with cattle for food. Some ranchers began to see them as pests, shooting them on sight. In the 1970s, hoping to preserve the Mustangs from extinction, Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act which gave federal protection to Mustangs in the wild. The Bureau of Land Management, which manages the herds, states that there are currently fewer than 20,000 Mustangs in the wild. There are no specific statistics on the numbers of Palomino Mustangs alive, but the Palomino Horse Breeders of America says that there are 88,000 Palominos of all breeds in their registries.

References

  1. http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/horses/

  2. http://www.palominohba.com/about-phba/

  3. http://www.palominohorseassoc.com/history.htm

  4. http://www.eduscapes.com/nature/mustang/index1.htm

  5. http://www.palominohba.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/PHBATri-foldcolor.pdf