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Golden Horses – 9 Breeds with Amazing Shiny Gold Coats


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Horses come in many amazingly beautiful colors but few of these colors are known as well as the shimmering golden coat of the Akhal-Teke horse. But, did you know that the Akhal-Teke is not the only golden horse breed? You may not have realized that there are many horse breeds that have similarly golden coats. We’ll look at the 9 most popular.

1. Akhal-Teke Horse

By Ulruppelt – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The Akhal-Teke is a very rare breed. In fact, it is highly unlikely that a normal person would see one in person in their life. Not all members of this breed have the glittering gold color this breed is known for.

According to Akhal-Teke.org, those that do have coat hairs with a unique structure that reduces the size of the opaque core allowing light to flow through the hair shaft more easily and be reflected out the other side.

2. Golden Quarter Horses

Hollywood Dream – Champagne Quarter Horse

While very uncommon, the American Quarter Horse does have a relatively few members who carry the “Champagne” horse gene. This gene allows a horse who would normally be a chestnut, to instead be a glittering gold.

The champagne gene is dominant and will dilute black to brown and red to gold. While all of the diluted champagne colors can have an extremely shiny coat, it is the red based horses whose coats become golden.

3. Painted Gold – American Paint Horses

Palomino Paint Horse

Yet another breed with golden horses is the American Paint Horse. Much like their Quarter Horse cousins, the American Paint Horse has champagne colored horses.

When looking for a gold champagne American Paint Horse, you get the benefit of not only the beautiful gold coat but also the distinct white markings that are the hallmark of the paint pattern.

4. Tennessee Walkers

Ivory Pal by Katie W – Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Gaited breeds, like the Tennessee Walker, often come in the glittering gold coat color as well. If you are looking for a horse breed that is both smooth to ride and beautiful to look at, the Tennessee Walker might be the right horse for you!

Whether you choose a nice dark palomino or a shimmering gold champagne horse, the Tennessee Walking Horse will keep you riding in style!

5. American Mustang

Did you know that the American Mustang comes in just about every horse coat color known to exist? This includes champagne, palomino and even pearl!

The dark golden color of a palomino, like the mare pictured below, is fairly common. Colors like champagne and pearl are far more rare but they do exist.

Can you believe that the golden horse below was adopted for just $125 from the BLM! It is amazing what nice horses they have available.

Golden Palomino Mustang

6. American Saddlebred

Another wonderful gaited golden horse breed is the American Saddlebred. The video above is of a beautiful five-gaited gold champagne horse. Look how his golden coat glistens in the sun as he shows off his gaits!

The American Saddlebred is an All-American horse breed with it’s origins in Kentucky. In fact, this breed of horse were ridden by great American generals. Formed in 1891, it is America’s first and oldest breed!

7. Miniature Horses

Palomino Miniature Horses

Looking for a champagne colored horse in a pint sized package? The miniature horse is a great option for you! Miniature horses are known for being short in stature but full of personality. They are the perfect option for those who want the joy of owning a horse but perhaps don’t have the space or need for a riding horse.

Miniature horses come in champagne and palomino (among other colors). This means that you have a wide variety of options to choose from. They can also be taught to pull a cart which is great for showing your mini horse around town!

8. Golden Ponies

Palomino Pony

Is a miniature horse too small? Are you looking for a golden horse big enough for the kids to ride on? Luckily, there are quite a few pony horse breeds that have palomino and champagne colors as well.

You can go as small as the famous Shetland Pony or as large as the American Quarter Pony and just about every size in between. Whether you are looking for a deep golden palomino or a shimmering champagne gold champagne, you won’t be disappointed when you look at the pony breeds.

9. Palomino Lusitano Horse

If you have your heart set on the beautiful Spanish body type and profile of the Andalusian horse but also want that deep, golden color, look no further than the Lusitano. The Lusitano Horse shares a common ancestry with the Andalusian with the added benefit of having members that carry the cream gene.

The cream gene is responsible for colors like buckskin and Palomino, the color we’re looking for here. With a palomino Lusitano you truly get the best of both worlds, spanish size and presence and deep gold color.

What Color Are Golden Horses?

Golden horses are typically champagne or palomino. All of the breeds above come in both colors. While a gold champagne looks kind of similiar to a palomino, they actually have an all together different genetic makeup.

Palomino horses can get a very nice shine on them. Their color tends to be a richer gold than you would see on a champagne horse and as such, can look more golden

However, if it is a truly metallic shine you are looking for, then a horse who carries the champagne gene is the right answer. The fact of the matter is, the champagne gene comes in more horse breeds than we mentioned here. In fact, they have even found wild mustangs in America who carry the champagne dilution.

The genetics involved in Champagne and Palomino may have a similiar result in appearances, but, they are different. The Palomino horse has one cream gene diluting two red genes. The gold champagne horse has one champagne gene diluting two red genes.

For both colors, there can be differences in shade depending on a variety of factors including specific genetics, influence of other color genes, nutrition and weather.

In fact, the shining coats you love to see are most commonly observed in the summer when the hair coat is short. During the winter, unless a horse is blanketed, the hair grows much longer and reflects little to no light. That means in winter, most horses lose a lot of their shine.

How to Find a Golden Horse

In the United States, finding a purebred Akhal-Teke would be extremely difficult and, finding a golden one even harder. Instead, it would be wiser to find a palomino or champagne horse of your favorite breed.

The easiest way to do this is to search filter first by color, and then by breed, on any of the horse sale sites such as Dreamhorse.com.

Purchasing an adult horse is always your best bet as it ensures the horse is the color of your dreams. Don’t forget though, you can’t ride color. Training is always more important than color but, you can find a perfectly trained, colorful horse if you have the time, money and patience.

I hope this list of nine golden horse breeds has given you some ideas and inspiration as to what is possible when shopping for a horse. There are so many other great colors that it can be hard to choose just one! When you are looking for a gold colored horse though, palomino and champagne are your best bets.

April

I've owned horses for 25 years and have a particular love for gentling wild horses (I've trained over 100). I write these articles to help others learn more about horses. If you enjoyed the article please take a moment to pin it to Pinterest or share on social media. It really does help!

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