What Is A Chocolate Palomino? All About This Color

I was asking one of my sisters, “What is your favorite color of horse?” and she replied, “A chocolate palomino.”

I never had really heard of that coat color before as it isn’t a term that is frequently used, at least not where I’m from. As it turns out tho, this is a true coat color.

What Is The Chocolate Palomino Coat Color?

Chocolate Palomino is a coat color that falls under the Palomino coat color category. This coat color contains the same chestnut base and cream gene genetics as that of a standard Palomino, but the color of their coat is what is different. Chocolate Palomino horses have a really dark coat color and a white mane and tail making them look similar to a liver chestnut horse with a flaxen mane and tail. This coat color is produced through the crossing of a cream-gene-carrying horse and a liver chestnut horse. This is why these horses are so dark.

What Does The Chocolate Palomino Color Look Like?

This coat color has very distinct traits that makes these horses fairly easy to pick out from other Palomino horses. The traits that these horses carry can be found in their:

Coat Color

The coat color of these horses is a gorgeous dark chocolatey brown that is often scattered through with dapples giving these horses an even more beautiful look.

The coat color of these horses is comparable to that of a liver chestnut coat color. Liver chestnuts also are seen having a rich dark brown coat color.

Skin Color

Like your standard Palomino coat color, chocolate Palominos have black skin. Most coat colors, other than the double dilute colors, are paired with dark skin.

If a horse resembles a palomino but has pink skin, that horse is likely a cremello or perlino horse.

Chocolate Palomino horses will always have black skin.

Eye Color

Like Palomino and Buckskin horses, Chocolate Palomino horses have dark brown eyes (unless covered by a white marking). One interesting thing about the eyes of these horses though is this: their eyes can be amber colored!

Because of the dilution caused by the cream gene these horses carry, sometimes the eye color is affected causing a beautiful amber colored eye.

Mane & Tail Color

Like other Palomino horses, Chocolate Palominos must carry a white mane and tail to even be considered a true Palomino.

The color of the mane and tail can range from white to a yellow-beige color with some silver exceptions, but it must be one of these shades.


The genetics of these horses are what determines if these animals are truly palomino or not.

A Chocolate Palomino must carry two things for the horse to be considered a true palomino. These two things are:

  • A liver chestnut base coat color
  • One copy of a cream gene

If the horse does not carry these genetics, then they are not truly a Palomino.

What Is The Difference Between Palomino & Chocolate Palomino?

Palomino and Chocolate Palominos are technically the same coat color only most other palominos are a lighter color than what is seen in Chocolate Palomino horses.

The differences between standard Palomino horses and Chocolate Palomino horses can be seen when looking at these traits:

Coat Color

The coat color of the standard Palomino horse is a brassy light golden color that generally ranges in shade from a light yellow-golden color to a deeper brassy-copper color.

Chocolate Palomino horses have a dark chocolate-brown color that may contain dappling and hints of gold, but for the most part it will be dark.


The genetics of both of these horses are the same for the most part. Chocolate Palomino horses and standard Palomino horses both require a chestnut base color and one copy of a cream gene. The only difference is that the Chocolate Palomino requires a base coat color of liver chestnut rather than just any coat color.

Can Chocolate Palomino Horses Have White Markings?

Yes! Just because a horse is this color doesn’t mean that it can’t have white markings.

These horses can have any and all white markings. These markings include:

  • Stars
  • Snips
  • Stripes
  • Blazes
  • Interrupted Stripe
  • White Faces
  • Socks (includes coronet, half pastern, fetlock, half-cannon, and cannon markings)
  • Stockings (includes any over-the-knee markings)

Are These Horses Rare?

Yes! Seeing that Palomino horses are already on the rarer spectrum, this makes this specific Palomino coat color even more rare as it is a subcategory of an already rare coat color.

Breeds That Can Be This Color:

There are many horse breeds that allow this color into their registries. A few of the breeds that allow this include:

Fun Facts On Chocolate Palominos:

  • Genetic testing is often needed to determine if these horses are truly Palomino or if they are just liver chestnuts
  • This unique coat color is extremely rare
  • Quarter Horses and Mustangs carry this coat color more than any other breeds do

Hailey Sipila

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

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