Which One Would You Choose? That's the inviting subtitle
of this young adult book which will be enjoyed by horse
lovers of any age. HORSE AND PONY COLOURS, as the author
Lesley Lodge tells us at the start, are not so important as
choosing the ideal breed, size or temperament for the
purposes of the owner. But for a daydream horse, what
colour is your favourite, and what markings?
I meant to just glance through this book and read it
properly later, but I couldn't stop myself from reading.
This is partly because of the awe-inspiring photos, such as
the first one of a black and a white horse galloping over
snow towards the camera. The text is easy to read and
friendly in tone. We are treated to accounts of horse
stars, such as Zorro's horse Tornado, Champion and Trigger;
then there is Cass Ole the Arabian who played the Black
Stallion in the film of Walter Farley's book. Among white
horses, we meet Silver, Shadowfax and the Lipizzaners.
I've read many factual books on horses and this one is a
great introduction, mixing fact with adventure and fantasy.
We learn that there are two base coat colours - red and
black. White hairs mixed through the coat creates a roan.
Some breeds are more likely to be particular colours.
British and American usage of terms may vary (the author is
British) especially in terms like dun and buckskin. Film
makers treat the choice of horse colour with care - a star
will be given the showiest horse. 'Hidalgo' focused on a
coloured mustang, a contrast to the desert Arab mounts he
raced. For filming, seven horses were used for his
different stunts, requiring enormous care with horse make-
A British breeder has persevered in purposely breeding a
skewbald mostly-Thoroughbred horse which the racing
authorities would allow to race, and she has won third and
fourth places with him. The original Stud Book had no
patched mares or stallions which is why you do not see this
colour in races. We look at stripey zebras and crossbreed
zonkeys. DNA testing is now showing up all kinds of genes
and factors for colours. There are more spectacular photos
on a Pinterest board which this book recommends. The author
Lesley Lodge previously wrote 'Lights! Camera! Gallop! The
Story of the Horse In Film' and clearly loves her
fascinating subject HORSE AND PONY COLOURS. Ride on!
Just imagine. If you had the chance to choose the perfect
horse or pony with the colour you'd really, really like,
what colour would you choose?
This book - with colour photos - will tell you about all
horse and pony colours and their combinations and give
Then you can pick your favourite colour for your
imaginary horse or pony - and maybe make a second and
choice just for fun!
Horse and Pony Colours: Which would you choose?
Extract from Chapter Five: Pure Gold - or Yellow? The
Palomino horses are sometimes included under the
general heading of "coloured" but I think they deserve an
entry of their own. The Palomino is my absolute favourite
Palomino horses have a yellow or golden coat with white
or light cream manes and tails. The exact shade of the
body coat colour can range from cream to a dark gold and
the summer coat of a palomino is usually a slightly
darker shade than its winter coat. Palomino is a colour,
not a breed of horse, as such. Even so, many of the
purest Palomino coloured horses are American, such as the
American Saddlebred horse, and they also tend to be
light, riding horses. You won't see many really big cart
horse types with the Palomino colour, nor many English
One of the most famous film horses ever was Roy Rogers'
horse Trigger and he was a perfect Palomino colour.
Trigger was born in the early 1930s and his original name
was Golden Cloud. Roy Rogers called him Trigger because
he was quick – quick at learning and quick in terms
of speed and so ‘quick off the trigger'. He stood 15.3
hands high and was part Thoroughbred and part Quarter
Horse. He is said to have cost Rogers $2,500, an
absolutely enormous sum for a horse in the 1930s (very
roughly about £22,600 in British money today). Trigger
was no ordinary palomino though. Whereas most palominos
have a creamy yellow coat, Trigger had a stunning golden
coat and a brilliant white and exceptionally long flowing
mane and tail.
Trigger's first film part was in the 1938 film The
Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn.
Trigger (then still named Golden Cloud) played Maid
Marian's horse. Later, he starred in many Western films.
Trigger could do more than sixty different tricks. Most
amazingly, he could walk 150 steps up on his two back
Trigger lived to be over thirty – very old indeed
for a horse. A ‘Trigger' continued to appear in films
after he'd retired, however, because the film studios
replaced him by first a second and finally a third
‘Trigger'. One of these, Little Trigger, appeared in the
film Son of Paleface, sharing a bed with Bob Hope
and snatching the bed covers off Bob every time Bob tried
to sleep. If you're watching one of those old films, or
maybe the clips on YouTube, you can spot which is the
original Trigger by the fact that the white blaze marking
on his forehead went right down over his left eye - and
only one of his feet had a white marking like a long
Another famous Palomino was the star of the TV show
Mister Ed, a series about a glamorous talking
Palomino. The comedy in Mister Ed was based on the simple
idea that the horse could talk and that Wilbur, his
owner, knew that his horse could talk, but that the horse
refused to talk in front of any other human. Mister Ed
did once break this rule by speaking to a child; but
then, as Mister Ed confidently said to Wilbur after, ‘Who
would believe a child who said that a horse talked?'
Mister Ed had a telephone in his stable so he was able to
book lots of strange things and activities for himself.
In various episodes, the talking horse flew a kite, went
surfing, played baseball or flew an aircraft. Once he
even got drunk. Mister Ed also dressed up a lot, wearing,
for example, a Beatles wig in one episode, beach costumes
in another and a zebra disguise in a third. See the list
of useful websites at the end of this book for a website
where you can see pictures of Mister Ed.
There were no CGI computer effects in those days so all
horse tricks had to be filmed for real or carefully "cut
and pasted" in the editing process. There was a rumour at
the time that the TV studio had peanut butter smeared on
the horse's gums to make his lips move as though he was
actually talking – when really he was just trying
to move the peanut butter. Another rumour was that no, it
was done by using a clear nylon thread, either physically
to lift his lips or in the form of a knot, invisible to
the camera, placed between his upper front teeth to make
him twitch his lips.
The horse playing Mister Ed could actually perform some
real tricks: he could untie a knotted rope with his
teeth, lie down on command and pick up objects. For the
scenes where he uses the telephone, he would pick up the
phone with his teeth and put it on a shelf. He would then
be filmed picking up a pencil and the camera would cut to
a close shot of a pencil dialling the phone. Mister Ed
also winked frequently, either to the audience or to
Wilbur. His winking would probably have been shot by
filming one eye in close-up when the horse happened to
Mister Ed won a prize, the Patsy Award for a top
animal performer. He was a Palomino gelding, an American
Saddlebred. The horse who played Mister Ed was called
Bamboo Harvester. Sadly, by 1968, he began to suffer from
arthritis and he died in 1970. In a way, though, he lived
on, because Pumpkin, the horse who played his double for
a few of the stunts and who was also of course a
palomino, survived until 1979 and was unofficially called
Mister Ed for some events.
It is a Palomino horse that is said to have the record
for the world's longest tail. This American Palomino's
tail measured 22 feet long......
To read on and find out more about palominos and many
more horse colours, turn to the book: HORSE AND PONY
COLOURS: Which would you choose? Illustrated in