Correct.OP I think your palomino is just a lighter pal.
The is no way to make a light palomino this gold color I'm afraid you'll have to love him for him!
We own four. All are different shades of "yellow". Cream to solid gold. Two of them are siblings out of the same sire, two are siblings out of the same mare.
They tend to be lighter in the winter with all of the extra hair.
The old brood mare darkened one winter to a chocolate. She had her only colt (so far) that year. Vet said hormones!
Last night I noticed she is looking dark again . . .