Studies of this art history reveal the early existence of what we recognize today as the Pinto
Horse: a horse whose dual-colored coat pattern is comprised of white areas combined with
another of the basic coat colors common to horses, making each Pinto unique. The Pinto is a
colour breed with documentation of pedigree as well as certain restrictions and exclusions that
may apply depending on the sex, classification and background of each animal.

Though commonly associated with the Native American for its legendary magical qualities in
battle, the Pinto horse was actually introduced to North America by European explorers, chiefly those from Spain, bringing their Barb stock that had been crossed with native European stock years before. It is believed that the Pinto patterns may have arrived in Europe via the Arabian strains, as Pinto markings appear in ancient art throughout the Middle East. However, evidence of the more dominant Tobiano pattern among the wild horses of the Russian Steppes suggests the introduction of Pinto coloring to Europe possibly as early as during the Roman Empire.

After the arrival of these European horses, great wild herds infused with the flashy color
patterns we know today began to develop across America, eventually to be domesticated by the Native American. The white man continued to import many of the well-established and stylish European breeds as his foundation stock. Over time, however, with the civilization of the Native American and the white man's migration to the frontier, it often became necessary to cross these fancy, but less suitable breeds of the Eastern seaboard with the wild mustang stock to increase size and attractiveness as well as availability of a horse better suited to the strenuous working conditions of the day. This Western-bred horse became a fixture of America, especially the uniquely marked Pinto whose colorful presence in parades and films always added a little extra glamour.


2006 Pinto Horse of the Year
Jst’N’Illusn – owned by Double Divide Farm


THE TOBIANO - (Toe-bee-ah’-no)
-The dark color usually covers one or both flanks.
-Generally, all four legs are white, at least below the hocks and knees.
-The spots are regular and distinct as ovals or round patterns that extend down over the neck and chest, giving the appearance of a shield.
-Head markings are like those of a solid-colored horse--solid, or with a blaze, strip, star or snip.
-A tobiano may be either redominantly dark or white. -The tail is often two colors.
THE OVERO – (O-vair-o)
-The white usually will not cross the back of the horse between its withers and its tail.
-At least one and often all four legs are dark.
-The white is irregular, and is rather scattered or splashy.
-Head markings are distinctive, often bald-faced, apron-faced or bonnet-faced.
-An overo may be either edominantly dark or white.
-The tail is usually one color.