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August 15, 2008 | | Comments 0

Pinto Horses

Pinto horses

Celebrating Color in Pinto Horses

The term pinto refers more to coat color than to a specific horse breed. Nonetheless, pinto horses have become so popular that they have become as prized as specific breeds. Pinto horses can be found in a lot of places around the world. In North America, pinto horses share a common origin as other established horses in America.

In America, the appearance of pinto horses corresponds with the movement from Europe to America. The Spanish in particular are credited for bringing over excellent horse breeds, several of which may have had pinto color patterns. The horses that escaped into the wild and the ones bred by the native American population are the ancestors of modern pintos in America. There is some evidence though that pinto horses have been in other parts of the world long before America was ever discovered. Artistic illustrations of pinto horses point that they may have been around during the rise of ancient civilizations.

Pinto horses belong to a color breed instead of genetic breeds. They can come from different horse breeds. Any horse from any breed that exhibits pinto color patterns can be registered as a pinto. This is also the main difference between pintos and paint horses. Pinto horses can come from any parent horse. Paint horses on the other hand should descend from the combination of Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.

This does not mean though that pinto horses are totally bred with no regard for conformation standards. While it is true that the horses are primarily bred for color, some associations and breeders enforce standards over such areas as parent breed, conformation and spotting pattern. Some associations have also put up restrictions on draft horses and solid colored horses that are the offspring of pinto horses.

In general, a pinto horse is described as having a white coat with colored spots or areas. Some pintos as skewbald which means they have a white coat with colored spots except black. Those with black spots are called piebald. Pinto horses are also differentiated according to the pattern of their coats. They are overo pintos if the spots do not have a regular shape and they are tobiano if their spots are more rounded. A horse with a combination of both major color patterns is said to have a tovero pattern.

It is also important to note that pinto breeders have a way of classifying horses according to conformation type or function. A pinto can belong to the pleasure, saddle, hunter or stock types of horses. Oftentimes, the parentage of a pinto horse can easily dictate what type a pinto horse will be. Arabians for example are more of the pleasure type while Thoroughbreds are generally of the hunter type.

Since pinto horses belong to different breeds, it can reasonably be expected that they also have differences that go well beyond their physical attributes. They also generally have varying temperaments. Some pinto horses may be more willing and amiable than others. If you are interested in a pinto horse for particular reasons, make sure you check the breed of the parents of the horse.

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