What are the different breeds of a paint horse?

The coat patterns of Paint horses are classified into three types: Tobiano, Overo, and Tovero. The pattern and color of the coat are unique to each horse, much like human fingerprints. The American Paint Horse Association describes each design in detail.

What are the different breeds of a paint horse?

Hidalgo, one of our magnificent stallions


A tobiano pattern horse may be mainly black or white, with an eye-catching two-colored tail. The head markings are similar to those of solid-colored horses. It might be solid or have a snip, star, strip, or blaze. In general, at least below the hocks and knees, all legs are white. Tobiano horses have consistent and prominent white markings. They appear as oval or circular patterns that continue down the neck and chest, like a shield.

What are the different breeds of a paint horse?

The Tobiano can also have additional


The first is pen smudges. Ink spots, also known as “paw prints,” are small spots of color ranging from 1 to 3 inches (2,5 – 7,6cm). They are often encircled by a distinct “blue zone” (white hair on black-pigmented skin that give the hair a blue appearance).

The second kind of spot is coronet spots. Colorful dots along the coronet band are common in horses with the tobiano gene. However, the presence of either of the traits is not a guarantee that the Tobiano gene is present in the horse.


What are the different breeds of a paint horse?

The grandfather of one of our horses

Overo is the second Paint horse design we will look at. In general, overo horses are completely black or white, with one color tails. Being bald-faced, apron-faced, or bonnet-faced is a distinguishing trait. On the body the white usually does not cross the horse’s back between its withers and tail. The uneven white marks are dispersed or splashy. Many overo horses have all four legs or at least one of them dark. One of our horses’ granddad may be seen in the shot. The photo was made available via the APHA pedigree archive.

Frame Overo, Splashed White Overo, and Sabino Overo are subpatterns of the Overo pattern.

The Frame Overo Blue eyes are common. The heads are heavily marked with white. The typical moustache, a colored upper lip that sticks out on the otherwise white head, is an interesting characteristic. The body of the frame overo features horizontal white markings on the sides and neck that seldom touch the topline.

The Splashed White Overo Horses are distinguished by their blue eyes. The head is often and totally white. The Splashed White Overo horse has white legs and a white ventral body.

The Sabino Overo often features irregular spotting usually on the legs, belly and face, often with extensive roaning. Spotting may range from barely visible to nearly totally white. White markings often have narrow extensions up a leg or down the throat, and edges are often jagged. It is common to have somewhat blue eyes.


The Tovero is the final design of the Paint horse breed. As the name suggests the Tovero pattern is a combination of the tobiano and any of the overo patterns.

What are the different breeds of a paint horse?

The white coat dominates the body of the Tovero horse, and the horse is nearly totally white at times. In general, all the contrasting markings are regular and distinct, appearing as ovals or round patterns that extend down over the neck and chest, giving the appearance of a shield.

Dark pigmentation appears around the ears that may spread to cover the forehead and/or the eyes, similar to a mask. One or both sides may be covered in contrasting color. The base of the tail might contain dots of varied sizes, which is distinctive.

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Related Questions

  • What makes a Paint horse a tobiano?

    1) Tobiano (Toe-bee-ah’-no) appears to be white with large spots of color, often overlapping on animals with a greater percentage of color than white. Color spots usually appear on the head, breast, flank, and buttocks, and sometimes on the tail.

  • What is the difference between a paint horses overo and tobiano?

    An overo horse has a generally solid-colored body with big white patches that do not touch the spine at any point. An overo horse’s mane and tail usually are dark, while a tobiano may have white mixed in with the mane and tail color.

  • What are the three types of Paint horse color patterns?

    The coats of paint horses are divided into three patterns: tovero, overo, and tobiano.

  • What breed is my Paint horse?

    A pinto crossed with APH, Quarter Horse, or Thoroughbred genes results in an American Paint Horse. Solid colored paint horses occasionally appear, but are designated as “Solid Paint Bred” by the registry. In order to foster the breeding of colored horses, owners are prohibited from breeding two purebred horses.

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