Horse colors - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-28-2010, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Horse colors

Hi all!

Wasn't sure where to post this question, so this seemed like the most appropriate section...

I'm confused about colors of horses!!! So I decided to ask you good people about this: The difference between "piebald", "skewbald", "pinto", "overo" and "tobiano". I mean seriously...everywhere I looked...there were different definitions.... So confusing!! :)

Please help!

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post #2 of 9 Old 01-28-2010, 02:50 PM
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Here's the definitions from the APHA website.

(pronounced: oh vair' oh) The white usually will not cross the back of the horse between its withers and its tail. Generally, at least one and often all four legs are dark.
Generally, 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 predominantly dark or white.

(pronounced: tow be yah' no)

The dark color usually covers one or both flanks. Generally, all four legs are white, at least below the hocks and knees. Generally, 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 predominantly dark or white. The tail is often two colors.

As for the others... Piebald, I believe, is the term for a horse that is black and white, while skewbald is any other color and white.

Pinto is the generic term for a horse with white markings on the body. All Paint horses are pinto, but not all pintos are Paints. There is a Pinto Horse Association registry where you can register any horse with color regardless of breed. Check out their website for specific details.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-28-2010, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Ink View Post
Pinto is the generic term for a horse with white markings on the body. All Paint horses are pinto, but not all pintos are Paints.
You mean all colored Paints are pinto.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-28-2010, 06:30 PM
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It can be a bit confusing at times, I will agree when I first entered the paint world when I was younger it was awkward too. You will get it if you want to learn.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-28-2010, 06:45 PM
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I've been told by several colour experts, that the APHA isn't a really good place to get a handle on equine colours. But there are many good colour sites on the net.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-28-2010, 10:37 PM
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My advice would be to start w/ tobiano, it's generally the easiest to get. There are alot of different types of overo which can make it confusing.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-28-2010, 10:53 PM
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Piebald: Black with white

Skewbald: any non-black color with white

I vote for dropping all color terms and starting anew.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are certain and the intelligent are full of doubt"
-Bertrand Russel
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-28-2010, 11:02 PM
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Go to . It is by far the most informative site I have come across on the internet.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-29-2010, 01:14 AM
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I agree. There are also tons more photos on the site than first appear, if one clicks on the side bar.
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