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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are so many colors in the horse world! :shock:

I thought I was getting pretty good knowing the different horse colors, but as I read through some of the threads, I think there's still too much I dont know. Can anybody explain what the differences are in some of these?

-Sabino
-Tobiano
-Pinto vs. Paint
-Rabicano
-Bay vs. Brown
-any others that are popular (heck, even unpopular ones are okay too)

Pictures are more than welcome to help demonstrate the differences as seeing helps me remember better. Google hasn't brought up many helpful sites about this subject :?

Also, is there any kind of test or game that I can do to practice the colors? I'm glad I joined this forum before I got a horse because there is SO much to learn (dont worry, it'll be a few years before I get one). Thank you all in advance for the help :)
 

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I can help with by vs. brown.

Genetically, they are both black (Ee or EE), but they each have a different version of the Agouti gene (A for bay and At for brown). The agouti gene restricts black pigment to certain areas, and the different versions do it differently.

As far as looks, in the summer a lot if browns look bay, or close to it. They have lighter soft points, like the muzzle and flank, that are more apparent in their winter coats. Bay horses are the same shade wherever they're not black, and they still look bay in winter (while many browns might appear black).

You might want to check out the thread The Badass Brown for more information.

Hopefully some of the color gurus can give you more information. And correct me if I missed something.
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Tobiano - white does cross over the shoulders and back unlike some of the other patterns. Does not like facial white, but when present, they will look more like "normal" facial markings such as stars, strips, snips, and typical blazes.

Overo - a blanket term for a pinto pattern which is not tobiano. A rather outdated but widely used term.

Tovero - used to describe a horse who shows some tobiano and overo traits.

Splash - A term for the white patterns on a horse. Looks like paint has been splashed onto the coat, as it's name suggests.

Frame - White pattern. The color tries to frame in the white. Can be very tricky. Can Ben be found in solids. A good sign is also minimal body white with a lot of facial white. Breeding two frame positive horses together results in a 1/4 chance of a lethal white foal. LWF's are 100% fatal.

Sabino - Another white pattern. Associated with blurry or roany patterns. Also makes leg white very sharp and jagged.

Pinto is the pattern and can be found on many breeds. Paint is a breed.

Rabicano - a roaming effect limited to the flank area instead of total roaning. Often puts silver or sooty hairs in the tail only or in a ringed or "skunk" tail.
 

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Note: These horses are not mine. Courtesy of Google Images. =)

Tobiano:


Frame:


Rabicano:


Pinto Arabian:


VERSUS

APHA Paint:


Sabino:


Brown that looks bay:


BAD *** BROWN
 

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Note: Within a lot of the horses I posted above are examples of more frame, splash, and sabino. A solid horse can have all the white patterns mentioned as well.
 

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Ahh. I just picked that pic to show another breed with a pinto pattern as opposed to the Paint breed.

Noted!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all! I have a few more questions if thats alright :)

What is the difference between the pinto and tobiano? Does the white have to cross over the shoulders and the back in order to be tobiano, or does it just need to cross the back somewhere?

Also, is there a way to tell the difference between a Paint horse and a horse with white markings?

I didnt realize that solids could have the white patterns :shock: does that mean that all solids carry some genes for white patterns in them, or are there some true solids out there?
 

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Thank you all! I have a few more questions if thats alright :)

What is the difference between the pinto and tobiano? Does the white have to cross over the shoulders and the back in order to be tobiano, or does it just need to cross the back somewhere?


All tobianos are pintos but not all pintos are tobianos! Tobiano is a kind of pinto pattern. There are lots more patterns like frame, sabino, overo, splash, etc.

Also, is there a way to tell the difference between a Paint horse and a horse with white markings?
Paint is a breed, like quarter horse or arabian. Most paints also have pinto markings. Some are born solid, but carry the genes for them. Not sure if there are any breeds of horse that never show any white markings at all. I am sure they are out there though! Maybe Fjords or Cleveland bays, off the top of my head. Could be wrong about both of them!
 

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Also, is there a way to tell the difference between a Paint horse and a horse with white markings?
Registration papers :lol:

Paint horses are essentially Quarter Horses selectively bred to have pinto patterns. :hide:
 

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If you're asking on an individual level, then yes, of course there are true solids.

But essentially, correct me of I'm wrong, all white patterns are attributed to one of the white genes. Even minutely so.

Doesn't mean your horse is a Paint or a pinto.
 

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Ahh. I just picked that pic to show another breed with a pinto pattern as opposed to the Paint breed.

Noted!
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I see alot of "Purebred Pinto Arabian". That's just ignorant advertising. Arabians cannot and do not, carry any tobiano or overo gene.

a "Purebred Pinto Arabian" most often is a "Purebred Sabino Arabian".

If that guy has 99% Arabian blood or more (ie/ 99.6%) he is a Pintabian. If not, he's just a crossbreed.
He is cute though.
 

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I see alot of "Purebred Pinto Arabian". That's just ignorant advertising. Arabians cannot and do not, carry any tobiano or overo gene.

a "Purebred Pinto Arabian" most often is a "Purebred Sabino Arabian".
And this is yes another reason why we should stop using the word "overo". Sabino is one of the "overo" genes that people who don't know better lump with the other two.
 
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Yup. Didn't Tovero get taken out too?
Ack. That's also another word I hate. Except people still continue to use it, as does several registry bodies. *sigh*
 
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