Suitable for almost any type of work, the Pinto is a stunning horse that is adored by many. Because the Pinto is a color breed, there are no real size requirements, although horses that have Appaloosa, Mule or Draft blood are not allowed.
There are two basic kinds, or color patterns of the Pinto horse: the Overo and Tabiano. An Overo colored horse has a basic solid color coat with white splashes on it, while the Tabiano coloring is a white horse with colored splashes on the coat.
There are a few basic color requirements for a Pinto. In horses that are two years or older there should be at least 15 square inches of pink skin on the animal with white hair. For horses that are a year of age, there should be 8 inches and for weanlings, there should be 4 inches.
The same color requirements hold true for ponies and for miniature horses, except for ponies the color requirements are half of that of a horse and for a miniature, it is 25% of that for a horse. It should be known that there are four classes, or types of Pintos that the horse or pony is classified under.
It is noted that the type is determined by the background of the animal. The first is the Stock type, which is often used as a hunter or in western shows/events. The Stock type Pinto should also conform to the requirements for that of the Quarter Horse.
The second type is the Hunter type is used in a variety of events, including hunting and in western shows. The Hunter type should confirm with the requirements for the Thoroughbred horse or running Quarter horse.
The third type, the Pleasure type, can be used for a variety of events. The Pleasure horse should conform to the standards for the Arabian or the Morgan. Finally, the fourth type is the Saddle type and can be used in just about any event and this type should conform to the standards of the American Saddlebred, Tennessee Walking Horse or the Missouri Foxtrotter.
The Pinto has a long and rich history and can often be seen in legends and ancient art. It is believed that wild horses from Russia with the Tabiano coloring came into Europe and thus introduced the Pinto into the area.
While Native American legend paints the Pinto as a mighty battle horse, it is believed that the Pinto was actually introduced by mostly Spanish explorers who had brought Barb/European stock crosses along with them. These introduced horses crossed with wild horses of North America eventually creating the Pinto we know and love today.