A pinto horse
has a coat color
that consists of large patches of white and any other color. The distinction between "pinto" and "solid" can be tenuous, as so-called "solid" horses frequently have areas of white hair. Various cultures throughout history appear to have selectively bred for pinto patterns.
of horse carry pinto patterns. Pinto coloring, known simply as "coloured" in nations using British English
, is most popular in the United States. While pinto colored horses are not a "breed," several competing color breed
registries have formed to encourage the breeding of pinto-colored horses.
Pinto patterns are visually and genetically distinct from the leopard complex
spotting patterns characteristic of horses such as the Appaloosa
. Breeders who select for color are often careful not to cross the two patterns, and registries that include spotting color preferences often will refuse registration to horses who exhibit characteristics of the "wrong" pattern.
Although pinto coloration is rare in the wild, people have always had an eye for animals of unusual colors and a desire to deliberately breed for them. Images from pottery and other art of ancient antiquity show horses with flashy spotted patterns. Images of spotted horses appear in the art of Ancient Egypt
, and archaeologists have found evidence of horses with spotted coat patterns on the Russian steppes before the rise of the Roman...