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Use and characteristics of the Pinto
Horses with pinto colouring come in all shapes, sizes and breeds. Whether a horse exhibits pinto colouring is all down to the genes. The distribution of unpigmented (white) patches and pigmented (coloured) patches depends on a specific genetic mutation. In certain rare cases, breeding from two parents with pinto markings can lead to problems, but most pinto coloured horses are healthy and active. In the UK, people who sell a pinto use the terms skewbald (for brown, or chestnut, and white horses) and piebald (for black and white animals). In Britain, the word “coloured”, as in “a coloured cob” is a general term to describe horses with pinto markings of any colour. In the USA, the terms overo, tobiano and tovero are used to describe various forms of coat patterning. “Spotted” or “spotted coloured” are other terms used in America when people are creating descriptions to sell a pinto. However, in Britain and other countries, “spotted” is confined to animals with spots such as Appaloosas and British Spotted horses and ponies.