When most people think of a pinto horse they are thinking of a Tobiano horse. The basic Tobiano pattern is white on the legs, white and coloured tails and white crossing over the top line on the neck, back and rump. The lines are smooth and crisp where white meets colour. It is believed that Tobiano does not cause face markings and for Tobianos that have face markings it is beleived that they are caused by other genetic factors. As with all pinto genes there is a large range from very minimal amount of white to extensive amounts of white. The most minimal Tobianos may only have a few white legs where as the most extensive may have and entirely white body leaving only the head and tip of the tail coloured. The reason to why there are such minimal and such excessively marked horses isn’t known, the amount of white doesn’t reflect on if the horse has one or two alleles of the gene.

Homozygous Tobiano

There are a few differences that can be seen on some individuals to be able to tell visually if the horse has two alleles of Tobiano. First there are what is called Cat Tracks or Ink Spots; these are small patches of coloured hair within the white areas. Some homozygous Tobianos also have small roaned patches of coloured hair. On some homozygous Tobianos Ermine Spots are large and plentiful.

Tobiano Genetics

Tobiano is located very near the KIT locus and a genetic test is available to the public. Tobiano is a dominant gene and written as To or T when writing out a genome. Genetic testing is available to the public.

Check out the Tobiano albums to see pictures of Tobiano horses: