Overo Horse Color Explained!

Horses come in many weird and wonderful patterns of markings, and the overo horse color is one of these! These striking horses are highly sought after for their distinctive splashes of white and colored hair. But what exactly is an overo horse, and how do they get this coloring?


What Is The Overo Horse Color?

The overo horse color is described as ‘colored’ or ‘pinto’ horse – one which has two or more distinctive different colors of hair on its body.

Which Breeds Of Horse Have Overo Patterns?

Some breeds of horses are much more likely to have overo coat patterns, while other breeds do not have pinto horses at all.

How Do Overos Get Their Coloring?

An overo horse will have a pair of genes, one from each parent, that determines the original base color. This will be either bay, black, or chestnut. 

What Do Overo Paint Horses Look Like?

One thing is for sure – you will never get two overo Paint horses that look exactly the same! 

What Is A Framed Overo Horse?

The framed overo horse is the only true genetic overo patterning, with all other horses classed as overo occurring as a result of other genetic modifiers.

What Is Lethal White Overo Syndrome?

Unfortunately, the horses with the frame overo pattern are also likely to pass on a genetic defect to their offspring.

So, as we have learned, the overo horse color occurs as a result of a white spotting pattern gene, which removes pigment from patches of hair. It can be easy to mistake overo coloring for other coat patterns, such as tobiano and sabino. 


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