PMU Foal showing Tovero characteristics

Mustang mare from Carter Reservoir HMA

Mayson, owned by Jessica Young of Windsor, CA

Mustangs with both Tovero  characteristics
has both Tobiano and Overo Characteristics, with a preponderance of white.

The American Paint Horse Association defines Tovero as:


  • Dark pigmentation around the ears, which may expand to cover the forehead and/or eyes.
  • One or both eyes blue.
  • Dark pigmentation around the mouth, which may extend up the sides of the face and form spots.
  • Chest spot(s) in varying sizes. These may also extend up the neck.
  • Flank spot(s) ranging in size. These are often accompanied by smaller spots that extend forward across the barrel, and up over the loin.
  • Spots, varying in size, at the base of the tail.

Other places Tovero is defined variously as  "Tob-overo (tovero) horses have the characteristics of both the tobiano and overo horses" (from )


"The most common factor is a bald or extended face white more than 'normal' along with a tobiano pattern" with three types of tovero: Frame Overo + Tobiano, Sabino + Tobiano, and Spashed White + Tobiano (from

These "Other Pinto" types are not known to have their own genes, but are mixed or extreme expressions of the other known genes.


is a term used for color patterns that appear to be a cross or blending of Tobiano and any of the Overo family of patterns. This is entirely possible genetically, since all of the pinto genes are dominant.

There are 3 main types of Tovero:

  • Frame Overo + Tobiano

  • Sabino + Tobiano

  • Splashed White + Tobiano

    Tovero-Medicine Hat mustang at BLM adoption in Tennessee. Photo: Sandra Schluter

Tovero Foal

TOVERO is characterized by extensive white over most of the body.

Tovero is a term used to describe horses with both Tobiano and Overo characteristics, or any spotted horse that does not fit clearly into either Frame Overo, Sabino, Splash, or Tobiano classification.

The most common factor is a bald or extended white face  with a tobiano pattern. 

Another form of Tovero is mostly white, with only a little color on the flanks, ears, chest and muzzle. Extreme Tovero, like Extreme Sabino, is pure white, or nearly so.

Extreme White (Tovero or Sabino) weanling at BLM adoption in Yuba City, CA
Most foals that are born 100% white and live past the first week are Extreme Tovero or Extreme Sabino.

Tovero can be tricky to identify. 

Tovero Mare with tested Frame foal (the laciness of the spotting would seem to be sabino, but she tested Frame)- Shelli Jozwiak)


is an "Extreme"  pinto pattern.

Richard & Natalie Hatfield's Medicine Hat "Dusty Spring"
Dusty wears her shield on her hindquarters!

The Medicine hat is an extreme white pinto that has a "bonnet"
over the ears and a chest "shield". These pintos were once believed by certain Native American groups to have special magic powers to protect the rider from harm. Usually associated with Frame Overo, the Medicine Hat pattern can also come from Tobianos (rarely), Toveros and Sabinos. Medicine Hats are similar to a pattern called the "War Bonnet" (the bonnet covers more area).

Medicine Hat-type overo at a BLM adoption in Roseville, CA

Someone sent me this super cute picture,
but I lost the email! If it's you, let me know!