.....Overo Miniature Horses

         HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PAINT HORSE 

 

The earliest known ancestor of the horse is called  Eohippus or "The Dawn Horse."  It lived in North America as well as in Europe around 50 million years ago.  Being one half of a meter or smaller in length, it usually weighed around 30 to 40 pounds.  This little horse would typically not get much taller than 12 to 14 inches at the shoulder.  Maybe its most unusual feature in regards to a horse was that it had 4 toes on its forefeet and 3 toes on its back feet.  Modern horses are said to have only one toe per foot.  Being a herbivore, it ate mainly leaves and plant shoots. The smallest animal in each of the 3 pictures above shows what some believe to be as a good representation of the first horse in North America, Eohippus.

It is evident that modern type horses have been in North America for a very ,very long time as carvings of them have been found on the walls of ancient caves. But at some point scientists think that horses died out in the Americas only to make a reappearance,thanks to the Spaniards, and remain into modern times.

 It is believed that horses returned to North America in 1519 when the Spanish Conquistadores, led by Cortez, landed 16 war mounts at Vera Cruz, Mexico. Indispensable to the conquest of Mexico, these hardy animals set a tradition of Western horsemanship that still exists. Records indicate that at least one of these animals was a Paint. The Ranchos of Colonial Spain grew rapidly and by the early 16th Century, horses were common. These animals were stolen from ranches by marauding Indians. Later, some of the horses escaped their captivity and, running free, formed the nucleus of the Mustang herds that spread across the Great Plains and gave the Indians a reservoir of breeding stock from which to draw. By the early 19th century, the West had thousands of wild horses. Prominent among these free-ranging herds, according to observations by travelers of the period, were Paints.

Acquisition of the horse changed the Indians' way of life, transforming him from a plodding pedestrian to a nomadic warrior and hunter. This change had its greatest impact on the great buffalo herds. With their ability to travel faster, their hunting grounds were expanded and the Indians developed a dependence upon the buffalo. The Comanches, considered by many authorities on Indian life of that time to be the finest horsemen on the Plains, favored Paints and had several of these unusually beautiful animals in their herds.

Evidence of their holding these special colored individuals in high esteem is exhibited by the large number of drawings of spotted horses found on the painted buffalo robes on which the Comanches kept many of their records. 

The "medicine hat" overos were the sacred war ponies of the Plains Indians.  Because of their unique coloration, the Indians believed they had a "medicine bag" of mystical powers.  Warriors thought themselves invincible when riding one of these specially colored horses into battle, and only proven braves were allowed to do so. The "complete" frame medicine hat overo has the cap or "hat" of color up over the top of the head and ears.  It also has at least one dark leg, white splotches alongside the body, and color from the withers to the tail head. Usually they will have at least one blue eye as well.  The final trait to make it a "complete" frame is that there would be a patch of color on the chest.  This is called the shield; the shield that the Indians felt would protect them from harm in battle.

 

THE HORSES BELOW ARE MOST LIKELY ALL SABINO OVEROS

THESE HORSES USUALLY HAVE QUITE A BIT OF WHITE ON THEIR FACE.  THEY ALSO APPEAR TO HAVE ROAN PATCHES ON PART OF THEIR BODY OR ALMOST COMPLETELY COVERING THEIR BODY.   SOMETIMES THEY HAVE LOTS OF WHITE ON THE FACE AND SOME SOCKS BUT THEY DON'T SHOW THE ROANING.  SOMETIMES THE ROANING IS NOT NOTICED BECAUSE THE HORSE IS PRACTICALLY WHITE.

THE FOLLOWING HORSES ARE SPLASH OVEROS

ONE WAY THESE HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED IS....TAKE THE HORSE AND PUT IT IN A BATHTUB  THAT HAS WHITE PAINT IN IT.  sPLASH THE WHITE PAINT UP ON THE BELLY OF THE HORSE.  A SPLASH OVERO USUALLY ALSO HAS A BALD FACE AND MAYBE A BLUE EYE OR TWO OR THREE...... JUST KIDDING. THE EDGES  OF THE COLOR ARE CLEAN IN COMPARISON TO MANY OF THE FRAME OVERO EDGES. 

       THE HORSES BELOW ARE TOBIANO PAINTS 

THE TOBIANO USUALLY HAS BLOTCHES OF WHITE SCATTER OVER THE BODY TO INCLUDE CROSSING OVER THE BACK.  THE WHITE ON OVEROS USUALLY DOESN'T CROSS OVER THE BACK.

               SOME MORE EXAMPLES OF PAINTS

All are frame overos