Tobiano (TO) is the most well-known of the pinto patterns and is the pattern most identified with the Chincoteague Pony. Tobianos usually have four white legs, three rarely. Tobianos will usually have solid heads with normal markings. White is generally on the shoulders and hips. Body spots will usually have edges that are rounded and well defined. Tobianos often have manes and tails with multiple colors. Chestnut tobianos with white tails often have dark tail tips that look black. Tobiano can be extremely minimal and extremely maximum: minimal tobianos will have little or no body spotting, but will still have the white legs, maximum will still generally have dark heads. Tobianos have dark skin and eyes.
Tobiano is dominant, meaning it cannot skip generations. A test for tobiano is available. Tobiano is located on the KIT gene.
Tobaino is reported to have been introduced through Shetland Pony outcrossing, Once Upon an Island by Kirk Mariner states that Clarence Beebe was the one do so. Ronald Keiper, who studied the Maryland ponies, stated in his book The Assateague Ponies that pinto was introduced in the 1920's. The outcrossing would have had to have occurred prior to 1930, as a Delmarva Star article describing the 1930 Pony Penning described the ponies as "many colored, with blacks, browns, bright bays, and so many with spotted coats." The earliest known photos of tobianos found to date is from the 1931 Pony Penning. Tobiano is common in both the Virginia and Maryland feral herds.
Bay tobiano. Rainbow Swirl, 2011, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Brown tobiano with a mixed color tail. Witch Doctor, 2007, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Chestnut tobianos. Cherokee Chief and Rapt in Paint, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Black minimal tobiano. Ace's Black Tie Affair, 2010 and 2014, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Bay maximum tobiano. Chocolate Dip, 2005, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Chestnut tobiano. Catwalk Chaos, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Sooty palomino tobiano as a foal and as an adult. Misty III, 2007 and 2014, Foal picture courtesy of Kendy Allen, Adult picture by Amanda Geci.
Light chestnut tobiano in summer coat and winter coat. Butterfly Kisses, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Bay tobiano. Sockett to Me, 2010, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Brown tobiano with a roan patch and ermine spots. The Duchess of Lightning, Picture courtesy of Sarah Fung.
Bay tobiano. ShyAnne, 2011, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Buckskin minimal tobiano. Martha, 2014, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Chestnut tobiano with roaning. Sweet Jane, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Maximum tobiano foal. Colt out of Dreamcatcher, 2014, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Bay tobiano with ink spots. Chincoteague Minnow, 2007, Picture courtesy of Kyley DiLuigi.
Black tobiano as an adult and as a foal. Misty's Morning Glory, 2001 and 2006, Pictures by Amanda Geci.
Chestnut maximum tobiano with ink spots, as a foal and as an adult. Dam is also a maximum tobiano. Misty's White Out, 2008 and 2014, Foal picture courtesy of Matt DesJardins, Adult picture by Amanda Geci.
Maximum black tobiano. Historical reference. Feral stallion, 1974, Photo by James L. Stanfield from The Wild Ponies of Assateague Island.
Chestnut and bay tobianos. Historical reference. Wild stallions, 1967, Screen shot from a Wild Kingdom episode.
Tobianos at the 1938 Pony Penning. Wild Ponies, 1938, Picture from Once Upon An Island by Kirk Mariner
Tobianos at the 1931 Pony Penning. Wild Ponies, 1931, Screenshot from Universal Newspaper Newsreel