Cuban Pinto

By PetMD Editorial on Dec. 20, 2009

The Cuban Pinto, or Pinto Cubano, is a horse breed descended from the Criollo horses brought to the island in the 15th century. A rather small horse, it is commonly used as a mount by cattle ranch hands.


Physical Characteristics


The Cuban Pinto is of average size, and typically stands between 14 and 14.3 hands high (56-57 inches, 142-145 centimeters). It has a compact, well-muscled and strong body.  Coat color patterns differ and both the tobiano and the overo patterns appear in Cuban Pinto horses.

Its muscular body type and working ability is due to its Quarter Horse ancestry, while its pleasing and harmonious conformation is derived from its Thoroughbred ancestors. The Cuban Pinto also has excellent trotting abilities and an elastic gait.


Personality and Temperament


The Cuban Pinto is not an overly lively horse. In fact, it is quite docile and undemanding. This, along with its intelligence and willingness to obey commands, make the Cuban Pinto a great cow horse.




As a result of breeding efforts geared to genetic improvement, the Cuban Pinto has more stamina than the native Criollo. It is also more resistant to disease.


History and Background


The horses that originate from Cuba, like the Cuban Pinto, are actually descendants of horses brought to the island by voyagers in the 15th century. Soon thereafter the horses learned to adapt and thrive to the local climate and terrain. However, it wasn't until local breeders made a concerted effort to develop the Criollo variety with Pinto markings that the Cuban Pinto was born.

In 1974, the Criollo horses with pinto patterns in Cuba (the Pinto Criollo) was interbred with two other types of pinto horses: the Pinto Thoroughbred from England and the Pinto Quarter Horse. The result of these breeding experiments is what we now know to be the Cuban Pinto. 

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