The origin of the Paint horse can be traced back to the two toned horses that were introduced by the Spanish explorers. These horses then were introduced to the wild herds that roamed the wild west.  Both native americans and cowboys sought after this hardy breed full of color.

Just like any other breed, their conformation improved as the years passed to make these horses a famous breed.  While the color pattern is essential to the Paint horse breed, there are strict bloodline requirements and a distinctive body type. To be eligible to be registered as a Paint horse, the Paint must come from a stock that is registered with the American Paint Horse Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, or the Jockey Club (Thoroughbreds).  This develops an intelligent stock type horse that is athletic and powerful with noticeable beauty. They are generally stockier and have more of a muscular body compared to other light horse breeds.

Paints are characterized by their color pattern with a unique combination of white and any one of the following colors: black, bay, brown, chestnut, dun, grulla, sorrel, palomino, gray or roan. While characterizing Paints according to their light or dark color pattern, the terms “paint” and “pinto” are often confused. Pinto is a color breed so it can be any breed, not only Paints. A horse could be double registered if their colors are noticeable enough, but the two shouldn’t be confused.

There are two color patterns that are used when distinguishing Paint horses for breeding and registration purposes.                        

Tobiano:  It is distinguished by head patterns as those of a solid colored horse; they may be solid, or have a blaze, strip, star, or snip. Their legs are generally white, at least below the hocks and knees. They have regular spots that are oval or round that extend down the neck and chest giving the appearance of a shield. Tobiano’s can be predominantly dark or white, but the tail is generally two colors.

Overo: They can also be predominantly dark or white, but typically the white of an Overo will not cross the back between the withers and tail. One or all four legs will be dark, while they have bold white head markings such as a bald face. They have generally irregular markings with a solid color tail. Not all horses fit in these two categories, so the APHA introduced the Tovero pattern when horses display patterns of both.

Paints are great family horses, as well as great performers. They perform just as well in the ring, as they do on trails and on the ranch.

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