The American Paint Horse is an
intelligent, stock-type horse that is extremely versatile, powerful and athletic
with unequalled beauty. Paints are stockier and more powerfully muscled than
some of the other light horse breeds. Though generally short coupled,
strong-boned and well-balanced, American Paints also exhibit exceptional
refinement and beauty especially about the head and neck.
The colorful coat patterns
differentiate the Paint Horse from other stock-type breeds. Each horse has a
unique combination of white and any one of the colors of the equine rainbow:
black, bay, brown, chestnut, sorrel, duns, grulla, palomino, gray, buckskin,
perlino, cremello, and the roans - red, bay and blue.
While the colorful coat pattern is
essential to the identity of the breed, American Paint Horses have strict
bloodline requirements and a distinctive body type. To be eligible for registry,
a Paint must come from stock registered with the American Paint Horse
Association, the American Quarter Horse Association or the Jockey Club
PAINT OR PINTO?
One of the most frequently asked
questions is "What is the difference between a Paint and a Pinto?" Simply put,
the Pinto Horse Association is a color registry. The Paint Horses, registered by
the American Paint Horse Association, are limited to documented and registered
Paint, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred breeding. While most Paint Horses can be
double registered as Stock or Hunter type Pintos, the Pinto Horse Association
(PtHA) also allows for the registration of miniature horses, ponies and horses
derived from other breed crosses such as Arabian, Morgan, Saddlebred, Tennessee
Walkers and Missouri Fox trotters to name a few.
For registration and breeding
purposes, American Paint Horses are categorized by three distinctive coat
(pronounced: tow be yah' no)
The dark color usually covers one or
both flanks. Generally, all four legs are white, at least below the hocks and
Generally, the spots are regular and
distinct as ovals or round patterns that extend down over the neck and chest,
giving the appearance of a shield.
Head markings are like those of a
solid-colored horse--solid, or with a blaze, strip, star or snip. A tobiano may
be either predominantly dark or white. The tail is often two colors.
(pronounced: oh vair' oh)
The white usually will not cross the
back of the horse between its withers and its tail. Generally, at least one and
often all four legs are dark.
Generally, the white is irregular,
and is rather scattered or splashy.
Head markings are distinctive, often
bald-faced, apron-faced or bonnet-faced.
An overo may be either predominantly
dark or white.
The tail is usually one color.
Pictured is a Framed
Overo mare. Within the overo category, there are three distinctive patterns.
While the frame overo is the most common, there are also Splashed White Overos
and Sabino Overos. Information on these color variations can be viewed at
tow vair' oh)
around the ears, which may expand to cover the forehead and/or eyes.
One or both eyes
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.
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.
Tovero horses carry a tobiano gene as well as an overo gene and therefore they
can produce tobianos, overos, toveros and solids. In general, they are 80% color
Solids (Breeding Stock)
While they are not mentioned as a
color category, solid paint horses are produced. Like diving for treasure, not
every oyster shell produces a pearl, not every breeding of two paint horses
results in a colored foal. While they may lack the loud, splashy markings, they
maintain the stock-type conformation, intelligence and great disposition and can
be valuable assets in a breeding program or make an ideal riding horse. They are
registered in APHA as Breeding Stock Paints. What is especially
fascinating about breeding Paint horses is the genetics. While today we are able
to test our tobiano horses to see if they are homozygous for the tobiano gene,
there are no tests available for the overo genes. When breeding overos and
toveros, as well as heterozygous tobianos, there is always a chance that the
foal produced will be a solid.
ASSOCIATION AS SPECIAL AS ITS MEMBERS
The American Paint Stock Horse
Association was formed in 1962 by horsemen and women who loved the abilities of
the Western stock-type horse, but also treasured the unusual color patterns of
the American Paint. Although the APHA's primary mission is to record pedigrees,
the association is also dedicated to promoting the history, breeding, training,
showing, racing, sales and enjoyment of American Paints.
information contained on this page was provided courtesy of the American Paint
Horse Association and the Pinto Horse Association.
are horses owned by Lovin 'R' Paints.