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Horse Breeds. . .
The Paints and Pintos

The Paints and The Pintos

The American Paint Horse is a breed that combines the characteristics and conformation of a stock horse and a spotting pattern of white and dark coat colors. The paint horse breed is one of the fastest-growing breeds in North America and was developed from the Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred bloodlines.

The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) has strict bloodline requirements for registration. In addition to the essential colorful coat pattern, one parent must be registered with the American Paint Horse Association and the other parent must be registered with either the American Paint Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association or the Jockey Club for Thoroughbreds. Registrations are available in two categories: horses with the color pattern and solid Paint stock those without a pattern.

A registered Paint horse should conform to the same "stock horse" body type desired in Quarter Horses: a muscular animal that is heavy but not too tall, with a low center of gravity for maneuverability, and powerful hindquarters suitable for rapid acceleration and sprinting.

Color Patterns:

Tobiano: The most common spotting pattern, characterized by rounded markings with white legs and white across the back between the withers and the dock of the tail, usually arranged in a roughly vertical pattern and more white than dark, with the head usually dark and with markings like that of a normal horse. i.e. star, snip, strip, or blaze.

Overo: Spotting pattern characterized by sharp, irregular markings with a horizontal orientation, usually more dark than white, though the face is usually white, sometimes with blue eyes. The white rarely crosses the back, and the lower legs are normally dark.

Sabino: Often confused with roan or rabicano, sabino is a slight spotting pattern characterized by high white on legs, belly spots, white markings on the face extending past the eyes and/or patches of roaning patterns standing alone or on the edges of white markings. In some registries, sabinos are registered as having the overo pattern

Tovero: spotting pattern that is a mix of tobiano and overo coloration, such as blue eyes on a dark head.

Solid: A horse otherwise eligible for registration as a Paint that does not have any white that constitutes a recognized spotting pattern.

"Color": An informal term meaning that the horse has a spotting pattern. (The opposite of "Solid.")

"Chrome": An informal term of approval used in some geographic regions to describe a particularly flashy spotting pattern.

Paint or Pinto?

A Pinto Horse differs from a Paint Horse solely by bloodlines. A Pinto may be of any breed or combination of breeds, though some Pinto registries may have additional restrictions. (Some do not register draft horses or mules, for example.) For a horse to be registered as an American Paint Horse however, it must have registered American Quarter Horse, American Paint Horse, or Thoroughbred parents. Therefore, all Paint horses (except for the small number of "solids" allowed into the Paint registry) could be registered as Pintos, but not all Pintos qualify to be registered as Paints.

See also American Paint Horse Association (APHA) and American Pinto Horse Association (APtHA)