History & Facts of the Americian Paint Horse:
Paint is the Spanish word for pintado
The earliest descriptions of paint horses dates back to 1519 when the Spanish explorer Hernado Cortes sailed to the New World. They were described as a "pinto". Throughout the 1800's, the plains were heavily populated with wild herds of horses including spotted horses which were the preferred mount of the American Indian.
Late in 1950, the Pinto Association was created to preserve the spotted horse. However, in 1962, The American Paint Horse Association was organized to preserve not only color but stock-type conformation. This association has the second largest registry next to the American Quarter Horse Association.
Color is a very important characteristic, however not the only benchmark. An American Paint horse must have either a registered American Quarter Horse, American Paint Horse or Thoroughbred parents to qualify for registry.
The way the color is patterned along the horse's body determines how it is classified. Paints come in a variety of colors with different markings, these are grouped into four defined coat patterns: overo, tobiano, tovero and solid.
The most common color pattern for the American Paint horse is Tobiano. It is characterized by white legs and white across the back between the withers and the tail with rounded body markings. There is usually more dark than white with a darker head and facial markings like a blaze, star or snip. The Overo color pattern is denoted by more irregular markings, more dark than white on the body but usually a white face and blue eyes. Tovero results from a horse having characteristics of both color patterns. A solid colored horse is referred to as a breeding stock paint and may have no white markings at all but has American Paint Horse parents.
The American Paint Horse is an extremely versatile, good natured all around horse. This breed can be used for trail riding, showing, speed events as well as dressage or jumping. In addition, they're stock type build and quarter horse breeding make them well suited for several cow or reining events.
Whether it be a first time owner or and experience professional, The American Paint Horse is a sensible choice.