Although a stock horse, the American Paint Horse is an
excellent horse for pleasure, showing plus work.
American Paint Horses
The American Paint Horse is recognized mostly for its
beautiful coat pattern. The coat will have markings of white
combined with, according to the breed standard, black, bay,
brown, roan, buckskin, dun, gray, grullo, perlino, smoky
cream, chestnut, cremello, palomino, red dun, sorrel or
American Paint Horses have the distinctive western stock
horse body type. The average height is about 14.2-16 hands
and weighs between 1000-1200 pounds. The American Paint
Horse is a type of American Quarter Horse and has a similar
The origin of the American Paint Horse is traced back to the
Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortes. Cortes brought sixteen
horses with him to America. One was the sorrel and white
pinto which is believed to be the horse that founded the
America Paint Horse breed.
Although the markings of each American Paint Horse are
unique, there are three standard patterns. The patterns are
Tobiano, Overo and Tovero. Horses must fall into one of
these categories to be registered as an American Paint
A Tobiano patterned horse has the dark color covering one or
both flanks, and usually all four legs are white. The head,
neck and chest are dark and the tail often is two colors.
The Overo patterned American Paint Horse has the dark color
coving its back like a blanket, and the legs are often
mostly dark as well. The spots are irregular and the face
has a large white blaze.
The American Paint Horse of the Tovero pattern is largely
white, with the dark color around the ears and possibly on
the forehead or eyes as well. One or both eyes are blue, and
the mouth is covered by a dark patch. The chest, flanks and
base of the tail also have dark spots.
If you plan to breed American Paint Horses it is important
that you become knowledgeable on the genetics of these
horses. There are certain genes which when paired together
will cause a foal to die within a few days of birth. DNA
testing can be done before breeding to confirm whether it is
advised for those two particular horses to be bred.
The American Paint Horse is a level-headed and very
intelligent and easily trained breed of horse. They are
often used for racing or as a work horse. They are also the
perfect horse for rodeos.
The current American Paint Horse registry has over 362,000
horses in it and 41,000 foals are added each year. This is
the reason why the American Paint Horse Association is the
2nd largest Horse Association in the world.
See also: American Paint Horse History
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