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American Paint Horse Facts and Information

The American Paint descended from horses introduced by the Spanish conquistadors. Paints became part of the herds of wild horses that roamed the Western plains. Native Americans widely used the Paint, and some even believed this horse to possess magical powers.

The Paint was cherished by cowboys for cattle work because they were nimble and worked hard. American Paint Horses are easy-going, friendly and intelligent.

The Paint has distinctive coloring. Their coat markings fall into two classes- tobiano (white with dark markings) or overo (dark with light markings).

The overo (pronounced: oh vair' oh) pattern may also be either predominantly dark or white. But typically, the white on an overo will not cross the back of the horse between its withers and its tail.

Not all coat patterns fit neatly into the tobiano or overo categories. For this reason, a number of years ago the classifications have been expanded to include "tovero" (pronounced: tow vair' oh) to describe horses that have characteristics of both the tobiano and overo patterns.
American Paint Horse

photo by Barbara Netzke

The American Paint Horse is an excellent horse for ranch work, rodeo, trail riding, showing, or simply as a friendly mount for the kids.

Pintos Mean "Paint" Too

The Pinto is the Spanish word for "paint". Most Paints are also Pintos, but not all Pintos are Paints, since the Pinto Horse Association of America allows different breeding restrictions than the American Paint Horse Association.


Read the next horse breeds article on American Quarter Horse.
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