Breed Characteristics of the American Paint Horse

The American Paint Horse is a popular well known horse breed that has a stock type conformation with a coat pattern of dark and white colors. One of the fastest growing breeds in North America, the paint horse is a heavy muscular animal with powerful hind legs for speed and riding. It has an average height of sixteen feet and is strong boned and well balanced. Once used to plow fields and pull heavy equipment. Now the horse is used to ride, show and admire.

Paint horses come in different color pattern variations and they are grouped as either tobiano, overo or tovero. Horses that are grouped in the tobiano pattern have white legs (particularly below the hocks and knees), a tail, (most often than not) of two colors, regular oval or round spots form the neck to the chest. Head markings like a blaze, strip, star or snip are usually found but it is not uncommon to find a tobiano paint horse with a solid head. Horses that are grouped into the overo pattern have, generally a single colored tail, one or all four dark legs and irregular and scattered markings on the body. Their heads have bold white head markings. The horses whose coat patterns do not fit into the two patterns neatly are grouped into the tovero pattern. These horses have coat patterns that are both tobiano and overo.

The colors of the coat patterns of the paint horse are usually white and another darker color. This darker color can be bay, blue roan, buckskin, chestnut, gray, grullo, red roan, sorrel and variations of dun.

For a horse to be certified as a paint horse, it should possess the three requirements needed to be registered. It should have the right stock type body conformation, any of the three colored coat patterns and the right bloodline. Since the American paint horse shares the same bloodlines as the Quarter Horse and the Thoroughbred, any paint horse to be registered must have a sire or a dam that is registered with the American Quarter Horse Association, the Jockey Club or the American Paint Horse Association.

The American paint horse is a versatile animal that is intelligent, friendly, quick footed and easy going. These horses are often used for rodeo or ranch work as well as trail riding. They are a beautiful horse with their refined head and neck. Certainly, a horse you would be proud to own.