North America

Paint Horse
Photo supplied by Coronation Park Stud - NSW
Photo taken by Carol Rushby of Karalinga Photography

The Paint horse is most likely a descendant from horses brought to America by Spanish Conquistadores. Horses that got loose joint the herds of wild horses on the plains. Domesticated Paints very valued by the cowboys for their working ability and their good temperament. The North American Indians attributed magical powers to horses with broken coloured coats. Today Paint horses can be found all over the world.
In 1962 the American Paint Horse Association was founded and provides a register for horses with a distinct stock type conformation and contrasting colour patterns. It keeps a Regular and a Breeding Stock register. To be included in the Regular register a foal must have at least one "natural" Paint marking with a minimum of 5cm or 2 inches in diameter. A solid colored foal with parents registered with the American Paint Horse Association can be entered in the Breeding Stock register.

Registration requirements:

- bred from registered American Paint Horses, Quarter Horses or Thoroughbreds
- have minimum color requirement
- a predominantly solid colored coat must have definite "natural" Paint marking:
an area of solid white hair with some underlying, unpigmented skin   
- a predominantly white coat must have a contrasting area of color with some underlying, pigmented skin
- contrasting areas must be visible when the foal is born and at the time of registration

Distinguished by the location of the color, the major patterns are overo and tobiano

Overo the white will usually not cross the back between the withers and the tail;
the white is irregularly splattered or splashy and is often referred to as calico; the head markings are apron-faced, bonnet-faced or bald-faced, the tail is one color
Tobiano the dark color usually covers one or both flanks
the legs are generally white at least below the hocks and knees; the spots are mostly regular and of distinct round or oval patterns and extend over the neck and chest giving a shield like appearance; head markings are a solid color or have a blaze, star, stripe or snip; the tail often has two colors
Toveros horses that have overo and tobiano characteristics

Generally a stock horse type appearance, can vary in height and overall size
Body: sturdy, compact
Color: includes all colors known in the equine world
Temperament: kind, intelligent, willing
Qualities: versatile, athletic

The Paint horse is popular for pleasure and performance riding and highly suitable for ranch work. It is also well suited for rodeo, trail riding and for the show ring.