August 15, 2008 | | Comments 0

American Paint Horses

American Paint Horse

American Paint Horses: Bringing Color into the Show

Many horses typically carry clues to their origins in their names. The same is true for the American Paint Horse. The name of the breed simply suggests colorful horses. Paint horses in general have coats that are white combined with colored areas or spots. The second color can be bay, chestnut, gray, black, palomino, sorrel and buckskin among others.

Like other American horse breeds, the Paint breed shares a common origin. Although the Paint breed has a relatively recent formal breeding history, its ancestors were most likely the foreign horses that were brought to America by the Spaniards. Paint horses, like other horses have come to be closely associated with the west and western horse disciplines.

Despite their name, American Paint horses are not just about color. They are not like other colored horses that can be of any breed to qualify for a color registry. Paint horses are real horse breeds that have emerged from pairing Thoroughbreds and American Quarter Horses. A horse can only qualify as a paint horse if it is the offspring of either of the two foundation breeds or of two Paint horses.

If these horses were less attractive and striking, they would have easily been ignored. As it were, spotted horses of American Quarter Horse descent were not deemed excellent specimens of the Quarter horse. It was then that the Paint breed came on its own as a distinct breed with its own registry and association. It was between the years of 1962 to 1965 that an association for the Paint horse was organized.

Since there are a variety of color patterns observed in Paint horses, these patterns were soon identified for color classification purposes. The tobiano is considered the most common color pattern. Tobiano horses are distinguished by nearly solid colored heads with some white areas, white legs below the knees and rounded spots in some areas of the body including the chest. There is no rigid rule though to the desired predominant color. Some of them may have more white or more color.

The overo color pattern is next in popularity. Paint horses with this pattern have irregular color spots. They do however often have white heads and predominantly dark legs. Horses with both overo and tobaino color traits are known as tovero. Those that have light spotting patterns are known as sabinos.

In some cases, it is possible for some Paint horses to come in solid colors. Although this may seem counter the goal of Paint breeders, these solid colored horses cannot be called otherwise if they have Paint parents. Since they do have solid colors though, they are kept simply for breeding. Even with a solid colored parent, it is possible to have a spotted Paint offspring.

Aside from their beautiful color, Paint horses are also distinguished by their form. Although a bit short, these horses are stocky and muscular. Even with small statures, they stand elegant and refined.

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