What is the Difference between a Paint Horse and a Pinto Horse?

Paint Horse

Have you ever heard people say they have a Paint or Pinto? Have you ever wondered what the difference is? In this article the differences of Paints versus Pintos is discussed and explained.


          The American Paint Horse is a breed of horse that combines pinto coloring with the western stock horse type. This breed was developed from Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred bloodlines.The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) is the second largest breed registry in the US, second only to the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). To be able to register your horse with the APHA, your horse must have a sire and dam that are registered APHA, AQHA, or Jockey Club (Thoroughbred). At least one of your horse’s parents must be registered APHA. Within the registry there are two different categories. The first categroy is for horses that have color. The second category is for solid-Paint bred horses. This is why the APHA is considered a breed registry and not a color registry. If you have a horse that is solid in color resulting from two registered Paint parents, this resulting foal is still a Paint. They are often called breeding stock paints. So while most Paints are Pintos, not all Pintos are Paints. The APHA breed promotes color, but also preserves the western stock horse bloodlines. This makes a Paint horse a breed and not a color. 


Pinto HorseA pinto horse refers to a horse that has a coat consisting of large patches of white and any other color. Many breeds of horses have pinto coloring. Pintos can carry colors which include piebald, skewbald, and tricolored. They can also display various white pattern types which include tobiano, overo, tovero, and dominant white. Today, there are several different color breed registries that encourage the breeding of horses with color. This group of registries includes, but is not limited to, the Pinto Horse Association of America (PtHA), Warmbloods of Color, and Pinto Draft Registry. 


So while it is correct to call a horse pinto that is spotted, it is not always correct to call them a Paint. A Paint horse can trace its lineage to the western stock horse types of the American Quarter Horse and the Thoroughbred. Thus a Paint is a breed and Pinto is a term that describes a color. 

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Whether you have a Paint or a Pinto check out these great saddles at SaddleOnline.com. There is sure to be the perfect saddle to accent your horse’s unique color.