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American Paint Horse

Country of Origin: USA

Paint Horse


The paint is a performance type color breed & are often bred exclusively for their spotted pattern. Crosses to gaited, pony or draft breeds are not recognized by the registry, only Thoroughbred or Quarter Horse bloodlines are allowed.


The first paint horses in American are thought to have been brought over from Spain, where record of their existence stretches back to 700 A.D. These spotted horses were prized by many Native American tribes who dutifully bred them for their spots. Later during the 19th century as Quarter horses came west, the two collided & more color was introduced to the stock type Quarter horses.

Keeping the Color

When the American Quarter Horse Association emerged in 1940, they excluded spotted white patterns in their registry. However the spotted stock horses had won many hearts & a variety of organizations sprang up to preserve them. In 1965 many of them banded together to form the American Paint Horse Association.

Today spotted paint patterns are heavily influenced by Quarter Horse blood, creating a versatile & intelligent animal. Breeding practices are based on American Paint Horse Association (APHA), American Quarter Horse Association & Jockey Club Registry requirements.

There are two major patterns recognized by the paint breed: overo & tobiano

Rarely has white extending across the back between withers & tail
At least one (& often all four) dark legs
Head markings are bald, apron or bonnet-faced
White markings are irregular, scattered & spash-like
Tail is generally one color
Animal may be either predominately white or dark

Generally displays solid colored head with a facial marking
Usually all four legs are white below hocks & knees
Spots are regular & clear in oval or round patterns
Spots on neck & chest
Either one or both flanks are dark
Animal may be either predominately white or dark


Average height 15 – 16 hands
Good balance
Built solid for stock work
Compact & refined


Head is straight with large eyes
Neck is muscular & well-formed
Sloped shoulder & short, strong back
Legs are solid & strong

Traditional Colors

Piebald & Skewbald


Intelligent & refined
Strong & willing animal built for hard work
Incredibly versatile animal


Show horses
Stock horses
Pleasure horses

American Paint Horse Products

Helpful Links

*All links open in a new window
American Paint Horse Association | Facebook
Paint Horse Journal
APHA World Show
UK Paint Association


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Country of Origin: USA | Colors:
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