The American Paint Horse Breed

The American Paint Horse Breed

The American Paint Horse is extremely popular in traditional stock-horse events as well as a variety of other Western riding disciplines.

American Paint Horses have a combination of white and any other color in the normal equine spectrum.

Origins of the American Paint Horse Breed

In 1519, the explorer Hernando Cortes carried two horses described as having pinto markings on his voyage.

This is the first known description of such horses in America.

Then by the early 1800’s horses with Paint Horse coloring populated the Western United States.

The American Paint Horse Breed

A favorite among American Indians, the colored Paint horses were particularly well-liked by the Comanche Indian tribe. Evidence of this is found in drawings painted on buffalo robes.

Throughout the 1800s and into the late 1900s these painted horses were called pinto, paint, skewbald and piebald.

In the early 1960s, interest grew in preserving and promoting horses with paint coloring and stock horse builds.


Physical Attributes of the American Paint Horse :

American Paint Horses average 14.2 to 16.2 hands high.

Horse’s from the true American Paint Horse breed will sport a combination of white and any other color of the equine spectrum: black, bay, brown, chestnut, dun, grullo, sorrel, palomino, buckskin, gray or roan.

Their markings can be in any shape or size and can be located anywhere on the horses body.

The variety of colors and markings appear in three specific coat patterns: Overo, Tobiano and Tovero.

Paint Horse Breed Markings

  • Overo : The white will not cross the back of the horse between its withers and its tail. At least one and often all four legs are dark. The white patterning will be irregular, scattered or splashy. Head markings are often bald-faced, apron-faced or bonnet-faced. The tail is usually one color.
  • Tobiano : The dark color usually covers one or both flanks. All four legs will be white below the hocks and knees. Spots will be regular and distinct as ovals or round patterns that extend down over the neck and chest, giving the appearance of a shield. Head markings are similar to a solid coloured horse or with a blaze, strip, star or snip. A tobiano may be either predominantly dark or white and the tail is often two colors
  • Tovero : Will be dark around the ears, which can alos cover the forehead and eyes. One or both eyes will be blue. Dark colouring around the mouth, which may extend up the face and form spots. Have chest spots in varying sizes, which may extend up the neck. Flank spots are often accompanied by smaller spots that extend forward across the barrel and up over the loins. There should be spots at the base of the tail

There is also a Sabino paint horse breed, which is used to describe fleabitten grey horses with four white feet and white legs. The white colouring will extend up the legs in ragged patches and onto the body. The head is usually mostly white and the eyes blue.


Judys Bear is probably the fastest Paint horse that has ever run in the Rocky Mountain Region of the USA.

Judys Bear Champion American Paint Horse

As a 3 year old he ran against the very best Quarter Horses and won.

Judys Bear is the fastest son of Judys Lineage. He is a Champion 2 and 3 Year Old Colt.

To breed a good stallion you need a good sire and an outstanding dam. Judys Bear’s sire, Judys Lineage has sired winners of over $2 million.

He is one of the leading sires of the Paint horse breed.