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What’s the Difference Between a Paint and a Pinto? Meet the American Paint Horse!

The American Paint Horse shares a common ancestry with the Quarter Horse and the Thoroughbred. A registered Paint horse should have the “stock horse” body type of the Quarter horse: muscular and heavy but not too tall, with a low center of gravity and powerful hindquarters that are suitable for sprinting. In 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association emerged with the mission of preserving horses of the “stock” type, and it excluded horses with pinto coat patterns and those with white body spots or white above the knees and hocks. Fans of the more colorful stock horses formed a variety of organizations that merged in 1965 to form the American Paint Horse Association. The APHA breed registry is now one of the largest in North America. The registry allows for the registration of non-spotted animals as “Solid Paint Bred”, and considers the Paint Horse to be a breed with distinct characteristics, not just a distinct coloring.

You may have heard of these horses with color patterns referred to as both “Paint” and “Pinto” horses. Which is correct? Well, “Paint” is the name of the breed, but “Pinto” is the coloring of the horse – so they’re technically both correct!

Love the Paint Horse? Purchase a print by clicking the image!

When I started adding past the initial six Horses Of The World pieces, I knew the Paint horse was going to have to be added to the series. Who doesn’t love a Paint horse, right?! This red and white Paint horse was illustrated on a vintage map page using India ink, Copic markers, colored pencil, and slightly watered down white acrylic paint for the white areas. 

Historic information for this article was referenced from Wikipedia.

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