American Paint Horse Temperament and Characteristics

Paint Horse playing around

The American Paint Horse is a popular horse breed in the US. The breed is easy to distinguish among other equines. Let’s get all the nitty-gritty of American Paint Horses.

What Is a Paint Horse?

The American Paint Horse originated from the United States. That’s a horse breed that features its white spottings on dark coat color. The American Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred took part in developing the Paint Horse. American Paint Horses are commonly used in reining, pleasure riding, and show jumping.

Paint Horse mare and foal

American Paint Horse History

In the 1500s, Paint Horses were brought to North America by Spanish conquistadors. Such horses as the American Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred have a common ground with the American Paint horse in their pedigree. Besides, the equines may have bloodlines for Arabian and Andalusian Horses as well. Hernando Cortes, a Spanish conquistador, is believed to bring the first Paint stallion to North America. And the Paint Horse breed population has begun.

At that time, most Paint Horses were free-roaming horses like the Mustang Horse. Native Americans adopted the Paints to use them as working and trail horses. These are brilliant stock horses that are ideal for working with livestock.

Paint Horse coat close up

The Paint breed has become a rapidly growing North American equine. The breed was of great interest for its excellent body type, fascinating color patterns, and friendly tempo.

The British used Thoroughbreds to partake in a gene pool and develop a working horse with Paint Horses. It led to occurring equines with either spotted or solid-color coats.

The American Paint Horse Association

There was also a gene pool that included American Quarter Horses until 1940. That year the American Quarter Horse Association excluded all Paints from their registry. However, that didn’t stop the horse crossbreeding. The American Paint Quarter Horse Association and the American Stock Horse Association occurred.

In 1965, those associations teamed up to form the American Paint Horse Association (APHA). Nowadays the APHA holds the Paint breed’s registry. The APHA settles in Fort Worth, Texas.

The American Quarter Horse Association didn’t allow to register cropouts. These are horses with excessive white markings. It was believed such equines could produce foals with the lethal white syndrome (LWS) over time. The prohibition was called “the white rule”.

black and white Paint Horse

The tobiano, a white spotting pattern common in pinto horses, can occur in the case both parents carry this gene. If one parent has no tobiano, the foal won’t carry the gene. And the Thoroughbreds were such horses that were used in crossbreeding.

However, the Thoroughbred can carry another white color marking called sabino. And the Spanish mustang, an ancestor of the Quarter horse, carries the overo pattern. Thus, mating two equines of solid coat colors could produce a spotted foal. That’s in the case these parents carry such genes. Moreover, both solids may carry the LWS gene as well. As a result, a test for LWS has been developed. And the white rule was canceled.

The APHA registers equines with tobiano, overo, sabino, and tovero coat patterns. Some of them are solids that carry the Pinto breed bloodline. They allow pure and crossbreeding. This includes a combination of Paint to Thoroughbred and Paint to Quarter Horse.

The American Paint Horse Association also holds a program for juniors (AjPHA). The youth has the same membership benefits. They can take part in APHA performance competitions and programs. Besides, the AjPHA offers a range of activities to bond the ties among young equestrians.

girl is resting on Paint Horse

American Paint Horse Temperament

People love American Paint Horses for their friendly temperament. Such equines are easy-going and sociable. As these are herd animals, Paints are sociable equines that enjoy their owner’s attention. That’s why such a horse can be used as a family pet.

The American Paint Horse is highly intelligent. They are aptitude for learning new tricks. Training such horses is rewarding. They are fast, powerful, and agile. Riders commonly use Paint Horses in reining, barrel racing, and pleasure riding. They can withstand a heavy workload.

Paint Horse with big white patches

American Paint Horse Characteristics

As for the conformation, the Paint Horse features its coat color. It’s a combination of pinto spotting and dark patches. The equine was crossbred with the American Quarter Horse. This resulted in inheriting the distinguished muscular body and wide chest.

The breed stands out with a great sense of balance. Hence it’s the best horse for Western disciplines like barrel racing. Speaking of the color patterns, the typical Paint Horse has a set of dark and light spots on the coat.

The Paint breed has a strong muscular body, alert ears, and a long neck. The hindquarters are massive. The coat has huge patches all over the body. The low gravity centers make them good at balancing.

The Paint Horse height is 14 to 16 hands tall on average. Those equines that have a Thoroughbred bloodline, are typically taller. The Paint Horse weight is 950 to 1,200 pounds on average. It’s a wee heavier than an average light horse breed.

Paint Horses live up to 30 years. That’s pretty solid.

ColorGenGuide of Paint Horse

American Paint Horse Colors

Paint Horses have usually big white patches all over the body. That’s a result of many color patterns. The basic coat color can be different. Including chestnut, black, bay, and palomino. The mix of markings is so different and unique, that there are no two horses of the same coat patterns.

The common markings for the American Paint Horse include tobiano, overo, and tovero.

  • Tobiano. It’s the most common pinto pattern. It’s characterized by the white line along the spine with marks between the withers and on the dock of the horse’s tail. The head is usually solid with white markings like the star, strip, or snip. Besides, the legs are also white.
  • Overo. It features unconventional white patches across the horse’s body. The back is usually of a solid color. There may be white stockings on the legs. The horse’s face has white markings as well.
  • Tovero. It’s a combination of tobiano and overo markings. That means tovero horses may have different spotting patterns on the coat at once. Typically they have dark spots on the face, ears, and dock. The eyes are blue on a dark head, while the basic color is white.
girl performing with Paint Horse

How Much Does a Paint Horse Cost?

The American Paint Horse price is $5,000 on average. The range may differ due to the equine’s characteristics. They include the horse’s gender, age, color, health, pedigree, and training experience. If you’re looking for an APHA Registered Paint Horse that is well-trained, the price goes up to $10,000 and more.

Before buying a Paint Horse, get it tested. Check the horse’s behavior when it’s tacked, mounted, and ridden under a saddle. Ask to put on some gear like a saddle and bridle in front of you. So you can observe the animal’s reaction. Find out everything about the horse condition and health issues that are likely to occur in the breed.

Pinto vs Paint Horse - What's the Difference?

Some people may confuse a pinto horse vs paint horse. The truth is that pinto is referred to as a color pattern. While the Paint Horse is a horse breed. Thus, a pinto horse can be of any breed. The common pinto patterns include tobiano, overo, and tovero.

beautiful Paint Horse with braids

American Paint Horse Facts and Price Revealed

The American Paint Horse is a favorite of many horse owners and riders. The equine features its friendly and calm temperament. Paints have a tremendous coat color. It includes white patches on a solid color. The markings can be spread differently in horses.

The Paint Horse breed costs around $5,000. Registered and experienced equines have typically a higher price. The American Paint Horse is versatile in use. It can work hard on your property and partake in horse shows. Once you get a Paint Horse, you’ll end up having a top-notch companion.

Image Source: press.apha.com, shutterstock.com, unsplash.com, pixabay.com.

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David Garcia

David Garcia

David Garcia is a vivid writer and a big fan of equestrian sports. He founded Horsezz – the blog where David shares his knowledge and experience about horses, tack, equestrian riding equipment, taking care of horses, and other useful guidelines.