History of the Breed
Pintos, meaning painted in Spanish, are appropriately named based on their recognizable two-tone colours, were initially brought into North America by explorers back in the 16th century. It was at this point that these types of horses started to grow in number and became the mustang herd, roaming the better part of the continent.
These animals were not just mustangs, but those people native to the land really treasured these horses, and all that they symbolically embodied to some tribes’ culture and beliefs. Some tribes believed these horses to be sacred.
Eventually, as the English came to North America, and started creating more farm and agricultural land, they brought with them Thoroughbreds. They needed sturdier, reliable workhorses, which were both steady and smart. Initially, these horses lost their spots and were mostly white in colour. In fact, these were so white, that they were excluded from the Quarter Horse Registry.
Eventually, the Paint Quarter Horse Association was created, which marked the split from the American Quarter Horse Association. Ultimately, the American Paint Quarter Horse and the American Stock Horse associations merged to form what is known as the American Paint Horse Association. This happened in 1965.
For reference, the difference between the pinto horse and the Paint Horse is not necessarily their coats, as these are similar in appearance. The difference is actually in the breed, as pinto refers to the physical appearance and coat, whereas the Paint Horse is an actual breed with its own unique bloodline.
Beyond just the obvious spots and appearing to be splattered in paint, they also have a body which is described as stocky and muscular, much like a cow. These horses, thanks to their traditional Quarter Horse influence, have broad chests, strong hind legs, and are lower to the ground.
Some Paint Horses, however, are bred with Thoroughbreds and therefore have bodies more comparable with racehorses, which means they are slimmer and taller.
These horses range in height. Those bred with Thoroughbreds are taller than those with Quarter Horse influence. Their weight varies anywhere from 950 to 1200 lbs, once again, depending on the breed. These horses can live up to 31 years, and this is average for this breed.
Because of their strong and agile abilities, with smart and determined minds, these horses can and do, excel in almost every single English and Western riding area. From jumping to barrel racing to the longer distance, cross-country events which require more stamina, they are the ideal choice. With the history mentioned above, these horses are also great for trail rides, ranching, and for working in agricultural fields, as well as sporting events.
The Paint Horse is found all over the world today, especially in Europe and North America. As mentioned above, they are diverse and dynamic horses which have many abilities and are jacks of all trades. You can find Paint Horses on ranches in Montana, USA, all the way to the farms in rural Spain and everywhere in between.