Ride Around the World Horse: The Paint of the US
In the spirit of this year's Ridefest theme, "Ride Around the World," we're going to explore a horse breed from across the world each week.
Pinto, or Paint Horse
Origin: 16th century
The Pinto Horse Association and the American Paint Horse Association, both with their headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, both register part-colored equines. The Pinto Horse Association registers any breed of horse or pony that meets its color requirement, dividing them into stock type, hunter, pleasure type, and saddle type. It has a similar classification for ponies. The American Paint Horse Association registers the offspring of horses with Paint, Quarter Horse, and Thoroughbred registration papers.
Breeding: Pintos and Paints are descendants of the Spanish horses brought to America in the 16th century. Until the 18th and 19th centuries, a part-colored strain was evident in Europe, in horses derived from Spanish blood. The name "Pinto" comes from the Spanish word pintado, meaning "painted," and in the vernacular of the western cowboy this became "paint." Part-colored horses, or even spotted ones, were also called calicos.
Characteristics: There are two types of coloring: Ovaro and tobiano. Ovaro is a basic solid coat with large, irregular slashes of white over it. Tobiano is a white base coat with large, irregular patches of solid color. It is difficult to accord the Pinto breed status, in the accepted meaning of the word, because of the lack of consistency in type and size.
Edwards, Elwyn Hartley; Langrish, Bob (PHT). “Paint.” Smithsonian Handbooks Horses, Dk Pub., pp. 204–205.