🐎 The American Paint Horse Breed

Breed Description

The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) is the second largest breed registry in the United States. To be eligible for the registry, a Paint’s sire and dam must be registered with either the APHA, The American Quarter Horse Association, or the Jockey Club (the American Thoroughbred registry). Paint Horses must also have a minimum amount of white hair over unpigmented skin.

Average Height

The American Paint Horse is typically between 14.2 – 16 hands.


Pinto markings in overo, tobiano, or tovero coat patterns.

Specific colors include:

  • Bay
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Dun
  • Chestnut
  • Buckskin
  • Palomino
  • Grullo
  • Sorrel
  • Grey
  • Roan


The American Paint Horse should have stock type conformation, with a broad chest and well muscled hindquarters. Paint Horses should be strong-boned, but should also possess refinement in the head and neck.


The Paint Horse is a level-headed, intelligent breed.

Members of this breed often excel in the following disciplines:

  • Rodeo / Ranch
  • Gymkhana
  • Versatility

Breed History

The evolution of the American Paint Horse can be traced back to the Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortes. Cortes brought 16 war horses to the new world, one of which was a sorrel and white pinto. It was that horse historians believe founded the American Paint Horse breed.

Descendants of this unusual stallion soon spread across the western plains, and attracted the attention of the American Indian. The flashy looks and hardy conformation of these horses made them the preferred mount for many of the Plains tribes. It is largely due to this favoritism that the Paint Horse prospered, since pinto coloring was considered undesirable by European Americans until well into the 20th Century.

In the late 1950s, an association called the Pinto Horse Association was established to help preserve the spotted horse. A decade later, the American Paint Stock Horse Association was founded, this time with the aim of preserving both color and stock horse type. In 1965 this latter group merged with the American Paint Quarter Horse Association to form the American Paint Horse Association.

US Breed Association

The American Paint Horse Association
P.O. Box 961023
Fort Worth, TX 76161-0023