American Paints share their history with the American Quarter Horse and the Thoroughbred.

This is because American Paints are technically not a 'breed' in the traditional sense of the word. They came about because the other associations (specifically the American Quarter Horse Association) did not consider them part of the breed. Thus, we have American Paints.

As such, American Paint Horses are stock horses (possessing the same build as a Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred) with tobiano, overo, tovero, and other such patterns.

Because of the odd nature of it's creation, to be registered as an American Paint, a horse's parents must be registered as American Paints, American Quarter Horses, or Thoroughbreds.


  • 'Pinto' is the general term for a horse with tobiano/overo/tovero coat pattern. They can be any breed (in general). However, 'paint' refers specifically to the American Paint breed.
  • Perhaps ironically, solid colored American Paints do exist.
  • Due to the abundance of in-breeding for their distinctive patterns, genetic problems (such as OLW) are more common.
  • They are most often seen participating in Western disciplines, though they have been known to participate in others.
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