Virbac USA

Featured Breed – American Paint Horse


One of the most distinctively marked horses, well known for their coloring, is the American Paint Horse. PetMD describes the American Paint Horse as a favorite for not only its markings, but for its unique refinement and intelligence.



According to PetMD, around 500 A.D., several tribes brought spotted Oriental horses from Eurasia to Spain, where they were bred with the native horse stock. The breed began to thrive and resemble what is now known as standard Paint Horse markings. When Spanish conquistadors came to the United States, they brought these horses along, which are believed to be the ancestors of the modern American Paint Horse.


The horse comes in various colors, including bay, chestnut, black, palomino, gray, buckskin, and blue roan. Most importantly, they have distinctive white markings that vary in size and pattern.

The American Paint Horse Association describes three main patterns of American Paint Horses’ white markings. The Tobiano features dark colors usually on one or both flanks, and all four legs are generally white. The Overo usually features more dark color and white does not cross the back of the horse between its withers and tail. Lastly, the Tovero features dark color around the ears and usually one or both blue eyes.


According to PetMD, the American Paint Horse is known for its amiability and pleasant manner. This horse’s good nature and innate intelligence make it a great companion and enjoyable to train for performance competitions.

Fun Facts

  • Before the 1950s, they were called Pinto, Paint, Skewbald and PieBald.
  • The American Paint Horse is the world’s second largest equine registry.
  • Each marking is unique. No two are alike.
  • White coloring is rare but possible.