The American Paint Horse is an American breed of horse which is a specific type of stock-horse. Paint horses are characterized by a certain percentage of white hair over unpigmented skin combined with some other color.Each Paint Horse has a particular combination of white and any color of the equine spectrum: black, bay, brown, chestnut, dun, grullo, sorrel, palomino, buckskin, gray or roan.
Markings can be any shape or size, and located virtually anywhere on the Paint's body.
Although Paints come in a variety of colors with different markings, there are only three specific coat patterns: overo, tobiano and tovero.
One medical issue associated with the breed is the genetic disease, lethal white syndrome
The American Paint Horse shares a common ancestry with the American Quarter Horse and indeed, a registered Paint horse should conform to the same "stock horse" body type desired in Quarter Horses: a muscular animal that is heavy but not too tall, with a low centre of gravity for rapid maneuverability, and powerful hindquarters suitable for rapid acceleration and extreme sprinting speed.
The American Paint Horse's combination of color and conformation has made the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) the second-largest breed registry in the United States based on the number of horses registered annually. While the colorful coat pattern is essential to the identity of the breed, American Paint Horses have strict bloodline requirements and a distinctive stock-horse body type. To be eligible for registry, a Paint's sire and dam must be registered with the American Paint Horse Association, the American Quarter Horse Association or the Jockey Club (Thoroughbreds). At least one parent must be a registered American Paint Horse. To be eligible for the Regular Registry, the horse must also exhibit a minimum amount of white hair over unpigmented (pink) skin.
When the American Quarter Horse Association emerged in 1940 to preserve horses of the "stock" type, it excluded those with paint coat patterns. Undeterred, fans of colorful stock horses formed a variety of organizations to preserve and promote these handsome creatures. In 1965 some of these groups merged to form the American Paint Horse Association. Today, the American Paint Horse is one of America's most popular breeds.