Difference between paint and pinto

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Question: There is always controversy about the Pinto…is it a breed or color?…same with the paint. I also always thought the Palomino was a color, but I just recently read it was a breed; can you clarify this for me?


Answer: There is a big difference between Paint and Pinto. It is not at all controversial, it is fact. Pinto is a color; Paint is a blood breed (as opposed to a color breed). To qualify for the Paint registry, a horse must be descendent of either a Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse or registered Paint, and have qualifying color (I believe it is at least 3-5 square inches of white above hocks/knees or outside of the line between eye and mouth). A solid colored horse with appropriate breeding can be registered as “Breeding Stock Paint.”

The term Pinto simply refers to color and the horse might be of any breed. For instance, if you had a half Arab-half QH with the right color, it would be a Pinto, not Paint (the Paint registry does not allow Arab breeding). The Paint registry will not allow any other blood, other than QH or TB into the registry.

Color breeds are the breeds that qualify horses for their registry by meeting color requirements, such as Appaloosa, Palomino, Buckskin/Dun, etc. In some instances, a horse may be double registered, such as Palomino/QH.

Julie Goodnight

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