Sunday, April 12, 2009

Paint horse or pinto?

A common misconception regarding horses is that all horses with pinto markings are referred to as Paints. In truth, Paint refers to a breed and pinto refers to the markings.

Admittedly, I've been guilty of referring to Panama as a Paint (which he is not), but my excuse is that people know that term, and it's easier to say, "My horse is the Paint," and have myself understood, than to say, "My horse is the pinto," and have to explain what that means.

My horse is a pinto tobiano

I decided to blog about it today because a post on Fugly Horse of the Day about Lethal White Syndrome in foals brought about a discussion of coloring genetics and appearances. A commenter on the post linked to the best articles I have ever read on the difference between Paint and pinto, and the different types of pinto markings.

The first article discusses the difference between Paint and pinto. Basically, in order to be registered with the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) a horse must have proven Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred bloodlines. Pinto, on the other hand, describes any horse with these markings.

According to the second article, Panama is a tobiano (which I already knew). He also has something called "shadowed" spots, where there is a boarder around all of his spots. It's not as obvious in the winter, when his coat is thicker and longer, but you can see it in the summer.

I hope you enjoy the articles. I know I certainly did!

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