Difference Between Pinto and Paint Horses

Horses are mammals that lived about 50 million years ago. Horses look gorgeous because of their color patterns, eyes, and running style. Horses are used for different works, ranches events, riding, and farming. 


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Horses are categorized into different types depending on their breeding, coat patterns, and quality. Pinto and Paint horses are interchangeably used but are different horse types.

Pinto vs Paint Horses

The difference between pinto and paint horses is Pinto horse is any horse produced from different horse families, whereas paint horses are American paint horses produced from the quarter and thoroughbred families. Pinto horses come in different color patterns, while paint horses come in three coat patterns like overo, tovero, and tobiano.

Pinto vs Paint Horses

Pinto horses are any horses other than paint horses. Pinto horses are bred with any horse family to make different color pattern horses.

Pinto horses are registered in the Pinto Horse Association of America based on the color and quality of the horse.  Pinto horses are used for tame, parade horses, riding, and other hard work.

Paint horses are the actual breed horses produced from the same parent families especially, quarter breed and thoroughbred families. Paint horses have strong muscles, legs, and a balanced body.

They are used for ranches events, riding, and native Americans tame them. Paint horses are registered in the American Paint Horse Association.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonPinto HorsesPaint Horses 
OriginSpain, and United StatesUnited States
BreedIt is a color breed produced with different horse families.It is an actual breed produced from quarter horse and thoroughbred families.
Color patternstobiano, sabino, splash white, and overoovero, tovero, and tobiano
Registry CorporationPinto Horse Association of AmericaAmerican Paint Horse Association
Lifespan20-25 years31 years.

What are Pinto Horses?

Pinto is a Spanish horse brought to America in the 16th century. Pinto means painted or spotted horse in America. Native Americans used to domesticate Pintos.

Pintos are color breeds that are produced with different horse families with specific color patterns especially, from pony horses and stock horses.

As pintos come from many horse families, they can be of any shape, color, and size.  Pinto horses are 14 to 16 hands high from their withers.

They also have black or blue eyes like paint horses.

The quality and strength of the Pinto horse depend on the breeding. If it is bred with stock horses, then it has good strength and big muscles.

If it is bred with pony horses, it will be small and sturdy. If it is bred with saddlebred, then it can give a smooth ride, have three or five agitated.

Pinto horses come in different colors like white, brown, black, and combo colors.  It comes in many patterns like tobiano, splash white, sabino, and overo.

Tobiano horses are white horses with any other color spots, and overo horses are dark horses with white spots. These horses are used for parades, stock horses, and domestic purposes.

The Pinto Horse Association of America was incorporated in 1956 to promote and register quality and color Pinto horses. It registers horses in three categories like solid registry, color registry, and long ear registry.

What are Paint Horses?

Paint horses are the American Paint horses are actual breed horses registered in the American Paint Horse Association founded in 1965. Paint horses are unique breeds with spotted color patterns.

Paint horses come from crossing with the thoroughbred and the quarter horse. Paint horses have small heads, small hooves, and strong muscular legs and croup. 

Paint horses are 14-16 hands high, used for riding, and have a balanced body. Paint horses look gorgeous than other horses.

These horses have a lifespan of 31 years. They are also used as pets by native Americans.

Paint horses are mostly used for riding, trekking, and recreation. They are intelligent, cool temperament, fast, agile, and calm.

According to APHA, paint horses are classified into three-coat patterns like overo, tovero, and tobiano. The paint horses are hot-blooded breeds and have trimmed legs and feed.

Tabiano coat paint horse has large dark and white patches. Its four legs are white.

Paint with overo coat has large dark patches and has one leg dark in color. Tevero coat paints are white but have small patches of other colors on the ears, neck, chest, and back.

Paint horses are white with patches of black or brown.

Main Differences Between Pinto and Paint Horses

  1. Paint horses are originated from the United States, and Pinto horses are originated from Spain.
  2. Pinto horses are color breeds made by crossing with different horse families, whereas paint horses are actual breeds produced by crossing with only thoroughbred and quarter horse families.
  3. Pinto horses come in many color patterns, but paint horses come in only three patterns like overo, tovero, and tobiano.
  4. Pinto horse size and quality depend on their parent horses, whereas paint horses are large and have balanced bodies.
  5. Pinto horses live for a maximum of 25 years and paint horses for 31 years.
Difference Between Pinto and Paint Horses


  1. https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/Horses_of_the_World/Eus9DwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=+pinto+and+paint+horses&pg=PA8&printsec=frontcover
  2. https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/Pinto_Horses/sWNCSMLHkeMC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=+pinto+and+paint+horses&pg=PA4&printsec=frontcover
  3. https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/The_American_Paint_Horse/KX5blnPYe74C?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=paint+horse&pg=PA27&printsec=frontcover
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