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Pinto Horse Facts | Is Paint A Color? (Darn 20 Characters)?

Posted By: JR

Today I was in my animal science class and we were talking about horse genetics, specifically coat colors. My teacher wrote a couple of colors on the board like gray, bay, and, chestnut but then put paint as a color. I had always understood that paint was a breed and pinto was a color but I figured he was just using it as a general term for color or spotting so I didn’t say anything. Then I leaned over to the girl next to me after class and remarked that paint wasn’t a color and she very definitively assured me that it was in fact a color. Anyway I’ve always learned it that pinto was the term used to define the spotted or colored coat pattern that includes tobianos, overos, etc. and that paint was used to describe a certain breed that most often has these pinto coat patterns. Am I way off here? I mean I’ve always corrected people when they say that their pinto arab for example is a paint but now I have an equine vet teacher who seems to think otherwise. Is this a black and white matter like pinto is a color and paint is a breed or is there some gray in the middle where it can be either or? Any thoughts?Wow. I guess someone else just asked the same question I did at the exact same time. Talk about coincidence. Oh well, I’d still appreciate everyone’s thoughts and opinions anyway. Thanks.Yeah I figured that he’s off base but he still sometimes makes me wonder at the things I already know. After all he is an equine vet, but around here that really doesn’t say a whole lot. Anyway, he’s said a lot of really ignorant things in class so I don’t really pay attention to him anymore but I was surprised with how adamant this girl was about paint being a color. Oh wellPaintgirl: Interestingly enough, my teacher did actually put up roan as one of the colors. We have a textbook that lists all the colors and paint was no where in there but it doesn’t seem to matter to him. I’ve been so frustrated lately calling him out on much more ignorant statements so for this I’m perfectly happy to take a break and let it go. I just wanted to make sure that I knew it correctly for future reference. Anyway, I’m usually so absorbed in the world of colorless TB’s so it’s nice to learn about things outside of my realm

Paint is not a color. Paint is a breed, it’s short for American Paint Horse Association. Saying Paint is a color is like saying Quarter Horse is a color.Pinto actually isn’t a color, either. Pinto is a pattern with three main variations – overo (and it’s three types sabino, frame and splash) Tobiano, and tovero. Likewise Appaloosa is a breed, and patterns in the breed would be leopard, blanket, few spot, etc.Color of horses would be bay, chestnut, red roan, dun, palomino, etc. That is why you can have palomino tobianos – you are refering to the color first and the pattern second.Not everyone that teaches is an expert on all facets of equine knowledge. I don’t know if I’d point out his mistake, or not. Perhaps mention it briefly, then drop the topic. Perhaps he’ll read and learn more in the future, perhaps not. If you had access to a good equine color book you could show him where he mentions that Pinto is a pattern.To be really confusing, did you know roan is actually a pattern and not a color? That’s my trivia for the day – most people do not know this and therefore we consider roan (such as blue roan or red roan) a color. But in truth roan is a pattern gene which impacts the horse’s base color.

Pinto is a color, paint is a breed.

Paint is a breed- American Paint Horse.

Pinto, tobiano, overo, etc. are color patterns.

Your teacher is wrong. You are correct.

Paint is a breed, pintos and skewbalds, piebalds are colors.

Paint is an awesome breed. But piebald, skewbald and pinto are colors. But some of them look kinda similar.


No. your teacher is very wrong to be misinforming you like that. Pinto is a COLOR paint is a BREED. You need to tell your teacher that s(he) is wrong because people are obviously believing them and it’s not right. You are correct. Paint is not a color but paint horses usually have pinto coloration. That might be where the mix-up lies.

Your right.

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