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Horse Articles :: Pinto Horse

Pinto Horse

The terms Pinto and Paint are often confused when referring to a horse with a light and dark coat pattern, but in fact, those two words have different meanings. The Pinto Horse Association (PtHA) is a color registry, and Pintos can be any breed, but the Paint Horse that is registered with the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) is limited to equines of documented and registered Paint, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred breeding. While a Pinto could be multiply registered if it met the breed standards specified by any registry, the two registries, PtHA and APHA, are independent, even through most Paints can be double registered as Stock or Hunter type Pintos.

The variety among the Pinto breed can be seen in the 19 recognized outcross breeds, which are separated into different types and sizes. However, the Pinto coloration may occur in any breed or specific conformation, but the Pinto Horse Association of America does not accept horses with Appaloosa, Draft, or mule breeding or characteristics.

The Pinto is registered according to its size at maturity and is classified as either Horse, Pony, Miniature or Miniature B. They are measured in inches at the withers, not in hands, as is typical for other equine breeds. A Miniature Pinto is 34 or less in height at the withers and a Miniature B Pinto is over 34 but does not exceed 38 at maturity. The Pinto Pony is between 38 inches to 56 inches, while the Pinto Horse is more than 56 inches or over 14 hands high. Each size division has its own rules and standards and allows for exhibition against like conformation and styles.

The Pinto does not have consistent conformation since it is bred for color, but rather, its conformation should be of the breed of its parentage. This means that many Pintos are multiple registered, once for color, and at least once for breed depending on the registration of its parents. So, in addition to size, there are four acknowledged types of conformation: the Saddle type, Stock type, Hunter type and Pleasure type. Type is determined by the conformation and background of each horse.

The Stock type Pinto is a western horse mostly of Quarter and Paint breeding and conformation while the Hunter type Pinto is an English horse mostly of Thoroughbred and approved European Warmblood breeding and conformation. The Pleasure type Pinto is mostly of Arabian or Morgan breeding and conformation and the Saddle type Pinto is a gaited horse mostly of American Saddlebred, Tennessee Walking or Missouri Foxtrotter breeding and conformation and displays the high head carriage and animated gaits. Each type is exhibited in its own class and owners are encouraged to stay within a specific type when breeding. The PtHA strives to produce each succeeding generation with improved style and talent within each of these types. Pinto Breeders, like all breeders, believe that conformation is an important factor in what a horse can do for the rider.

As stated above, the Pinto horse is a color breed and that is where a breeder's main focus lies. This is different from other breeds which are defined by their genetic ancestry, not their color. In America, the Pinto is regarded as a breed; however, in other parts of the world, it is only considered a color or a type of horse. Pintos have a dark background coloring and upon this color random patches of white. When the darker color is black, the horse is referred to as Piebald. When the darker color is anything but black, the horse is referred to as Skewbald.

There are two color patterns that are recognized by the PtHA which are also major patterns in the Appaloosa and Paint. Those patterns are the Tobiano and the Overo.

The Tobiano coat appears to be a white horse with large flowing spots of color, often overlapping. Spots of color typically originate from the head, chest, flank and buttock, and often include the tail. It is considered necessary to have a Tobiano parent to get a Tobiano foal.

The Overo coat appears to be a colored horse with white markings. Spots of white appear to be jagged and usually originate on the animal's side or belly spreading toward the neck, tail, legs and back, but it often has a dark tail, mane, and legs. White almost never crosses the back. A horse of Pinto coloration that descended from two solid colored parents of another typically solid colored pure breed is called a crop out and is of the Overo pattern.

A Pinto must have at least two or more of the following characteristics: blue eyes; leg white above the knee or hock; white or multi colored hooves; collective white in the eligible zones; and pink skin. There must be four square inches of cumulative white in the qualifying zone. This requirement is modified with the size of the horses, so only three square inches is required for ponies and two square inches are required for miniatures. There are still some judges in the show ring that are prejudiced against colored horses, especially in the English disciplines, but this opinion is declining slowly.

The origins of the colors in the Pinto in North America can be traced back to the two toned horses introduced by the Spanish explorers, descendants of horses from North Africa and Asia Minor, Inevitably, some of these colorful creatures escaped to create the wild herds of horses that roamed the Great Plains. Though commonly associated with the Native American for its legendary magical qualities in battle, it is believed that the Pinto patterns may be from Arabian strains, since Pinto markings appear in ancient art throughout the Middle East. In fact, its history in the United States is much like that of the Appaloosa and Paint horses.

The Pinto has traditionally been thought of as the horse that the American Indian preferred as a war horse because its coloring provides a natural camouflage. It eventually became an icon of the American west, whose colorful presence in parades and films always added a little extra glamour.

Pinto Horse Association of America (PtHA) was formed in 1956 although the bloodlines of many Pintos trace back three or four generations before that date. Established primarily as a color registry, the PtHA now offers four conformation types, and four size designations in their registry. More than 124,000 horses, ponies, and miniatures throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia have been registered.

There is a second Pinto registry called the National Pinto Horse Registry (NPHR) that was established in 1984 to provide a means for Pinto owners to register their horses that other organizations won't register for whatever reason. They maintain a database of over 4,000 Pintos, which are identified under one of four classifications: Grade, Semi Purebred, Purebred, and Carrier. It includes horses from all 50 states as well as Canada, Europe, and South America. NPHR will issue a certificate, suitable for framing to present to potential buyers.

Because of the wide diversity of breeds in the Pinto, their disposition, trainability, gaits, naming conventions, and any genetic health considerations are based on the breed of their genetic ancestry.

Author Resource:-> Crystal writes for, classifieds of Pinto Horses for sale










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