5 Difference Between Pinto and Paint Horse (With Table)

What is the difference between Pinto and Paint Horse?

Pinto and paint horses are often mistaken for each other. Many people do not know to tell the difference between pinto and paint horse.

The horses look similar but it does not necessarily mean that they are the same thing. They share the same coloration and patterns.

The main difference between pinto and paint horse is that pinto is a coat color pattern that can be found in horses of many breeds while paint horse is a breed based on bloodlines.

Difference Between Pinto and Paint Horse

Comparison Table (Pinto vs Paint Horse)

Characteristics Pinto Paint Horse
Meaning It is used to refer to colorful coat patterns and not the name of the breed. It is a breed based on bloodlines.
Parentage They do not need specific proven parentage. Must have specific proven parentage.
Body They do not have a specific body type. They have specific body types.
Registration Color qualifies it for the registry. Breed qualifies it for the registry.
Patterns They come in five patterns. Only two patterns of the five qualities to be paint horses.
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What is a Pinto?

Pinto is a colorful coat pattern used for horses. They are mostly found in North America and they were favorites of many native Americans. They would capture them and tame them to ride.

They are beautiful as they have varying colors that have been put together. They are considered to be a color breed and not a true breed.

Any type of horse can be pinto except the draft horse and appaloosas. They can display any of the five different color patterns. They include; Tobiano, overo, torero, sabino and splash white.

All paints are pintos but some pintos are paints. Paint horse can only display two color patterns among the five. They are either overo or tobiano.

Pintos can be any breed. It can be found in any breed you want. Unlike paint horse which should be either a thoroughbred or quarter horse with verifiable pedigree.

What is a Paint Horse?

Paint horse is a type of breed. There are various associations build around the breed. American Paint Horse Association is one of them.

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The association has set out rules and regulations regarding what a true paint horse should comprise. Horses that look like paint but do not qualify are not registered.

All paint horses are considered pintos but not all pintos can be considered as paint horses. Only two-color patterns are found in the paint horse. That is either overo or tobiano.

To be considered a paint horse there is a verifiable pedigree. They must either be a thoroughbred or quarter horse with papers to prove it.

Parentage should be proved from one of the three approved registries. These qualifications have to be met before a horse is registered.

Main Differences between Pinto and Paint Horse

  1. Pinto is coloration while paint horse is a type of breed.
  2. Pinto can be one of the five color patterns while paint horse is two of the color patterns.
  3. Some pintos are paint horses while all paint horses are pintos.
  4. Pintos do not have a specific body type while paint horses have a specific body type.
  5. Color qualifies pintos for registration while breed qualifies paint horses for registration in the association.
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Similarities between Pinto and Paint Horse

  1. They both have strict requirements to be registered.
  2. They both belong to the same family.
  3. Both have the same coloration and patterns.
  4. Both are registered by the associations.

In Conclusion

Pinto and paint horses have often confused people due to their same coat color and patterns. The two are different from each other in that all paint horses are pintos while some pintos are paint horses.

Pintos can display one of the five color patterns giving them a wider range of possible appearance as compared to paint horses.

The main feature that makes pintos to be different from the paint horse is the meaning. Pinto is a coat color while paint horse is a type of breed.

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