Monday, August 12, 2013

The American Paint Horse

  In 1519, Spanish explorer Hermando Cortes began exploring Central America, bringing with him horses with pinto patterns, many of which were stolen, bartered for, or even abandoned.

 By the early 19th century, many feral horses, including ones with large colored patches on them, roamed the Plains. Native Americans loved the pinto colors, and were often found riding them across the Plains. The best horsemen on the Plains, though, were the Comanche, who owned large herds of pintos, which were also known as paints, piebalds, and skewbalds.

 Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the American Quarter Horse Association banned paints and other horses with white above the knees from its stud book. In efforts to preserve the beautiful color pattern, pinto aficionados formed many organizations with the sole purpose of promoting their horses, including the Pinto Horse Association in the 1950s. Later, those organizations merged into one and became the American Paint Stock Horse Association. Members not only strove to preserve the unique color pattern, but also the stock horse-type conformation.

 Founder Rebecca Lockhart had spent hours calling friends, including E. J. Hudspeth, Truman Moody, and Charlie Moore, three men from Gainesville, Texas who were interested in promoting the breed.

 They began by hosting a show at Waurika, Oklahoma. Afterward, they spoke to the Southwestern Exhibition and the Fat Stock Show organizers, and finally were able to get an open color class approved for a show in 1961.

 On February 16, 1961, Rebecca became the secretary of the American Paint Stock Horse Association. By the end of 1962, there were 150 members and 250 registered horses.

 In 1963, executive secretary Ralph Morrison took Rebecca's place as the secretary. That same yea, the Association moved to Amarillo, Texas and had its first show in the Aufil Sports Arena, in Lubbock, Texas.

 By the end of 1964 for, 1,269 horses were registered and there were 1,005 members.

At the same time, the American Paint Quarter Horse Association was formed, although it never took off, so it merged with the American Paint Stock Horse Association. In 1965, after quite some debating, the association became the American Paint Horse Association. It had 1,300 members and 3,800 registered horses.

 The American Paint is somewhat stocky, like Quarter Horses and other stock horses. They range from 14.2 hands high to 16.2 hands high. Although most Paints are pinto patterned, some, called breeding stock paints, are not. The rest are divided into two main coat patterns: tobiano and overo.

 Tobiano pintos have colored patches along their back and on their head. Often, their legs are white.
Splashed white overos, like the one above,
rarely have any color on them, except for on the back.

 Overos usually do not have white on their backs, although they will have large patches of white on their faces. Their are three types of overo: frame overo, which means that a frame of colored markings is around the white markings; sabino, meaning that roan hairs surround the colored patches and white hair usually covers the entire face; and last but not least, splashed white horses have blue eyes, long white socks, white bellies, and white or blazed faces.
This tovero has a war bonnet on his face and a shield on his chest.

 A third rare color, known as tovero, is a combination of the two main color types. Toveros are usually all white, except for one the head and neck. Native Americans gave this characteristic the name medicine hat and war bonnet, and this pattern was prized by chiefs and medicine men. Colored patterns on the chest is called a shield.

Pictures coming soon!


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