Paint horses didn’t get their name because their owners thought of painting their horses. The name “Paint Horse” is given to this breed as horses in this breed have a patch of white hair growing on unpigmented skin. Since these horses have another contrasting darker color in addition to white hair patch, their body looks as if it’s painted by a creative artist.
The American Paint Horse Association has strict color pattern requirements for registration. Here are the coat color classes as defined by the association.
Black – Black Family
This paint horse is predominantly black. It has black flanks and black legs. Its muzzle is also black. The black color may become fade because of exposure to sun and it could even look rusty during certain months of the year.
Chestnut – Red Family
Chestnut is from Red family so its body color can be anything from dark red to brownish-red. Some shades of chestnut are so difficult to identify that you can only tell the difference by judging the hue in light.
Brown – Black Family
Paint horses with brown color coat have brown or black body. Their muzzle is usually lighter in tone along with flanks and eyes. Their mane and tail are mostly black but this is not a compulsion for this family of horses.
Cremello – Red Family
These horses have cream or off-white mane. Usually the tail is also the same color. Horses with this color coat usually have pale or pink skin. The white coat is visible but there is a yellow hue. These horses usually have blue eyes but some of them can have amber eyes.
Bay – Black Family
This coat color is from the black family of paint horses. Horses falling within this color pattern usually have a reddish brown body with many variations. These horses have black mane and tail.
Palomino – Red Family
Paint horses with palomino coat color belong to the red family. They usually have diluted body color. The base color could be pale yellow or gold. These horses usually have a pale or off-white tail and mane. However, some horses from this family can have the same color on tale as on their coat.
Bay Roan – Black Family
Horses with Bay Roan coat color have their white hair mixed with bay color. This mixing is visible on their body, head, mane, tail and sometimes on lower legs as well. Sometimes their tale is darker in tone.
Red Dun – Red Family
Paint horses with red dun coat usually have yellowish body color. Their mane and tail are often red. These horses can also have red marking on other parts of their body.
Blue Roan – Black Family
Blue Roans are beautiful paint horses. The white hair on their body mixes with black body color to produce this amazing shade. Their head and lower legs are usually of solid dark color and there is no color bleeding. Their mane and tail are also darker in color.
Other coat colors recognized by the American Paint Horse Association
Here are few more coat color patterns recognized by the American Paint Association.
- Red Roan – Red Family
- Buckskin – Black Family
- Sorrel – Red Family
- Dun – Black Family
- Gray – Black Family
- Grullo – Black Family
- Perlino – Black Family