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Use and characteristics of the American Paint Horse
The primary consideration when planning to buy an American Paint Horse is that it is a colour breed, which means both colour and quality are usually essential for registration. Technically, the colour is pinto, which can be found in other types and breeds. Important bloodlines also mark Paint Horses out as a distinct breed. Only American Paint Horse and selected Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred lineages are permitted. Registered breeders who sell an American Paint Horse maintain these strict standards of both ancestry and coat colour patterns. Standing between 15 hands (60 inches/152.4cm) and 16 hands (64 inches/162.56cm) high, the modern American Paint Horse combines a refined appearance with intelligence and strength. Powerful hindquarters that instantly provide forward propulsion when required are also a feature. Coat colours should be a combination of a base colour, such as black, sorrel, chestnut, brown or bay, plus white, although the solid-coloured foals of two registered Paint parents can also be registered. The two basic coat patterns are tobiano, the most common, and overo. Tobiano horses often have solid-coloured heads with markings such as a blaze, snip, star or stripe, with dark colouring on their flanks, and white legs. Overo consists of dramatic splashes of white scattered across the coat, with dark legs. Tovero is a mixture of both, and there are subdivisions of overo colouring, such as sabino and splashed white.