Pinto horses originated in Spain, and were introduced to North America by Spanish and other European explores. Spanish explorers brought over Barb Horses that had been crossed with other European breeds, including Russian and Arabian strains, which are thought to give the horses their color patterns. When the Spanish herds were brought to North America, these horses mixed with the wild horses and were later domesticated by the Native Americans.
During westward expansion, the pioneers had to cross their refined European horses with the wild herds to develop a stockier and heavier-muscled horse that would be more suited to the rugged and arduous conditions.
Often referred to as piebald or skewbald horses in literature about the Wild West, pinto horses were a favorite among American cowboys and Native Americans. Some famous pinto horses include Tonto’s Scout, Little Joe’s Cochise and Frank Hopkins’ Hidalgo.
The Pinto Horse Association started from a grassroots movement to selectively breed horses for good color and confirmation. Several horsemen in the 1930s formed the Pinto Horse Society with the purpose of breeding superior colored horses. The registry they created is the basis of what is now known as the Pinto Horse Association of America, Inc. The Association was incorporated on May 18, 1956 in New Jersey, and its headquarters is now established in Bethany, OK.
The diversity of the pinto horses can be seen in the variety of recognized outcross breeds, which are separated into different types and sizes. The four types for registration are stock, hunter, pleasure and saddle. Registered Pintos encompass several classifications, including miniature, miniature B, pony, horse and utility.
The Pinto Horse Association registers two pinto color patterns: Tobiano and Overo. A registered Pinto must have square inches of cumulative white in the qualifying zone and underlying pink skin in order to be registered. The requirements are different for each classification - for horses, there must be a minimum of four square inches of white, ponies must have three square inches of white, and miniatures must have 2 square inches of white.
Today, the Pinto Horse association of America, Inc. (PtHA) has over 1572,000 registered Pinto horses and more than 88,000 members. PtHA offers several avenues for members to participate in, such as showing year round and at the Pinto World Championship, competing in the competitive trail program, On the Trail, Open Competition Activities Program (OCAP), National Amateur activities and Nation Youth activities are all available for PtHA members to take part in.
For additional information contact:
Pinto Horse Association of America Inc.
7330 NW 23rd Street
Bethany, OK 73008