© Pinto Horse Association of America



The Pinto Horse originated in Spain and was introduced to North America by Spanish and other European explores. The Spanish explores 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.

When the West was being tamed, 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, the Pinto horse was a favorite among American cowboys and Native Americans. Many famous Pintos 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, Okla.


Breed Standards

The diversity of the Pinto breed can be seen in the variety of recognized outcross breeds, which are separated into different types and sizes. The four Pinto types included stock, hunter, pleasure and saddle. Pintos encompass several classifications, including miniature, miniature B, pony, horse and utility.

Pintos come in two distinct color patterns, Tobiano and Overo. A 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 the Pinto must have 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.


The Breed Today

© Pinto Horse Association of America


Today, the Pinto Horse association of America, Inc. (PtHA) has over 142,000 registered Pintos and more than 7,000 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.


Additional Information

For additional information contact:

    Pinto Horse Association of America Inc.
    7330 NW 23rd Street
    Bethany, OK 73008
    (405) 491-0111