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The American Paint Horse is a breed that combines both the conformational characteristics of a Western stock horse with a pinto spotting pattern of white and dark coat colors.
The evolution of the American Paint Horse can be traced back to the new world expedition of Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortes. According to the Spanish historian Diaz del Castillo, who traveled with the expedition, one of the horses was described as a "pinto" with "white stockings on his forefeet." The other was described as a "dark roan horse" with "white patches." These were the first known recorded descriptions of the forebears of American Paint Horses in the New World.
Descendants of these colorful horses soon spread across the Western plains, and attracted the attention of Native Americans and cowboys. While over the years the conformation and athletic ability of those rugged mounts of the Old West have varied, the unique and unusual coat patterns and coloring remain the same.