What is the difference between a paint horse a pinto horse? Simply put, when someone talks about a Paint horse, they are talking about a breed. But when someone talks about a pinto horse, they are talking about a color.
Paint horses have a specific stock-type body type and are closely related to the American Quarter Horse. To register a horse with the American Paint Horse Association, both the sire and the dam must be registered paint horses but pinto – is not required! The APHA has a special "breeding stock" division for Paint Horse who lack pinto -.
Pinto horses, however, may be of any breed or type, because the word "Pinto" simply refers to color. A Saddlebred, for example, may be a Pinto, but could never be a Paint. Pinto horses come in all shapes and sizes. A color-based registry has opened for Pinto horses. Instead of breeding being the qualifier for registry, color is. Any non-draft, non appaloosa colored may join the Pinto Horse Association of America.
So as you can see, the difference is that while most Paints are pintos, only some pintos are paints!
At first it seems the difference between paint and pinto is confusing, but as you can see with this explaination, the difference is really not too difficult to understand.