Paint horses are a breed of horse specifically bred for their coat patterns. The term paint horse can refer to several breeds, but in general, paints are American Quarter Horses with additional color genes.
Paint horses can be any base color such as chestnut, gray, or cream, and they can be blanketed or splashed. The main feature of a paint horse is the white marking on the face, called a star.
The way paint horses get blue eyes is through a specific gene. This gene is recessive, which means that the horse needs to have two copies of it to display the feature. It is hard to tell if a young horse has this gene until they mature, so not all paint horses have this feature!
This feature can be seen in older paints that have retained their youthful features. Older paints that have grown out their manes and tails can also appear more dramatic with blue eyes.
Find a paint horse stallion
A stallion is a male horse that has come into sexual maturity. To find a paint horse stallion, look in stables, sales, and breeding farms.
If you are looking for a riding horse, then make sure he is well-trained and has good temperament. If you are looking for a breeding horse, make sure he has good bloodlines.
You can also ask an experienced handler or farm owner how many times they have gelded the horse and for what reasons. A gelding is a male horse that has been surgically altered to no longer produce sperm.
For more information on stallions, check out this article: How to Choose the Right Stallion for You
Some horses may be gelded due to behavior issues or because they have been used as a breeding horse and then retired.
Look for a dam with a similar coat color
When looking for a Paint Horse dam, or female horse that can be used to breed with your Paint Horse stallion, look for one with a similar coat color.
Paint Horses can be any base color, and their coats can be any mixture of white marks. The only requirement is that the white markings must be over colored skin, not pure black or dark brown.
If you find a Paint Mare with a golden chestnut coat like yours, then you know your foal will have a similar color. If she has any white marks, then the baby will have some too!
It is okay if the dam does not have blue eyes, as long as the offspring do not have orange or reddish eyes, then it is still a true Paint Horse. Only horses with solid orange eyes are considered Paint Horses with Orange Eyes.
When you have found your horses, it is time to check for markings they both share. Most often, horses with similar color patterns will be related.
For example, if one horse has a white nose and the other horse you are pairing it with does not, then they are not related. This is because genes for white markings are inherited separately.
If one horse is pinto and the other is bay, then they are not related. These colors are genetically separate as well. If one horse has a stripe down its head and the other does not, then they are most likely unrelated.
When you have checked for these basic markings, then you can move on to checking their DNA! It is important to do this before trying to breed them, however. You do not want to waste time mating unrelated horses.
Call your local horse association to verify the pedigree
Once you have found the horse you want, the next step is to make sure that the horse is what you want.
You can do this by asking the owner for the horse’s registration papers. These papers include information about the parents of the horse, and what colors and patterns it may carry.
By looking at these papers, you can determine if the horse is free of paints and whether or not it has a base color other than white. You can also check with your local equine association to see if there are any pending cases against this animal.
Once you have checked these things and feel comfortable with your decision, then you have verified your new companion!
Make sure to call your local equine association to verify that the animal does not have any genetic disorders or defects. Also make sure to keep all of your new animal’s documentation so that you can show them if they ask.
Have your paint horse eyes checked by a vet
While blue eyes in horses is a normal phenotype, there are rare cases where it is caused by a genetic mutation. These mutations can be associated with health issues, including blindness.
Since the gene associated with paint genes has been mapped, your vet can check your horse’s gene profile to see if any mutations are present.
If you notice changes in your horse’s vision, such as difficulty walking or balancing, or if they start walking into things, contact your veterinarian immediately. Vision problems can sometimes be treated and corrected, so early detection is important!
Even if there are no signs of coloration or patterning differences, all horses should have their eyes checked by a veterinarian at least once a year. This is especially important for older horses, as diseases such as uveitis and keratitis can present symptoms similar to those of coloration defects. Checking for these issues can help prevent future complications.
Take good care of your horse to keep their eyes healthy
Although we do not know the exact cause of Paint Horses With Blue Eyes, there are some things you can do to help prevent your horse from developing them.
Make sure your horse has adequate lighting when it is dark outside. Many horses are outdoors animals, so they feel comfortable grazing and roaming around on the acres of land they are provided with.
Make sure your horse does not have any visual impairments, such as tumors or lesions that may affect its vision. If there are any suspected cases, have your horse checked by a veterinarian to determine the cause and solution.
The most important thing is to keep your horse clean! Make sure to wash all of the dirt and grime off using a gentle soap. This prevents any infections or parasites from settling in on the eyes.
Know the signs of eye problems in horses
Though rare, eye problems can be devastating for horses. Unfortunately, many horse owners may not know the signs that something is wrong with their horse’s eyes.
Some signs include tearing, redness, excessive blinking, sensitivity to light, and poor vision. If a horse is showing any of these signs, take them to a veterinarian or certified equine specialist immediately.
Tearing in horses is usually due to allergies. Allergies can be grasses or weeds, dust, or hay dust. These are easily treated by a vet or specialist.
Redness of the eyes can be caused by pinkeye (conjunctivitis) or other underlying issues such as ulcers or tumors. Once again, these are easily detected by a vet and treated.
Excessive blinking is also a sign of pinkeye as the infected animal tries to keep the tears on the surface of the eye to rinse the infection off.
Keep your paint horse in proper light conditions
While most paints have normal eye colors such as brown or amber, a few have blue eyes. This can be a beautiful feature, but it can also cause problems if your horse does not have adequate lighting.
Paints can be gray, black, or brown mottled horses that have a white body and legs with a blanket and sometimes zebra stripes. These colors can make it harder for your horse to see in low light conditions.
Because paints are genetically predisposed to having darker skin, it can be harder to tell if they are getting enough sunlight. Their coats may appear lighter due to this and they may feel fine despite not getting enough sunlight.
To prevent issues related to light deficiency, ensure your paint horse has adequate lighting throughout the day. Make sure he gets up and moves around when it is light out and he is awake! Try putting some sunblock on him if he spends a lot of time outside.