Paint, Pinto, and Calico! So many terms no way to put them all together? There is not alot to them infact though they aren't all the same thing, they are pretty close, except the paint horse which we will cover first since it is the most confusing.
Well lets start at the beginning with the term Paint. Paint as refered to in the horse world means a horse that is registerable with the American Paint Horse Association or the APHA. Horses that are registerable in the association must first be either out of a Paint x Paint cross, a Thoroughbred x Paint cross, or a Quarter Horse x Paint Cross. This horse can now fall into one of two categories, breeding stock or full registration. To be fully registered a horse must exhibit a certain amount of white on the face,feet, and body. In addition, the white must also appear over pink skin. Breeding stock is simply a paint horse without the required amount of white, used usually only for breeding as its name suggests. Just because a Quarter Horse or a Thoroughbred possess too much white does not make them a Paint horse.
Pinto, one of the most commonly mixed up terms with the term Paint. A Pinto is just any breed of horse that exhibits the required amount of white. Arabians, National Show Horses, Gypsy Vanners, or any other breed that allows "pinto" as a coloring. Pinto is a color just as Palomino is a color. But there is a Pinto horse association? Yes there is a Pinto Horse Association for Colored horses of different breeds just like there is a Palomino Horse Association. That one was pretty simple.. now to get even simpler!
Calico and Pinto are just interchangable terms although Calico is not often heard much in the equine world, more of a cat term if you ask me. I don't make it up, I just read the information all my life and spit it out years later as common knowledge. So you catty horse people that want to call your Pinto a Calico go right ahead.
Tobiano, Overo, and Tovero have not been included as they are color patterns and I know little about them, or rather I know them and then get confused on them so rather not share information and confuse others as well. Savvy?