Book Review: The American Paint Horse

The American Paint Horse, a colorful 264-page book about American Paints, speaks volumes about the popular breed of horse.
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The American Paint Horse, a colorful 264-page book about American Paints, speaks volumes about the popular breed of horse.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this colorful 264-page book about the American Paint Horse speaks volumes about the popular breed of horse that continues to capture the respect and admiration of horse lovers around the world.

The American Paint Horse: A Photographic Portrayal, combines insightful text about the past, present and future of the breed with hundreds of magnificent large-format, full-color images.

Award-winning photojournalists Darrell Dodds and David R. Stoecklein spent nearly two years photographing Paints from coast to coast, from mountains to deserts and all places in between. They followed trail riders through rugged terrain, sweated with cowboys at working cattle ranches, witnessed the births of promising young foals, shared in the excitement of dazzling show competition and became part of the horse racing scene-all to bring Paint Horses to life in one comprehensive book about the breed. Dodds and Stoecklein also do an excellent job capturing the bond that exists between Paint owners and their horses.

Jennifer Forsberg Meyer, whose writing appears in many leading equine publications, supplied the text for the book. The underlying themes of the strength, versatility, athleticism, beauty and intelligence of the colorful American Paint Horse surface frequently throughout the eight-chapter book, and those messages are illustrated in dramatic fashion through brilliant photography.

Outstanding images and text begin in chapter one, which traces the earliest depictions of Paint Horses to cave drawings in southern Europe and discusses the role of the Spanish conquistadors in introducing the colorful horse to the Americas. Through words and pictures, the book explores the important role the American Paint Horse played in helping settle the American West.

In following chapters, the book details the unique coat patterns of the horse breed, as well as the solid conformation that typifies the American Paint Horse. Also presented through words and pictures are the early stages of life of many beautiful Paint foals, as well as interesting breeding topics. The book also shows the versatile horse at working ranches across America and concludes with moving photographs and testimonials about the strong bonds that exist between Paint Horses and their owners.

Collectively, the dramatic images and clear text offer a spectacular presentation of the American Paint Horse that has not been available in the past.

The American Paint Horse: A Photographic Portrayal,published by the American Paint Horse Association and Stoecklein Publishing is available at major bookstores around the country and through the APHA General Store.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book, when purchased from APHA, will be used to benefit the APHA Heritage Foundation. That foundation is dedicated to preserving and promoting the colorful history of the American Paint Horse. One of the APHA Heritage Foundation's first goals is to establish a local education center about Paint Horses and a display of historic memorabilia. An art gallery and photography collection of beautiful Paint Horses will also be prominent in the display.