What is black, white, and spotted all over? Why that is the Appaloosa horse. They are beautiful breed, with a solid temperament, and a long history.
Galloping across the western plains, they were the perfect Native American steed. Now they make the perfect all around horse. No matter what style of riding you participate in, there is an Appaloosa for everyone.
Come along as we learn some amazing facts about Appaloosa Horses! They will sure capture your heart. We know they have captured ours.
1. Treasure Of The Nez Perce Tribe
Appaloosa horses were the treasure of the Nez Perce tribe. These horses were often described as the heart and soul of their culture.
They were treated with respect and were valued companions. These horses were not only treasured companions, but also war horses. Appaloosas are horses of endurance, that can travel long distances with speed and stealth. When going into battle they were brave and follow the lead of their owner.
The Nez Perce tribe loved these horses, and they helped them in many ways…including helping them sustain food for the tribe. On the backs of Appaloosas they could easily catch enough buffalo to provide food for the winter.
2. Not All Appaloosas have Spots
I know this one is shocking, but not all Appaloosas have spots. Many Appaloosas have a solid coat. These solid Appaloosas are still allowed to be a part of the breed registration, and even though they are solid can produce horses of color.
Just as the American Paint Horses have a solid variety so does the Appaloosa. Appaloosas are not judged solely on their color, but on many characteristics that make the breed complete and well-rounded.
3. Spots, Dots, and Leopards
If you are a fan of loud color, this just might be the breed for you. Appaloosas come in a wide range of coat colors, and many of them have some of the most spectacular coats you have every seen.
Leopard Appaloosas have a solid white body with striking colored spots! It is an amazing sight to behold and something that strikes the heart of colored horse lovers.
These horses have a unique, almost wild and majestic appearance. Leopard Appaloosa bring to mind the wild native American horse.
4. Striped Hooves
Most Appaloosas will have striped hooves. This is a unique characteristic to the breed, and it is sure something to behold. Instead of being a solid color they will have variegated striping.
Much like their beautiful colored coats, their hooves give off the same majestic appearance! This is something the Appaloosa lover will treasure.
5. State Horse Of Idaho
Appaloosas originated from the state of Idaho, and in fact are considered the state’s horse. In some circles the Appaloosa horse is thought of the mascot for the state of Idaho.
While Appaloosa originated from Idaho, they are now fan favorites around the country and world! There are Appaloosa Club members in every state and many countries around the world! This is sure a tell-tale sign of the special characteristics of the breed.
It is safe to say that the Appaloosa will always be an Idaho state treasure and a very memorable piece of their history. We are so glad to get the opportunity to enjoy these horses today!
6. A Horse of A Different Color- Pigmented Skin
Not only is the coat of the Appaloosa colored, but their skin is pigmented as well! According to the Appaloosa Horse Club many Appaloosas have mottled or parti color skin! These are true horses of color, which contributes to their allure and overall beauty.
This mottled skin can often be seen on their muzzle. This enhances there spots and gives them a truly spectacular appearance.
7. Versatility Champions
One trick pony? No way! The Appaloosa horse is a true versatility champion! They do fit a single mold, and can truly be great in both English and Western disciplines. This goes back to their days as Native American horse. They had to be able to rise to the challenge of both war horse and treasure companion.
It is safe to say that you may see Appaloosa in the Western Pleasure ring. They are often excellent western pleasure prospects. They can have a beautiful jog, lope, and low head carriage. By the same token, they can be seen jumping a course or performing a Dressage test.
The sky is the limit for Appaloosas and their owners!
8. Palouse River
Appaloosa were named after the region and river in which they originated. The Palouse river is located in Idaho, and is where the breed got its name.
It is a river that joins that area of Western Idaho and Washington State! It is said that this was the perfect place to raise horses!
If you visit Idaho, be sure to stop by the Palouse River and see where this unique breed got its start.
9. Appaloosa Horse Club
The Appaloosa Horse Club was founded in 1938. It has now grown to be the third largest horse breed registry! As they say, the proof is in the pudding, the Appaloosa horse is worth its weight in gold and this can be proven by its growth.
The Appaloosa Horse Club provides many events, club meetings, and shows for its patrons.
10. 6 Common Coat Patterns
Wow! Did you know that the Appaloosa has 6 common coat patterns? This a wonderful trait of the Appaloosa and allows for much variety in the breed. As the saying goes, there truly is an Appaloosa for everyone. Let’s learn some more about their varieties and part of what makes this breed so special!
- Solid Blanket– Just as the name describes. These horses a have solid what “blanket” over their hindquarters. This type of blanket does not include spots.
- Spotted Blanket– Much like their solid blanket counterparts, this covers the same area over the ind quarters, but is spotted. This a very beautiful pattern beloved by many.
- Roan– Many Appaloosas display a beautiful roaning. A roan pattern is best described as diffused spots that mix in with their actual coat color. This is a mixture of light and dark hairs.
- Roan Blanket– The roan blanket is displayed when the horse has the over all roan pattern, but also has a blanket. This horse has a mix of light and dark hairs, with a beautiful blanket to boot.
- Spotted Roan Blanket– A spotted roan blanket is a horse that has the roan pattern, a mix of light and dark hairs, with a spotted blanket. Wow this is a real stunner!
- Solid Appaloosa-The solid Appaloosa has one solid coat color. This coat can be in any of the standard colors for the breed.
11. Famous Admirers- Meriwether Lewis
Did you know that the Appaloosa horse is famous? That is right! According to the Appaloosa Museum Meriwether Lewis spotted these horses when gazing upon the Nez Perce tribe.
In fact, he stated the horses were of superb quality, and would fetch a good price no matter the area. As you can imagine, the Appaloosa horse was the pride and joy of the Nez Perce tribe, and they took much care in raising and breeding them.
I believe this is a direct testament to their longevity and development as a breed.
12. Top Horse Breeders
The Nez Perce tribe were known to be top horse breeders. In fact, they were the best in their area. This often help them win battles. Appaloosa were truly bred by a people who placed high value on their quality.
According to the Appaloosa Museum they would use selective breeding by gelding stallions who were not of high quality. This would allow them to produce top quality horses.
As such, these horses have not only survived but thrived and have grown into the breed they are today!
13. Not the Flighty Kind
A spook around every bend? Not with the Appaloosa horse. These horses had to be able to deal with high-stress situations. As a favorite of the Nez Perce tribe these horses had to be prepared to go into any situation, this included battle. These horses have a solid mind, are active strong, independent, and loyal.
The Appaloosa horse is up to a wide variety of tasks, and has an independent streak to allow them to get the job done.
14. Wide Eyed and Bushy Tailed- White Scelara
If you look an Appaloosa in the eye, you might be surprised. Appaloosa have a very different eye from many other horse breeds. The area around their eyes is white. This is called a white scelara.
This white around their eye can give the Appaloosa a unique expression. Humans also have white around their eyes, so this can give the Appaloosa a horse a very human like expression.
15. Health Concerns- Equine Recurrent Uveitis
It is not all glamorous. Unfortunately, Appaloosas are at a much higher risk of developing blindness than other horses. This is due to a condition called Equine Recurrent Uveitis.
This affects the center portion of the horse’s eye. This is a condition that inflames the eye tissue. As such, they can be given anti inflammatories which will help slow down the condition.
There is no long term treatment if the horse is affected by Equine Recurrent Uveitis
The Appaloosa horse ranges in size from 14 to 16 hands. It has a very solid body type, but this can vary greatly by the horse’s individual breeding.
In modern days, Appaloosas have been frequently crossed with Quarter Horse. This has influenced their confirmation to more the traditional stock horse type. This can often be seen in the show ring.
17. Appaloosa Hall Of Fame
The Appaloosa horse has a long history, and there are many famous horses that paved the way. According to the Appaloosa Horse Club, one of the first was that of Apache.
Apache was born in 1942 and known for his excellent temperament and ability to be a true performance and all around horse. While he could do excellent at the horse shows, he could also be an excellent kids horse.
The temperament displayed in Apache is truly something that makes the Appaloosa breed unique.
18. Arabian, Thoroughbred, and Quarter Horse…. Oh MY!
In order to preserve the breed a select variety of Arabians, Thoroughbreds, and Quarter Horses have been allowed to be bred with the Appaloosa.
This preserves the breed, and brings in some good qualities as determined by select breeders. This has been included in very limited to amounts, in order to keep the breed in line with its original origins.
Appaloosas truly are amazing horses! At Natural Equestrians, we love all horses and breeds. In fact, I have never met a horse I didn’t like. That being said, there is truly something special about the Appaloosa horse!
We truly hope you have enjoyed this article on facts about Appaloosa horses. The Appaloosa has so many unique qualities that have truly made them into the breed they are today. There is nothing left to be said, but to pay tribute to the Amazing Appaloosa!
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