Appaloosa Horse

The Appaloosa is a horse breed originated in the United States, and the original American breed was developed by the Nez Perce. The Appaloosa was known by settlers as the Palouse Horse, perhaps after the Palouse River which ran through Nez Perce territory, and the name evolved gradually into Appaloosa.

The Appaloosa horse is a breed recognized for the colorful spotted patterns on its coat. It varies from the leopard coat, a spotted Dalmatian-like pattern, to a few-spot leopard coat or a ‘blanket,’ a ‘snowcap’ of spots. Most representatives have mottled skin and striped hooves, and when the eye is in normal vision the sclera, or the white of the eye, is visible.

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Left-right: Blanket, or snowcap; leopard horse pattern

The Appaloosa horse is currently one of the most popular horse breeds in the United States. In 1975 it was named the official state horse of Idaho, and the Appaloosa has been in many movies and is the mascot of the Florida State Seminoles. The bloodlines of the Appaloosa have influenced other horse breeds, among them the Pony of the Americas and the Nez Perce Horse. The Appaloosa is used chiefly in western riding disciplines, but it is a versatile breed which has adapted to other kinds of equestrian activity. The registry of the modern breed allows the addition of some American Quarter-horse, Thoroughbred, and Arabian horse blood.

The weight of the Appaloosa horse ranges from 950 to 1,250 pounds, and the original breed of Appaloosa was a tall and narrow-bodied horse and rangy horse. According to the ApHC (Appaloosa Horse Club), the Appaloosa is favored to be a reliable family horse and has an easy-going disposition.

7 comments on “Appaloosa Horse

  1. Orvillewrong says:

    An interesting and informative post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. anne leueen says:

    Very interesting. Do you know how the Nez Perce developed this horse? Since most of the North American horses came from horses brought by the “invaders” from Europe could the Appy have some Knabstrupper ( spelling?) in its ancestry?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cayenne says:

      I think the Nez Perce crossbred some horse breeds and got the Appaloosa breed. The Appaloosa breed has the blood of a lot of other horses, including the Knabstrupper.


  3. Great! I’ve bred four generations, starting with my original Appaloosa mare. Appaloosas are known for good strong hooves, tough rugged ride-all-day endurance, and they can be nearly impervious to pain. Years ago, my Appy mare had a small stick of sagebrush stuck up her hoof, resulting in a heel abscess — but NO LAMENESS! I soaked the hoof every day, for a month, with no improvements. But I still rode, even cantered, out on trail, and she never took a bad step. When I finally went in with a hoof knife to investigate if anything had gotten in there, out came the 1 1/2 inch stick! The hoof healed, and the horse went on healthy and sound, for many more years :))

    Unfortunately some of the negative traits I’ve observed in Appaloosas are: skin sensitivities, eye and vision problems (including night blindness from birth, moon blindness and overall bad vision), and a very stubborn nature. Of note, they also can require more drugs to knock them out for veterinary procedures.

    Interestingly, diluting the Appy blood with Arab and Shire, in our case, improved certain individuals, but not others (the vision/skin problems persisted in some). Best to you, Cayenne, hope you are enjoying your summer :)) Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

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