Meet the Appaloosa:
Spotted horses have been depicted by prehistoric man on cave wall paintings found throughout the ancient world. In North America, the Nez Perce tribe preserved the unique coat pattern of their horses, descendants of Spanish bred horses, while developing a sturdy and tractable breed. The Appaloosa with its romantic (and somewhat sad) history has captured the hearts of many modern horse lovers. It’s this love of the horse and its lore that first inspired breeders to preserve this distinctive breed.
Color and Markings:
- Blanket Pattern-the haunches are all white or are speckled with white or dark spots.
- Leopard Pattern-the body is mainly white, with dark leopard spots.
- Snowflake-the body is dark with white flecks, especially over the haunches.
- Marbleized-white and dark hairs mingle to create a mottled appearance.
- Frost-white hairs create flecks throughout a dark coat color.
Solid colored Appaloosa horses may be 'appendix registered' since they many carry the gene for a coat pattern, but not exhibit that pattern themselves. The manes and tails of most Appaloosas is very sparse and the sclera around the eye is white, areas thinly haired skin such as the muzzle are mottled and the hooves are often striped, white and dark.
History and Origins:
During the Depression years, interest in the breed revived and the few surviving horses were used to create the foundation of the breed. The Appaloosa Horse club was created in 1938. Since then, the Appaloosa Horse has become the third largest breed registry in the world.
Appaloosa Champions and Celebrities:
One of the more notable foundation stallions is Red Eagle. Red Eagle was actually part Arabian, as it was common to breed to other light horse breeds in an effort to recover the Appaloosa breed. Red Eagle is found in many Appaloosa pedigrees today.
Sundance F500 was a leopard spotted Appaloosa stallion foaled in 1933. His descendants continue to exhibit this beautiful coat pattern. Sundance's pedigree contains horses of Thoroughbred and Mustang breeding.
Knobby is the antecedent of the Toby line of Appaloosas and recognized as a foundation sire. The breeder's herd was not affected by the Government confiscation so was an important contributor of foundation stock for the breed.