Appaloosa Horses
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About Appaloosa HorsesAbout Appaloosa Horses



Appaloosa horses are known for their colorful leopard-spotted coat pattern. There is a wide range of body types within the breed, stemming from the influence of multiple breeds of horses throughout its history. Each horse's color pattern is genetically the result of various spotting patterns overlaid on top of one of several recognized base coat colors.

The Nez Perce people of Pacific Northwest developed the Appaloosa breed.  Appaloosas were once referred to by settlers as the "Palouse horse", possibly after the Palouse River, which ran through the heart of Nez Perce country. Gradually, the name evolved into "Appaloosa".

The Nez Perce lost most of their horses after theNez Perce Warin 1877, and the breed fell into decline for several decades. A small number of dedicated breeders preserved the Appaloosa as a distinct breed until the Appaloosa Horse Club(ApHC) was formed as thebreed registryin 1938. The modern breed maintains bloodlines tracing to thefoundation bloodstockof the registry; its partially-open stud book allows the addition of some thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian blood.

Although Appaloosas are most commonly recognized by their colorful coat patterns, they also have other distinctive characteristics. The four identifiable characteristics are: coat pattern, mottled skin, white sclera, and striped hooves. 

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