Nez Perce Horses
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About Nez Perce HorsesAbout Nez Perce Horses



Nez Perce Horses are spotted horses bred by the Nez Percerntribe of Idaho. The Nez Perce Horse Registry (NPHR) program began in 1995 inrnLapwai, Idaho and is based on cross-breeding the old-line Appaloosa (Maamin -rnthe Nez Perce word for Appaloosa) horses (the Wallowa herd - "oldrnherd" mares from the Minam line in Wallowa, Oregon) with an ancientrnCentral Asian breed called Akhal-Teke. This program seeks to re-establish thernhorse culture of the Nez Perce, a tradition of selective breeding of Appaloosarnhorses and horsemanship that was destroyed in the 19th century. The breedingrnprogram was financed by the United States Department of Health and HumanrnServices, the Nez Perce tribe and a nonprofit group called the First NationsrnDevelopment Institute, which promotes such businesses.

rnrnThe Nez Perce Horse is "fit to carry the Nez Percernname," according to Rudy Shebala, director of the Tribe's Horse Registryrnand the Nez Perce Young Horsemen program.

rnrnThe Akhal-Teke is an ancient breed that originated inrnTurkmenistan (near Afghanistan). They are known for their superb endurance andrn"metallic" coats. The Akhal-Teke coat colors commonly include duns,rnpalominos, buckskins, and dark bays. A typical Nez Perce Horse is a buckskin orrnpalomino with Appaloosa characteristics - mottled skin with a spotted coat or arnblanket.

rnrnNez Perce Horses’ conformation is longer and leaner than thernQuarter Horses or other stock horses of the Western U.S., with narrowerrnshoulders and hindquarters, a longer back, and a lean runner's appearance. Theyrnexcel at long rides and compete well in endurance races; they're also excellentrnjumpers. Nez Perce Horses are often gaited, with a fast and smooth runningrnwalk.

rnrnThe Nez Perce say that the horse has attitude - they allowrnpeople to ride them! The Nez Perce people are historically known for theirrnselective horse breeding practices, according to NPHR breeders Jon and RosarnYearout; “We strive to follow the lead of our ancestors and carry on theirrnlegacy and traditions."

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