Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Appaloosa (Appy)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
Appaloosa Dunalino Leopard Coat (left view)
Dunalino Leopard Coat (left view)
Appaloosa Red Chestnut Varnish Coat (normal view)
Red Chestnut Varnish Coat (normal view)

Appaloosa Dun Varnish Coat (front view)
Dun Varnish Coat (front view)
Appaloosa Linebacked Buckskin Varnish Coat (right view)
Linebacked Buckskin Varnish Coat (right view)

The Appaloosa is an American horse breed known for its characteristic spotted coat. It is named after the Palouse River which flows in Washington, in the area where the Appaloosa was originally developed.

Origins:
Spotted horses had existed since prehistoric times in Europe and Asia, and were bred in various countries throughout history, one of them was Spain.

Spanish spotted horses were brought to the Americas by Spanish conquistadors and settlers during the 16th and 17th centuries. Some of those horses escaped to the wild while others were traded to Native American tribes, the most notable of which was the Nez Perce tribe. The Spanish spotted horses obtained by the Nez Perce are the ancestors of the Appaloosa breed.

[The above is the consensus. Some claim that the ancestors of the Appaloosa are spotted horses who roamed North America after the flooding of the Bering Bridge, but this claim lacks archeological evidence.]

The Nez Perce and the Appaloosa:
The Nez Perce people had a natural talent for breeding horses with specific qualities. They were the first Native Americans to geld stallions who were weak, slow, had flawed conformation, or had an insufficiently spotted coat.

Their careful breeding practices improved their stock over time and shaped their spotted horses into a unique breed: the Appaloosa.

A tragic end:
In the 19th century, during the Nez Perce War, the U.S. cavalry chased the Nez Perce people in an attempt to capture them. The Nez Perce escaped on the backs of their Appaloosas which they bred for strength, speed, and endurance. Their Appaloosas traveled fast, without tiring, and the U.S. cavalry never managed to capture them.

Eventually, the tribe's chief, Chief Joseph, decided to surrender in order to spare his people further suffering, thus ending the war. In order to prevent the tribe from escaping again, the U.S. army confiscated and killed most of their Appaloosa horses, and the breed almost went extinct.

Saving the spotted breed:
Luckily, some American breeders who managed to get hold of Appaloosa horses kept breeding them, ensuring the survival of this unique, colorful breed. In 1938, the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) was established, and the Appaloosa breed was officially recognized.

The Foundation Appaloosa:
In order to maintain the original, lean conformation of the Appaloosa, the ApHC allowed crossing Appaloosas with Arabians. The offspring, which were labeled with the letter "F" next to their names, are listed in the eight first studbooks of the ApHC, and are now known as "Foundation Appaloosas".

Today, any Appaloosa who traces back to those Foundation lines and who has at least 75% Foundation blood is considered a Foundation Appaloosa (see 'Foundation Appaloosa').

The Modern Appaloosa:
Foundation Appaloosas were good riding horses, but they weren't suited for the racing demands at the time nor for the demands of Western disciplines. In order to improve their performance, the ApHC decided to allow crossing them with Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, the latter being a popular cross.

This created a new Appaloosa subtype: the Modern Appaloosa, whose conformation was similar to that of the Quarter Horse (see the 'Modern Appaloosa'). Most Appaloosa horses today are Modern Appaloosas.

The Appaloosa Today:
Today, the Appaloosa is a massively popular breed, especially in the USA. It is commonly used in Western riding, from recreational riding to competitive disciplines.

In addition, the term 'appaloosa' also got popularized, used loosely to describe any horse with a spotted coat. That said, not every 'appaloosa' spotted horse is a true, 'American' Appaloosa.

Coat pattern and the Non-Characteristic Appaloosa:
The hallmark of the Appaloosa is its spotted coat which comes in six patterns: leopard, snowflake, frost ('roan blanket'), varnish roan ('marble'), spotted blanket, and white blanket ('snowcap'). They also have mottled skin around their eyes and muzzle, as well as striped hooves.

Some Appaloosas are born with solid (non-spotted) coats. Such individuals are eligible for registration as Non-Characteristic Appaloosas, but not as Regular Appaloosas (see 'Non-Characteristic Appaloosa').

A gaited breed?
Some of the original 'Nez Perce' Appaloosas had a unique ambling gait called 'Indian Shuffle'. While Modern Appaloosas lost that gait, some Foundation Appaloosas still exhibit it.

Breeding:
Appaloosas, except for Foundation ones, can be crossed with Quarter Horses, Arabians, and Thoroughbreds (see 'Modern Appaloosa').

Conformation:
Appaloosas can vary in their conformation as it comes down to the amount of Quarter vs. Thoroughbred vs. Arabian vs. authentic Appaloosa influence in their blood.

That said, they usually have a light head with a straight profile, large eyes, and upright, medium ears. The neck has a clear throat latch and connects to prominent withers. The back is short and connects to muscular hindquarters. The chest is broad and the body is muscular, its underline is longer than the back.

The hair of the mane and tail is either straight or wavy, and the mane is short or medium in length.

Performance metrics:
The following are the: range, average, (SD), and MOE of performance metrics of ordered Appaloosas in Horse Isle (not bred ones). In rare cases, horses might have metrics outside of the range. Breeders can produce horses that are beyond this range.

Speed: 15.3-17.1, 16.1 (0.4), 0.07.
Sprint: 69-85, 77 (4), 0.83.

Accel: 1.11-1.36, 1.26 (0.05), 0.01.
Decel: 1.00-1.20, 1.09 (0.04), 0.01.

Jump: 5.03-5.34, 5.18 (0.06), 0.01.
Pull: 2.22-3.17, 2.64 (0.2), 0.04.

Turning: 63.66-79.18, 71.61 (3.46), 0.68.
Reverse: 2.9-3.5, 3.2 (0.1), 0.03.

Stamina: 49.78-56.55, 52.83 (1.41), 0.28.
Reaction: 0.80-0.89, 0.84 (0.02), 0.00.

Coats & Height:
Colors: all colors except for dominant-white and mushroom*.
* mushroom can be bred into this breed.

Additionals: all modifications except for mealy. The coat is always 'appaloosa' spotted. Pinto is not allowed.

Height: 14hh to 16.1hh.
Appaloosa Sooty Ebony Black Snowflake Coat
Sooty Ebony Black Snowflake Coat
Appaloosa Ebony Black Snowcap Coat
Ebony Black Snowcap Coat
Appaloosa Seal Brown Blanket Coat
Seal Brown Blanket Coat
Appaloosa Seal Brown Leopard Coat
Seal Brown Leopard Coat
Appaloosa Burgundy Seal Brown Varnish Coat
Burgundy Seal Brown Varnish Coat
Appaloosa Sooty Brown Blanket Coat
Sooty Brown Blanket Coat
Appaloosa Brown Few Spot Leopard Coat
Brown Few Spot Leopard Coat
Appaloosa Linebacked Blood Bay Leopard Coat
Linebacked Blood Bay Leopard Coat
Appaloosa Bright Bay Snowcap Coat
Bright Bay Snowcap Coat
Appaloosa Linebacked Bright Wild Bay Blanket Coat
Linebacked Bright Wild Bay Blanket Coat
Appaloosa Sooty Linebacked Bright Wild Bay Blanket Coat
Sooty Linebacked Bright Wild Bay Blanket Coat
Appaloosa Golden Wild Bay Snowflake Coat
Golden Wild Bay Snowflake Coat
Appaloosa Mahogany Bay Few Spot Leopard Coat
Mahogany Bay Few Spot Leopard Coat
Appaloosa Red Wild Bay Few Spot Leopard Coat
Red Wild Bay Few Spot Leopard Coat
Appaloosa Chocolate Chestnut Snowflake Coat
Chocolate Chestnut Snowflake Coat
Appaloosa Linebacked Liver Chestnut Varnish Coat
Linebacked Liver Chestnut Varnish Coat
Appaloosa Red Chestnut Blanket Coat
Red Chestnut Blanket Coat
Appaloosa Red Chocolate Chestnut Few Spot Leopard Coat
Red Chocolate Chestnut Few Spot Leopard Coat
Appaloosa Bright Chestnut Leopard Coat
Bright Chestnut Leopard Coat
Appaloosa Smoky Black Blanket Coat
Smoky Black Blanket Coat
Appaloosa Linebacked Buckskin Snowflake Coat
Linebacked Buckskin Snowflake Coat
Appaloosa Linebacked Buckskin Blanket Coat
Linebacked Buckskin Blanket Coat
Appaloosa Buckskin Snowcap Coat
Buckskin Snowcap Coat
Appaloosa Linebacked Buckskin Varnish Coat
Linebacked Buckskin Varnish Coat
Appaloosa Linebacked Bright Palomino Few Spot Leopard Coat
Linebacked Bright Palomino Few Spot Leopard Coat
Appaloosa Bright Golden Roan Blanket Coat
Bright Golden Roan Blanket Coat
Appaloosa Grulla Silver Snowflake Coat
Grulla Silver Snowflake Coat
Appaloosa Dun Leopard Coat
Dun Leopard Coat
Appaloosa Dun Roan Blanket Coat
Dun Roan Blanket Coat
Appaloosa Dun Varnish Coat
Dun Varnish Coat
Appaloosa Dunskin Snowflake Coat
Dunskin Snowflake Coat
Appaloosa Dunalino Leopard Coat
Dunalino Leopard Coat
Appaloosa Blue Silver Roan Snowcap Coat
Blue Silver Roan Snowcap Coat
Appaloosa Ebony Blue Silver Leopard Coat
Ebony Blue Silver Leopard Coat
Appaloosa Amber Champagne Snowflake Coat
Amber Champagne Snowflake Coat
Appaloosa Amber Cream Pearl Blanket Coat
Amber Cream Pearl Blanket Coat
Appaloosa Chocolate Brown Varnish Coat
Chocolate Brown Varnish Coat


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