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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Ara-Appaloosa   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Ara-Appaloosa (also known as 'Araloosa') is a breed which was created by crossing Appaloosa horses with Arabian horses. It should not be confused with the Foundation Appaloosa, because even though the two started as the same breed, they were eventually separated into two different breeds.

While the Ara-Appaloosa was created in the 20th century, its story begins in the 19th century, when the U.S. cavalry chased the Nez Perce people in an attempt to capture them. After a long and tiresome chase, the chief of the Nez Perce tribe decided to surrender, because he wanted to spare his people from further suffering. In order to prevent the tribe from escaping again, the U.S. army confiscated and killed most of their Appaloosa horses. In addition, the few Appaloosas that were left were crossed with draft horses, and therefore the Appaloosa breed which was bred by the Nez Perce people almost went extinct.

However, not everyone wanted to see this unique breed disappear, and therefore American breeders who managed to get hold of Appaloosa horses kept breeding them. In 1938, the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) was established, and the Appaloosa was officially recognized as a breed. In order to maintain the original, lean conformation of the Appaloosa breed, the ApHC allowed crossing Appaloosas with Arabian horses. These crosses were the first official generation of Ara-Appaloosa horses.

These Ara-Appaloosa horses were regarded as Appaloosa horses, whose conformation and qualities are similar to those of the Appaloosa horses that were bred by the Nez Perce tribe. Therefore, they were called "Foundation Appaloosas" and were labeled with the letter "F" next to their names. These Ara-Appaloosa horses are listed in the eight first studbooks of the ApHC.

Today, any Appaloosa horse who traces back to these Foundation Appaloosa horses, and who has at least 75% Foundation blood, is considered as a Foundation Appaloosa (see the 'Foundation Appaloosa' for more info). This means that nowadays Foundation Appaloosa horses cannot be crossed with Arabian horses and still be considered as Foundation Appaloosas. Therefore, today's Ara-Appaloosa is not the same as a Foundation Appaloosa, and the two are different breeds.

Ara-Appaloosas must have between 25% to 75% Arabian blood, with the remaining percent being Appaloosa blood. Therefore, in Horse Isle, in order to breed an Ara-Appaloosa, one parent must be an Arabian, and the other must be an Appaloosa. Alternatively, two Ara-Appaloosas can be bred with each other. Crossbreeding an Ara-Appaloosa with an Arabian or an Appaloosa is forbidden though.

When it comes to conformation, Ara-Appaloosa horses have a conformation that is similar to that of an Arabian horse. As such, Ara-Appaloosas usually have a small head with a dished or straight profile, large eyes and nostrils, small ears, an arched and long neck, a short back, and a visible tail carriage. However, similar to many Appaloosa horses, the manes of Ara-Appaloosas are short-to-medium in length, and their tails might be short and thin.

The personality of Ara-Appaloosa horses is also a combination of their foundation breeds. Ara-Appaloosas are less energetic or hot-tempered as their Arabian ancestors, but also more reactive and, some will say, more intelligent than their Appaloosa ancestors.

Ara-Appaloosas are versatile horses who perform in Western and English disciplines but are usually used for endurance riding, a discipline in which they excel.

Ara-Appaloosas come in the colors of chestnut, black, bay, and dark-bay (termed as 'brown' in Horse Isle). In addition, they must carry at least one copy of the leopard gene (Ll or LL), meaning that solid-colored horses are not eligible for registration. Grey horses are automatically ineligible for registration, because the grey gene causes a greying process which eventually hides the leopard markings. Ara-Appaloosa horses stand between 14hh and 16hh.


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