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Big Book of Breeds
Our Massive Real World Equine Reference!


[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Foundation Appaloosa (Foundation Appy)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
Foundation Appaloosa Chestnut Snowcap Coat (left view)
Chestnut Snowcap Coat (left view)
Foundation Appaloosa Red Dun Varnish Coat (normal view)
Red Dun Varnish Coat (normal view)

Foundation Appaloosa Ebony Seal Brown Varnish Coat (front view)
Ebony Seal Brown Varnish Coat (front view)
Foundation Appaloosa Chestnut Varnish Coat (right view)
Chestnut Varnish Coat (right view)

A Foundation Appaloosa (also known as 'Old Appaloosa') is any Appaloosa horse with at least 75% pure Foundation Appaloosa blood.

The Original Appaloosa:
The Appaloosa breed was originally created between the 17th and the 19th centuries by the Nez Perce tribe, who carefully bred their horses to ensure that they are strong, fast, and, above all, have excellent endurance.

In the 19th century, the Nez Perce War erupted, and 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 who traveled fast, without tiring, and the U.S. troops 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.

The original Foundation Appaloosa:
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.

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 as a Foundation Appaloosa.

At risk once again:
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 allowed crossing Appaloosas with Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.

This created the Modern Appaloosa, whose conformation and attributes became more and more similar to that of a Quarter Horse. While the Modern Appaloosa became more and more popular, the Foundation Appaloosa became more and more rare, reaching a risky low point.

The Foundation Appaloosa Today:
In 1998, the Foundation Appaloosa Horse Registry was established, with the aim of preserving, maintaining, and breeding Foundation Appaloosa horses. This registry is still in operation today, and accepts for registration any Appaloosa horse who has at least 75% Foundation blood that can be traced to the Foundation ("F") horses in the eight first studbooks of the ApHC.

Today, Foundation Appaloosas still possess the speed and endurance of their ancestors, as well as their unique and comfortable gait which is called "Indian shuffle" (see below). Therefore, they are primarily used for endurance riding and trail riding.

A unique gait: the Indian shuffle
One of the greatest differences between Foundation Appaloosas and Modern Appaloosas is that Foundation Appaloosas are often gaited, a trait which gave them the nickname "gaited Appaloosa" and "Shuffler Appaloosa".

Their unique gait is called "Indian shuffle" (also called "Appaloosa shuffle"). It is a smooth, 4-beat gait where two legs of one side move together forward, but the hind leg hits the ground a few seconds before the front leg hits the ground. Then, the two legs on the other side move together forward, but the hind leg hits the ground a few seconds before the front leg hits the ground.

Conformation:
The Foundation Appaloosa looks vastly different from the 'regular', mostly 'modern', Appaloosa. Being built for distance-riding rather than for great sprinting or Quarter-horse-level agility, the Foundation Appaloosa is leaner and lighter than the Modern Appaloosa who is as muscular as the Quarter Horse.

The profile of the Foundation Appaloosas is often convex, unlike the straight-to-concave profile of the Modern Appaloosa. The legs of the Foundation Appaloosas are longer, a trait which gives them an athletic appearance. Last, the manes and tails of Foundation Appaloosa horses are thinner and, in most cases, shorter, then those of Modern Appaloosas.

Performance metrics:
The following are the: range, average, (SD), and MOE of performance metrics of ordered Foundation 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: 15.5-17.2, 16.4 (0.4), 0.07.
Sprint: 49-60, 54 (2), 0.48.

Accel: 0.85-1.01, 0.92 (0.03), 0.01.
Decel: 0.81-0.96, 0.89 (0.03), 0.01.

Jump: 4.97-5.26, 5.12 (0.05), 0.01.
Pull: 1.76-2.49, 2.14 (0.16), 0.03.

Turning: 43.94-55.86, 49.61 (2.78), 0.55.
Reverse: 2.2-2.7, 2.5 (0.1), 0.03.

Stamina: 44.73-51.00, 47.70 (1.31), 0.26.
Reaction: 0.76-0.87, 0.82 (0.02), 0.00.

Coats & Height:
Colors: usually bay, brown, black, or chestnut. Less often, dun, and, more rarely, cream-dilutes.

Additionals: flaxen, linebacked, rabicano, roan, sooty. The coat is usually spotted*.
*: some spotted Appaloosas are heterozygous for the leopard (L) allele. Crossing two such horses has a 25% chance to yield a solid (non-spotted) foal. Such foals are still eligible for registration as Foundation Appaloosas, but they will receive a hefty penalty.

Markings: Foundation Appaloosas with stockings or too thick blazes are not accepted for registration. In Horse Isle, however, because markings are trickier to monitor, then foals who are born with such markings will receive a hefty penalty but won't necessarily be excluded from registration.

Height: 14hh to 16.1hh
Foundation Appaloosa Ebony Seal Brown Varnish Coat
Ebony Seal Brown Varnish Coat
Foundation Appaloosa Black Chestnut Varnish Coat
Black Chestnut Varnish Coat
Foundation Appaloosa Black Chestnut Blanket Coat
Black Chestnut Blanket Coat
Foundation Appaloosa Red Chocolate Chestnut Varnish Coat
Red Chocolate Chestnut Varnish Coat
Foundation Appaloosa Chestnut Snowcap Coat
Chestnut Snowcap Coat
Foundation Appaloosa Chestnut Varnish Coat
Chestnut Varnish Coat
Foundation Appaloosa Blonde Palomino Leopard Coat
Blonde Palomino Leopard Coat


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