Appaloosa horse. Main article: Appaloosa Horse

  • Country: United States

Apalusa or Appaloosa is a breed of horse raised according to the rules of an association founded in Idaho (United States) in 1938, Appaloosa Horse Club. This association wanted to preserve the Nez Perce tribe horses almost extinct.

An important aspect in today’s Appaloosa is that of their fur called “pecoso” or “appaloosa” (in lowercase). There are other breeds of horses with this “appaloosa” coat. In some cases as an exclusive color and in others as occasional or frequent fur along with other colors.

The AraAppaloosa is the breed that resulted from the crossing of the Arab horse with the Appaloosa horse.

De Darrell Dodds (license held by Appaloosas) – Transferred from [1]: 2006-10-18 04:24 . . Appaloosas, CC BY-SA 3.0, curid=1719611


This horse differs by its speckled fur of various colors and combinations. Males usually have brighter spots and colors than females:

  • Leopard: oval spots throughout the layer, with a white or light color background.
  • Spotted loin: with the rump and kidneys of light color, with dark spots (it is thought to be the original branch).
  • Light back and dark mane, light rump and kidneys on a dark background.
  • Snowflake: dark base and white spots throughout the body.
  • Drop: dark spots on a white background all over the body.
  • Marbled: dark front with white and other colored spots and light back with dark spots.

Great stallions such as “doodle”, “Caribbean”, etc. among many others.


The color phenomenon that distinguishes the appaloosa horse is found in the genetic basis of primitive horses. It appears, for example, reflected in cave paintings dating back more than 20,000 years, such as those of Peche-MerleFrance.

In ancient Persia there was great appreciation for these speckled horses and considered them as the sacred horses of Nicaea.

In China these horses were used from 100 a. C. for war, thus displacing the small Central Asian horse. From the seventh century they are found in art articles, thus recognizing the taste that the Chinese had for these horses.

In Europe, speckled horses appear throughout history, abounding more among Spanish and Lippizano horses.

In America it was common to see the dotted color among the Spanish horses of the conquistadors of the sixteenth century, so it can be assumed that the origin of the appaloosa horse is none other than the Spanish horse of a certain layer, which began to be selected probably by the Nez Perce Indians who lived in the northwest region of what is now the United States, in the current states of Washington and Oregon.

It was the Nez Perce who saw in this horse the prototype of animal they were looking for for their hunting and war activities, in particular for its color, nobility, versatility and strength of structure. It was more than 200 years of a careful practice of selecting horses, using for reproduction only the best representatives of the ideal breed they wanted. Thus, they genetically fixed the elements that distinguish appaloosa today. The name of the appaloosa race comes from the Palouse River, which crossed the region inhabited by the Nez Perce. When they saw a speckled horse they said that “it was a Palousse river horse” (a palousse river horse) and from there it was in appaloosa.

Today it is more precisely accepted that the origin of the appaloosa horse is in the area formed by the Palouse, Snake and Clearwater rivers all in northern Idaho-USA, and that it corresponds to the Nez Perce National Forest.

Modern Appaloosa

This breed of horses became “modern” from the formation of the Appaloosa Horse Club in 1938. Since that year, a breed improvement program was established through crosses with quarter-mile horses, thoroughbred and Arabic.

Today it is the breed that enjoys third place in the world in popularity, with more than 600 horses registered in the Appaloosa Horse Club.

The appaloosa horse is colorful, noble, intelligent and versatile.


  1. There are six different types of layers:
    1. Leopard: oval spots throughout the layer, with a white or light background.
    1. Spotted spine: with light-colored rump and kidneys, with dark spots (it is thought to be the original branch)
    1. Light spine and dark mane: light rump and kidneys on a dark background.
    1. Snowflake: dark base and white spots throughout the body.
    1. Drop: dark spots on a white background all over the body.
    1. Marled: dark front with white and other colored spots and light back with dark spots.
  2. Generally, males have brighter spots and colors than females.
  3. Mid-length collar and well-seated.
  4. Rounded and muscular group.
  5. Thin and boney tips, but resistant.
  6. Slightly thick tail and mane.
  7. They are work and used in the chareria

Appaloosa horses have three other distinctive characteristics:

  • Speckled skin: unique characteristic of this horse. Appaloosa skin has dark areas interspersed in pink skin and results in freckled skin, and that is the most important indicator for the recognition of this breed. In addition to the muzzle and around the eyes, it is also located in the genital area. Many breeds have unpigmented pink skin spots, which should not be confused with the speckled skin of the appaloosa.
  • Eye sclera: Sclera is the layer of hard, white, fibrous connective tissue that covers most of the eye.1 The white part of the human eye is an example. All horses have sclera, but that of the appaloosa is white and usually much more visible than in other breeds. All horses show white around the eye if they are turned up or down or if the eyelid is lifted. The white sclera is visible at all times on the Appaloosa horse and is one of the distinctive characteristics. Appaloosa is not necessarily characteristic if the star on the horse’s face surrounds the eyes.
  • Striped helmets: many Appaloosa have well-defined light and dark vertical stripes on the helmet. Care must be taken to distinguish that these white stripes do not originate from an injury to the crown or a white sock on the animal’s leg. If there is doubt about this characteristic, it must be confirmed that the animal has the other Appaloosa characteristics.

At this time it can be considered the fastest breed of horses.

In popular culture

Several composers and musicians have songs inspired by this breed of horses, including Canadian rock singer and composer Gino Vannelli and the American rock band The Black Crowes, with songs that have the same title: “Appaloosa”.

See also


  1. ↑ “Structure of the Eye Globe”. Accessed on May 23, 2010.
  2. Appaloosa Horse Club. Appaloosa Horse Club Stud Book Volume 1. Moscow, Idaho: Appaloosa Horse Club. OCLC 9494129.
  3. Appaloosa Horse Club. Appaloosa Horse Club Stud Book Volume 2 & 3. Moscow, Idaho: Appaloosa Horse Club. OCLC 9494129.
  4. Bennett, Deb (1998). Conquerors: The Roots of New World Horsemanship (1st ed.). Solvang, California: Amigo Publications. ISBN 0-9658533-0-6.
  5. Ciarloni, Diane (January 2011). “Shaping Stock Horses”. Western Horseman: 76–84.
  6. Crowell, Pers (1951). Cavalcade of American Horses. New York: McGraw-Hill. OCLC 1428574.
  7. Dutson, Judith (2005). Storey’s Illustrated Guide to 96 Horse Breeds of North America. North Adams, Massachusetts: Storey Publishing. ISBN 1-58017-612-7.
  8. Evans, J. Warren (2000). Horses: A Guide to Selection, Care and Enjoyment. New York: W. H. Freeman. p. 132. ISBN 0-7167-4255-1.
  9. Haines, Francis (1975) [1946]. Appaloosa: The Spotted Horse in Art and History. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-912830-21-2.
  10. Harris, Freddie S. (1973). Horse Breeds of the West. Houston, Texas: Cordovan Corp. OCLC 1583675.
  11. Holmes, Frank (2003). Spotted Pride. Abilene, Kansas: Loft Enterprises.ISBN 0-9714998-3-7.
  12. Malone, Michael P. ; Roeder, Richard B. and Lang, William L. (1991). Montana: A History of Two Centuries. Seattle, Washington: University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-97129-0.
  13. Moulton, Gary E., ed (2003). The Lewis and Clark Journals. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-8039-4.
  14. Richardson, Bill and Richardson, Dona (1968). The Appaloosa. New York: A. S. Barnes. ISBN 0-498-06787-4.
  15. Sponenberg, Dan Phillip (2003). Equine Color Genetics (Second ed.). Ames, Iowa: Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 0-8138-0759-X. id=ihTMGxdBXb8C&pg=PA94&dq=Appaloosa+varnish+roan#v=onepage&q=Appaloosa%20varnish%20roan&f=false.
  16. Stanger, Edith M. (1997). Fifty Years of Appaloosa History. (No location listed): Double Arrow Appaloosas. ISBN 0-9661160-4-6.
  17. West, Elliott (Autumn 2010). “The Nez Perce and Their Trials: Rethinking America’s Indian Wars”. Montana: the Magazine of Western History 60 (3): 3–18.
  18. Wilson, Staci Layne (2007). Animal Movies Guide. (No location listed): Running Free Press. ISBN 978-0-9675185-3-4 id=dGYzZLrBrS4C&pg=PA161&dq=animal+movies+guide+appaloosa.

External links

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