Spotted horses have appeared throughout history, but it was in the USA’s Pacific Northwest region where those spotted horses became the distinctive Appaloosa breed. The Nez Perce Native American tribe was the first to selectively breed the Appaloosa horse, choosing horses with strength, endurance, speed and intelligence.
The Appaloosa should be balanced, smooth and symmetrical. The head, neck, forequarters, barrel and hindquarters should be in proportion to blend smoothly together for overall balance and grace.
Short and wide with a narrow muzzle, thin walled nostrils combined with wide jowls. Sound lips and teeth, which mesh firmly together. Ears are medium size, alert and should be widely set apart on a wide forehead. Eyes are set wide apart adding distinctiveness to head appearance and reflecting intelligence. The jowls well defined. The head should join the neck at an angle of 45 degrees.
Good length of rein with clean cut throat latch. The neck blends into sloping shoulders and must be in proportion to the head and body
Well developed, muscular and symmetrical and to be at a 45 degree angle. The slope of the shoulder should blend into the withers.
Withers should be of prominent height, well defined and set back from the shoulder.
Chest is deep with definite muscle giving the inverted V section a strong definition. Forearm is well muscled, long, wide and tapering to a flat knee.
Viewed in front, a perpendicular line from the point of the shoulder should fall upon the centre of the knee, cannon, pastern and foot; from the side, a perpendicular line from the centre of the elbow joint should fall upon the centre of the knee and pastern joints and back of foot. Pasterns should be on a 45 degree angle.
Barrel is short and the loin is strong and well coupled. Underline is long and tapers to the flank and the girth should be deep with well sprung ribs.
Viewed from behind, a perpendicular line from the hindquarter should fall upon the centre of the hock, cannon, pastern and foot; from the side, a perpendicular line from the hip joint, should fall upon the centre of the foot and divide the gaskin in the middle and a perpendicular line from the point of the quarter should run parallel with the line of the cannon.
Weight & Height:
Weight usually ranges from 430 to 566 kilograms (950 to 1250 pounds). Height from 14 to over 16 hands, the minimum height for a mature Appaloosa (4 years & older) is 14 hands measured unshod at the wither. There is no maximum height however, height and weight should be proportional.
The outstanding temperament of the Appaloosa is easy going, quiet and intelligent. The Appaloosa is extremely versatile and may be capable of all sports such as jumping, english, western, games through to endurance and pleasure riding.
The colour patterns and markings are extremely varied and found in many combinations with great variation. It should be noted that some Appaloosas are born solid or marginal colour with ( or without) the characteristics. Appaloosas can be born with no colour and no characteristics even when both parents are Appaloosas.