North America

Appaloosa Horse
Photo supplied by the Australian Appaloosa Association Ltd - NSW

The American Appaloosa originated from horses imported by the Spanish Conquistadores. The name Appaloosa evolved from the Palouse country, a region named after the Palouse river. The Nez Perce` Indians, who lived in an area that is now northern Idaho, north west Oregon and south east Washington, are believed to be the first Indian tribe to have systematically bred the Appaloosa as spotted horses were of high value to them.
During the second half of the 19th century the Indians were defeated by the US Army and the surviving horses became scattered. In the 1920's efforts were made to re-establish the breed and in 1938 the Appaloosa Horse Club was founded in Oregon. It collected historical information of the origin of the Appaloosa in order to standardise and to improve the breed and to set up a register. It proved to be a great success and today the breed is popular in many countries outside the United States in all types of western riding, endurance and in the show ring.

compact, muscular horse
Head: white sclera around kind eyes
Neck: well shaped
Body: short, strong back; powerful hindquarters
Legs: strong limbs
Feet: excellent, hard
Mane and Tail: sparse
Color: spotted, mottled skin mostly noticeable around the nostrils and genitals; often vertical black and white stripes on the hooves
Height: 14.2 to 15.2hh
Temperament: kind, sensible
Qualities: great for pleasure and trail riding

Coat Patterns:
-  leopard: white coloring over loins and hips with dark, round or oval spots
-  snowflake: white body covered with dark spots most prominently over the hips
-  blanket: white area over the hips and no dark spots in the white
-  marble: mottled all over the body
-  frost: dark coat with white specks

Appaloosas are popular as pleasure and trail riding horses in many countries. They also perform well in western riding, in the show ring and at endurance riding.


In North America spotted horses that perform an intermediate gait like the rack, foxtrot, running walk or pace are named Walkallosa.
The Walkaloosa Horse Association was established in 1983 and horses registered must
-  be the progeny of a Walkaloosa stallion and mare or
-  display Appaloosa coloring and have the ability to perform an intermediate gait or
-  be of Appaloosa color with Paso, Foxtrotter or Tennessee Walker blood
Coat colors include leopard, snowflake and blanked. Like the Appaloosa the breed is noted for its kind, sensible nature and makes an excellent pleasure and trail riding horse.