Horses have been a source of attraction for centuries. There might be various reasons that make a horse one of the most adorable and loveable animals that attract the attention of its audience. One big reason for this is the beautiful body and adorable coat colors of a horse.
Appaloosa is one such horse that is famous for its amazing, colorful, and spotted coat that captures the hearts of the horse lovers. Many other characteristics and features like friendliness, loyalty, and gentleness add up to make Appaloosa one of the top horse breeds in the world.
History and Origin of Appaloosa Horse
Appaloosa is a genuinely American horse breed. An Indian tribe Nez Perce of North America, living near the River Palouse revived this breed. They first called it Palouse Horse and later the breed got its name Appaloosa.
The history of Appaloosa is as old as 1000 years. The cave carvings, art, and paintings dating back to the time of Ancient Greece, Persian, and Hay Dynasty of China depicted the reflections of the horses with leopard complex spotted coat.
In the 11th and 12th centuries, the reflections were depicted in France and England as well. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the French paintings reflected the horse with spots similar to today’s Appaloosa.
Appaloosas are the descendants of the horses that reached North America in the 16th century with explorers from Spain, France, and England. The native Americans appreciated this breed that was intelligent and colorful.
In the 1870s when the American government was busy taking over the native American land, the Appaloosa breed was almost lost due to excessive killing and stealing.
Between WWI and WWII, in 1930, people got interested in Appaloosa once again and laid the foundation of this breed with the surviving few horses. In 1938, the Appaloosa Horse Club was created for the registry of this horse breed.
The Personality of Appaloosa Horse
Appaloosa horse is well-known for its striking appearance with some extraordinary traits of loyalty, intelligence, friendliness, and gentleness. Appaloosa is a horse that tends to be very eager to please its owner. This makes Appaloosa a great horse breed to keep.
Appaloosa is also famous for its agility and hardiness. It can also turn fierce that’s why in history, it had been used to fight in the wars. It is a highly courageous and independent horse breed.
Appaloosa horse is a smart horse breed that can sometimes become stubborn. Therefore an experienced handler is required to treat with them in a better way.
Physical Features of Appaloosa Horse
Appaloosa is loved for its eye-catching appearance. It has a medium height with a strong, compact, and agile body. Distinctive coat patterns, mottled skin, white and dark striped hooves, and visible white sclera in their bright eyes make Appaloosa different from other horse breeds.
They have a straight head, with a long solid neck, sloping shoulders, deep chest, and a short straight back. They possess a sparse mane and tail, and strong legs with prominent lines. Some markings like half-pastern, pastern, ankle, stocking, half-stocking, coronet, and lightning can be observed on the legs.
Height and Weight
Appaloosa is a medium compact horse. It has a height of 56 to 60 inches and a weight of about 950 to 1200 pounds.
The life expectancy of an Appaloosa is about 30 years.
Coat and Colors
The most prominent feature of an Appaloosa is its distinctive coat pattern. It is the hallmark of an Appaloosa to have distinctive spot patterns. Every individual horse will have a different pattern of spots.
The various spotting patterns of an Appaloosa coat include
- Blanket – With this coat, an Appaloosa has a pure white coat or a full white coat with black spots on it.
- Marble – this coat pattern carries white and dark-colored hair that give a mottled appearance.
- Leopard – an Appaloosa having this coat has a white body with intense black spotting like a leopard.
- Few Spot Leopard – In this case, the white coat color is prominent especially around the neck, flank, and head, and the dark spotting over the body is less intense.
- Snowflakes – an Appaloosa having a snowflake coat pattern has a dark body with white spotting, mainly on the haunches.
The Appaloosa horse usually appears in several beautiful colors like Red Roan, Blue Roan, Bay Roan, Bay, Dark Bay, Cremello, Perlino, Grey, Palomino, Chestnut, Grulla, Dun, Buckskin, Black, Brown, or White.
Nutrition and Feeding
The food requirement of an Appaloosa is similar to the other horse breeds. They need good quality grass, grains, hay, some vegetables, and fruits. There must be a good amount of minerals and vitamins to fulfill their nutritional needs.
The amount of food depends on the size of the horse and the activities it is involved in.
Health Issues of an Appaloosa
Appaloosa re the horses with good health and fewer behavioral issues. However, they are prone to some diseases related to eyesight, occasionally.
Congenital Stationary Night Blindness CSNB
This is a disorder that causes blindness at night while the day vision remains normal. It is a genetic disorder and takes place from the time of birth.
Equine Recurrent Uveitis
ERU is another ailment related to eyes. This is a genetic disorder that can result in permanent blindness. This disease is more common in Appaloosa than any other horse breed.
The eyes of Appaloosa often get watery due to some infection. Flies attack more to their eyes and irritate them. Fly masks can help prevent the eys of Appaloosa from getting infected.
Breeding and Gestation
Like other horse breeds, the gestation period of an Appaloosa is also between 320 to 370 days or 11 months approximately.
An Appaloosa mare can give birth to only one foal in a year. It goes into the first heat cycle at the age of 18 months. This age can vary with one month less or more. However, the ideal age for a mare to give birth to a healthy foal is 4 years. A male horse can be used for breeding in its 20’s as well.
For the good health of the mare and the foal, the mare must be examined by a vet regularly throughout the pregnancy.
Uses of an Appaloosa Horse
Appaloosa is an amazing horse that is used in various fields of life.
- In ancient times, Appaloosa was used to fight in the wars.
- Hunters use these intelligent and sharp horses for hunting in the forests.
- Appaloosas have also been used in the fields of transportation.
- It is also used for pleasure riding. The friendly nature of an Appaloosa allows everyone to ride on its back, even the children.
- Appaloosa is frequently used in English and western riding sports.
- It is often used in movies for its eye-catching appearance.
- Appaloosa is also used for the show rings to present and cash its beauty.
Grooming and Cleaning
Appaloosa horses possess an easy to maintain and groom coat which needs only once or twice a week brushing. The mane and tail are sparse and easy to brush. The use of shampoo can make it more convenient.
The hooves need a weekly inspection to protect them from infections and injuries. Their skin is sensitive to sunlight therefore, they might need sunlight protection.
In a nutshell, appaloosa is easy to go horse with a friendly and gentle nature. People love their appearance and prefer to keep them. In an experienced hand, Appaloosa can live quite well with a family like yours.