Interest in this distinctive and dexterous equine breed has fluctuated throughout its history, suffering decline during times of war and re-emergence as a versatile working horse during periods of economic downturn, such as the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Analysis of cave paintings suggests strongly that the Appaloosa or spotted horse is the original horse of prehistoric times. Valued for its hardiness, spirit and unique appearance, the Appaloosa is one of the most popular breeds in America to date.
The Nez Perce people are credited with having developed it for riding disciplines in the West, helping it to achieve independent breed status.
In 1938 the Appaloosa Horse Club was established and has since become the third largest registry for equines in the world.
Possessing a muscular and well-balanced body indicative of the American Quarter Horse, which is thought to have contributed to the breed’s development, as well as characteristic striped hooves, the warm-blooded Appaloosa is recognised for more besides its patterned coat.
The chosen horses of the Nez Perce tribal people that populated the area surrounding the Palouse River in the American northwest, they soon adopted the name ‘Palouse River Horses.’ People obviously found this too much of a mouthful to say and the name gradually became ‘Appaloosa,’ a change which has stuck ever since.