DECEMBER 1995 BACK ISSUE
Part of Horse Previews Magazine website. Posted on 12/1/95; 10:00:00 AM.
Appaloosas Are Pure Pleasure
The Appaloosa always stands out in a crowd. With his colorful coat pattern and athletic build, he attracts the eye like a magnet. Yet, the Appaloosa is more than just a spotted coat--much more.
In an age when horses are no longer a necessity and are more often considered a status symbol, the Appaloosa is a down-to-earth, affordable addition to any family.
The Appaloosa is a sociable horse, one that likes people as much as they like him. He is intelligent, easy to train, and perfect for young or old. When Appaloosa owners talk about their horses, they talk about heart and soul before anything else.
The Appaloosa is a jack of all trades, able to accomplish any chore. Assign him to a task and it will be done. He is a sound horse who thrives on everyday use, yet his unique qualities make him the perfect horse for parades, drill teams and other special events.
The Appaloosa is also a superb athlete who has great success in the show ring, on the race track, and as a working horse. Yet, he'll be just as happy as a family horse, carrying a child or adult on a pleasant afternoon trail ride.
The Appaloosa is a page right out of history. He came to the Americas with Spanish explorers and soon became the pride of Northwest Indians. He grew up with the West and is a living reminder of days gone by.
But more than anything else, the Appaloosa is pure pleasure. He's an agreeable horse, a good friend who will do whatever is asked. He's a great investment that won't always be in the shop for repairs.
Although Appaloosas are most often associated with the American West, the breed was first identified over 20,000 years ago by ancient artists who drew spotted horses on cave walls in what is now France. The Appaloosa also galloped through the art & history of several epic civilizations, including Egypt, Greece, Australia, Italy, China & Persia. Centuries later, when the Spanish brought Appaloosas to America, the horses had already seen much of the world & many of its greatest events.
Once in America, the Appaloosa was quickly claimed by the Nez Perce Indians of the Pacific Northwest. Unlike other tribes, the Nez Perce were the only American Indians who selectively bred their horses. Only the best animals were used in breeding as the Nez Perce desired only the strongest, fastest & most colorful horses.
The Appaloosa got its name from the white settlers in the Palouse region of eastern Washington & northern Idaho. They dubbed him "a Palouse horse", a name later shortened to "Appalousey" & eventually to "Appaloosa". This was the name officially adopted by the Appaloosa Horse Club in 1938.
The Appaloosa horse & his name nearly disappeared following the Nez Perce War of 1877, when the Appaloosa was taken from the defeated Indians &, over the next 60 years, dispersed & subjected to random breeding. Unique Appaloosa characteristics so prized by the Indians were in danger of being lost or severely diluted amid other less distinctive genetic traits.
Rescue finally came in 1938 when a handful of horsemen joined together with the aim of protecting the spotted horse. The Appaloosa Horse Club was formed & the first breed identified by man began its return from the brink of extinction.
When the Appaloosa Horse Club was first formed, the creed, "To preserve, improve & standardize the breed of horse known as Appaloosa," was established as its first amendment. More than 50 years later, that original goal remains. Now the club has some 20,000 members, nearly half a million horses registered & the status of a major international breed registry.
In addition to the functions of registration, the ApHC provides many other services. The club annually approves more than 800 Appaloosa horse shows & is internationally acclaimed for its youth & non-pro programs. The ApHC is the only breed registry to sponsor three annual trail rides through some of America's most beautiful & historic country.
Based in Moscow, Idaho, the club has also expanded into a communication center with a wide variety of informational & promotional material available on request. The Appaloosa Journal is the registry's official award-winning publication which educates, informs & entertains thousands of Appaloosa enthusiasts every month.
While many breeds can claim one special attribute, the Appaloosa rightfully claims diversity as its own. In the show ring, the Appaloosa excels in rugged athletic events like roping, reining, & cutting. His conformation is ideally suited for the more graceful events like dressage, English pleasure & western riding. His quiet temperament also makes him an ideal choice for the club's many youth & non-pro programs. In addition, the Appaloosa has always been highly regarded for his inherent stamina which makes him well suited for endurance & competitive trail riding. On the race track, the Appaloosa is a proven champion & the one to beat in mid-distance racing. Currently, the fastest horse in the world at 4-1/2 furlongs is an Appaloosa. It is now wonder that this beautiful animal has earned the title of "all-around horse".
Yet, there is more to owning a horse than just feats of strength or speed. Most importantly, the Appaloosa is at home no matter where he goes; whether it be in the field of competition or in the field behind your house.
For parents looking to buy their daughter's first horse or the young man looking to "trade up", the Appaloosa is the perfect choice. He remains a trustworthy & affordable horse, ready & willing to deliver top value.
The easiest way to spot an Appaloosa is by his coat pattern. But spots alone don't make him an Appaloosa. A registered Appaloosa is distinguished by four characteristics, his coat pattern being the most obvious.
But Appaloosas are also unique in that they possess irregularly pigmented or "mottled" skin most visible around the horse's muzzle, eyes & genitals. Appaloosas typically have white sclera, an are of white surrounding the colored portion of the eye, much like your own. Look carefully & you will also notice that most Appaloosas have vertical stripes on one or more of their hooves. Why or how Appaloosas became blessed with these unique characteristics are unknown, yet they continue to fascinate horsemen around the world.
Look around you, the chances are, you'll spot an Appaloosa about anywhere you go. That's because the world is getting out about this beautiful horse; he's versatile, he's intelligent, he's colorful, he's gentle, he's a sound choice. Once a coveted possession of the Nez Perce Indian, the Appaloosa is now as prized by those who own him today. Yes, the word is getting out, more & more people agree, the Appaloosa is pure pleasure.
Reproduced with kind permission from the Appaloosa Horse Club, Inc.
(c) 1989, Appaloosa Horse Club, Inc.