Appaloosa Breed

Appaloosa Breed


Photo: Laramie and Alabama doing their thing!
January 2010

The Breed

The Appaloosa breed is a stock horse and certainly the most noticeable of all light breeds because of the unique spotted colouring. The unique colour of the appaloosa is what first attracts people, but is the incredible temperament, conformation and versatility that keep people loyal to the breed. Because of this incredible disposition it makes the appaloosa suitable for all level of riders.

The Appaloosa horse excels in upper levels of both English and Western riding, for example: Dressage, Three Day Eventing, Endurance, Reining, Cutting and even setting records on the race track!

The average height of an Appaloosa stands between 14.2 hands and 16.0 hands high.

The Appaloosa has several traits which taken together are unique to the breed. These include mottled skin, stripped hooves, white sclera around the eyes, and of course the distinctive appaloosa coat patterns. While it is not necessary for an Appaloosa to have all these traits, most Appaloosas will display them.

Appaloosa Characteristics

1. White sclera that encircles the iris


 2. Mottled or partly coloured skin on areas around the eyes, muzzle, anus, sheath or udder


 3. Vertical stripped hooves


Appaloosa Coat Patterns

The distinctive coat patterns of the Appaloosa are unique and different as each horse's personality. There are eight basic categories of Appaloosa coat patterns:

1.Blanket- a solid white area normally over the hip area on a horse white a contrasting base colour

2.Blanket with spots- a white area normally over the hips with dark spots located within the white. The spots are usually the same colour as the base colour of the horse. However, a horse may also have more than one colour spots.

3. Leopard- a white horse having dark spots over the entire body.

4. Roan- an appaloosa roan pattern is a mixture of white and dark hairs.

5. Roan Blanker- a mixture of white and dark hairs usually over the hip area.

6. Roan Blanket with Spots- a mixture of white and dark hairs over a portion of the body with white and/or dark spots within the roan area.

7. Few Spot- white with only a few small spots of another colour. (Homozygous coat colour pattern)

8. Solid- a horse that has a base colour with no contrasting colour.

Some Appaloosas may be a combination of more than one pattern. Many Appaloosas may change from one pattern to another over their lifetime.