Spotted and cuddly: Appaloosa


In local equestrian federations in Flanders and in the French-speaking part of the country, the Appaloosa is a popular recreational horse. One survey taught us that the reason for this popularity is mainly due to their loyal, accessible personality and the strong hooves these horses live on. Who said that again: no feet, no horse?

long history

The Appaloosa is a horse breed with roots in the United States and a rich history associated with the Nez-Percy Indians and the region along the Paloosa River. Its spotted coat is distinctive, as are the diverse characteristics of the breed.

It took a long time, before spotted horses really gained a foothold in Europe. As in many cases, it involved wars. Those wars resulted in intersections with alien races brought in by the invaders, in this case those who had taken over America.

It was the Nez Percy breed that selectively bred the best stallions. These Native Americans were great horse experts who used only the best breeding stallions to supplement their stock of horses. When the Nez Percy was moved to Canada by European settlers, they lost their beloved horses. This was followed by several decades without the Appaloosas.

Rescue of the breed did not begin until 1938, with the founding of the “Appaloosa Horse Club” in the USA. Together with our northern neighbors, this task falls into the hands of The Dutch Appaloosa Studbook (NAS) ( This association was established in 1967 with the aim of proper breeding, riding Appaloosa horses and ponies for sport and recreation. Horses carry breeds from the well-known KWPN, NRPS and Shetland equine books.

Fantastic color palette

A characteristic of Appaloosa is its spotted coat. The color palette ranges from snowflake fur (dark skin with light spots), leopard fur (white skin with dark spots), dark with a white “blanket” on the stern, spiky with mostly dark hair with or without a “blanket”, to completely white With a few dark spots. Hoofs can also be vertically striped. Appaloosa also spotted genitals and spotted mouth. Their eyes are similar to human eyes, with a white rim around the iris.

The Appaloosa is extremely versatile and is especially popular in western sports due to its speed and maneuverability. For many leisure riders, the Appaloosa symbolizes the Wild West par excellence with their stunning coat.

loyal friend

A gentle, gentle and relaxed personality is the hallmark of this little horse with a strong back and strong back. Strong hooves, maneuverability and stamina are also frequent and beloved characteristics.

His noble head with small pointed ears

Part of the deal

Contribute to the friendly appearance of the horse. With an average height of between 1.42 and 1.62 meters, the Appaloosa appeals to many people. It should be noted that some horses of the breed are larger in size and can exceed 1 meter in height 60.

color preference

Sometimes, a horse with a colored coat is incorrectly categorized as an Appaloosa.

In many cases, it is confused with the Knabstrupper, a Danish breed that dates back to the Napoleonic Wars. Also this spotted horse, which is mainly white with brown or black spots, has spots on the lips, muzzle and genitals.

Horses as diverse as the paint horse or the pinto are often considered the American and Indian cowboy horse. The mane and tail of spotted horses are usually soft and fluffy. The Appaloosa has a well rounded and powerful rump and a high tail. Their toast is excellent and comfortable. Tiger-colored Appaloosas are the most popular and therefore the most sought-after and their “Dalmatian appearance” is particularly popular.


The Appaloosa can easily live to be 30 years old. The quality coarse should make up the bulk of their menu. A lot of exercises are just as important, preferably in company. His gentle nature makes him a very gentle companion.

The muzzle of light pink horses can be sensitive to the sun. So shelter is important. The Appaloosa is generally considered a strong horse with few health issues. However, they are more susceptible than other horse breeds to night blindness and moonshine. It is therefore important to get information from their book and from your vet to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Patricia Bourguignon

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