Prized by the Nez Perce Tribes of colonial America, the Appaloosa with its distinctive coat patterns has been seen or noted in ancient cave drawings, historic documents, Persian and European art from the 14th century, and Chinese art dating as far back as 500 B.C.
The Appaloosa gets its name from the Palouse River country where the name “a Palouse” horse, or “a Palousey” horse, was given to them. The Nez Perce bred selectively, perhaps the only tribe to have done so, from the Spanish stock they acquired. They were prized for their stamina and dependability. When the Nez Perce were finally captured by the U.S. Cavalry, many of the horses were destroyed, and those that were left were bred with draft crosses to further dilute the breed.
In 1938 the Appaloosa Horse Club was formed to try to preserve the breed. Select outcrossing allowed the breed to grow from the small foundation stock that had survived.
There are four distinct characteristics that Apps carry: Distinctive coat patterns, mottled skin, striped hooves and a white sclera. However, it is not uncommon to have solid-colored Appaloosas, even when breeding two loudly colored Apps. Apps are noted for being calm, intelligent and very versatile – you can find them in every sport from racing, endurance, and huntseat, to Western pleasure, cutting, reining, or driving – you name it! Today the Appaloosa Horse Club and its affiliates promote shows and clubs all over the United States, Canada, Germany, Holland, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Spain, Switzerland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand.