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Horse Articles :: Appaloosa Equine Horse
Appaloosa Equine Horse
Depending on maturity, breed and the tasks expected, young
horses are usually put under saddle and briefed to be ridden
between the ages of two and four. They were once referred
to by white settlers as the "Palouse equine," probably because
the Palouse River ran through the heart of Nez Perce country.
Some scholars believe the Spanish Conquistadors brought some
vividly-marked horses with them when they first arrived in
the early 1500s, others believe that the Russian fur-traders
brought them at a later date. The encroachment of gold miners
in the 1860s and settlers in the 1870s put pressure on the
tribe to give up much of their land, and various treaties
between 1855 and 1863 reduced their original treaty lands
of seven million acres by 90%. In any case, the Nez Perce
had a mass of spotted horses by the late 1800s when they once
again came to the attention of the rest of the world. The
Nez Perce tribe of the American Pacific Northwest developed
Historians are not exactly sure of the path that spotted
horses took in the Americas. The Nez Perce people were a relatively
peaceful nation, a world of of whom engaged in agriculture
as well as horse breeding.
The base color of the Appaloosa horse can include bay, black,
chestnut, palomino, buckskin, dun and grulla However, it is
the unique spotting patterns that most people associate with
the Appaloosa equine. These spotted markings are not the same
as the "dapples" sometimes seen in grays and some other equine
friend colors. The Appaloosa Project, a genetic study group,
has also done extensive research on the interactions of Appaloosa
and pinto genes and how they affect each other. Based on crossbreeding
the Appaloosa with a Central Asian breed called Akhal-Teke,
the Nez Perce hope to resurrect their equine friend culture,
a tradition of selective breeding and horsemanship that was
destroyed by the 19th century Nez Perce war. The Appaloosa
Sport Equine is taller, with longer legs and a leaner build,
bred to be used in English horseback riding sports, in particular
dressage and Hunter-style events. The Nez Perce tribe once
again began a breeding program in 1995 to develop a distinct
breed, the Nez Perce Horse.
The breeding program was financed by the United States Department
of Health and Human Services, the Nez Perce tribe, and the
First Nations Development Institute, a nonprofit organization
that promotes tribal business development.
It is best known for a distinctive spotted coat color pattern.
The physical conformation of the original Appaloosa was typical
of the range horses found in the western United States. All
ApHC-registered Appaloosas must be the offspring of two registered
Appaloosa parents or a registered Appaloosa and a equine from
an approved breed registry. Because of this wide variety,
Appaloosas are used in a world of different disciplines.
About the Author
Appaloosas are just one of the many topics covered on
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