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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 the breed.

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.

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