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State Horse of Idaho: the Appaloosa
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State Horse of Idaho: the Appaloosa

Idaho named the Appaloosa the state horse in 1975. They are identified by their colorful spotted patterns of their coats, mottled skin, striped hooves, and white outer coating around the eye. It is one of the most recognizable breeds. They were bred by the Nez Perce of the Northwest for both its mystical appearance and other properties. The Nez Perce Indians are well known for their horse breeding and by the 1800's they were highlighting the spotted color in their breeding color. First called "Palouse horse" named for the river that runs through the area but over time they became the Appaloosa.

The Appaloosa horse is known for its intelligence, stamina. They come in several different colors such as chestnut, black, bay, buckskin, palomino, gulla and dun. Their spotting patterns are unique and characterized by blanket, leopard, few spot leopard, snowflake, varnish and frost with different spotting variations in each. The typically stand 14-16 hands tall and weigh between 430- 570kg.

Considered one America's most popular breeds, they have an athletic build with heavy muscling being undesirable. They resemble the hunter type thoroughbred and the quarter horse. But they do come in a variety of body types including race horses, trail horses, stock horses and sport horses.

Idaho is the first state to offer a custom license plate with a horse on it and they feature the Appaloosa.

The Appaloosa Museum and Heritage Center was started in 1976, and it traces the history of the appaloosa and the Appaloosa Horse Club. It is in Moscow, Idaho, open year round and has activities for children and adults alike. The Appaloosa Youth Association is also in Moscow.

The Appaloosa Horse Club is nationwide, and there are 130 regional clubs. These are local clubs that are officially representatives of the Appaloosa Horse Club. They are people who get together to enjoy common ground of being involved with and riding Appaloosas. They ride in parades, trail ride and events such jumping, reining, cutting, etc. that the Appaloosa can adapt to.

More about appaloosa, Nez, Perce, Palouse, race

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  1. MReynolds
    Great information, thanks! I learned stuff I never knew before about the Appy. I'll vote, too! :)
    1. Eve Sherrill York
      Eve Sherrill York
      Good. Thank you.
  2. Chestnut Mare
    Chestnut Mare
    Voted. Very interesting blog. Beautiful horses, aren't they? You might be interested in my latest blog here, Do You Need To Breed? Please check it out if you get a chance :-)
    1. Eve Sherrill York
      Eve Sherrill York
      I shall. Thank you.
  3. Rene Wright
    Rene Wright
    Voted. It's quite interesting how the patterns have evolved since I was a kid. Back then there were the differences in spot size and blanket or leopard plus the occasional reverse appy. Nicely written article. :)
    1. Eve Sherrill York
      Eve Sherrill York
      Yes, I agree. I see a lot around here that are so different. I have a friend with a leopard appy and its a beautiful animal. Thank you for the vote. Appreciated.
  4. jst4horses
    Being as contrary as I am, please remember Native Americans are not from India, and are original Americans. The Great Nez Perce Nation is one of the biggest sovereign nations left in America and yet the people are still called Indians. While many Native Americans call each other NDN, it is kind of like the N.........word. Something other people are not allowed to use. I have a Masters Degree in Bicultural Development Specialty as part of my work in Racial Tension and Gang Abatement work. There are only eight of us in the whole world, and most of us have done real projects for our degrees. Just like your Mom might call you her "ugly little honey", no one else better call her princess that. There are things, such as being called Indian that bring to mind the complete dehumanization and destruction, enslavement and the huge concentration camps (called reserves) where the Original Americans were, like the wild horses, herded, divided and enslaved, murdered and their land taken away. The Medicine Hat Paloosa Keya-yuse in many Native American nations was an intelligent and revered member of the family. This horse is obscenely loyal. I worked with one for about five years in a therapy program, then the program moved far and I could not get there. Years later I was training a horse for someone at a new stable, a horse kept really neighing and nickering, so I went over to see what the problem was, it was my old friend.........we were so overjoyed to see each other.
    1. Eve Sherrill York
      Eve Sherrill York
      That is something. I am Native Indian myself and very proud of it. One of my favorite posters is one that has a picture of Geronimo and underneath it says: LANDLORD.

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