Breed Preview

Quick Facts:

  • Originated in the American West

  • Average Height 14.0-16.0.hh

  • Color Patterns: blanket, spots, blanket with spots, roan, roan blanket, roan blanket with spots, and solid.
  • Additional Markings: mottled or parti-colored skin, white sclera around eyes, and striped hooves.

  • Over 700,000 Appaloosas have been registered since the ApHC’s founding in 1938.

  • The State of Idaho adopted the Appaloosa as the state horse in 1975.
  • Featured Horse: Zips Strawsam MMR 7 time National and World Champion.


The Nez Perce Indians of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho became highly sophisticated horsemen in the use of their horses.

One of the first white men to visit the Nez Perce was an explorer and horseman, Meriwether Lewis. 

He described the Appaloosa in his journal dated February 15, 1806:   Their horses appear to be of an excellent race.  They are lofty, elegantly formed, and durable.

Spots helped to camouflage the horse and rider, for the splashy coat patterns helped to break up the horses outline and made it difficult to see from the distance. 

The white settlers called the horses "Palouse" horses or "a Palouse horse" as the Nez Perce lived in Palouse country.  Eventually the name became Appalousey, and finally, Appaloosa.

Body Type:

The Appaloosa is widely recognized by its spotted coat. But the body type from one Appaloosa to the next can vary greatly, depending on its breeding and intended use.



Today, the beautiful spotted horse is one of the most beloved of American horse breeds and can be found throughout the world, excelling in disciplines including western pleasure, games, working cow horse and dressage. Appaloosas are prized for their easy-going dispositions and their reliability as family horses.


Featured Horse:

Zips Strawsam MMR

  • Registered ApHC Stallion
  • Born 2/1/1995
  • 15.2hh
  • Seven time National & World Champion
  • Owned by Rock'n W Ranch
  • Lives in Colorado, USA.
  • Homozygous for the appaloosa pattern

Learn More:

Information From:

The Appaloosa Horse Club (
The American Appaloosa Horse Association Worldwide (