History of the Appaloosa

The history of the Appaloosa is believed to date back many centuries. In the early years, this breed was not given a name.

An Ancient Horse Breed

Some of the support of the history of the Appaloosa comes from ancient cave drawings which have been discovered. The pictures depict images of horses that closely resemble this breed. What is undoubtedly even more interesting, is that the existence of this breed is widespread.

Ancient artwork which may depict this horse breed has been found throughout Asia and Europe including Greece, Egypt, Austria and Italy.

There is also some strong indications that the Persians held the Appaloosa in some high esteem, and that worthy riders were those considered to be heroes.

The Appaloosa and the Americas

Eventually, the Appaloosa made its way to the Americas but not until the Spanish Conquistadors did. As a result, the local Indians took a keen interest in them and would take possession of them, either by stealing them or buying them.

Some of the American Indians were very astute at horse breeding and management, and this led to the Appaloosa growing in numbers and doing well in their environment. One of the reasons this breed was so well favoured by the Indians, was because of its unique spotted coat. This allowed for excellent camouflage when the Indians wanted to go undetected.

The White Settlers

It was the white settlers arriving in the United States who gave the Appaloosa its name. It was initially called the Palouse horse, which was the name of a nearby river. Then, the breed received a name change to Appaloosey, and received its final name, the Appaloosa, in 1938, when the first Appaloosa horse club was established.

As time passed, the breed was crossbred with some Arab horse breeds, as well as some of the Quarter horses.