Horse breeds tend to share similar coat colors such as chestnut, gray and black. Most horses also share the same type. White markingsStar, blazes, socks, and stockings are some examples. But one group of coat patterns—splashy spots, varnish roan, snowflakes and more—are made famous by the beautiful and instantly recognizable Appaloosa horse. Let’s take a closer look at this popular breed.
Appaloosa Horses: A American Original
Around 500 years ago, Spanish explorers and settlers brought horses from Europe to North America via ships. In a few centuries, descendants of these horses spread across the continent. It didn’t take long for innovative Native American tribes, including the Nez Perce, to put horses to good use.
The name “Appaloosa” is a fun example of the way words and language change over time. Originally, Appaloosas were known as “Palouse horses,” named after the Palouse River in the northwestern U.S. where the Nez Perce developed the breed in the 1700s. Eventually, Palouse horse became “a Palouse horse,” and then “Appaloosa.”