Appaloosa horses are known for their colorful leopard-spotted
coat pattern. They have a wide range of body types, stemming from the influence
of multiple breeds of horses throughout its history. Each horse's color pattern
is genetically the result of various spotting patterns overlaid on top of one of
several recognized base coat colors.
The Nez Perce people of modern day Oregon and Washington,
US, developed the Appaloosa breed. Appaloosas were once referred to by settlers
as the "Palouse horse", possibly after the Palouse River, which ran through
the heart of Nez Perce country. Gradually, the name evolved into "Appaloosa".
The Nez Perce lost most of their horses after the Nez Perce
War in 1877, and the breed fell into decline for several decades. A small number
of dedicated breeders preserved the Appaloosa as a distinct breed until the Appaloosa
Horse Club (ApHC) was formed as the breed registry in 1938. The modern breed maintains
bloodlines tracing to the foundation bloodstock of the registry; its partially open
stud book allows the addition of some thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian