The Spotty Appaloosa

Paintings of horses with spots have gone back as far as Ancient Greece, Persia, and the Chinese Han Dynasty.  The Spanish obtained horses through trading with other European countries.  It has been said that 16 spotted horses were brought to Mexico by Cortez.   When the Appaloosa horse was not popular any more with the courts of Europe, they were shipped off to Mexico and America.  Enter the Nez Perce Indians.  These expert horse breeders took the Appaloosa and carefully bred it to bring out the best in the breed as well as the Appaloosa’s distinctive coloring.  There are many of these horses in the world today.

Here is a chart of the Appaloosa’s coat patterns:

Pattern Description Image
Spots General term that refers to a horse that has white or dark spots over all or a portion of its body. Appaloosa (DSC00229).jpg
Blanket or snowcap A solid white area normally over, but not limited to, the hip area with a contrasting base color. SnowflakeCrop.jpg
Blanket with spots A white blanket which has dark spots within the white. The spots are usually the same color as the horse’s base color. Appaloosa46-2.jpg
Leopard A white horse with dark spots that flow out over the entire body. Considered an extension of a blanket to cover the whole body. Appaloosa stallion.JPG
Few spot leopard A mostly white horse with a bit of color remaining around the flank, neck and head. Shiny fewspot.jpg
Snowflake A horse with white spots, flecks, on a dark body. Typically the white spots increase in number and size as the horse ages. AppaloosaSnowflakes.jpg
Appaloosa, roan, marble
or varnish roan
A distinct version of the leopard complex. Intermixed dark and light hairs with lighter colored area on the forehead, jowls and frontal bones of the face, over the back, loin and hips. Darker areas may appear along the edges of the frontal bones of the face as well and also on the legs, stifle, above the eye, point of the hip and behind the elbow. The dark points over bony areas are called “varnish marks” and distinguish this pattern from a traditional roan. Flurrie 3.jpg
Mottled A fewspot leopard that is completely white with only mottled skin showing. Appyfoal.jpg
Roan blanket or Frost Horses with roaning over the croup and hips. The blanket normally occurs over, but is not limited to, the hip area. Standing Apaloosa.jpg
Roan blanket with spots A horse with a roan blanket that has white and/or dark spots within the roan area. LeopardHorse.jpg

This was such an excellent chart I just had to have it.  I got it from Wikipedia.

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