The Appaloosa is a breed of horse characterized by its spotted and patterned coat, mottled skin and striped hooves. It originally comes from the Palouse region of Washington and Idaho, which is where the Nez Perce Indians bred this animal.
Although Appaloosas are known for their unique coats, occasionally, there is an Appaloosa born with a solid-colored coat. The leopard-spotted coat is a genetic mutation that overlays the horse's base color and is linked to certain problems, such as night blindness, in horses.
This horse is an extremely popular breed in the United States and the official state horse of Idaho. It is a popular breed for working cattle. It is used in a wide variety of events, such as racing, dressage, jumping, barrel racing, cutting, roping and endurance riding. Because of the horse's relationship with Native Americans and the American West, it is also used in Western movies.
Although there are over 700,000 registered Appaloosas as of 2014, this breed almost disappeared with the decimation of the Nez Perce tribe in the 1800s. A history professor in the 1930s outlined the history of the horse and worked to preserve the breed. This revitalization, along with infusing the breed with Arabian bloodlines, helped to reestablish the Appaloosa horse throughout America.