The Appaloosa is a distinctive breed of horse. All Appaloosas have
characteristics that set them apart from other breeds in the equine world.
patterns vary. Most will be white over the loin and hips with dark round or egg
shaped spots which vary in size from tiny specks to as much as four inches in diameter.
Many Appaloosas carry the spotting all over the body, but it is usually dominant
over the hips and loins. Others will show white over the body or will have white
spots on a dark background. No two Appaloosas will have identical markings.
The skin of the Appaloosa is mottled with an irregular spotting, a speckled pattern of
pigmented and non-pigmented skin. Most often it can be found on the soft skin tissue
of the horse, but can cover its entire body.
White Sclera is the white area encircling the dark pupil of the horse's eye.
Appaloosa eyes have a similarity to the human eye, which is not true with all other breeds
of horses. Most of them have a dark sclera, almost black.
Clearly defines vertically light and dark striped hooves on legs that have no white leg
markings. The Appaloosa breed is the only breed of horse that displays this
The Appaloosa is symmetrical, smooth, and proportional; head is straight and lean showing
partly-colored skin about the nostrils and lips and sometimes around the outside of eyes;
forehead is wide; sclera of eyes is white, giving the eye prominence and adding
distinctiveness to the head's appearance; ears are pointed and of medium size; neck shows
quality, a clean cut throat latch and large windpipe blending into a deep chest and long
sloping shoulders; withers are prominent and well defined; forearm is well muscled, long,
wide, and tapered down to a broad knee; cannons are short, wide, flat, ending in smooth,
wide, and strong supported fetlocks.
should be long and sloping with the hoof being rounded, deep, open, and wide at the heel;
back is short and straight; loin is short and wide; underline is long with the flank well
let down; hips are smoothly covered, being muscular, long, and sloping; blending into
well-rounded quarters; gaskins are long, wide, and muscular extending to clean, clearly
defined, wide, straight hocks; back feet are a little more narrow than the front feet with
a wide and high heel.
The ideal Appaloosa should have, among other attributes, a deep but not excessively wide
chest, well defined, prominent withers, and length and slope to the pastern, shoulders,
and hips. Click here
** to download the full-size drawing of above diagram of an Appaloosa, for a visual
explanation of various Appaloosa terms of reference.
A thin or sparse mane and tail are very typical of the Appaloosa breed and should never be
held against the horse.
For a visual explanation of the various white facial and leg markings, click
(**NOTE: This pdf file will download slow, please be patient.)
Weight usually ranges from 950 to 1250 pounds. Height ranges from 14 to 16 hands.
The minimum height for a mature Appaloosa (five years or older) is 14 hands (56
inches). There is no maximum height, though height and weight should be