How to Identify an Appaloosa Horse

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Don’t look only for the classic “brown on white” coat pattern.,
Don’t look only for spots.,
Be aware that Appaloosa coats change as the horse matures.

As noted above, the most famous Appaloosa pattern is reddish brown on a white background. However, as also noted above, this is just one of many coats that an Appaloosa can have. Don’t put too much stock in whether or not a horse exhibits this “classic” coat, as it isn’t very useful as the sole identifier of a horse’s Appaloosa status.

, Appaloosas are famous for their spots, but a spotted coat isn’t a prerequisite for being an Appaloosa. The horses may in some cases have coats that are entirely spot-free (such as if they have a solid or roan coat). In other cases, they may have coats with sparse, small, or hard-to-see spots, making identification difficult.

It’s also worth noting that many, many breeds of horses can have spotted coats that resemble an Appaloosa’s., Making a guess about the identity of a young horse you think is an Appaloosa is not always a wise move. Appaloosa coats can change greatly with age. Spots can move, form, and disappear over the years. Even blanket patterns can develop over time. In fact, a small percentage of Appaloosa will be born completely solid-colored and form spots as they mature.The coat patterns of an Appaloosa’s parents don’t always predict how it will look when it is grown. For instance, two leopard Appaloosas can produce a solid-colored offspring.

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