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Spotted Horse Breeds
 By Winniefield Park   •   16th Aug 2017   •   2,972 views   •   0 comments
If you see spots before your eyes, it may be time to get your vision checked... or you may be standing in front of a spotted horse. Spotted horses have been around for a very long time, even though they arenít that common among the more prevalent solid, gray and pinto coats. Early cave paintings show spotted horses and scantily documented pedigrees of some spotted breeds goes back for centuries. Who really knows, perhaps all of these breeds have one pre-historic spotted ancestor.



Appaloosa
When you think of a horse with spots, itís likely you will picture an Appaloosa. The Appaloosa is a very popular breed, often listed among the top five popular horse breeds worldwide. They are known for their spotted coat patterns and leopard spots from hoof to head are not unusual. Along with spots, Appaloosas have mottled skin, sparse manes and tails, and a thin coat. Owners claim they are hardy and intelligent, although many have a stubborn streak. The average height is from 14 to 16 hands high. Their weight can vary greatly, depending on their pedigree. Some Appaloosas will have draft breeds in their background, some are bred to look like Quarter Horses, and others are the more traditional type; leggy and lean.



Pony of the Americas
This is another breed developed in America. It was developed specifically for kids. Along with a kid-friendly temperament, and sturdy build, these ponies often have mottled or spotted coat patterns. In fact, those spots are part of the criteria for a pony to be considered for the registry. POAs must have spots - and not pinto type splotches. POAs are anywhere from 11.2 to 14 hands high and except for ponies under 4 years of age, are ridden and driven by youth under 19 years of age in many different disciplines.



Knabstrupper
From the area of Knabstrup, Denmark comes the Knabstrupper. These horses also come in pony size, so they can range from about 14 hands to 16 hands high. Although a few individuals within the breed are solid colors, most have distinctive leopard spots on a white coat. At one time they were called Tiger Horses. Many are descendants of one mare named Flaube who was said to have never foaled a solid colored foal. Today, these horses are ridden and driven and have been popular circus horses. They are said to be hard, long-lived and intelligent. In the 1950s, Knabstruppers were crossed with imported Appaloosa stallions to preserve the spotted coat the breed is famous for.

British Spotted Pony
Another spotted pony breed exists in Britain. British Spotted Ponies come in two size categories: 8 to 10.2 hands and up to 14 hands, which are considered cob sized. Spotted horses and ponies have a centuries long history in the UK and Europe and this breed is an attempt to preserve the unique genetics that results in a spotted coat pattern. Modern Spotted Ponies may have Knabstrupper or Appaloosa in their bloodlines. Unlike the POA, BSPs must have a leopard or spotted coat pattern. Blankets or other patterns do not qualify for the registry. These ponies are used for riding, but their main appeal is as a driving pony, or as a companion.



Nez Perce Horse
The Nez Perce Horse is a relative newcomer as a breed registry but has a long history. These horses have Appaloosa bloodlines but have been outcrossed with other breeds, most notably the Akhal-Teke, producing much racier physiques than modern Appaloosas, many of which look more like Quarter Horses with Appaloosa coats. This isnít a color breed. Rather, the main focus of the registry is to help the Nez Perce people restore the tradition of horsemanship and horse breeding to their nation. Some of these horses, like the Appaloosa, are gaited and also like Appaloosas, Nez Perce Horses come in many different coat patterns, from solid colors to leopard spots.
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