Foundation Appaloosa horses are acclaimed for their intelligence and willing attitude. They are versatile and smart. A patient owner, or competent trainer, who takes the time it takes, can teach these foals to excel in many disciplines be it Jumping, Dressage, one of the many Western disciplines, Endurance or Trail Riding. Their enchanting nature is an inherent characteristic.
To have great conformation and athletic ability is not enough if the horse is too hot or difficult to handle for some riders. Alternatively, the gentlest horse with the sweetest disposition can be dangerous if he can't keep his feet over rough terrain. Either horse, strikingly coloured, fast, or beautifully presented, can get you injured if he's not up to the job at hand and capable of interacting dependably with humans.
A true Appaloosa horse ranges from 14.2-16 hands. Their weight is proportionate to their frame. They are a well-balanced, middle-of-the-road horse. Not high-hipped, excessively tall or heavy, nor are they exceptionally refined or overly muscled. The Appaloosa should be symetrical and smooth, well-muscled, have prominent withers and a short back. A true Appaloosa may have a colourful coat but must have mottled skin about the mouth and white sclera around the eye, like a human being. Generally their tails are naturally short and manes are upright and can appear roached or zebra-like. Many have vertically stripped hooves. When you have learned what a true Appaloosa looks like you will spot "the spotty fraud" instantly!
Here at ESPIRITU DEL VIENTO we breed horses who love people for people who love horses
His capacity to learn will astound you. He is easily bored with repetition so don't lunge him in idiotic circles to provide a workout, he'll just get disgusted and shut down mentally. An Appaloosa will test you, so look at everything from a new perspective. Don’t lead him into his stall, back him in. The same with his paddock and negotiating the gate, try things from a new angle. Walk him over a scary, noisy plastic until he can wear it. It won´t take long in my experience - without flooding him! Mount and dismount him from the offside for a change. Pony another horse behind him. If he's a jumper, try some reining exercises with him. If he's a dressage horse, trot him over a small jump. Try to do as many different things with him as you can even if they are only small and subtle. Don't be afraid to test him. Watch how, having mastered something new, he will then figure out a shortcut to it. You´ll find yourself wanting for ideas! He will teach you.
The horses of Ghengis Khan who conquered one-third of the earth, they are descendants of Nez Perce stock that escaped cavalry roundups and bounty hunters, disregarded by the Spanish conquistadores, as their royalty at that time didn´t see coloured horses as worthy mounts! The true Appaloosa is a survivor. And survivors are intelligent and resourceful. Watch your Appaloosa paw at the ground for minerals in the dirt, just as they pawed through snow to look for grass on the Mongolian steppe 700 winters ago. Revel in the way he learns to untie himself quicker than the other horses, then unties them! And it’s not stupidity that has him picking up buckets and brushes and throwing them around the yard, it’s a sense of humor and don't ever think an Appaloosa doesn't have one.