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Horse Breeds: Appaloosa, AraAppaloosa, Arabian, Ardennes, Argentine Criollo, Asturian

Jul 9, 2008

Easily recognized from the spots and splashes of colors over their coats, the Appaloosa breed are unique and beautiful from the inside out. Appaloosa's are extremely versatile, and have set records in speed on race racks, earned high honors in dressage, games, roping, endurance, jumping and reining- and even make wonderful family horses due to their gentleness. Appaloosa's are eager to please their owners and have gentle dispositions.

The name "appaloosa" came from white settlers that arrived in the Northwest Palouse region in the 1700's. They began calling the spotted horses by "palouse horses" for groups of them, and for a single horse, "A palouse horse". Then name was shorted and slurred to "appalousey" and then eventually, "Appaloosa" was born.

More than half a million Appaloosa horses are registered with the international breed registry, and the Appaloosa Museum and Heritage Center which is located in Moscow, Idaho. The breed is so popular, they have their own monthly magazine: "The Appaloosa Journal".


AraAppaloosa is a breed that dates back many, many years- although the horse registry is fairly new within the United States. The AraAppaloosa and Foudnation Breeders International supports breeders who mix Appaloosa horses with Arab bloodlines. The spotted horses were seen in early Middle Eastern and Egyptian Art, making the spotted horse one of the earliest, identifiable distinct breeds. The spotted horse was of the Arab breed, which dates back several centuries.

Arappaloosa horses are Appaloosa's with great quality, having stamina, performance ability, good termperament and multiple coloring.


The Arabian horse has very romantic tales associated with their beginning. Bodouin tribes living in the desert, believed horses were a gift from God. The Arabian horses were known to "fly without wings". Breeding of Arabians was done carefully, to create horses that could withstand the desert terrain, and tribal wars. Arabians were bred strong, with stamina and courage, as well as speed.

Europeans imported Arabian horses to cross with their native breeds to improve their saddle horses. Arabians are all around the world now, and most breeds have Arabian blood.

Arabian horses were kept pure by the Bedouin breeders, and today's Arabian will never be mistaken for another breed of horse. It can be rode English or Western saddle, shown or used for trail riding. The Arabian's appearance consists of a dished profile and a prominent eye, small muzzle, and large nostrils. They have graceful, arched necks, and a broad chest. Arabians carry their tail carriage high. The horses weight between 800 and 1,000 pounds, stand about 15 hands tall, and are usually grey, bay, chestnut or roan in color.


Although there is no complete records on the Ardennes breed, it is thought that they were descended from heavy draft horses that were often praised by Julius Caesar in De Bello Gallico. Napoleon valued the breed for their endurance. Sometime during the 18th century, Ardennes were bred with Arabian and Belgian Draft blood in order to increase their strength and size.

Essentially, the Ardennes breed is a lighter version of the Belgian Draft Horse, bred in the mountains. Black Ardennes are rare, and cannot be registered with the Ardennes registry. Most Ardenne horses are chestnut, palomino, bay, or gray in color.

Ardennes are not only capable of working in rough or hilly terrain, they are also calm and tolerant in disposition and are economical to feed.


Also known as the Argentine Landrace, or Criollo, the Argentine Criollo is found in Uruguay and Argentina. It is used as a light riding horse.


An extremely rare breed of horse, the Asturian is small, with a heavy head and a straight profile. They have moderately high withers and a long deck with an extremely flowing mane that often grows to cover their eyes. the Asturian originated in Northern Span and stands about 11-12 hands in height.

The Romans referred to the Asturian as asturcons, and the horses were popular during hte Middle Ages with the French. The horses do not really trot, but rather they move with an easy gait and alternately move their legs on one side. This gait makes the Asturian a comfortable riding horse, and have been popular as ladies' mounts. Sometimes referred to as a "hobby horse" throughout Ireland, France and England, the breed is admired greatly.

Many believe the Asturian is a breed developed from crossing a Garrano pony from Portugal and Spain with the Sorraia, a saddle horse of Iberia.
About the Author
Phillipe Wiskell is a writer for HorseClicks.com, popular classifieds of horses for sale, horse property and trailers for sale.
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