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Colours, Coat Patterns, and Characteristics

The Appaloosa Horse is of "light horse" body type; free of "draft horse" or "pony" body types.

The Appaloosa Horse must be 14 hands high or taller at the withers by not later than five years of age.

The Appaloosa horse may have one of the following coat pattern or combination of coat patterns:

Blanket: a solid white area, normally over the hips and may extend to the withers.
Blanket with Spots: a white area which may cover the hips, with spots in this "blanket" which are usually the same colour as the base colour of the horse. The white area may extend up to the withers. Some horses may have more than one colour of spots.
Varnish Roan: a mixture of white and dark hairs with other apparent characteristics of the Appaloosa present. There may be lighter areas on the forehead, over the back and hips. May have "varnish marks".
Leopard: a white horse which has dark spots over the entire body.
Spots: white or dark spots over a portion of the body or over the entire body.
Roan Blanket: a mixture of white and dark hairs, generally over the hip area.
Roan Blanket with Spots: a mixture of white and dark hairs with white or dark spots showing up clearly, usually over the hip area.
Solid: horses which have a base colour but no contrasting coat pattern.

The Appaloosa Horse may be of the following base colours:

Bay or Dark Bay: colour may range from light brown or tan, through reddish shades to dark brown, with a black mane, tail and lower legs
Brown: body colour is brown with lighter areas at the muzzle, eyes, flanks and inside the upper legs.
Black: true black over the entire body, no light areas. Mane and tail are black
Chestnut: body colour varies from light yellow to dark liver in colour. May have a flaxen mane and tail, but usually the mane and tail are the same colour as the body. Will not have a black mane or tail, but may have some black hairs in the mane and tail.
White: body colour is snow white with pink skin. Normally has brown eyes.
Bay Roan: a mixture of the base colour Bay/Dark Bay or Brown hairs and white hairs. The mane, tail and lower legs will be black.
Red Roan: a mixture of Chestnut hairs and white hairs.
Blue Roan: a mixture of Black hairs and white hairs.
Dun: body colour is yellowish or gold. Mane and tail may be brown, red, yellow, or mixed. Will always have a dorsal stripe, zebra stripes on the legs and a transverse stripe over the withers.
Buckskin: a type of Dun with a body colour yellowish or gold. Mane, tail, and lower legs are usually black. May have a dorsal stripe.
Palomino: body colour is golden yellow. Mane and tail are always lighter than the body colour.
Grulla: body colour is smoky or mouse coloured (each hair is mouse coloured). Mane, tail, and lower legs are usually black. May have a dorsal stripe, transverse stripe over withers, and zebra stripes on the legs.
Grey: a mixture of white and coloured hairs from a coloured hide. The horse is usually born solid or almost solid in colour, becoming lighter with age.

Other apparent characteristics of the Appaloosa horse shall be:

Mottled Skin: a speckled pattern of pigmented and non-pigmented skin. May be an area of non-pigmented skin containing dark spots or splotches of pigmented skin, or may be a dark area of pigmented skin containing spots or splotches of pigmented skin. It is apt to be found in the anus region under the tail, on the udder or sheath, on the muzzle, and/or around the eyes (it is not found on the penis).
White Sclera: the white area encircling the dark or pigmented iris of the eye. Must not be in combination with a large face marking such as a blaze or bald face.
Striped Hooves: vertically light and dark stripes on the hooves of legs that do not have white leg markings.
Parentage: the Appaloosa Horse must have parentage as approved by the ApHCC with at least one parent being classified as having recognizable Appaloosa coat pattern other than solid. Glass or Blue Eye: an eye which has a light blue iris resulting from the lack of brown pigment.
Varnish Marks: dark areas that are often seen on the Varnish Roan. They are found on the face, legs, stifle, above the eye, point of hip, and behind the elbow.

True white markings are distinguished by pink or light coloured skin beneath the white hair. These white markings are evident at the time of foaling and do not change throughout the life of the horse.

Star: a star is always found on the forehead and may be any size or shape. The forehead is above the horizontal line connecting the eyes. A horse never has more than one star. If there are two separate white marks on the forehead, the most distinct or largest is referred to as a star, while the second is described as a "white mark" and its location to the star is noted.
Stripe: a stripe is a vertical marking found below eye level and above the imaginary horizontal line connecting the top of the nostrils. Any mark, regardless of size, in this area is referred to as a stripe. Stripes can be wide, narrow, curved, pointed, blunt, broken, or connected with a star on the forehead.
Snip: snip is any mark found below the top of the nostrils and down to and including the lower lip. Snips can vary greatly in size and shape. They can cover the entire muzzle area, or be a small speck on the lower lip. Snips can enter into one or both nostrils or extend the length of the horse's lip. They can vary from white to flesh coloured, to being bordered and flesh coloured. Snips may be connected to a stripe.
Blaze: a blaze is a large or wide connected star, stripe, and snip. A blaze is always a combination of the three and can never end above the nostrils. A blaze extends close to the eyes, wide over the center of the face and bridge of nose, and either extending almost the width of the nostrils, over part of the nostrils, or cover all of both nostrils.
Bald:: a bald face refers to a very large blaze, extending outside of the eyes on the forehead and center of the face, covering the width of the bridge of the nose and over the entire muzzle. Often a bald face will have a large snip on the lower lip which can also extend to the underlip area or chin. The snip on the lower lip should be included in the description.

True white markings are distinguished by pink or light coloured skin beneath the white hair. These white markings are evident at the time of foaling and do not change throughout the life of the horse.

Heel: a horse has only one heel on each foot. A white marking can be found across the entire heel or simply on one side. The side of the heel is described as being "inside" or "outside" depending on whether it is the side closest to the median plane.
Coronet: the coronet is the first inch above the hoof, extending all the way around the foot to be inclusive of the heel. A coronet marking is white. Any and all markings on the coronet must be noted.
Half Pastern: extends from the top of the hoof to the midway point between the coronet and the fetlock joint.
Pastern: a pastern extends from the top of the hoof to the bottom of the fetlock joint.
Sock: a sock refers to a white marking extending from the top of the hoof to the top of the fetlock joint.
Half Stocking: extends from the top of the hoof to the midway point of the cannon bone.
Stocking: any white marking that extends from the hoof covering the leg up to or above the knee or hock.
Leg: white that extends in a continuous manner above the knee or hock but does not exceed past the top of the gaskin or top of the forearm.

* NOTE: an irregular marking which extends from the hoof to the height described in the above leg markings will be described as a "partial" marking. For example, an irregular leg marking which extends from the hoof to the top of the ankle joint in at least one place is called a "Partial Sock".

Spots, Splashes: irregular white leg markings which may contain base colour. Lightning Marks spots and do not contact the hoof.

The use of needles and ink to make permanent markings or lettering on the upper lip of the horse.

A brand or freeze mark is a permanent mark applied on livestock for identification purposes. A hot brand or freeze brand may be applied.

Hair whorls (cowlicks) must be identified by the location, size, and direction of the prominent whorl. They are usually located on the front part of the body (ie. head, neck, or  chest) and may turn to the left, the right, or in a starburst pattern.

A measurement taken at the smallest point between the knee and the fetlock joint of the front leg which may be used to conclude the determination of "light horse" body type and relate to structural stability. The circumference for a horse entered into the Registry of Appaloosa Horses shall be no less than six (6) inches and no more than nine (9) inches at five (5) years of age.

Continuous leg markings must not exceed the top of the forearms or the top of the gaskin. On the head, white will not exceed a line around the throat latch and behind the ears. Pinto/Paint markings on the body will not be allowed, this type of marking usually has a solid line that does not blend into the base color. Tobiano or overo markings on the body that are continuous or uninterrupted, larger than twelve cm. (4.7") in any direction, and which marking has a solid line that does not blend into the base colour will not be allowed.

Stallions having one or both testicles undescended when two (2) years of age or older, per Section XI B.

No mare or stallion two (2) years of age or older may be accepted into the ApHCC Register of Appaloosa Horses if it has an overbite or underbite of over three-quarters (3/4's) of a tooth.

Refer to Section IX A.3.
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