In the days when horses were bred for type, and the concept of breed did not exist, some basic body types were developed to carry out specific tasks. These changed over time, according to the changing needs of the people who used horses for work, travel and war. They also varied from one country to the next, depending on the conditions of that place of origin.
Some of the body types commonly found in Europe between the time of the first explorations of the New World by the Spanish, and the later waves of settlement by colonists from various European countries, are represented in the founding horses of the Appaloosa. In particular, three appear to have been important contributing types to the breed (click on the name to see the comparisons):
Conformational analysis research by Sheila Archer of the Appaloosa Project has revealed that the conformation of some deeply-bred Appaloosas reflects that of these ancestral types. These pages contain examples of horses that were found to share a significant similarity to one of the types described here.
Thank you to everyone who provide pictures to be included with this information.
Sheila Archer - copyright 2008 - No portion of this text may be reproduced without the author's permission