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9 Spotted Horse Breeds (with Pictures)

Appaloosa horse runs gallop on the meadow

If you’re looking for a horse of a different color, look no further than a spotted equine. These uniquely patterned horses are sure show-stoppers and have fascinated folks since prehistoric times. In fact, spotted horses have been depicted in ancient cave drawings and medieval art and literature.

Here are nine spotted horse breeds you’re guaranteed to love.

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The 9 Spotted Horse Breeds:

1. Appaloosa

Appaloosa horse
Image Credit: Sven Lachmann, Pixabay

The eye-catching Appaloosa was originally brought to America by Spanish Conquistadors. This Dalmatian breed was bred by Native Americans during the mid-18th century and is characterized by its unique leopard spots and easy-going disposition. Today, Appaloosas are used for both English and Western riding and compete in roping, cutting, barrel racing, show jumping, and eventing competitions.


2. Knabstrupper

Knabstrupper Horse
Image Credit: Filmbildfabrik, Shutterstock

The Knabstrupper originated from prehistoric spotted horses. Native to Demark, the breed was originally developed in 1812 and quickly gained popularity across Europe, the United States, and Australia. The Knabstrupper is known for its distinctive spots. However, some are born with solid-colored coats, including chestnut and bay.


3. British Spotted Pony

An incredibly adorable equine breed, the British Spotted Pony hails from England. It grows to be between eight and 14 hands tall. The British Spotted Pony is a rare horse, with only 800 registered animals existing in the world. The breed’s petite size makes it perfect as a pet or companion animal.


4. Nez Perce

The Nez Perce horse breed comes from the indigenous Nez Perce tribe of Idaho. It is the result of cross-breeding an Appaloosa with an ancient Asian breed known as the Akhal Teke. The Nez Perce is a strong horse with amazing stamina, making it great for long-distance running competitions.


5. Tiger Horse

Despite what its name suggests, the Tiger Horse is spotted and not striped. There are two kinds of Tiger Horses, including the Heavenly and Royalty types. This gaited breed was developed in 1992 by Mark and Victoria Varley, who wanted to recreate the original Tiger Horse. They cross-bred gaited solid-colored breeds with Appaloosas to achieve their desired results. Registered Tiger Horses must exhibit their unique ambling gaits without artificial aids.


6. Pony of Americas

This pony breed was originally developed in Iowa and registered in 1954. Despite being called “ponies,” the Pony of Americas (POA) breed has the phenotype of a small horse, including Arabian and Quarter Horse characteristics. The breed is used for Western pleasure riding, driving, and endurance riding.


7. Colorado Ranger

The Colorado Ranger is an equine breed from the Colorado High Plains. Developed around the turn of the 20th century, the breed is the result of breeding local ranch horses, including Turkish stallions and Appaloosas. Colorado Rangers stand between 14 and 16 hands, have a deep chest, long neck, and sloping shoulders.


8. Walkaloosa

Simply put, the Walkaloosa is an Appaloosa-patterned horse that is also gaited. This means they perform an ambling gait in addition to the walk, trot, and canter.


9. Noriker

noriker horse_hosphotos, Shutterstock
Image Credit: hosphotos, Shutterstock

Also called the Pinzgauer and Norico-Pinzgauer, the Noriker is an indigenous draught horse breed from the central Alpine region of Europe. The breed was used to carry salt and gold through the Alps. Its long legs, heavy build, and thick coat made it the perfect horse for the cold, mountainous weather.

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Conclusion

Spotted horses aren’t just pleasing to look at. These breeds are intelligent, sure-footed, and athletic, making them perfect for just about every equine sport. If you’re on the hunt for a versatile and distinctive horse, consider one of these nine spotted horse breeds.

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Featured Image: olgaru79, Shutterstock

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