In 1806, when Lewis and Clark traveled through eastern Idaho, they noticed that the Nez Perce tribes had sleek, elegant horses with spotted coats. Those early Appaloosas were far different than those of today, which are stocky and sturdy, resembling a compact American Quarter Horse rather than their long, lean ancestors. The reason for this is that in 1877, the Nez Perce were forced by the U.S. Calvalry to give up their horses to settlers throughout the West. As time passed, the horses were cross-bred with those owned by ranchers, and the original Appaloosa type died out, making space for today's stock horse Appaloosa.
|Nez Perce Horses resemble a spotted Akhal-Teke. credit|
In the year 1994, leaders of the Nez Perce tribe decided they wanted to recreate the breed by breeding four Akhal-Teke stallions with 33 Appaloosa mares. They had put a lot of thought into which horse would best mix with the Appaloosa, and the sleek, desert Akhal-Teke seemed to be a good choice. The offspring were registered in with the Nez Perce Horse Registry, started in 1995.
Breed Description and Uses
Nez Perce Horses have acquired the best traits of both breeds. They are lean, elegant, and have long necks and thin wither, often coming with a shiny, spotted coat; mottled skin, striped hooves, and the Appaloosa's white sclera. Much like both the Appaloosa and the Akhal-Teke, Nez Perce Horses are friendly, eager to please, intelligent, curious, and love to be around people. they are versatile and are used for both Western and English disciplines, including dressage, endurance riding, jumping, western pleasure, reining, competitive trail riding, and driving.