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The old-type Appaloosa was later modified by the addition of draft horse blood after the 1877 defeat of the Nez Perce, when U. Government policy forced the Indians to become farmers and provided them with draft horse mares to breed to existing stallions.After the formation of the Appaloosa Horse Club in 1938, a more modern type developed after the addition of American Quarter Horse and Arabian bloodlines.Today, the Appaloosa is one of the most popular breeds in the United States; it was named the official state horse of Idaho in 1975.It is best known as a stock horse used in a number of western riding disciplines, but is also a versatile breed with representatives seen in many other types of equestrian activity.The Ap HC also recognizes the concept of a "solid" horse, which has a base color "but no contrasting color in the form of an Appaloosa coat pattern".Solid horses can be registered if they have mottled skin and one other leopard complex characteristic. Intermixed dark and light hairs with lighter colored area on the forehead, jowls and frontal bones of the face, over the back, loin and hips.The Appaloosa is best known for its distinctive, preferred leopard complex-spotted coat.Spotting occurs in several overlay patterns on one of several recognized base coat colors.
There is a wide range of body types within the breed, stemming from the influence of multiple breeds of horses throughout its history.A small number of dedicated breeders preserved the Appaloosa as a distinct breed until the Appaloosa Horse Club (Ap HC) was formed as the breed registry in 1938.The modern breed maintains bloodlines tracing to the foundation bloodstock of the registry; its partially open stud book allows the addition of some Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian blood.Any horse that shows Appaloosa core characteristics of coat pattern, mottled skin, striped hooves, and a visible white sclera, carries at least one allele of the dominant "leopard complex" (LP) gene.The use of the word "complex" is used to refer to the large group of visible patterns that may occur when LP is present.