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Use and characteristics of Appaloosas
Because of their interesting and varied history, and the fact that the stud book is still partially open (some Arabian, Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse blood is permissible, depending on the registry), Appaloosas can vary in body type as well as colouring. This offers plenty of choice to purchasers wishing to buy an Appaloosa. Generally speaking, Appaloosas are between 14 to 16 hh (56 to 64 inches, 142 to 163 cm) and weigh around 950 to 1,250 pounds. There is a big range of colour patterns, which will usually be specified by vendors offering to sell an Appaloosa. These include snowflake, marble, leopard spotted, blanket spotted, white blanket, and few spot leopard. The most well-known is probably the leopard spot: a white horse with dark spots. Snowflake is the reverse, a dark coloured horse with light spots. The blanket variations, where the horse has a contrasting coat colour, particularly over the hips, loins and croup, can be light coloured with dark spots, or dark with light. Other notable characteristics of the true Appaloosa are mottled skin, striped hooves and a white sclera around the eye. They are, on the whole, excellent family riding horses.