Name of breed: Walkaloosa
Country of origin: USA
Breed origin: Thought to be a result of crossing the Appaloosa with other breeds like the Paso Fino, Peruvian Horse or Missouri Fox Trotter, the Walkaloosa is just that – an Appaloosa with an ambling gait. While they have been documented in history for hundreds of years, it actually wasn’t until 1983 that they became recognised as a registered breed.
In 1938, all breeds of horses exhibiting the leopard coat pattern Appaloosas are known for, were combined together for the purpose of forming a registry – the Appaloosa Horse Club. However, the breeders at the club shied away from including the naturally gaited equine breeds and also wouldn’t accept any foal with Appaloosa colouring with a parent from a gaited breed.
The formation of the Walkaloosa breed registry occurred almost five decades later in 1983, for the purpose of preserving the gaited breeds with an Appaloosa colouring. In order to qualify as a Walkaloosa, a horse must meet one of the following three criteria:
- Be the progeny of a Registered Walkaloosa stallion or mare
- Show Appaloosa colouring and demonstrate an intermediate gait (NOT a trot)
- OR be the product of verifiable Appaloosa and gaited horse blood.
Distinguishing features: Standing anywhere between 13 to 16 hands high, the Walkaloosa is able to walk, perform an intermediate ambling gait, trot and canter with equal ease.
Modern day Walkaloosa: The Walkaloosa’s smooth, ambling gait makes them a popular choice for riding and they are used in dressage, show jumping and endurance competitions.
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