Are Appies thick? - Page 3
 
 

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Are Appies thick?

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  • Black and white appy horse
  • Nez perce horse

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    10-19-2011, 12:05 PM
  #21
Banned
Some interesting posts so far.

Wanted to clarify something; what does constitute a breed? I thought it was a combination of readily identifiable heritable characteristics or a specific bloodline that breeds true to those characteristics? IE, any horse who traces back to the three foundation sires is a TB (Goldophin Arabian, Byerly Turk and Darley Arabian) or any direct descendent of Justin Morgan is a Morgan? Registration and a stud book is nice, but can't there can be a breed without registration or a stud book?

To the OP's original question: I have owned and ridden a lot of Apps over the years, among them some really terrific hard knocking ones. I agree with some ot the statements above that body type and temperment can be heavily influenced by outcrossing. To my mind (just my opinion and experience) the Appy that is closest to the original Nez Perce horse is similiar to the American QH in body type and temperment, with a few notable differences.

I have found them to be uniformly *highly* intelligent, but mostly biddable and willing. Their intelligence sometimes makes them difficult to train because they like to have a reason for doing what they're being asked to do. When confronted with something new and difficult, an App will often stop and think it through before proceeding, rather than just reacting to cues. I guess some people would interpret that as "dim." I used to joke about it and call it the "spots on the brain" syndrome.

So, hardly representative of the breed as a whole, or a statistically valid sample, but my experience is that yes, there is something I consider to be the typical Appy brain or Appy temperment, and yes, I consider them to typically be very intelligent.

I would own another one in a heartbeat.

In the case of horses, like bsms' nice gelding above, with outcrosses to other breeds, I would expect them to be a mix of the breed characteristics, with the Arab traits overriding or nullifying certain of the Appy traits, and vice versa.
     
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    10-19-2011, 01:06 PM
  #22
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by maura    
To the OP's original question: I have owned and ridden a lot of Apps over the years, among them some really terrific hard knocking ones. I agree with some ot the statements above that body type and temperment can be heavily influenced by outcrossing. To my mind (just my opinion and experience) the Appy that is closest to the original Nez Perce horse is similiar to the American QH in body type and temperment, with a few notable differences.

I have found them to be uniformly *highly* intelligent, but mostly biddable and willing. Their intelligence sometimes makes them difficult to train because they like to have a reason for doing what they're being asked to do. When confronted with something new and difficult, an App will often stop and think it through before proceeding, rather than just reacting to cues. I guess some people would interpret that as "dim." I used to joke about it and call it the "spots on the brain" syndrome.

So, hardly representative of the breed as a whole, or a statistically valid sample, but my experience is that yes, there is something I consider to be the typical Appy brain or Appy temperment, and yes, I consider them to typically be very intelligent.

I would own another one in a heartbeat.
i couldn't agree with this more. I've had the pleasure of owning and riding/managing several appaloosas over the years and have found that this IS a pretty standard trait among them (the highly intelligent part). As such I currently own a stud colt who has an AMAZING brain with a wonderful personality. Do I consider him to be an appy even though he has some other breeds bred into him a few generations back? Yes I do.

Here's koda and his pedigree. Does that make him not an appy or less of an intelligent horse? Just curious here...







     
    10-20-2011, 12:15 AM
  #23
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
My reference was to the breed as it is registered. Until a breed is registered, it isn't a breed - just a bunch of horses with common characteristics.
Sorry, but registration does not make a breed. A breed is defined in scientific terms as a relatively homogenous group of individuals that are similar enogh genetically that they breed true. A registry is nothing more than an administrative organization. No registry has EVER created a breed - or ever will...unless, of course the registry is established and the breed is subseaquently developed by the registry.

Arabs were a breed many hundreds of years before AHA or any other Arab registry existed...so were Appys...
     
    10-20-2011, 01:09 AM
  #24
Trained
"A breed is defined in scientific terms as a relatively homogenous group of individuals that are similar enogh genetically that they breed true."

When I majored in Biology, we didn't discuss 'breeds'. However, what is a breed? Border Collies were bred for work, not looks, so there is huge variation in their appearance. The AKC has butt its nose in and frankly is trying to ruin the breed, but how does one recognize a Border Collie without a registry?

Arabians were specifically bred for their characteristics, and their breeders knew their history well before written records were made. So yes, they are an old breed.

Appaloosa horses? The color pattern has been around forever.

A cave painting at Pech-Merle, France from the Upper Paliolithic era:



"This statue was excavated from a tomb at Astana, China which dates from the T'ang Dynasty (mid 8th century)."



This 1727 painting is of Lippizaners:



The Breed Club says:

"Famous explorer Meriwether Lewis was appropriately impressed with the breeding accomplishments of the Nez Perce, as noted in his diary entry from February 15, 1806.

Their horses appear to be of an excellent race; they are lofty, eligantly [sic] formed, active and durable…some of these horses are pided with large spots of white irregularly scattered and intermixed with black, brown, bey [sic] or some other dark color.

It is unknown how many of the Nez Perce’s horses were spotted, but a possible estimate is ten percent. Settlers coming into the area began to refer to these spotted horses as “A Palouse Horse”, as a reference to the Palouse River, which runs through Northern Idaho. Over time, the name evolved into “Palousey,” “Appalousey,” and finally “Appaloosa.”"


Appaloosa History

So they were nice horses, bred by the Nez Perce, but the large majority were not what we now think of as an Appaloosa - although I gather the registry now says you can have a solid-colored Appy (). And does a regional effort at breeding a certain strain make it a breed? Are CMK Arabians a breed? No, but they were bred within Arabians for certain characteristics.

And it was the color pattern that caught folks eyes. And the modern breed is based largely off of Arabians (10 of the first 15), but then heavily influenced by the Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred.

So...is a color pattern a breed? What makes an Appaloosa an Appaloosa - other than questionable intelligence < / sarcasm >?
     
    10-20-2011, 09:24 AM
  #25
Weanling
That is a very informative post. I didn't know appies dated back THAT far.
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    10-20-2011, 10:54 AM
  #26
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
"A breed is defined in scientific terms as a relatively homogenous group of individuals that are similar enogh genetically that they breed true."

When I majored in Biology, we didn't discuss 'breeds'. However, what is a breed? Border Collies were bred for work, not looks, so there is huge variation in their appearance. The AKC has butt its nose in and frankly is trying to ruin the breed, but how does one recognize a Border Collie without a registry?

Arabians were specifically bred for their characteristics, and their breeders knew their history well before written records were made. So yes, they are an old breed.

Appaloosa horses? The color pattern has been around forever.

A cave painting at Pech-Merle, France from the Upper Paliolithic era:



"This statue was excavated from a tomb at Astana, China which dates from the T'ang Dynasty (mid 8th century)."



This 1727 painting is of Lippizaners:



The Breed Club says:

"Famous explorer Meriwether Lewis was appropriately impressed with the breeding accomplishments of the Nez Perce, as noted in his diary entry from February 15, 1806.

Their horses appear to be of an excellent race; they are lofty, eligantly [sic] formed, active and durable…some of these horses are pided with large spots of white irregularly scattered and intermixed with black, brown, bey [sic] or some other dark color.

It is unknown how many of the Nez Perce’s horses were spotted, but a possible estimate is ten percent. Settlers coming into the area began to refer to these spotted horses as “A Palouse Horse”, as a reference to the Palouse River, which runs through Northern Idaho. Over time, the name evolved into “Palousey,” “Appalousey,” and finally “Appaloosa.”"

Appaloosa History

So they were nice horses, bred by the Nez Perce, but the large majority were not what we now think of as an Appaloosa - although I gather the registry now says you can have a solid-colored Appy (). And does a regional effort at breeding a certain strain make it a breed? Are CMK Arabians a breed? No, but they were bred within Arabians for certain characteristics.

And it was the color pattern that caught folks eyes. And the modern breed is based largely off of Arabians (10 of the first 15), but then heavily influenced by the Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred.

So...is a color pattern a breed? What makes an Appaloosa an Appaloosa - other than questionable intelligence < / sarcasm >?
Well, a BS in Biology is one of my undergraduate degrees too, and we certainly discussed and researched breeds - but whether you or I covered a particular topic in college has no bearing on what a breed is or isn't - it is what it is.

Not sure why you repeatedly ask the question "what is a breed?" - I gave you the definition. It is a group of individuals that are sufficiently similar genetically that they breed true. Once again, a registry has absolutely nothing to do with "creating" a breed. It may define a breed by establishing breed standards, but the breed exists whether a registry exists or not. Arabs are a prime example, as I pointed out. One would (I think) hardly dismiss them as not being a breed prior to the creation of a registry.

As an Appy owner for over 50 years and a breeder for over 20, I am well aware of Appy history...not sure what point you are trying to make. Your definition of "modern" Appys is not the same as mine. You evidently identify today's spotted mixed breeds as modern Appys, when in fact they are not "modern Appys" because they are not a breed at all. Modern Appys existed as a breed - as you so well pointed out - long before Quarterhorses arrived on the scene. Some were colored, some were not. The breed itself had and has nothing to do with LP/PATN directly, although LP/PATN was and is generally preferred. LP/PATN is not a breed - it is merely a common characteristic of a breed, however it appears in other breeds also, as well as grades. Again, not sure what your point is. The origin of the modern Appy is a bit shadowed, but relatively well known. ApHC has done its best to render the breed extinct...although they are certainly not rare, it is the exception rather than the norm to find an ApHC Appy that is actually an Appy and not mostly Quaarterhorse or some combination of "accepted" breeds. But there are still Appys around despite ApHC

Actually, it is a bit ironic that you link breeds to registries when, as I said, ApHC has virtually destroyed the Appy as a breed, as any registry would be doing that permitted widespread multi-breed outcrossing with an established breed...
     
    10-20-2011, 11:23 AM
  #27
Trained
Appies were not a breed. They were horses bred by the Nez Perce. You might as well call CMK Arabians an unregistered breed because they were bred for specific goals by a group of like-minded people.

Biologically speaking, there is no such thing as a breed. Breeds require human intervention. Without it, they revert to species.

Breeds do not require a written record, but they need someone selecting matings towards a goal.

Meanwhile, how do YOU define an Appy? What would make my Appy a false Appy, and one of your solid colored ones a TRUE Appy? How do you know what the Nez Perce were breeding toward?

"Modern Appys existed as a breed - as you so well pointed out - long before Quarterhorses arrived on the scene."

The colors existed. The breed did not. A breed requires someone to say some traits are more valuable than others, and to selectively breed for them. If enough people buy in to the goal, then they can start tracking those who breed to that 'standard' - be it performance or looks.
     
    10-20-2011, 12:00 PM
  #28
Super Moderator
I'm thinking no horse was ever actually a breed until the day a breed registry for that particular breed was created until then, it was just a horse....

Just sayin'.....
     
    10-20-2011, 05:13 PM
  #29
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Appies were not a breed. They were horses bred by the Nez Perce. You might as well call CMK Arabians an unregistered breed because they were bred for specific goals by a group of like-minded people.

Biologically speaking, there is no such thing as a breed. Breeds require human intervention. Without it, they revert to species.

Breeds do not require a written record, but they need someone selecting matings towards a goal.

Meanwhile, how do YOU define an Appy? What would make my Appy a false Appy, and one of your solid colored ones a TRUE Appy? How do you know what the Nez Perce were breeding toward?

"Modern Appys existed as a breed - as you so well pointed out - long before Quarterhorses arrived on the scene."

The colors existed. The breed did not. A breed requires someone to say some traits are more valuable than others, and to selectively breed for them. If enough people buy in to the goal, then they can start tracking those who breed to that 'standard' - be it performance or looks.
Actually, you have it exactly backwards. The modern Appy, as developed and bred from Spanish stock by Native Americans was indeed a breed. In contrast, the horses registered and recognized by ApHC are most definitely not a breed (although some of them certainly are). Just because ApHC registers a horse that is 95% Quarterhorse and 5% Appy as an Appy does not make it an Appy, nor does it make it anything other than what it is...a Quarterhorse of a different color.

Perhaps you would benefit from a definition of the term breed...

Biology Online... Breed - definition from Biology-Online.org

There are many definitions, of course, many relating to breed determinization by organizations, but being a scientist myself, I tend to follow scientific rather than administrative guidelines. To use ApHC again as an example, they will register a horse that is 95% Quarterhorse as an Appy, and call it a "breed". If you define a breed by its papers, then I suppose you would call that horse an Appy and consider it a breed. I don't. Or to use another analogy, if I have a purebred foal if I register it is it a breed and if I don't register it is it a mutt? Once again, registration does not define what a horse is - Quarterhorse, Appy, Paint, TB, or whatever breed it might be...genes do. Registration only maintains a record of the horse and its ancestry

As to your statement I highlighted in bold, if you were a student of Appys you would know that the Nez Perce were ruthless in their selective breeding, and bred to two specific performance standards, which of course accounts for the two different conformation types found in foundation Appys. The irony here of course is that the slective breeding and breeding to a standard employed by the Nez Perce was far more intensive than the helter skelter breeding that occurs today. Let's call a spade a spade - the vast majority of horse breeding in the U.S. Does not employ selective breeding or breeding to a standard to any meaningful degree. That's not to say that there are not breeders that do both, because there certainly are. But you and I both know the percentage of Quarterhorses, Paints, or Appys in their respective registries that are competently selectively bred and bred to the breed standard is pitifully small. I am not criticizing that or criticizing those that breed but don't breed selectively to a standard...I am just saying that the Nez Perce far exceeded contemporary breeding standards as they apply to the two variables you mentioned, therefore by your own criteria the Appys as bred by the Nez Perce were far more a breed than the majority of horses bred today. With that being said, there of course is no question that top breeders today have more tools at their disposal than 250 years ago and are extremely selective, but when we talk breed we are talking about the general population - not specific individuals, and I doubt that over 5% of horses bred today are bred by what I would term a top breeder. And what's more, out of those 5% of top bred horses, many of them are bred to an over specialized performance standard rather than to a breed standard...one would hardly call a halter horse that can barely waddle across an arena, or a TB bred so specialized for speed that it is anatomically unsound, as breeding to the breed standard - at least I hope not...

Interesting discussion...
     
    10-20-2011, 05:42 PM
  #30
Trained
From the link you posted:

Breed
1. A race or variety of men or other animals (or of plants), perpetuating its special or distinctive characteristics by inheritance. Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed. (Shak) Greyhounds of the best breed. (Carpenter)


2. Class; sort; kind; of men, things, or qualities. Are these the breed of wits so wondered at? (Shak) This courtesy is not of the right breed. (Shak)


3. A number produced at once; a brood.

breed is usually applied to domestic animals; species or variety to wild animals and to plants; and race to men."


Race (or breed) as applied to humans is not a genetic construct. Yes, blacks have different characteristics than whites, but those distinctions are maintained either by lack of opportunity for inbreeding (distance) or prejudice. My wife was born and raised in the Philippines, and is a Filipina, but our daughter is, in these terms, a half-breed. Happily so, I'll add.

In the absence of an external pressure determining breeding, these are the only two ways I know to maintain a 'breed' - distance, or prejudice.

Horses, left in the wild, will interbreed. Indeed, my Appy is the result of an Appaloosa stallion who broke down his fence, and mated with a purebred Arabian show mare through another fence. Had the mare been a mustang, the offspring would not have been eligible for registration with the main registry of Appys. But the stallion would not have cared.

If you turned a bunch of Arabians loose in the wold, they would change with time, showing increasing variability unless there was some form of natural selection preventing some of the variability. My Arabian mare is pushing 16 hands, so I suspect one could take a group of Arabians and eventually breed into a large horse. A lot would depend on the internal genetic variability within your population, but one could certainly shift the mean.

As I understand it - and I am not a breeder of anything - the Appy registry argued to allow solid colors based on the solid colors retaining the ability genetically to sire Appy colors. I don't agree with that, since I think you should breed toward a goal. I tend to prefer performance goals for dogs and horses, but I understand those who include colors as well.

If indeed the Nez Perce had a rigorous breeding program - and I don't doubt you - then they were acting as a registry. They had specific goals, and only included those horses for breeding that would help them reach those goals.

A registry merely states what its goal in breeding is, and then includes those horses bred for that purpose, with the idea that constantly breeding them will reduce the genetic variability and increase the chance of a given crossing meeting the breed standard.

Thus the largest registry of Border Collies has refused to set an appearance standard, since they maintain the only real test of a Border Collie is performance. I think they still allow registry on merit, although I'm not certain. I know they used to do so.

The AKC has entered into a competition with them, trying to turn Border Collies into dogs that look a certain way. Conflicting goals, so they should be different breeds. I know many Border Collie breeders call the AKC version "Barbie Collies".

IMHO. In any case, I thank you for the discussion and for your insights into what is happening in the Appaloosa world.
     

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