Hi, and congrats on buying your appaloosa!
Yes, there are some horses and lines in the Appaloosa breed that are gaited. It is a minority, and not seen in the Appaloosa showring where walk-trot-canter (walk-jog-lope) are the accepted gaits, but intermediate four beat gaits do exist in Appaloosas.
Some of the Foundation lines have been known to have gaitedness, but it does not usually breed true. Some early Appaloosa lines had gaited breed ancestry back when ApHC allowed those crosses. For the past 25 years or so, the only breeds acceptable for crossing with Appaloosas for a registered foal have been Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred, and Arabian, so there is less gaitedness "coming in" to the breed than in years prior to that limitation.
There are also people that cross Appaloosas on gaited breeds today to get more color and more gait in the same horse, and there are seperate (from ApHC- the Appaloosa Horse Club, the main registry for Appaloosas) registries for some of those crosses as well.
Thin manes and tails do come along with the LP gene (the "on off switch" for appaloosa coloring and characteristics) to some extent. Not all LP/appaloosa colored horses have thin manes and tails, but a noticeable enough percentage do that it has been considered a trait of the coloration. It is not found JUST in Appaloosas, but also other breeds which have LP coloring, such as POAs, Knabstruppers, etc.
Some of the breeders breeding "Foundation" bloodline Appaloosas prefer thin hair as an Appaloosa trait. Other breeders have selected away from thin hair, but it has not been totally erased-- and it is still found in Appaloosas (and their cousins) of all types and bloodlines, not just "Foundation"-- for example, some of the thinnest haired Appaloosas I have ever seen have been 15/16 Thoroughbred.
I would say most people today leave their Appaloosa's mane and tail "natural"-- and more would encourage them to grow rather than trim or roach them-- however where manes are really thin, short or stiff and don't lay over, roaching is still sometimes done for neatness or appearance or etc. Most people don't trim tails anymore-- are you sure your guy had his tail trimmed, or is it possible that his tail is just short?
Do you have any info on your guy's pedigree, history, or etc.? I would be happy to look at anything you have to see if I have more info to share.
Last edited by Eastowest; 09-24-2009 at 02:18 PM.