Nope, not ugly, or at least not supposed to be 100%. Sure the rangy types seen in photos from the Native American days seem rough, but look at their living and using conditions. I'm not a big fan of the people breeding crap stock to get all the leopards either. Love me a nice blanket app.
My grandfather and his father before him bred, trained, traded, and raced Appys. The horses in their photos were far, far from ugly. Sure they had sparse manes and tails, but none of them had the ewe necks and giant
jug heads that people associate them with. They weren't quarter horses with spots either. They excelled in every western discipline and my Bob raised, trained, and bred a particularly fantastic colt that went on to win multiple races, that same day you could then take him to a pleasure show and clean house. My dad was literally raised by an old Appy brood mare. At two he was thrown on her back and she would go stand in the shade while he played jungle gym on her for hours. Nothing dangerous or stubborn about her.
I have been looking for an excellent Appy for years, I want one like portrayed in the black and white photos hanging on my grandparents walls. Can't find one. Either they ARE quarter horses with spots, awfully bred for halter and wouldn't last a second in these hills, or else they are crossbred/poorly bred to actually HAVE a ewe neck and jug head and just be loud.
Sigh, some day I'll find "the one", till then I browse and browse shaking my head at what's happened to this amazing breed...