By Terry McNamee © 2013
Early records suggest that the first horses brought to the Americas were a combination of breeds and types, but most were what today would be called Andalusian. They were powerful horses, not very tall, with heavy manes and tails, and the stallions had thick crests. The Spaniards also brought Lusitanos from Portugal, African Barbs and gaited Spanish Jennets. There may have been some Arabian mixed in, along with other types of European horses that were developing into breeds at that time. Four hundred years later, by 1945, the Appaloosa (which included varnish roans, leopard-spotted and blanket-patterned horses) was well on its way to becoming established as a separate breed in the United States. It was generally believed that these spotted coats came from the Spanish Jennets and Andalusians, but some people thought that spotted Barbs also contributed colour to the new breed.