One of the pioneers of endurance riding in South Africa.
The Appaloosa is the world's oldest identifiable breed, the pride of ancient monarchs of Europe and Asia and the favoured mount of the Nez Perce Indians of the Palouse Valley of Idaho. Today they have reached a new popularity for the same reasons they were prized in the past - disposition, intelligence, easy keeping qualities, speed, the hardest of hooves and the ability to go all day without tiring. Appaloosas are being used in ranch work, show, parade, endurance , youth programs, trail rides, jumping, pleasure riding, polo etc. In fact in all fields of equestrian endeavour the Appaloosa can do it and do it well. At the prestigious Masters Tournament in Calgary , Canada the Appaloosa has won the multi-facetted Battle of the Breed three times against ten other breeds!
"What a beauty, you can't ever geld him!". Some breeders inadvertently find themselves with a stallion on their hands when a particularly beautiful colt is born. Others buy a sweet little foal and until the age of two they wonder what all the fuss is about. Call it spring fever, but whatever the season, from one day to the next your gentle colt becomes a handful. Some colts running with their young buddies will remain calm even up to the age of three but they are the exception rather than the rule.
Having had a close association with this farm in the past 12 years, I feel well qualified to give it's history. Many horse enthusiasts will be familiar with this lovely fruit farm as the venue of two of our Appaloosa AGM weekends. The first foal "Indian Summer" was born on Alpha in August 1973 and she was to give the Amm family sixteen wonderful foals . Her sire was the loud leopard coloured circus stallion Chipperfields Pasha and Claire was soon able to purchase his partner Chipperfields Spot who produced many fine youngsters. When Spot's daughters were ready to breed the stallion Toby's Apache came onto the market. This was the only coloured son of the imported Doll's Toby and contributed more refinement if not always as much colour to the Alpha herd. I schooled and rode Apache successfully in several shows and he completed the National Endurance Ride with Lisa in 1986.
Driving through the Eastern Free State when you come over the hill into Alpha Estate you can be forgiven for thinking you have entered the Palouse country of Idaho, as your eyes rest on the rolling valley with it's colourful herd of Appaloosa horses. A few Nez Perce Indian tepees would not be out of place and the waters of the Caledon River, the boundary with Lesotho, make sure that the pastures are always abundant.
How many of you have had a little foal dash out of your control, the first time you put a halter on him, and hurt himself in his hysteria ? The scene is all too common and here are some tips for getting your horse to lead perfectly whatever his age.
Every horse owner will at one stage or another find they have to load their horse, whether it is at time of purchase or to go to a competition or pleasure ride. Here are a few tips to make the experience easy and stress free for all concerned.
If these easy steps are followed, even an eight year old can imprint a new born foal
Being defined as a 'Breed with a colour preference', solid coloured - i.e. bay, black and chestnut foals do result from time to time in an Appaloosa breeding program, but most are predominantly white with dark spots scattered over the body...