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Our Breeding Program 

Our breeding program is based upon two equally important goals. First, we selectively breed to preserve the "old-line" Appaloosas. We consider ourselves breeders of "foundation" Appaloosas, but use the term "old-line" rather than "foundation" for our horses because many of the early horses registered as "foundation "stock through the Appaloosa Horse Club were crossbreds. Thus, to us the term "old-line" is more exclusive, and better reflects the purebred bloodstock we have attempted to pull into our breeding program. 

Second, we produce elegant Appaloosa athletes with soundness, color, movement, and sanity, capable of competing in rigorous athletic events. We are aware that the type of conformation consistently associated with the "old-line" horses , discussed below, makes them naturally suited for the Sporthorse disciplines of the Olympics -Dressage, Jumping and Three-day Eventing. Through our program we have focused on breeding these traits true, rather than attempting to breed horses for Western or stock events. 

"Old-line" Breeding 

We have faith in the "old-line" Appaloosa's versatility, soundness and sanity. The leopard-spotted horse has a long and incredible history, tracing back to the Siberian Altai mountains in Central Asia, where they were revered and considered sacred. 

Because the ApHC allows crossbreeding to other breeds (Quarter Horses, Arabians,  and Thoroughbreds)-and allows these cross-bred horses to be registered as "Appaloosas"- many registered "Appaloosa" horses may be 63/64 something else. The gene responsible for the coloring of the Appaloosa is dominant and some of these horses with multiple crossbreedings to other breeds may indeed possess the characteristic "color" and pattern of the Appaloosa horse. But with each successive crossbreeding comes a dilution including color production. Equally as important is the dilution of all genetic material, weaken and/or eliminating other traits the "old" lines were known to possess -extreme hardiness, surefootedness, rock-hard feet, substantial bone, long-muscled rather than "bull-dog" conformation, intelligence, and "can-do" attitude. We believe that a true "Appaloosa" should possess all of these traits, and that crossbreeding is not of benefit to that goal. We believe that a 63/64 Quarter Horse with spots is not a true Appaloosa, but is just that: a 63/64 Quarter Horse with spots. As stated by noted Appaloosa breeder, Ralph Cannon, "I suspect you cannot put a Quarter Horse head on an Appaloosa, lower his withers, widen his chest, put bulging muscles on hips and forearms, diminish the substance of his cannons and hooves, without changing his athletic ability and his temperament." (Go to Appaloosa Myths and Facts for more on this topic.) 

Sporthorse Ability 

We believe in the competitiveness of Appaloosas against other breeds in open competition. One of the most -if not the most-grueling of equine competitions, Three-Day Eventing (also called "Combined Training") was developed to test the mettle of cavalry mounts for war. Day one consists of Dressage, designed to test the horse's "listening" ability and movement. Day two is the strenuous cross-country phase, with the horses timed galloping over immobile jumps, ditches, in and out of fences and through water. Many of the jumps are made from rocks or logs, and others are intentionally designed to be potentially frightening for the horse. This phase tests the horse's stamina, boldness and athletic ability. The final day wraps up the competition with stadium jumping, testing both precision and endurance -a horse too tired from the cross-country phase will not be in condition to jump cleanly in the stadium round. 

Particular qualities are called for in a horse to enable it to compete in such a difficult athletic endeavor: Correct, balanced conformation with appropriate shoulder and hip angles; uphill or level topline; substantial bone with big, solid joints -all traits possessed by the "old-line" leopard Appaloosa horses. Couple this with the unique, intelligent dispositions of the "old-line" horses, their endless heart and great work ethics, and the makings are there for sporthorses of excellent caliber. 

We have worked toward this goal in our breeding program through two routes: selecting mares who have proven themselves in the Sporthorse disciplines, or are by proven Sporthorse stallions; and selecting horses with the conformation, movement and size to compliment and add to the qualities of the horses we breed (To see what we mean, go to: Our Stallions, Our Mares, and Reference Horses.) 
 

Contact:

Silvermoon Appaloosas
Gala Argent & Bob Schuster
P.O. Box 1425
Foresthill, CA 95631
530-367-3912
E-Mail:gala@argentco.com


 

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