This Appaloosa curly horse stallion named “Spot O Rust” was born in 2003, and was owned by our farm from about 2009-2011. This leopard Appaloosa stallion with curly fur, a result of the curly horse gene, was out of a mare named Mead’s Pretty Amber, and sired by a stallion named Mead’s Bsyo Coyote. His base coat color is bay, which you can see and his dark-colored mane.
As the names in his pedigree imply, this horse was from the Mead line of curly horses. Also in Spot of Rust’s lineage age MCH Ernie* ABC 2246, White Dove ABC S-203, and foundation curly horses The Yellow Hornet* ABC 878(f) and “Old Grey Mare” ABC 719(f).
Spot O Rust sired at least two curly horse foals, Owyhee Nevada, a Zebra Dun curly horse with straight fur out of a straight-coated curly horse mare named Apple Tart. A second foal was born in 2011 named Patriot, out of a curly ABCR mare named Noble Debutante. Rusty was sold to Sacred Way Spirit Horses in 2011.
Rusty, a leopard Appaloosa curly horse stallion is a rare horse indeed. The gene for leopard Appaloosa coloring – that is, coloring in which a horse has spots all over its body – is not common among horses. It occurs most often in the Appaloosa breed. However, Appaloosa-type coloring also occurs outside of the Appaloosa breed. Bashkir Curly horses are one of the few breeds other than Appaloosa’s in which the leopard Appaloosa coloring appears but it is not common. Among curly horses, the leopard Appaloosa coloring is extremely uncommon. During the years in which we were advertising Rusty as a stallion instead, he was originally the only leopard Appaloosa curly horse stallion. By the end of his breeding years however, he had sired two leopard Appaloosa Colts and another horse had been registered having Appaloosa coloring from a different curly horse bloodline.
The history of Appaloosa curly horses
The curly horse originated with the American Mustangs, and American Mustangs contain the genetics for a huge variance in coloring. Because of this, there have likely been leopard Appaloosa curly horses for many generations – perhaps even going back hundreds of years.
this curly horse stallion had a gentle, docile temperament. Unlike many stallions, Rusty was never difficult to handle. He was, however resistant to training under saddle. Initially, we were hesitant to offer Rusty at stud for this reason, however, multiple trainers reported there were strong indications that Rusty’s response to having a writer mounted was due to trauma rather than a physical issue or behavioral problem. In fact, this stallion was extremely trainable – and was easily broken to drive a cart and to ground drive. Although Rusty was never comfortable with a rider, when he was sold to a Native American-owned organization offering immersive equine experiences, we knew it was a good fit for our leopard Appaloosa curly stallion.
Curly horses are an extremely versatile horse breed, though not yet very popular. The breed is still very rare – and Appaloosa-colored curly horses are even rarer. If you are lucky enough to own an Appaloosa curly horse you have the rare experience of having a horse with both spots and curly hair. Although, due to the combination of these genes, growing a thick mane and tail may be a challenge. You’ll need to provide high-quality feed for your curly spotted horse, and likely supplement with biotin or other additives that help improve the quality of manes and tails. Many Appaloosa owners choose to roach their horse’s mane, although Rusty’s mane grew in fairly full and thick.