The rare Nez Perce Horse has a unique history. Not many equestrians have heard of this breed. The Nez Perce Tribe, a group of people indigenous to North America, selectively raised horses for racing, endurance, and stamina. In the 1990s, a program was established to restore this traditional breed.
Facts About the Nez Perce Horse
- In 1994, the Nez Perce Tribe started a breeding program which crossbred Appaloosas and Akhal-Teke horses. This breed was called the Nez Perce Horse. It was funded by the Nez Perce Tribe, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and The First Nations Development Institute.
- This breed has Appaloosa characteristics, such as mottled skin, blanket patterns and spotting. A traditional color for them is buckskin or palomino.
- Often described as a “lean runner”, these horses have long backs and narrow shoulders. They’re good long-distance horses with many of them being gaited and smooth.
- Though the numbers are small, there is an association that registers the horses- Nez Perce Horse Registry.
- Historically, the Nez Perce people are known for their selective horse breeding practices.
This beautiful breed of horse has a unique heritage. It’s a great example of how horses were bred and cherished in the past.