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Horse Breeds
First Posted: July 14, 2009
Sep 29, 2010

Walkaloosa A Gaited Breed


Photo (Shady) Walkaloosa Horse Association

Country of Origin: United States

The Walkaloosa horse is a horse that performs an intermediate smooth gait besides the trot. Simply stated, they are a gaited horse with appaloosa patterning.

The gaited horse with appaloosa patterning has been documented in history for hundreds, even thousands of years. Then in 1938 when the animals who exhibited LP complex (the genetic factor that causes the spotting of the Appaloosa Horse) were brought together to form the registry that became the Appaloosa Horse Club, the gaited animals were lumped together with all appaloosa patterned horses as the stock that became Registered Appaloosas.

Although the ApHC has years of crosses with many other styles of horses that became the breeds of Quarter Horse, Arabian, and Thoroughbred, the breeders shied way from including the naturally gaited animals in their breeding program - due to the dictates of the show ring. The Appaloosa Horse Club will, in fact, no longer accept for Registration, any foal with Appaloosa coloring and a parent from a "gaited" breed.

In spite of this exclusion, many full blooded, registered Appaloosas still perform a natural gait often referred to as the "The Indian Shuffle." However the gene pool within the ApHC is rather slim and few breeders exist who strive to perpetuate this tendency. The Walkaloosa Horse Association was formed in 1983 to preserve the gaited appaloosa-patterned horses for future generations. The goal was a simple one: preserve, improve and perpetuate the natural smooth gait in a spotted patterned animal that can perform a smooth gait as the intermediate gait undersaddle. There are many horses within the registry who are 3rd or 4th generation Registered Walkaloosa and new animals are being accepted as the books are still open by inspection. Just as all breed registries had to at some point gather the animals that met their criteria to acknowledge and certify as the type the Registry wishes to perpetuate, the WHA is continuing that process.

Breed Standards

In order to qualify as a Walkaloosa, a horse must meet one of three criteria: 1. Be the progeny of a Registered Walkaloosa stallion and mare or; 2. Show Appaloosa coloring and demonstrate an intermediate gait, other than a trot or: 3. Be the product of verifiable Appaloosa and gaited horse blood.

A Walkaloosa is able to walk, gait, and canter with equal ease. Walkaloosas stand at 13-16 hands high but most fall between 14 and 15.2 hands high.


The muscling of the Walkaloosa will depend on the type of gaits it performs. Generally, stallions will exhibit masculinity and mares will look feminine. They range from 13-16 hands high with 14-15.2 hands being desirable. The head may be of any profile except an extreme of those profiles and a Roman nose is undesirable. The neck conformation varies between gait type and sex. The throat latch should be clean and allow for proper flexion and breathing. The top line should be level or slightly uphill, the back's length can vary but should have a well-muscled loin. The angle of the shoulder should allow freedom of movement and the withers should be well defined but not pronounced.


Walkaloosas may not exhibit severe overshot or undershot jaws, common or coarse heads, pig eyes, or parrot mouth. Other faults not to be included in the breed include a thick throat latch, a thick neck, a low neck set, ewe neck, some downhill horses (particularly with no withers), a square outline, or the horse being taller than it is long. Faults relating to the back are: an excessively long back, especially when coupled with a weak loin connection, extreme downhill conformation, thick, coarse or overly muscular appearance, insufficient muscling to the loin, or any crookedness of the back.

For More Information:

Tiger Horse
Walkaloosa Horse Association
Gaited Appaloosa/Appaloosa Shuffle or Indian Shuffle

Horse Breeds