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A remarkable aspect of the Appaloosa is the myriad of color and pattern combinations he can exhibit. The following are seven common terms used to describe Appaloosa patterns. The description used by the Registration Department differs slightly. Appaloosa patterns are highly variable and there are many which may not fit into specific categories easily.
Blanket - refers to a horse which has a solid white area normally over, but not limited to, the hip area with a contrasting base color.
Spots - refers to a horse which has white or dark spots over all or a portion of its body.
Blanket With Spots - refers to a horse with a white blanket which has dark spots within the white. The spots are usually the same color as the horse's base color.
Roan - A horse exhibiting the Appaloosa roan pattern develops a lighter colored area on the forehead, jowls and fotal bones of the face, over the back, loin and hips. Darker areas may appear along the frontal bones of the face as well and also on the legs, stifle, above the eye, point of the hip and behind the elbow. Without an apparent Appaloosa blanket or spots, a hore with only the above-listed characteristics will also need mottled skin and one other characteristic to qualify for regular registration.
Roan Blanket - refers to a horse having the roan pattern consisting of a mixture of light and dark hairs, over a portion of the body. The blanket normally occurs over, but is not limited to, the hip area.
Roan Blanket With Spots - refers to a horse with a roan blanket which has white and/or dark spots within the roan area.
Solid - refers to a horse which has a base color as is described on the proceding pages but no contrasting color in the form of an Appaloosa coat pattern. This horse will need mottled skin and one other characteristic to receive regular papers.