The Appaloosa’s Heritage (and a PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY!)

Hello! It’s so nice to return and spend the day with you here – I had such a great time the last time I visited. Thanks for having me!

One of my favorite parts of writing a historical is the research. I can easily get lost in it (which can sometimes be a problem when I’m supposed to be productive). Most recently my wandering has taken me to the workings of a western essential: the livery stable. Why, you ask? My next release, Copper, is book three in my Heart of a Miner series set in the ghost town of Silver City, Idaho, where the main character, Mac Walley, is the owner of the town livery.


Most of us probably know that a livery stable was a place where one could find horses,

University of Idaho Library:

wagons, and other means of conveyance for rent, as well as board a horse short-term. Mac would be tasked with providing shelter, water, feeding twice a day, mucking stalls, and even turning a horse out for exercise. Mr. Walley, however, has his eye set on breeding a very special type of horse, one that you may have heard of or even recognize: The Appaloosa.

This unique spotted horse has a distinct heritage, as its ancestors were highly coveted, versatile intelligent, hardy, and courageous. Carefully bred by the Nez Perce tribe in Idaho’s Kamiah Valley, these horses gained the attention of attentive cowboys and breeders in 1877 during the flight of the Nez Perce. Led by Chief Joseph, the tribe gathered 2,000 of their prized horses and fled 1,500 miles northeast over rough, unfamiliar terrain without rest, the horses surviving solely on forage.

Despite the impressive feat, the herd’s numbers declined until only a few hundred remained. Efforts to save the faithful, reliable horses resulted in today’s Appaloosa, well-favored for their spotted coats and easy-going dispositions. The breed has its place in the American West even still, making excellent working ranch and cattle horses, pleasure and family mounts, and even sport and racing horses. The Appaloosa has become one of America’s best-loved breeds and has truly endured the test of time.

Mac Walley, recognizing their strength and beauty, can hardly pass up the chance to buy a pair when they turn up at his livery – but they don’t stick around for long. You’ll have to read the story to see what happens to his cherished horses, and whether his bride-of-convenience, Joan, can help him get them back!


Copper is scheduled to release later this month (March 26), and in celebration of its release, I’d like to send a paperback of the book to one winner here today  (Giveaway guidelines apply). To enter the giveaway, tell me about your favorite horse breed or a characteristic you admire.

You can pick it up on pre-order here, and it’ll also be available with the rest of the series on kindle unlimited.



Krystal’s website/newsletter sign-up:





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60 thoughts on “The Appaloosa’s Heritage (and a PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY!)”

    • I lived near a buckskin when I was little and idolized him. He was well-muscled and gorgeous with his long mane and tail.

  1. Good morning and welcome back to P & P. My favorite breed is the quarter horse. I love their ability to be used in roping and their disposition is remarkable.
    I love palomino horses. I love their beautiful blond to gold coats. I had one of my roping horses growing up called Dan, he was a dabbled palomino and when the sun shine down On him, he just sparkled.
    Thank you for the history of the Appaloosa, they are beautiful horses.
    Your book sounds very intriguing.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    • I remember going to one of the farms near us which raises and breeds American Quarter Horses. They’re so beautiful. We were only allowed to be close to mares, colts, and fillies. It was too dangerous to be near the stallions.

      We live in horse country and several local farms have bred winners of major Thoroughbred racing titles.

    • Good morning! Great blog! It just so happens that the Appaloosa is my favorite breed and the more elaborate the pattern of the horses spots the better! I gained my love of the Appaloosa from my father. It is also his favorite breed. Thanks for stopping by! I’ve yet to read one of your books and a giveaway is an awesome way to find a new author to add to my go to authors list!

  2. I know very little about horse breeds but I do know they are a beautiful animal. I have always loved horses. My Daughter in law has one that looks a lot the picture you have in your blog. I throughly enjoyed reading your blog and the history lesson.

  3. I love quarter horses. We raised a few of them. We had a mare that always threw black foals. My first horse was a palomino. He was 15 years old and kind tempered. Love those memories of my 20’s. Thank you for your blog and update on the new release. I love reading in series. Have a super weekend.

  4. I like all horses and grew up with them. We always had at least two horses. Had an Appaloosa in my teenage years.

  5. I love all kinds of horses, but my favorite is the Gypsy Vanner. Someday I hope to own one of my own. For now, I settle for gazing longingly online.

  6. I don’t know a lot about horses but I always kind of like the color of the Paint horses like little Joe road. I think most horses are a beautiful animal.

  7. I have hag Quarter Horses or Paints (colored QH) all my life and so far has been 56 years to have one in the pasture!

  8. I don’t have much personal experience with horses, but I’ve always loved the look of Palominos. I give credit to that to all the Mr. Ed reruns I watched with my dad as a young girl.

  9. My daughter has a Missouri foxtrotter and he’s a unique and fun horse. He used to be a sheriff horse! They are good at what they do.

  10. Krystal, welcome to P&P! We love having you and hope you enjoy your visit. I love Appaloosa horses and have written quite a few into my books. I love them for their size which will accommodate my big cowboy heroes. And they’re just so beautiful. Next to them are buckskins in my opinion. Good luck with your book.

  11. Welcome, Krystal! Seems our readers today have a love of horses, too! I’ve included an Appaloosa in the book I just finished. I just love that word. Appa-loo-sa – it just sounds so western to me. LOL.

  12. I grew up in a farm and ranch family … we had a Paint horse and a Quarter Horse… my best friend and I would ride every chance we got…. oh the good ole’ days!!!
    My favorite horse ever is the Appaloosa… John Wayne rode one and that’s good enough for me!!! Thank you so much for the opportunity…. Have a Blessed Day…Linda Johnston

  13. Welcome. Congratulations. Such a lovely cover. This story sounds wonderful. I love horses. When I lived on the farm, I had an Palomino named Goldie. She was the sweetest most reliable horse we had. When I was learning to ride her, if I fell off, she would stop and come back for me. She was such a joy to ride. Gentle lady. The two of us did barrel racing and once she got the hang of what to do, wow she was on it. She was very intelligent. I suppose because of Goldie, I love Palominos.

  14. Horses are such magnificent creatures. The pinto was always a favorite for me especially during the Western period.

  15. Whenever I watched Roy Rogers when I was young his horse, Trigger, the Palomino was beautiful. Buttermilk was lovely too.

  16. Krystal, I love Paints & Appaloosa’s. Enjoyed your blog about the Appaloosa’s raised by the Nez Perce tribe. Didn’t realize what all was involved back in 1877. Thanks, for the chance to win a copy of your new book. Have a blessed day.

    • Paints and Appaloosa’s, huh? Sounds like a good combo to me. Glad you learned something new. Thanks Lois.

  17. I have always like the Appaloosa, but prefer the ones with spotting just on the back half/rump area. I never cared much for the leopard appaloosa, too many spots for me. I was so dismayed when I learned of what the U. S. Army did. When they caught the Nez Perce 2 days walk from the Canadian border, the officer in charge, knowing the importance of the horses to the tribe, ordered his men to kill the horses. It was said that many of the soldiers had tears in their eyes as they followed orders. It broke the spirit of the tribe. It also wiped out a major portion of the best appaloosa stock in the country. I also found it interesting that the Nez Perce were one of the first to use selective breeding to refine and improve their horses. They gelded stallions who weren’t prime and sold off inferior stock.
    In your research, did it mention how many livery owners were also blacksmiths? It was a trade that would have fit in nicely with the livery’s services and be extra income for the owner. I hope COPPER has a most successful release.

    • Yes, I like the blanket spotting, too. That’s horrible, isn’t it? Those Nez Perce horses had been through so much already.
      I didn’t see anything mentioned about the livery/blacksmith combo, but I’m sure it was done. There is precious little online about how a livery was operated.
      Thanks for your comments, Patricia.

      • I did find a reference that listed a blacksmith across the street from the livery. It would make sense to have them in close proximity. Putting the forge in a stable would not be a very good idea. The heat and chance of sparks starting a fire in the hay at the stable would be large. The horses might not like the noise either. I know our town, the oldest in Tennessee, was destroyed by fire a couple of times. One must have been caused by sparks from the blacksmith because they were no longer allowed to have their shops in town. We have to be careful when using our forge because there is a corn field behind it. In the Fall, when the corn stalks are dry, we try not to use a coal fire. Even with a screen on the stack, sparks do escape. One reference listed the blacksmith adjacent to the carriage factory which would be convenient since some parts needed for the carriage needed to be forged. The livery was on the same block across the street. (That was Camden, NJ in the 1800’s) Since blacksmiths did so much more than just horse shoes, unless there was a farrier in town, being separate would make sense. Also, the soot from the forge would coat everything. It would be difficult to keep the carriages clean. Coal is messy, dirty stuff.

  18. Welcome, Krystal. I don’t know a lot about horses, but I really enjoyed your blog as I learned something about the Appaloosa too. I like to read about the comings and goings at the livery stables in the books I read. And I like heroes who take care of their animals. I always think of Quint in Gunsmoke! I’m looking forward to reading your Copper.

  19. They are beautiful horses, most of the movies I’ve watched they (Native Americans) are usually riding them.

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