What Is A Spotted Horse Called? It Depends

Last Updated on March 14, 2022

Horses have a large variety of coat colors, markings, and patterns, which only add to their beauty, but here will look at what is a spotted horse called. Horses with spots are one of the more unique coat patterns. Some people love this type of coat, while others prefer a horse without spots.

To answer the question, what is a spotted horse called, we will look at the different breeds that have this type of coat. A horse coat with spots isn’t necessarily one type of horse, it is simply a coat pattern. But certain breeds have this type of coat in abundance.


The breed of horse most familiar, to even beginner horse enthusiasts is the Appaloosa. When asking about what type of horse has spots, it is most likely it is the Appaloosa that triggered the question. The Appaloosa is also the most common horse breed with spots.

The Appaloosa is a North American breed with a close association with the Nez Perce tribe of the Pacific Northwest. In the mid-1700s, Spanish Spotted Horses made their way into the region. The Nez Perce took ownership of some of these horses and started breeding them. 

Appaloosa - Spotted Horse

By 1750, the Nez Perce were selectively breeding these horses to only keep the best ones in their herds. The Appaloosa is an intelligent, sturdy horse, with athletic ability that allows it to travel safely over long distances. All these characteristics were highly valued by the Nez Perce.

Withing the Appaloosa breed, you will see several spotted coat patterns. Six patterns are officially recognized.

Leopard Coat

A Leopard Appaloosa is one of the most distinct coat patterns. These horses have a white coat over most of their body, but all over this coat, head to toe, are spots. Much like a leopard, hence the name for this type of spotted horse.

These spots can range from many to just a few. Snowflake and few spot leopard horses are the same but just have fewer spots.

Blanket Appaloosa

The Blanket Appaloosa is still is an Appaloosa with a specific type of coat pattern. Horses with this coat are a majority dark color, such as black or bay. However, their hindquarters have a white ‘blanket’ that has spots that match the main color.

Blanket Appaloosas can have a main color of the bay, black, chestnut, dun, and more rarely grullo.


The Noriker is a very old European horse breed from Austria. It is a heavy, strong, draught horse from the mountainous Tyrol region. It is one of the rarer horse breeds and still works in forestry, but is also an excellent, calm riding horse.

The Noriker comes in several colors, but the most striking is its leopard coat pattern. This pattern is very similar to the Leopard Appaloosa, and it is easy to mistake the two.

Colorado Rangers

A Colorado Ranger is an unusual horse breed that dates to the start of the 1900s. As its name suggests, the breed comes from the US state of Colorado. The breed comes from the crossing of the Appaloosa with stallions from Turkey. Even though Colorado Rangers come in most coat colors, the majority have Appaloosa patterns. The breed is a ranch horse and is excellent for working cows.

Pony Of The Americas

The Pony of the Americas is an uncommon breed that is increasing in popularity. It is a specialized type of pony created for young riders ready to move on from smaller ponies, but not ready for a full-size horse. The breed only came about in the 1950s, originating in the US state of Iowa.

Pony Of The Americas

These are versatile ponies capable of participating in a variety of equestrian activities. Pony of the Americas is attractive equines with refined features. Their coats can show as spots in a blanket or leopard pattern.

Several breeds influence the creation of this beautiful breed, including the Quarter Horse. Appaloosa, Thoroughbred, Welsh Pony, and the Arabian.


The Knabstrupper is a rare breed that most people are not familiar with. It comes from Demark where it originates in the early 1800s. It lives in relative obscurity, with the first one not reaching North America until 2002.

All Knabstruppers can trace their lineage to one specific mare with a spotted coat on a chestnut base. Her first foal, a colt from a solid color stallion, was born with dramatic spotting on its coat. The mare and foal bred more horses who inherited their spotty coats.

It is a tough, hardy, spirited breed capable of thriving in harsh environments. Many of these horses possess great athletic abilities. You will see them in many show rings competing at dressage, jumping, and driving.

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Spotted Horse Breed Conclusion

As you can see, spotted horses appear in several different horse breeds. In addition to the breeds with spots we look at here, you will also see spotted coats in Miniature Horses, the British Spotted Pony, the Nez Perce Horse, the Tigar Horse, and the Walkaloosa.

A horse with spots all over its coat is always a leopard pattern, regardless of the breed. The same goes for horses with a blanket pattern.

What is a spotty horse called?

Spotty or dotted horses are usually referred to as Appaloosas. The breed can have spots all over its body or a blanket pattern on its rump. The Appaloosa is a breed of horse that was originally developed in the United States and Mexico. It is most often used for show jumping, dressage, and endurance riding.
However, because of their coloration they are often confused with a Pinto horse. So, if you see a horse with large patches of white and brown, black, or tan, it’s more like a Pinto or Paint horse. 

Is a roan horse speckled?

Roan is a horse coat color pattern characterized by even mixing of colors on the body, while the head, lower legs, mane, and tail are mostly of one solid color. Horses with roan coats have white hairs evenly distributed throughout any other color. Their speckled coat stands out in any crowd because of their unique and wonderful appearance.
Roughly 1% of all horses are roans, and in that group, only a very small proportion will show the color variation called a roaning mutation. These horses are sought after because of the uniqueness of their coloring.

What type of horse is white with black spots?

The patterns and colors of the coat of Ponies of Americas vary widely, but the most common coat color is a blanket pattern, which is white over the loin and hips with dark, round, g-shaped spots. The spots vary in size from specks to areas larger than four inches in diameter.
Ponies of the Americas are a wonderful breed. They are small, friendly and very patient – they were bred to be ridden by children. The body is short and round, with a strong rib cage and well-sprung limbs. The overall appearance is that of a very muscular pony with a compact, strong frame. The breed standard for Ponies of the Americas states that they are “short in stature, but sturdy in build; well-muscled; of a medium size; and possess a powerful, but refined, carriage.

What is the horse breed that looks like a Dalmatian?

The Knabstrupper are the most unusual horses in the world – and they come from Denmark. The breed has a long history with unique coloration that can be similar to that of Dalmatians. This breed is rare with only 600 individuals spread around the world.
The Knabstrupper is a versatile horse, equally at home in the show ring and the saddle. It is a well-mannered and easy-to-ride mount, and the black and white markings on its body add a distinctive touch to any stable. They are strong, responsive and trainable, and are used in general riding, as carriage and as circus horses.

Is Pinto a breed?

The Pinto horse is a color breed that stands in sharp contrast to many other breeds that are defined by their genetic ancestry. A Pinto horse has a dark background with random patches of white. The Pinto coloration (aka the Pinto effect) may occur in any breed of horses, regardless of its size or shape, or conformation.
Pintos were originally bred to be used as working horses. They are hardy, strong and easy to train, and they make excellent workhorses. The Pinto horse was developed in the mid 1800s as a cross between two other breeds; the Quarter Horse and the Paint Horse.