Crystal White has been the director of the Appaloosa Museum for about four years. She grew up around horses and her father is Nez Perce, so she is a good fit for the museum. She said one of her favorite things about working for the museum is seeing how excited children are to see a real live horse. I feel the same way – I loved petting the sweet Appaloosa filly at the museum.
As you go through the museum, you will see many ways the Appaloosa has been important to the Nez Perce Indians, who are noted for the breed. Through history they used the Appaloosa for everything, including hunting and travel. They appreciated the endurance, intelligence and even temperament of the breed and the horse's ability to travel in various terrains, including rocky ground. The Nez Perce lost most of their horses after the Nez Perce War in 1877, and the breed fell into decline for several decades. A small number of dedicated breeders preserved the Appaloosa as a distinct breed until the Appaloosa Horse Club was formed as the breed registry in 1938.
Appaloosas, originally called “A Palouse Horse”, have a different look from other horse breeds. They have coats with a myriad of colors and patterns, striped hooves, mottled skin, and bigger sceria – the white of the eye - which gives them eyes that look more like human eyes. Today, the Appaloosa is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. It was named the official state horse of Idaho in 1975.
The Appaloosa Museum began as a collection held in George Hatley's basement decades ago. In 1958, it was moved to 1st Street, and then later to Jackson Street. In 1975, the museum was moved to it's current location at 2720 Pullman Road in Moscow. Iola Hatley and her son are current board members. The building is owned by Appaloosa Horse Club members from all over the world and by members of the Friends of the Museum. The museum operates through donations.
The museum is filled with a variety of history and exhibits. They have extensive archives and rotate the displays, so if you've been to the museum before, you can go again and see new exhibits. There are also traveling exhibits and donated items. One surprising exhibit that people always comment on and ask about is the barbed wire exhibit. People nationwide collect it, so they are very interested in the museum's collection.
The Appaloosa Museum hosts events throughout the year. The next event coming up is the Holiday Open House, Dec. 3. Santa brings an Appy, (a nickname for Appaloosas), to the museum. If it's dry and the ground is hard, children can take a ride on the horse. If it's muddy, children can still sit on the horse and have their photo taken. Crystal said, “It's funny, the horse is the highlight, not Santa.” There will also be a movie showing, a craft to do, and horse shaped sugar cookies to decorate. The event is free and open to the public.
THE APPALOOSA HORSE MUSEUM IS A MOSCOW FOOD CO-OP BUSINESS PARTNER
- Through our Business Partner Program, Co-op owners receive a discount on locally owned businesses that partner with the Co-op, and the Co-op promotes our locally owned partners.
- At the Appaloosa Horse Museum, members receive a 10% discount on the purchase of gift shop merchandise.
- The Appaloosa Horse Museum can be contacted at (208) 882-5578, Ext 279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For more information about the Co-op's Business Partner Program, please ask for a brochure and/or an application at the Customer Service Desk or click here