Pendleton, Oregon Nez Perce Katie Harris. The Nez Perce Horse is a spotted horse breed of the Nez Perce tribe of Idaho. The Nez Perce Horse Registry (NPHR) program began in 1995 in Lapwai, Idaho and is based on cross-breeding the old-line Appaloosa horses (the Wallowa herd) with an ancient Central Asian breed called Akhal-Teke.
In the 1600's French trappers noticed colorful horses inhabiting The Palouse River Valley, home to the Nez Perce Indians in Washington and Idaho. The trappers began referring to this type of horse as "a Palousie" which later became Appaloosa. However these little spotted horses came to them, the Nez Perce realized their value for hunting and war in the high plateau country. Long-skilled as dog breeders, the Nez Perce were the first selective breeders of American Appaloosas.