There is no other breed of horse that changes over the years the way many Appaloosas do. Many of them roan out, making them look like a completely different horse than they did when they were young and/or when they were registered. This is one of the reasons it's so extremely important to get good pictures for ICAA to have on file.
Things happen.... Papers get lost or destroyed and duplicates are needed. A breeding stock mare may color out and you want to advance her. You may need to be able to prove to a potential buyer that the horse you're selling is the same horse pictured on the back of its papers. There are numerous reasons why you, or someone who owns the horse you registered years ago, may need to prove that it is the same horse.
The only way to do that with many Appaloosas is to pull out the old pictures and visually match leg and/or face markings, if the face markings are even still visible. If the horse has a lot of spots it's not usually a problem although even those can "migrate" somewhat. A buyer may need to go more by the written description on the papers than the pictures on the back. Below are some examples of the changes Appaloosas can make over the years.
The Changes Appaloosas Can Make
Close-up pictures can be extremely helpful, especially for very small leg markings such as "a partial coronet" or "partial heel". Example 5 shows a close-up of a leg marking that is rather small and may be hard to see well in the full-horse shots. Please note on the photographs which leg it is when only one foot is showing. Close-up shots of any other markings such as brands (Example 6), scars and lower lip snips are also very helpful.
These pictures will not be put on the certificates but will be kept in a file and could make the difference in being able to identify a horse or not if it becomes necessary later.
The other two required pictures are a full front and full rear. These pictures should be like Example 3 and Example 4. The horse's head may be up or down in the rear shot; the most important thing needed is the back of the leg markings. As stated above, no body parts were cut off, she isn't standing in any grass to cover up leg markings, and she's clean. Also, she is facing the camera in Example 3 and her forelock is not covering her face, so we can easily see her face markings.
Again, note that she is standing so we can see all four legs in both of these shots. Note how low her leg marking is in Example 3 on her right front and how high it is in Example 4 on that same right front leg. Also, note that this shot with her head down was used for a rear shot because it shows a lower lip snip that couldn't have been seen as well if her head had been square.
Note: this is not an Appaloosa. These pictures will be replaced when Appaloosa pictures like these become available.
Two of the required pictures are the left side and the right side. The horse in Example 1 and Example 2 show what these pictures should look like. Note, no body parts were cut off. We can see the horse from the tips of his ears to his hooves and from his nose to his tail. He's standing on a flat surface with no grass to hide any part of his legs and he's clean so there is no mud hiding any leg markings.
Also, note that he's standing so that we can see all four of his legs in both shots. This allows markings on the insides of the legs to show as well. This horse has a partial half pastern on his inside left hind leg. This could possibly be the one single identifying mark on this horse to prove this is the same horse if he roans as he ages; hence the importance of being able to see and accurately describe every detail.
The four required pictures needed for registration are
1 - a full left side,
2 - a full right side,
3 - a full front and
4 - a full rear shot.
Additional pictures may be requested for further clarification.
Pictures should always be taken outside with good lighting, out from under trees that cast shadows over the horse, and during the middle of the day when the morning or evening shadows are not long and the color is truer. Keep in mind, however, that light colored horses, such as palominos, can "wash out" if the sun is too bright, making it nearly impossible to determine where blankets end and the base color begins, or to see spots and markings well. It's best to pick a bright but overcast day.
Below are examples with brief explanations.
Tips for Good Registration Pictures
Photo Do's and Don'ts
While getting good face shots like Example 9 to show face markings is very important, if the horse roans out enough over the years there is a good chance you won't be able to determine if there ever was a face marking (Example 10). Even if the horse roans a lot you will still be able to see the leg markings.
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Examples 16 and 17 don’t show the feet, making it impossible to see hooves and leg markings. Example 16 will most likely roan tremendously and with her lack of spots in her blanket, a small leg marking could have been the only way to determine that it is the same horse later on.
Example 18 is too dark and blurry.
Example 11 is a nearly perfect picture of a palomino Appaloosa showing the difference in this shot and the ones taken in bright sun on palominos (Examples 12 and 15). Example 11 was taken in overcast sun so it was not glaring off of the light color; you can see his markings and coat pattern very well. In Example12, taken in bright sunlight, you can’t see if this palomino Appaloosa has a coat pattern. If he weren't standing in his own shadow you wouldn't even be able to determine if he had leg markings.
For further information on why it is so important to send in sharp, clear pictures portraying the whole horse and all the details, you may be interested in reading the article
"What Do You Mean I Need Better Pictures?!?"
Example 13 was taken under a tree. There are so many shadows it is impossible to see the coat pattern. Examples 14 and 15 are taken too far away to see markings. Example 15 is another palomino in the bright sun; the distance along with the sun glaring off his coat makes it impossible to see anything.
Example 7 is the same colt pictured in Example 1. The white flakes this colt has on his hips are typical of horses that roan around dark spots like the horse in Example 8. Unless you look closely at Example 7 you won't see any dark spots on this colt's hips but if/when the roaning starts, they will start showing up. There is every reason to think he could roan out over the course of his life to look like the horse in Example 8.
Every Appaloosa is different. Not all horses with this coloring will have the dark spots to roan around. While the horse in Example 8 is a darker color, it probably looked like the colt in Example 7 when it was young. As previously stated about the colt in Example 1, if he roans out like the horse in Example 8, that partial half pastern could be the only marking to identify him later in life.
What Not To Do