Appendix breed conformation
Untamed Melody registered Appendix mare. This horse has the conformation of the Appendix breed.

History on how the word “appendix” came to become the American Appendix breed.

Quarter Horse sample of conformation
This horse exhibits the conformation of a Quarter Horse, note the difference in conformation of these two horses.
The history of the word “appendix” in the Quarter horse and Thoroughbred horse world.

Ever heard a horse owner say, “I have an appendix horse”? What they are saying to you is that this horse has Thoroughbred in its bloodlines. Usually quite a lot of the Thoroughbred blood. The use of the word “appendix” was first used in the Thoroughbred stud book around the time of the revolutionary war. The Thoroughbred breeders started a stud reference book. There were a number of cold blooded horses that showed up under the heading appendix in the stud book. This was just a mention of a stud which was bred to a Thoroughbred and not much more. The Thoroughbred breeders stopped letting any other type of horse into the stud book not long after they started the publication. Those were simple times and there were not many rules against outside breeds. Now, only a pure Thoroughbred can register into the Jockey Club or be in the stud book.

In the 1950’s, the American Quarter Horse Association started its registry and horse member association. They actually had a person travel around and look at your horse to see if the horse qualified as a Quarter horse. If the horse met their registration qualifications, then it could be registered into the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA).

The first Quarter horses, long before the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), were 14.2 hands and under, usually weighing 1,300 to 1,400 lbs.. They could run a quarter of a mile in less than 22 seconds. They had powerful hips and strong muscles. These horses were referred to as the colonial horses. Many were used as wagon horses or farm plow horses and then raced on the week ends at gatherings. A horse by the name of Janus was a primary stallion use for breeding these horses. They line bred to him so much that the pedigree would look like Janus to Janus out of Janus.

These horses evolved and came out west. In Texas, they were used on the ranches working cattle. Their short build and strong hip and muscles made them very quick working a cow. There bloodlines were made up of cold blooded horses.

The King ranch in Texas started crossing Thoroughbreds into their registered Quarter horses on their ranch. This and the horse racing industry brought the Thoroughbred into the American Quarter Horse Association.

The first Thoroughbred bloodlines brought into the American Quarter Horse Association were not welcomed by all the board members. They decided to bring in Three Bars because he fit the conformation description of a Quarter horse. He was small for a Thoroughbred and met the requirements. His bloodline is used as a foundation bloodline to the Quarter horse.

The American Quarter Horse Association decided to do something to prevent the Thoroughbred bloodlines from diluting the Quarter horse bloodlines. They use the classification of a coded appendix horse. This means the horse is an offspring of a Thoroughbred and Quarter horse cross, once. The horse is issued an “X” number to their registry. If you ROM (registry of merit) which means the horse runs a 81 speed index or you campaign the horse in the show ring, then you can apply for full Quarter horse papers. Then you can breed this horse to a Thoroughbred or a coded appendix producing once again an appendix coded horse in the American Quarter Horse Association. It’s a continuous circle. Many appendix coded quarter horses do not ROM. Thus, they are gelded and sold without papers. Many come off race tracks. These horses in the American Quarter Horse Association are like an orphan stepchild.

So, the word appendix has been around for a long time. The Quarter horse got its name from running the quarter of a mile very fast.

The Appendix horse or the Appendix Quarter horse gets its name from being an alternative classification to a well known breed.

The American Appendix Horse Association, is providing a service to the Appendix horse breeders. AAHA is the only registry for the Thoroughbred Quarter horse cross. We will let the breeder decide how much Thoroughbred or Quarter horse they want in their breeding program. AAHA is set up to make an entity of the Appendix horse.

We, as breeders, need to start looking at the breeding of what is being called the Appendix horse or Appendix Quarter horse. A lot of people are under the misunderstanding that the Thoroughbred horse does not have a good mind and is hot headed and hard to control. They also believe that it is the Quarter horse that gives the cross its good mind and attitude but, it is all in the breeding of the Thoroughbred or Quarter horse individual that you choose to breed. When you think about a Thoroughbred race horse, think about a little jockey perched up on a 1,200+ pounds horse that is being fed very hot hay, grain and all the vitamins they can handle. Then think about the fact that all this horse knows is to run. A lot of the time, this horse will be a stallion on top of everything else we have talked about. Think about putting this 1200+ pounds, very well fed stallion with a jockey perched up on top with a snaffle bit in its mouth for control, into the starting gates.

For this horse to keep its cool, even for the very short time it takes to hear the starting bell, takes a good mind. This horse’s, adrenalin has to be surging through its body. This horse has to keep focused on running with everything else going on all around them.

The reason I mention this is that if you breed your mare to this stallion and used the offspring for trail riding, ranch work, barrel racing or jumping, that offspring should have a good mind for these uses.

If you breed to a stallion with a good mind and your mare has a good mind, then the chances of the offspring also having a good mind are greater. Thoroughbreds have been given the bum rap when it comes to saying they are too hot headed. A lot of ex-race horses have become good using horses for many other disciplines. A lot of cutters do not grain their horses in training, because it makes them too high. High is a good word for when you grain a horse, it is like giving them extra energy. It is almost like dope to a horse. They crave the grain.

There are Quarter horses that have had bad attitudes as well as Thoroughbreds and I have seen quite a few Quarter horses that like to buck. The Thoroughbred blood crossed onto the Quarter horse bloodlines is the best cross. The American Appendix Horse Association logo is “The Best of Two Breeds.”

Pedigree papers and registration is not just for the purebred horse anymore. The Quarter horse and Thoroughbred breeders need to keep their bloodline pure to preserve the DNA of these horses. The Appendix breeder wants to breed for the crosses, using the pure lines to adjust their Appendix horse to meet the needs of their personalized performance disciplines.