Registration : Tips for Registration

Tips For Registering Your Appaloosa

As a breeder, you've put in a year of hard work, careful planning and watchful management. Finally, a healthy foal has arrived! But your job isn't complete until the foal is registered.

Remember, registering "colored," solid and non-characteristic Appaloosas is equally important. If you don't plan on breeding, racing or showing your foal, its next owner may wish to have that option open. In addition, there's no reason to delay registration of a non-characteristic (N) foal, anticipating it will develop characteristics. Once the foal is registered with a (N) Certificate of Registration, the owner may apply for advancement to Regular Registration for up to one year from the date the original certificate was issued - free of charge. Also, Appaloosas with (N) Certificates of Registration have the option to apply for a Performance Permit for race or show purposes. If your foal isn't registered, its breeding and parentage may be forgotten, its value decreased, and certain opportunities may be lost forever.

Taking the frustration out of registration

The following information may be used as a guideline to ensure that registering your Appaloosa is a painless procedure. If after reading this, you become aware of an error on the registration application you recently submitted, please submit your request for change in writing. The ApHC won't transfer information from a phone call to a registration application.

What we see is what you get

The ApHC requires four current color photographs be submitted with the registration application. You don't have to be a professional photographer to shoot acceptable photographs, but they must be clear and sharp, and must show all markings including brands and scars.

Before you begin, take the time to clean your subject. Brush your horse well, as it's very hard to determine if a horse has a coat pattern through layers of dirt and mud. Make sure all four legs and hooves have been wiped clean. Stand your subject on a hard surface such as a driveway; dirt and grass obscure the hooves and small leg markings.

We understand that some horses may not be easy to photograph, or even approach. However, if you snap a photograph of your horse at a dead run or ducking into a barn, don't be surprised if the ApHC writes to you, requesting better photographs. Likewise, if the subject shows up in the photograph as a small chestnut spot way out in the field, you'll be asked to submit better photographs.

Get as close to the subject as possible while keeping the entire profile (including complete head, ears, legs and hooves) in focus. In the photograph, the subject should be approximately three and a half inches in size. 8x10's and 5x7's aren't accepted. The photographs you submit are duplicated on the back of the original Certificate of Registration. Computer generated photographs must be at least 300 DPI (Dots Per Inch) and printed on photo-quality paper.  The ApHC reserves the right, at its discretion, to require additional photographs of better quality.  For posterity and identification, it behooves you to submit the best photographs possible.

Shade can sometimes make your horse difficult to see or mask his or her coat pattern. Backgrounds that blend in with the horse make a coat pattern hard to detect. Try to use a plain background that's not the same color as your horse.

Mid-day is a poor time to shoot photographs of your horse as the harsh light often appears as a glare in the photograph. To avoid this glare, shoot photographs in early morning or late afternoon. It may help to take your subject indoors and shoot the photographs with a proper flash.

Photographs taken with instant processing cameras are acceptable - but they aren't recommended. Prints made from 35mm negatives are sharper, clearer and give the ApHC Registration Review Committee much more accurate color.


 If your horse has a brand or scar, you should submit photos of these markings as well.

Required photographs

1. Front view: This photograph must include the whole head, ears, front legs and hooves. If the horse has a face marking or lower lip snip, it's important it show in the photograph.

2. Rear view: This photograph must show the complete rear of the horse including legs and hooves. Often a horse will have a heel mark on the back of a leg that won't be noted on the Certificate of Registration because of inadequate photographs.

3. Right side: This photograph must include the complete right side of the horse, including the head, ears, legs and hooves. It's important that the horse not be standing square - the horse's outside legs may hide the inside legs.

4. Left side: This photograph must include the whole left side of the horse, including the head, ears, legs and hooves. Again, the horse shouldn't be standing square.





The four required photographs must show all of the horse, including its legs and hooves, from each view. All of the horse's head and ears, as well as legs and hooves should show in the front view.


In addition to the four required photographs, the ApHC suggests you always submit photographs of Appaloosa characteristics that are apparent on your foal, if any. The burden for proving eligibility of a particular registration classification lies entirely with the applicant. In order to receive a registration classification of Regular, the photographs you submit must clearly show a visible Appaloosa coat pattern, or mottled skin and one other characteristic. The characteristics are explained below:

1. Mottled skin: Mottled skin is different from pink (flesh-colored or non-pigmented skin), in that it will normally contain small, round, dark spots (pigmented skin) within its area. If a horse has mottled skin it's most likely to be found on the anus, vulva, udderor sheath. (It isn't found on the penis.) This means that a person will have to lift the tail of the horse in order to take a photograph showing mottled skin on the anus or vulva. You may have to kneel beside or under the horse in order to get a clear photograph of mottled skin on the udderor sheath. This can be tricky and dangerous - be careful not to get kicked!

Many breeds of horses have specks of flesh colored skin in these regions, and this shouldn't be confused with mottled skin. Many Appaloosas have varying amounts of mottled skin on their muzzle, extending over one or both nostrils and around the upper and lower lips. All horses have a line on the lips caused by the contrast of pigmented and non-pigmented skin. Therefore, you shouldn't separate the lips for signs of mottled skin.

2. Striped hooves: Some Appaloosas have bold and clearly defined vertical light and dark stripes on the hooves. But because many breeds of horses have striped hooves on legs with white leg markings, the stripes aren't considered an Appaloosa breed characteristic unless visible in the absence of white leg markings.

3. White sclera: A horse is said to have white sclera when there's white area encircling the dark or pigmented iris of the eye. It should be easily seen when the horse is in a relaxed state. White sclera may be considered an Appaloosa characteristic when it's not in combination with a bald face. If your horse has a bald face, the registrar may discount the white sclera.

It's sometimes hard for people to understand why the ApHC requires better photographs. While it may be easy for you to see a recognizable Appaloosa coat pattern or mottled skin and one other characteristic, the ApHC registration review committee only has the photos you submit. After you've developed some clear, sharp photographs, take an objective second look at them. View the photographs as though it were the first time you've ever seen the horse. Can you clearly see all the leg, face and lower lip markings? Do the photographs clearly display your horse's Appaloosa characteristics?

Before submitting the photographs to the ApHC, please label each one with the dam's name and registration number, the date foaled, and the name of the owner or lessee. This helps registration personnel to properly identify photographs, and it's especially important if you're registering more than one foal. Photographs become the property of the ApHC, where they're kept on file. They won't be returned.

Always submit photographs of your horse's Appaloosa characteristics. This horse displays mottled skin. Mottled skin is different from non-pigmented skin in that it contains small dark spots.

Striped hooves are considered an Appaloosa characteristic only when visible in the absence of white leg markings.

In addition to mottled skin, this horse also displays white sclera in the eye.


The correct form

In an effort to enable breeders to register their foals early and take advantage of lower registration fees, the ApHC recently began a pre-printed registration application program. It works like this: First, stallion owners submit their Stallion Breeding Reports to the ApHC. We print information that was provided us on those reports, onto a pre-printed, blue registration application. Then, each year, the ApHC sends the stallion owners a pre-printed, blue registration application for every mare listed on the Stallion Breeding Report. The stallion owner is encouraged to complete the "Owner Of Stallion At The Time Of Breeding" portion of the Breeder's Certificate, and forward the pre-printed registration application to the mare owner for completion.

Many people still submit old forms with old fees listed on them. Submitting an old form doesn't mean your registration will be completed for the old fee. Instead, your work will remain unprocessed until the correct fees are collected. (See current fee schedule.) If you have old forms, please discard them. To request new forms, contact the ApHC Customer Service Department at (208)882-5578, ext. 300. Current forms will be sent to you free of charge. Forms can also be downloaded from the downloadable forms section of the ApHC website.

The current registration application has six sections, A through F. It's printed on blue paper and has requests for information on both the front and the back. It must be completed in ink, or typed. The ApHC will not accept a faxed copy. Original signatures must be submitted.

Section A: Foal Name Selection

Foal Name Q & A

Naming your foal is an important part of the registration process. It's also one of the more common causes of delay in receiving your foal's Certificate of Registration.

The name choices submitted can't consist of more than 20 letters and spaces. Numbers, symbols, special characters and punctuation can't be used in name choices, and they can't end in "filly" or "colt." Names of famous horses or famous people can't be used, unless the ApHC receives notarized consent from the famous person. A name that's identical, or sounds like one currently in use is unacceptable. For example: He's A Prince, Heza Prince, and He Is A Prince are all considered the same name because they sound alike.

In cases where the name choices submitted can't be used, there will be a delay in registration while we contact you for new name choices. In order to avoid this delay, you may authorize the ApHC to name your horse by checking the appropriate box on the registration application. We'll attempt to choose a name you'll like, by using the name choices you submitted and the pedigree as a guide.

Section B: Foal Information

Don't omit any information from this section. Along with the date of birth, and the location of foaling, remember to check the appropriate box showing the sex of the foal. Also, if it's a gelding or spayed mare, you must submit the date gelded or spayed.

If you have a special problem, an ApHC customer service representative will be happy to help you. If you are unsure of your horse's date of birth, when registering an older horse under the ApHC Hardship Clause, contact a veterinarian to determine the age for you.

When completing the information regarding the foal's sire and dam, if you're not using an ApHC pre-printed registration application, print the name and registration number clearly. In the blanks marked "Breed," indicate the registry that horse belongs to. At least one of your foal's parents must be an ApHC registered Appaloosa with a Regular classification. The other parent may be registered with the ApHC, American Quarter Horse Association, Arabian Horse Association, or Jockey Club. ApHC registered stallions and mares classified as NC (non-characteristic), CPO (certified pedigree option), BSO (breeding stock only), BSN (breeding stock non-characteristic), ID (identification certificate), or PC (pedigree certificate) must be bred to an Appaloosa with Regular classification in order for the resulting foal to be eligible for ApHC registration.

Section C: Breeder's Certificate

The Breeder's Certificate is a key document in receiving registration for your foal. To be valid, the Breeder's Certificate must list the correct dates of service, the type of breeding, the name, address and signature of the owner or lessee of the dam at the time of breeding, and most importantly, the name, address and signature of the stallion owner or lessee at the time of breeding. Without proper signatures, your foal won't be eligible for registration.

The Breeder's Certificate is essentially a way of protecting the stallion owner in cases of default of payment on the part of the mare owner. Likewise, the mare owner should receive a signed stallion breeding contract for protection against default on the part of the stallion owner. Any dispute that arises between the mare owner and the stallion owner is considered by the ApHC to be a civil matter, and will be left to civil authorities.

Section D: Foal Identification

When the first side of the registration application is complete, turn the page over. Now is your chance to show us your artistic talent.

Check the box you feel best describes your horse's base color. The Registration Review Committee will take your color choice into consideration. However, if the committee feels that the horse is bay in color according to the photographs submitted, even though you may have marked buckskin on the application, we may change the base color to bay. This is only one reason photographs are so important!

If the horse has a brand, make sure you fill in the location and draw the brand in the box. It's very important that a clear photograph of the brand be submitted with the application. The ApHC won't note a brand on the Certificate of Registration if the Review Committee can't see it in the photograph. If you submit an application saying that you plan to brand the horse in the future, the ApHC won't note the brand on the Certificate of Registration.

If your horse has a scar or scars, make sure you fill in the location(s) and submit clear photograph(s) of them.

If your horse has blue in one or both eyes, for identification purposes, the ApHC notes this fact on the original Certificate of Registration. Spots of blue in the eye constitute a "partial blue eye." If the whole eye is blue, then the horse has a "blue eye" or a "glass eye." Clear photographs of the blue must be submitted along with the registration application.

When you draw in the face, lower lip and leg markings of your horse, it's only necessary that you draw white markings. For example, if your horse's lower legs are black, you shouldn't draw in black stockings.

Section E: Registration Fee Schedule

Members Non-members



Foal Date to 6th month foal date


7th month to 12th month foal date


13th month to 24th month foal date


25th month and thereafter


When applying for registration, it's important to allow at least six to eight weeks for your Certificate to be returned to you. This time frame varies depending on the time of year and number of applications the ApHC receives. For a more exact time frame, contact an ApHC customer service representative.

If the shortest possible processing time is a requirement, the ApHC offers the following RUSH fees.

1. To have your work completed in 10 working days, the cost is an additional $50 per application for members.

2. To have your work completed in 48 hours, the cost is an additional $100 per application for members.

RUSH fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If an application is received in our office and lacks all the information needed, a customer service representative will contact you requesting the additional information. From the date the additional information is received, the work will be RUSHED through the registration process.

It's extremely important when requesting a RUSH, that you note RUSH on the outside of the envelope. The RUSH process begins in the mailroom, and having RUSH on the outside of the envelope is the only way for employees to know it's to be rushed.

If you wish for your original Certificate of Registration to be forwarded to you by US Postal Express Mail or UPS Next Day Air, mark the appropriate box on the registration application and include the additional payment. Contact the ApHC office for applicable fee. Fees subject to change without notice.

Section F: Membership Application

As you can see from the fee schedule, membership has its benefits when it comes to saving money on work requested from the ApHC. By becoming a member of the ApHC, not only will you receive a reduced rate on registrations and transfers, but you'll also be eligible to nominate and elect directors, serve on committees and participate in any of the many ApHC programs. Members receive a copy of the Official Handbook of the ApHC along with a decal and an official ApHC membership card. As an added bonus, members (except youth and lifetime youth) also receive issues to the award-winning Appaloosa Journal.

Memberships can't be issued in a ranch or business name. ApHC memberships are valid from the date of purchase through December 31 of the year purchased. This is important when submitting work to the ApHC late in the year. It's sometimes beneficial to hold your work until the next calendar year. For example, if you're a current year member, and you wish to register an Appaloosa, the application must be postmarked on or before December 31 of the current year, in order to have the work done at the member rate. If we receive your application postmarked after December 31, and you haven't renewed your ApHC membership for the next year, there will be a delay in the processing of your registration unless you pay non-member rates, or renew your membership.

Memberships are not transferable or refundable. The owner of the horse being registered must be a current year member for the rates to apply. If you're involved in joint ownership of a horse, only one owner must be a current year member for the rates to apply.


Lifetime: This membership is valid for the life of the person. It includes a permanent gold membership card, an honorary lifetime member jacket, one year complimentary subscription to Appaloosa Journal, a waiver of ten-day RUSH fees for registrations and transfers if the outside of the envelope is marked RUSH, free ApHC fax services, complimentary entry into all ApHC socials, and the benefits of a regular individual membership. These include voting rights, reduced rates on various club services and the eligibility to apply for a low-interest rate ApHC Visa. The total cost is $600.

Individual: This membership is for one person, excluding companies, businesses ranches, and farms. It includes all privileges of ApHC membership, including voting rights and a reduced rate on various club services. An individual membership includes issues of Appaloosa Journal. The total cost is $60.

Couple: This membership is for married couples only. Both parties receive all privileges of an individual membership and will be issued a membership number. It includes issues of Appaloosa Journal. The total cost is $105.

Family: This membership includes the head of household, spouse and children (if any) under the age of 18 years as of January 1 of current year. Each individual over the age of 18 years is considered a member with all privileges of individual membership. Each member will be issued a membership number. Children in this type of membership are given an ApHC youth membership with all privileges of youth membership. This membership includes issues of Appaloosa Journal. The total cost is $120.

Youth: The ApHC youth membership (AYA) applies to applicants 18 years of age or younger as of January 1 of current year. Date of birth and parent or legal guardian signature is required. Married or divorced individuals are ineligible for a youth membership. This is a non-voting membership, and it doesn't include issues of Appaloosa Journal. The total cost is $15.

One-time youth: This is a great option for those individuals under the age of 18 as of January 1 of the current year, who want to avoid having to renew each year. This membership is valid through the year the applicant is 18 or under as of January 1. Date of birth and parent or legal guardian signature are required. All youth membership privileges apply. This is a non-voting membership, and it doesn't include issues of Appaloosa Journal. The total cost is $100. Apply today and receive a one-time youth cap!

Section G: Credit Card Charges

This section is provided for customers wishing to pay fees with Visa, Discover or MasterCard. The ApHC does not accept American Express. It's important that you include all of the raised numbers on your credit card in the space provided. The ApHC also must have an expiration date, the cardholder's name, address, phone number and signature. If information is incomplete or incorrect, it will cause a delay in the processing of your registration application.

Section H: Checklist - Did you remember:

This section simply allows you to double check your registration application. Many of the errors made on applications could be avoided by taking the time to make sure the form is completed in full and all requirements are included.

Completing a registration application is no small task. An accurate form will eliminate unnecessary delays in processing, and assures you the benefits of proper identification and registration of your horse. If you have any questions or are unsure how to complete a portion of your application, an ApHC customer service representative will be happy to assist you. Call us at (208)882-5578 ext. 300.


To avoid making one or more of the ten most common mistakes, check your registration application against this list:

1. Photographs: Make sure your photographs are clear, and the horse's markings are identifiable. Include close-ups of Appaloosa characteristics. Remember, what we see is what you get!

2. Name choices: Don't exceed 20 letters and spaces. Do not use special characters or punctuation. Send extra selections in case the ones you want have been used.

3. Fees: Use a current registration application or fee schedule to determine fees.

4. Membership: If you aren't a current year member, include a membership application or non-member fees.

5. Stallion Report: Check to see that the owner of your foal's sire has filed a Stallion Report, and your mare's name is listed. Remind owners of non-Appaloosa stallions to file a Stallion Report as well.

6. Listing fees: Be sure the required one-time listing fee has been paid on all non-Appaloosa stallions and mares. Your foal won't be eligible for registration until the listing fee has been paid. One-time listing fee is $75 for members.

7. Breeder's Certificate: For each mare bred, a Breeder's Certificate must be completed by the stallion owner. Don't tamper with the signatures or dates of breeding, as this will necessitate a new Breeder's Certificate being submitted.

8. Signatures: All lines with an X must contain the proper signatures. Inadequate or omitted signatures will cause a delay in the processing of your registration.

9. Transfers: If the foal is to be registered to anyone other than the breeder, a completed transfer along with the appropriate fee must accompany the application. Update transfers on the dam. Make sure that the date of sale doesn't interfere with the breeding dates.

10. Sex of foal: Check the appropriate box. If gelded or spayed, list date of surgery.