Today I did some online research for my western novel, tentatively titled Mandarin of the West. I had to look at horses, as my knowledge of horses is limited. When I was younger I was bucked off a horse and broke my arm. And then I didn’t ride a horse until I was in college, at which time I made the poor horse look like a pony.
But I did some research and found out, from cowgirlmagazine.com what the best five horse breeds for riding trails are. You can see the link here. Reading through these I thought the most interesting would be the Appaloosa, a spotted horse that was originally bred by the Nez-Perce in the northwest. So I looked to Wikipedia and found an article on the Appaloosa here.
I found them traded in the region of interest, Idaho and Idaho City, and decided that an Appaloosa would be the horse my main character rode. But then I had to describe a second horse, this one bred by a Chinese immigrant, so I searched for Chinese horses and found this. And this led me to select the Sandan Horse, here, a horse native to the Qilan Mountains in north western China. A horse used to the cold and high altitude, perfect for cross-breeding with another horse in Idaho.
So I have an Appaloosa and a Sandan-Arabian cross breed riding down the trail along Mores Creek from Idaho City to Boise. Who knows what will happen next.