It is said that a dog maybe man’s best friend, but horses wrote history. They have been in prominence since time immemorial. Be it for warfare, sports or leisure, horses are one of the most loved animals. Horses are very friendly by nature and very loyal. As Winston Churchill once said, “When you are on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have”. Horses are known for their speed, agility and strength. And it is almost surprising to know how many varieties of horse breeds are there today. We look at a horse but not always do we look at its breed. If you are not a professional horse-rider, you might not know much about their breeds. For equestrian experts, it is their job to know all about the various breeds. Here is a list of the most famous horse breeds which might leave you in awe.
10. Gypsy Vanner
Hailing from Ireland, Gypsy Vanner or Irish Cob is a domestic breed of horses. They can way more than just being a domestic breed. They can be used in horse races. They can jump up to 4 feet and are quite agile. They look extraordinarily beautiful with their feather covered bodies. They are found both in solid and spotted colors. The feathers near their foot resemble the cowboy shoes. They get very attached to humans and you can enjoy their companionship. It is very natural if you were to just sit back and look at this beautiful breed of horses.
The only word that would come to your mind on seeing a Morgan horse is ‘elegant’. They are so refined and well-chiseled that you will remain awestruck. Having their roots in the United States, they are one of the most versatile breeds you will come across. Everything about Morgans is so proper, be it their head, neck, feet or tail, they are very sophisticated. They are one of the oldest breeds of the US. Their life span is usually more than other horse breeds. They are said to live up to 40 years of age. Speaking of their versatility, they can carry you around the city, plow your field, race for you and more than that, be your best friend. They make a bonding with humans very easily. Their appearance could make you feel they are very proud. But honestly, they are one of the most friendly animals you could come by.
8. Miniature Horse
As the name suggests, miniature horses are not tall. Their sizes vary from 36-38 inches. Even then, they are not categorized as ponies. They come in diverse colors. In Miniature Horse shows, there awards given for the most colorful horse. They originated in Europe during the mid 17th century. They were petted by the aristocrats during the 1660’s. Gradually, they began to be used for coal-mines. They became popular in the United States quite recently, in the 1930’s. While they look the cutest, they are not known for their speed. They are mostly used for leisure and domestic purposes.
Thoroughbreds are famous in the horse-racing industry. Hailing from England, they date back to the 3rd century. They are celebrated for their speed, agility and spirit. They are prominent in other equestrian sports as well. They come in select colors like black, gray, chestnut and brown. They have unusual stamina and have bettered other horse breeds when they were cross-bred. Because they have long and strong legs, it is an easier ride. They weigh around 450 kg when fully grown. They are a huge crowd favorite. Known basically for their strength, they are the most athletic of breeds. They are used for hunting and playing polo too.
6. Tennessee Walker
They have a strong and solid built, but are used for pleasure purposes. Their “running walk” makes long distance rides smooth and comfortable. They are an easy mount and were bred in the southern parts of the United States. They are a favorite of pleasure riders. However, sometimes, they can be seen on racing tracks as well. They are around 67-68 inches high and weigh nearly 400-550 kg. They were bred for the purpose of farm plantations and other domestic works. They were initially a breed of utility horses, but now can be ridden by all age groups. Even if you have no experience of horse-riding, you will enjoy your first ride on the Tennessee Walker. They are known for their calm and composed attitude.
5. Andalusian Horse
Andalusians are a Spanish breed from the Iberian Peninsula. They are also a variety of war horses and are very athletic by nature. They were owned by the aristocrats and nobility in the 15th century. Earlier there are very many hues of Andalusians present, now they are available only in bay and gray color. In Spain, the cowboys used to take their Andalusians to handle bulls. They work very well around such dangerous animals, unlike other horse breeds. Their built is strong and look extremely elegant with their arched neck. Homer mentions in his “The Iliad”, an ancient breed of Andalusians. This makes them famous in the world of literature as well. However, Andalusians are best known to be used for dressage competitions. Dressage is the highest expression of horse training. They are a very hardworking breed and are majestic to look at.
The Paint Horses, as their name suggests, have spots on their body. The term “pinto” is sometimes interchangeably used for them. They have a distinctive bloodline and are almost always, pure-breeds. They are a very intelligent breed of horses which makes it easy for us to train them. They are one of the most friendly horse breeds you will come across. Because of their short stature, they are easy to mount. They live up to 31 years of age and weigh around 498-499 kg. The American Paint Horse breed is seen in many colors like, black, bay, brown, palomino, bay, chestnut and bay. They are the best when it comes to petting a horse.
3. Quarter Horse
The American Quarter Horse is one of the oldest breeds in the United States. They are known to be a very versatile breed. They can be used for racing, pleasure riding, hunting, roping and barrel racing. They are very fast learners. They pick up the mood and feel of the rider and pick up the pace. They adjust to your temperament and are the friendliest of the lot. The American Quarter Horse Association is the largest horse industry in the world with more then five million registered members. There are around 17 colors of American Quarter horses with sorrel or brownish red as the most prominent. They are usually 56 to 64 inches high and weigh somewhat around 430 to 545 kg. They are one of the most easiest horses to handle.
The Nez Perce tribe of Native Americans is related to the development of the Appaloosas. The horses that were imported from Mexico reached the Nez Perce people and they evolved into great horse breeders. These horses have leopard spots all over their body and are highly intelligent. In 1975, Appaloosa was named the state horse of Idaho. They weigh around 540 kg and are nearly 65 inches high. They are famous for being family horses because of their adaptability. They are very powerful runners and have strong feet, making sure you won’t trip and fall!
The Arabians are the most famous and oldest of horse breeds. As is obvious from the name, they hail from Arab. They date back to at least 4500 to 5000 years. They are easily recognizable because of their distinct head shape and high tail carriage. They look extremely grand and serve many purposes. Owning an Arabian horse is a matter of much esteem. They are the most elegant and craziest of horses. They say, if you can ride an Arabian horse, you can ride any horse in the world. Because they come from a predominantly desert climate, they have an impressive lung capacity. They are too intelligent for humans, and can easily outsmart their riders. They can jump pretty high, do trails, and are used for dressage too. Their height ranges from 57 to 61 inches. They are one of the most gorgeous animals you will encounter.
Hope this article has enriched your knowledge about various horse breeds. Do comment and share!