Horse Breed Characteristics
(Finding the Best Breed For You)
Understanding different horse breeds is essential when choosing your perfect companion. Taking into consideration the disciplines in which you wish to specialize will allow you and your horse to get the best out of each other. We’ve explored four horse breed characteristics of the most popular breeds for riders.
American Quarter Horses
This American breed on average stands between 14 and 16 hands and are recognized in 17 colors with a set limit of white markings (stockings, stars, strips, and blazes) on the face and below the knees. A compact build with a heavily muscled body, powerful shoulders and hindquarters, and sturdy, strong legs, this short-bodied and necked horse have a chiseled and flat profile with a broad forehead.
With a recognized intelligence, their generally calm and docile temperament allows them to be easily handled, kept and trained. These characteristics make them a favorite family and beginners’ breed, with their unique combination of speed and strength teamed with a gentle nature making them very skilled.
This exceptional versatility makes the American Quarter an ideal working, family, and show horse, equally as comfortable on the trail as on the farm. Historically, these horses were used for cattle farming, rodeo events, and sprints.
This deep-chested, long flat muscled and lean bodied breed averages at between 15 and 17 hands and are renowned for their athletic and powerful form. A solid colored horse, usually in bay, chestnut, brown, black, or grey, thoroughbreds may have a white face or/and leg markings.
With a strong work ethic and bold, energetic and excitable personality, the Thoroughbred horse is best suited to experienced riders with knowledge of handling and training. Evolved in Britain throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, this breed truly exudes power, grace, and stamina, allowing them to excel across many disciples, from dressage and polo, to show jumping, racing, and more. With a life span of between 25-28 years old on average, but much older horses recorded, thoroughbreds may have many talents during their life, making them a diverse horse for the owner.
On average Arabians stand between 14-15.2 hands. They are recognized in bay, grey, chestnut, black, and roan but have unique, all manner of white markings on their faces and socks or stocking on their legs.
Thought to be the oldest breed on the planet, the Arabian breed is striking with refined features and a concave profile.
A physical presence that suggests power, agility, elegance, and refinement, this breed has sloping shoulders, powerful hindquarters, and a short back. These features encourage a gait that is ground-covering and smooth to ride despite their small size.
Alert to their surroundings and sensitive to people, the quick learning nature of Arabians make them a favorite for new riders. Their ability to excel in almost every horse sport is perfect for those looking for an all-rounder.
American Paint Horse
Acknowledged in many colors, the American Paint Horse is usually, bay, chestnut, black, palomino, grey, buckskin, and blue roan. However, it is their unique white spots extending across the back between the withers that gives them an iconic appearance.
Usually standing between 14.2 and 15.2 hands, this breed is typically very muscular, with strong hindquarters and broad chest. Noted to be slightly heavier than most horse breeds, Paint horses have a low center of gravity giving them a great sense of balance and their strong characteristics average their lifespan at 31 years.
Their strength, speed, and agility allow Paint Horses to succeed across almost every English and Western discipline. This, teamed with their calm, easy-going and friendly temperament makes them a social breed who’s intelligence enables easy and rewarding training.
Easy to ride and loving companions, the Paint is a breed for horse lovers who require a versatile and enthusiastic character. Driven by their need to please, the Paint Horse’s beauty and athletic ability rank them top spot for many equestrians.
“4 Horse Breed Characteristics Made Simple”
Guest Author Bio: Emily Davis works at Cheval Liberte as the community manager. Cheval Liberté has been designing, developing and producing stalls, Internal stables, and stable equipment since 1995. Driven by their passion for horses, Cheval Liberté was founded by both riders and breeders, and since 2005 this passion has been implemented in the UK, with their North Wales company being the sole importers of Cheval Liberté products for distribution and erection throughout the UK and Ireland.
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