• Horse history can be traced back to a prehistoric animal known as
the Candylarth which was about the size of a medium-sized dog
and they had five toes on each foot and thickened nails.
• Horses have been around for millions of years.
• Evolving over the past 45 to 55 million years, they have changed
from small multi-toed creatures into large, single-toed animals they
• Humans began to domesticate horses around 4000 BC and have
continued to do so ever since.
• There are more than 300 breeds of horses all over the world.
• Horse breeds are divided into three categories based on general
• “Hot bloods" – Only 2 recognized breeds: Arabians and
Thoroughbreds; known for their speed and endurance; their
temperament is considered difficult by some and passionate by
• “Cold bloods“– Draft horses and some ponies;
strong, rugged, durable animals suitable for slow, heavy work;
calm and good stable companions
• “Warm bloods“ such as American Quarter Horses and Mustangs
were developed from crosses between hot bloods and cold bloods
• Horses are prey animals and have developed the fight-or-flight response.
• Flight is the horse’s first response but they are known to stand their ground if
necessary to defend themselves or their offspring.
• There are many types of disciplines that horses can be used for
• English riding – pleasure, jumping, dressage, showmanship
• Western riding – pleasure, horsemanship, reining, trail, showmanship
• Contesting – barrel racing, pole bending
• Cutting (herding)
• Rodeo events
• Trail riding
• Driving carts
• Farm work
• Depending on the breed, care, and environment of the horse, their
life expectancy can range from 25 to 30 years.
• There are cases of horses living well into their 40’s and 50’s
• Foal - Male or female horse less than 1 year old.
• Yearling - Male or female horse between 1 and 2 years old.
• Colt- Male horse between 2 and 4 years old
• Filly- Female horse between 2 and 4 years old.
• Mare - A female horse older than 4 years.
• Gelding- A castrated male horse older than 4 years
• Stallion- A non-castrated male horse older than 4 years.
10 Most Popular Breeds
1) American Quarter Horse
• Runs the fastest quarter mile out of all of the breeds, thus getting the name
• They should have a muscular neck, deep chest, sloping shoulders, and a
relatively small head with wide eyes and pointed ears.
• Used as an all around horse, participating in Western
pleasure, English, Contest, Herding, Trail riding, Racing, etc.
• Can run up to speeds of 55mph.
• They are the most popular breed in America today.
2) Arabian Horse
• Originated on the Arabian Peninsula.
• They are one of the most easily recognizable horses in the world due to
their distinct head shape, arched neck, and how they hold their tail so high.
• They date back 4,500 years.
• Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of
• They are good-natured, quick to learn, and willing to please.
• They have a high spirit and alertness which is needed in a horse once used
for raiding and war.
• They are good for showing English and endurance riding.
• They are also known as the Pure Spanish Horse.
• They are most commonly found in grey color, however are available in
different colors as well.
• They were used as a tool of diplomacy by the Spanish government in the 15th
• There are more than 185,000 Andalusian horses worldwide.
4) Welsh Pony and Cob
They existed before 1600 BC.
They were used mostly for farming and in the cavalry.
Originated in Whales in the United Kingdom.
Has four sections: the Welsh Mountain Pony), the Welsh Pony (Section
B), the Welsh Pony of Cob Type (Section C), and the Welsh Cob (Section
• They are known for their good temperament, hardiness, and free-moving
5) Tennessee Walking Horse
Originated from the Southern United States.
They were mainly used on farms and plantations.
They have amazing stamina.
They are commonly found in black, chestnut and bay colors.
The Tennessee Walker is a gaited horse known for its unique
four-beat "running walk" and flashy movements.
• They are great in the show ring for English and Western, but
are great for trail riding too.
• Black Allen is considered the foundation sire of the breed
which means he is the first Tennessee Walker.
• They are often seen in many movies.
• They are the earliest American breed.
• There are more than 132,000 Morgan Horses have been registered all over
• They have been used for harness racing, general riding, and as cavalry
horses during the American Civil War.
• They have strong legs, an expressive face, large eyes, well-defined
withers, laid back shoulders, an upright, well arched neck, and a clean cut
• The Morgan is the state animal of Vermont and the state horse of
They are one of the most popular breeds in United States.
They originated from ancient Greece
They are known for their leopard-spotted coat pattern.
They are prone to develop equine recurrent uveitis and congenital
stationary night blindness due to the same genetics that causes their leopard
• The Appaloosa is the mascot for the Florida State Seminoles.
• They have influenced other horse breeds, including the Pony of the
Americas, the Nez Perce Horse, and several gaited horse breeds
• They are best known for racing.
• They are also known for their
agility, speed and spirit.
• Millions of Thoroughbreds exist
today, and more than 118,000 foals are
registered each year worldwide.
• They can also be used for events such as
show jumping, combined
training, dressage, polo, and fox hunting.
• They are commonly crossbred to create
new breeds and even improve existing
• They have been influential in the
creation of the Quarter Horse, Standard
bred, Anglo-Arabian, and various warm
9) Miniature Horse
• To be considered “miniature” a horse must be less than 34–38
inches (86–97 cm) and you measure from the last hairs of the
mane to the ground.
• They are great as family pets due to their gently, calm
• They can be trained to be a service animal just like dogs that
are used by people with disabilities.
• They are usually used for driving and showmanship in the
• Although they are tiny, they still need to be treated like any
10) Paint Horse
• According to historians, the first paint horse was brought to the Americas
They are found most commonly with white spots and a combination of
black, bay, gray, palomino, roan, buckskin, dun and chestnut.
• The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) is the second largest
breed registry in the United States.
• Due to there bloodlines, some solid colored horses can be considered paint
even without any patches at all.
• Tobiano, Overo, and Tovero are the three spot patterns found on paints
Herds made up of several separate small groups who share a
• Horse herds are usually
given territory. These groups are called “bands.”
Bands usually consist of 3 to 35 animals, one being an adult male and the rest
being a group of females.
Each band is led by a dominate mare.
The whole herd can range from 150-200 horses and are led by one main mare also
known as “lead/boss mare.”
The herd also has a lead stallion whose purpose is to fight off predators and other
Herds change over time as young horses are kicked out, being forced to join other
groups and older stallions are challenged by the younger ones.
Once dominance is obstained, aggression in the herd will be decreased due to
member submission and fear of injury.
• Herds will protect offspring at all costs, even if it puts themselves in
By April Stiles
Tuesdays and Thursdays