IC Horses

Many of the equestrian livestock actually did not come to the fore in the Americas until the early 1900's and even some until 1970 (the Friesian breed for instance). Below is a brief overview of those horses IC to this time frame of 1880.

From Breeds of Livestock

Table of Contents


The Appaloosa's heritage is as colorful and unique as its coat pattern. Usually noticed and recognized because of its spots and splashes of color, the abilities and beauty of this breed are more than skin deep.


Appaloosas are found in nearly every discipline. Setting speed records on the race track, excelling at advanced levels of dressage, jumping, games, reining, roping, pleasure, endurance and as gentle family horses - any of these roles can be filled by the versatile Appaloosa. Their eager-to-please attitudes and gentle dispositions make them a pleasure to work with in any area.

Humans have recognized and appreciated the spotted horse throughout history. Ancient cave drawings as far back as 20,000 years ago in what is now France depict spotted horses, as do detailed images in Asian and 17th-century Chinese art.

The Spanish introduced horses to North America as they explored the American continents. Eventually, as these horses found their way into the lives of Indians and were traded to other tribes, their use spread until most of the American Indian populations in the Northwest were mounted (about 1710).


Banker Pony


The Banker Pony stands about 14 hands and is a semi-feral breed that originated on the Outer Bank Islands of North Carolina, including Shackleford Island which is only nine miles long. They are thought originated from Spanish horses since the 16th century.

American Bashkir Curly Breed


The exact origin of the Bashkir Curly is one of the greatest mysteries of the horse world. One of the theories, and the source of their name, is that they are descended from the Russian Bashkir. However, upon closer examination this does not seem plausible. Shan Thomas, author of "The Curly Horse in America - Myth and Mystery", in correspondence and consultations with Russian scientists, the Soviet Union's agriculture department, the Moscow Zoo and other experts of Russian livestock found unanimous agreement that there was no curly haired horse from the Bashkir. However they did confirm that the Lokai, found in the Taijikistan region, does sometimes display the characteristic curly coat. Could the Lokai be the actual originator of the Bashkir Curly breed? That, too, appears to be almost impossible. No mention of importation of horses were made in ship's logs which brought Russian settlers to the west coast of North America. In addition, horses were only used to a limited extent in Russian agriculture during the late 1700's and early 1800's. Stock breeding was not very successful and most settlements were only able to keep a few livestock. In 1817 there were only sixteen horses in Russian America. Goods were transported to Okhotsk, the major Russian port for ships bound for Alaska, via pack horses. At the time, a trip across Siberia to this port was very hazardous and nearly half of the horses died each year. The horses of this region were the Yakut, named after the local people. So it seems that any horses that might have been brought from Russia to Alaska would have been of the Yakut breeding not the Bashkir or Lokai breeds, both of which are originated from much further south and west of the Yakut.

Another theory is that the ancestor of the Bashkir Curly might have crossed the land bridge during the last Ice Age. But there is no fossil evidence to support the existence of horses in the America's from the last Ice Age until the reintroduction of horses to this hemisphere by the Spanish.

Fortunately, the development of the modern Bashkir Curly much more is clearly known. The modern day history of American Bashkir Curly dates to 1898, when young Peter Damele (Duh-mel'ly) and his father were riding the Peter Hanson mountain range in the remote high country of Central Nevada, near Austin. Peter, who passed away in 1981 at age 90, could vividly recall the strange sight they saw of three horses with tight curly ringlets over their entire bodies. It was intriguing to both father and son as to where these horses had come from and just why they were there, questions that as you can see are still not answered. However, from that day to this, there have always been curly-coated horses on the Damele range, and Peter's son, Benny Damele, continued to breed them for his ranch work. Many of the Bashkir Curly in the U.S. can be traced to the Damele herd.


The Belgian, as the name implies, is native to the country of Belgium. This little country is blessed with a fertile soil and abundant rainfall providing the thrifty farmers of Belgium with the excellent pastures and the hay and grain necessary to develop a heavy, powerful breed of horse.


Belgium lies in the very center of that area of western Europe which gave rise to the large black horses known as Flemish horses and were referred to as the "great horses" by medieval writers. They are the horses that carried armored knights into battle. Such horses were known to exist in that part of Europe in the time of Caesar. They provided the genetic material from which nearly all the modern draft breeds were fashioned.

The American Association was officially founded in February of 1887 in Wabash, Indiana. The breed offices are still in Wabash. It was slow going for the Belgian until after the turn of the century. In terms of promotion the Percheron, Clydesdale, and Shire all enjoyed a substantial head start in this country.


Contrary to the belief of many, the Buckskin or Dun horses are not a mere "color" in the equine world. Those who studied genetics some time ago believed that the Dun horse was the result of a dilution gene, and that breeding Duns and Buckskins to each other often resulted in the birth of an Albino foal. More recent studies have proven this to be in error. The true Buckskin horse may trace his lineage through a direct line of Dun or Buckskin colored ancestors, as far back as recorded history of the animal are available.


The Buckskin is thought to of originated from the Spanish Sorraia. The Norwegian Dun, found today in Norway and other Scandinavian countries is a breed so old that his actual origin is lost in antiquity. However, there are many indications that even he obtained his Dun Coloring from the horses of Spain. The blood of the Sorraia (and the Norwegian Dun as well) filtered into nearly every breed found in the world today, hence the fact that the Buckskin, Dun or Grulla may be found in nearly every breed.




The Campolina breed was formed in Entre Rios de Minas, Minas Gerais in Brazil. The breed was developed by Cassiano Campolina on his farm Fazenda Tamque. Mr. Campolina began his horse operation in 1857, however most people agree that the real development of the breed is 1870 when he received a black mare named "Medéia" from a friend. This mare was Brazilian ( Barb Blood) and was breed by a pure Andalusian stallion belonging to Mariano Procópio who had received it as a present of the emperor Dom Pedro II. Medéia gave birth to a beautiful dark gray colt, a half blood Andalusian, named "Monarca" considered the founder of the Campolina breed. He served during 25 years in the herd of "Fazenda Tanque". Since the beginning, Cassiano Campolina concentrated his work of selection and genetic improvement in obtaining animals of great brio and smooth gait.

Canadian Horse

The Canadian Horse is a little known national treasure of Canada. This hardy breed descended from horses originally sent to the “New World” by King Louis XIV of France in the late 1600’s. These Norman and Breton horses were felt to be of Arab, Andalusian and Barb ancestry – traits of which can still be recognized in the Canadian Horse today.


For hundreds of years, the French horses bred with little influence from outside breeds. They eventually developed into their own distinct breed - the Canadian Horse or Cheval Canadien. Because they evolved under the adverse conditions of harsh weather, scarce food, and hard work, the Canadian Horse remains the sturdiest and most acclimatized horse in Canada today. They are tough, strong horses, tolerant of inclement weather conditions, and are extremely “easy keepers”. Because of these traits, the Canadian Horse is often referred to as “The Little Iron Horse”.

In the mid-1800’s, the Canadian Horse numbered about 150,000 and could be found throughout Canada and the United States. The Canadian was used for crossbreeding to improve the strength and hardiness of other breeds, and helped to found other North American breeds such as the Morgan, Tennessee Walking Horse, Standardbred, and the American Saddlebred. Increasingly, Canadian Horses were exported out of Canada for the Boer war, for working the sugar plantations in the West Indies, and to the United States for use on the stage-lines and for the American Civil War. The number of horses began to dwindle rapidly. With the advent of mechanized farm machinery, the Canadian Horse almost became extinct. During the 1860-70’s, there were fewer than 400 horses in existence and 20 or less registrations recorded per year. By the late 1870’s, the peril of Canada’s national breed was finally recognized, and efforts were made by diligent breeders to try to bring the Canadian Horse back from the verge of extinction.

Cayuse Indian Pony

Cattle drives, shootouts and the U.S. Cavalry all added excitement to the Old West. It was the wild horse, however, that became a symbol of everything the West stood for — freedom, stamina and the ability to survive hardship.


One little known horse from that period of American history is the famed Cayuse Indian Pony of the Northwest. Although the settlers called most horses raised by the American Indians "cayuse ponies", the Cayuse Indian Pony of the Northwest is a distinct breed which originated in the 1800's. Its conformation and its background set it apart from the mustang, Spanish Barb or other wild horses.

Small and stocky, the Cayuse Indian Pony has high withers and an unusually long canon bone. In addition, its distinctly sloped pastern gives it a broken walking gait. Any rider, especially younger children, will find this an extremely pleasant and easy seat.

Frederic Remington, who is famous for his artistic representations of the Old West, sketched many of the wild horses he found in the late 1800s. He described the Cayuse Indian Pony as "generally roan in color, with always a tendency this way, no matter how slight." Remington wrote that his subject was heavily muscled, and while only about fourteen hands high, was still very powerful.

The breed's history is obscure and difficult to trace. It has been generally accepted that the Cayuse Indian Pony descended from the French-Norman horses imported into Canada in the 1600s. Most of these French horses were Percherons, which the Canadians used to improve their domestic breeds. The Percheron was a good choice — it continues to be one of the only work horses which can easily trot for extended periods of time.

Years later, the French Canadians brought their horses into what is now American territory. It was recorded that they bartered their horses in St. Louis with the Pawnee Indians, who then took them further west. Eventually, the Indians crossed their sturdy French horses with the lighter Spanish Barbs to produce a horse which had not only speed, but endurance.

By the 1800s, the Cayuse Indian Pony had become a separate breed. The Cayuse Indians, known throughout the Northwest for their expert horsemanship, continued to develop this French-Spanish Barb strain through selective breeding. Because the French horse had the ability to pass on its tendency for spots or a profusion of white markings, the Cayuse Indians were able to produce some very colorful horses. In fact, the Appaloosa, Paint and Pinto breeds have all been influenced by the blood of the Cayuse Indian Pony.

Chilean Corralero

The Chilean Corralero has its origins in the Spanish horse. Spanish horses arrived with the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Valdivia (1541). These horses were obtained from southern Peru (they arrived there with Francisico Pizarro in 1514). In 1557 Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza, the new governor, arrived in Chile with 42 horses of the famous caste of the Guzmanes and Valenzuelas, marking the beginning of the Chilean horse breed.


A pure Chilean breed appeared by the beginning of the 19th century, and the Chilean Corralero appeared by the end of the century.

Historical View As in many places of the world, in Chile the horse is a work animal. First it was used by Spanish conquerors for war and for agriculture. When Chile got its independence, the horse was a indispensable partner and used daily; in war for the Army, in the plantations for the countryman and for transportation for everybody.

The Chilean Corralero has its major ties in use for working cattle and is now used heavily in Chilean rodeo, which had its origins in the countryside as a game of chasing cattle. It is in this modern event that the Chilean Corralero shows all of its abilities.

Physical Description The Chilean Corralero has a very distinguished appearance. It is a horse with very good proportions for the work that it is destined to do.

The characteristics of the Chilean Corralero are a proportional flat head, small and separated ears, eyes and nasal apertures must go behind the facial profile, a fine and small muzzle, manes must be abundant and undulated in tuft of hair and tail, broad and deep chest, a voluminous center and arched ribs, full and short flanks, rounded hindquarters, a hard musculature, short extremities and 1.40 to 1.43 meters height.

All these characteristics make it possible for a horse of 370 kilograms to stop and press a 500 kilograms bull.

Chincoteague (shinko - teeg) Pony

The Chincoteague Pony, now a registered breed, descends from the 'wild' horses on Assateague Island, a 37 mile long barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. The 'wild' horses on Assateague are actually feral animals, meaning that they are descendants of domestic animals that have reverted to a wild state.


Despite the often told tale of the horses swimming to Assateague from a shipwrecked Spanish galleon, the most plausible explanation is that they are the descendents of horses that were brought to Assateague in the 17th century by mainland owners to avoid fencing laws and taxation of livestock.

Today's horses are actually the size of ponies (average 12- 13 hands) probably due to their poor diet and harsh environment. Some horses removed from Assateague as foals and fed a higher protein diet grow to horse size. Almost 80% of their diet is coarse saltmarsh cordgrass and American beachgrass. Various grass species, greenbrier stems, bayberry twigs, rose hips, seaweeds and poison ivy make up the rest of their diet. The high concentration of salt in their diets causes the horses to drink twice as much fresh water as domestic horses. Because of this, the horses have a "fat" or "bloated" appearance. Although they will sip salt water, they actually drink very little of it.


The Clydesdale is a breed of heavy draft horse developed in and deriving its name from the district in Scotland where it was founded. Its type was evolved by the farmers of Lanarkshire, through which the River Clyde flows. The old name for Lanarkshire is Clydesdale.


It was bred to meet not only the agricultural needs of these farmers, but the demands of commerce for the coal fields of Lanarkshire and for all the types of heavy haulage on the streets of Glasgow. The breed soon acquired more than a local reputation, and in time, the breed spread throughout the whole of Scotland and northern England.

The district system of hiring stallions was an early feature of Scottish agriculture and did much to standardize and fix the type of the breed. The records of these hiring societies go back in some cases to 1837. The Clydesdale Horse Society was formed in 1877 and has been an active force in promoting the breed not only in Great Britain but throughout the world. The Clydesdale alone, of the British breeds of heavy draft, has enjoyed a steady export trade to all parts of the world. The most active trade has been to commonwealth countries and the United States. Today the Clydesdale is virtually the only draft breed in its native Scotland and New Zealand. It holds a commanding lead in Australia and is popular, though not the numerical leader, in Canada and the United States.

The Clydesdale is a very active horse. He is not bred for action, like the Hackney, but he must have action. A Clydesdale judge uses the word "action" with a difference. A Hackney judge using the word means high-stepping movement; a Clydesdale judge means high lifting of the feet, not scuffling along, but the foot at every step must be lifted clean off the ground, and the inside of every shoe be made plain to the man standing behind. Action for the Clydesdale judge also means "close" movement. The forelegs must be planted well under the shoulders - not on the outside like the legs of a bulldog - and the legs must be plumb and, so to speak, hang straight from the shoulder to the fetlock joint. There must be no openness at the knees, and no inclination to knock the knees together. In like manner, the hind legs must be planted closely together with the points of the hocks turned inwards rather than outwards; the thighs must come well down to the hocks, and the shanks from the hock joint to the fetlock joint must be plumb and straight. "Sickle" hocks are a very bad fault, as they lead to loss of leverage.



The Criollo horse is the direct descendant of the horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish. Since the moment the first Spanish horses were brought to the Americas until the conformation of the Criollo there is a long history that covers many centuries during which the adaptation to the environment constitutes the basis upon which the Criollo horse has built its roots.

When the Spanish horse was left free in this new habitat, it had to adapt itself to the new conditions, protect itself against the threatening dangers and carry on reproduction under the law of survival of the most apt.

In short the Criollo horse is the product of four centuries of life in the open air, of an adaptation to the environment and of strict natural selection.


Fell Pony

One of the classic native breeds of England, the Fell Pony is noted for its hardiness, courage and adaptability. Its docile temperament makes it popular with riding and trekking stables, and it is also well suited for driving, is a creditable jumper and has the ability to trot for long distances at a steady speed. Bred for the harsh environment of England's north country where feed is always at a premium, the Fell requires less keep than most horses and ponies, and given sufficient shelter, will live out in all weather. Generally, the native breeds were named after-their local habitat and in relation to the work for which they were bred … thus the name "Fell" or hills.


The Romans, in their endless search for conquests, first landed on the shores of Britain around about 55 B.C. A considerable number of Friesian horses were imported into the north of England either by the Romans or by mercenaries in their employ. Eventually when the Romans withdrew from Britain to go to the aid of their besieged home city of Rome, they left behind about one thousand Friesian horses, most of which were stallions, and which were bred with the native ponies. From these not only the Fell was bred but also the Old English Black (now merged into the Shire Horse) and the now extinct Galloway and Fen ponies.

The Fell Pony's similarity to the Friesian horse has always been striking. Apart from looking very much alike, the Friesian horse was, and still is, noted for its ability to trot, and this characteristic was passed on to the Fell Pony, which soon attained fame likewise for its speed and stamina at this gait. There is no doubt that the Fell Pony and the Welsh Pony were the foundation for the modern Hackney Pony with its extravagant high stepping action (from A History of British Driving Ponies by Anthony Dent and Daphne Machin Goodall).


Golden American Saddlebred

Officially the Golden Saddlebred color was infused in the American Saddlebred Horse Association through a horse by the name of Pat Cleburne, who was foaled in 1864. In the Palomino Horse Breeders of America, the first golden Saddlebred registered was Pot O’ Gold, later known as Richardson’s Pot O’ Gold. This horse was foaled in 1939 and was bred by S.A. Clift of Waxahachie, TX, and registered with the ASHA as Clift’s Pride.


What does one look for in a Golden American Saddlebred? First and foremost, is conformation. A beautifully shaped, well-proportioned head is a must. The ears are small, alert, and placed at the top of the head. The neck is long, and well-arched, with a smooth clean throatlatch. The eye is bold, bright, and intelligent. Well-sloped shoulders and sharp withers well above the height of the hips is characteristic. The croup is long and level with the tail coming out high, and the hind quarters are well muscled to the hocks. The back is short and strong. The long legs are straight with long sloping pasterns that are so necessary for an easy, well cushioned ride. The shallow, full-sprung rib cage make the barrel of the Saddlebred more rounded than in other breeds. Height is generally from 15 to 17 hands and weight from 1000 to 1200 pounds.

The complete picture of Golden Saddlebred should be one of refinement, smoothness and strength. Coloring can vary from cream to copper and all shades in between. However, the ideal color is that of the untarnished gold coin. Eyes must be brown or dark. White markings on the face and legs are allowed, but no spots. Mane and tail should be white and purity is desirable.

The American Saddlebred is an adaptable horse, and easily trainable. For many years they have carried the image of being high-strung, fire-breathing show horses, but just as every person is an individual, so is every horse. Some temperaments are suitable for the show ring and some are meant strictly for the trail. Each horse, and rider, must find the area most suitable for them. The ways that Golden Saddlebreds can be used are many, there are show horses, pleasure horses and parade horses (in the show ring or down the street). They can be used for eventing and choring, all depending on the individual horse’s disposition and conformation.



The development of the Hackney breed matched, stride for stride, the improvement in both the quality of life and the use of public roadways in Britain. Prosperous farms, not nobility, were responsible for developing this high-tech carriage and riding horse. As noblemen were busying themselves with fox-hunters and Thoroughbred race horses, the wealthy farmers took to the roads to show off the tangible fruits of their labors. A pair of perfectly matched bays with elegant head carriage, trotting along smartly, their knees rising almost to their noses…ah, that was the proof of abundant crops, calves and lambs.


The origins of the Hackney as we know it began in Norfolk, England where the horses called Norfolk Trotters had been selectively bred for elegant style and speed. Seeking to improve on both counts, breeders mated the Norfolk mares to grandsons of the foundation sires of the Thoroughbred. The first Hackney as we know the breed today is said to be The Shale’s Horse, foaled in 1760. During the next 50 years, the Hackney was developed as a special breed.

The seas were being crossed regularly during the 1800s, by ships bearing both Hackney horses and the smaller ponies which certain breeders were selectively encouraging.



The Mangalarga Marchador, originating in Brazil in the south of the state of Minas Gerais, has, as the true expression of the breed, the "marcha". This is an accelerated gait that maintains regularity making the ride very smooth and comfortable for the rider. It originated in the mid-19th century from Alter and Brazilian native. A breed society was formed in 1934. Varieties include Marchador or Mineiro (Minas Gerais) and Paulisto (São Paulo). The Paulisto is lighter, leggier and of more recent development.


During the "marcha", the Mangalarga Marchador makes a semicircle with the anterior members and uses the posterior members as leverage, thus propelling the animal forward. When in movement the Mangalarga Marchador executes an alternation of diagonal and lateral supports, always softened by an intermediate time: the triple support. This is the movement when three of the horses hooves touch the ground at the same time.

Another characteristic of the Mangalarga Marchador breed is its alert and attentive attitude. Always an active horse, in movement it has a clear-footed stride, with upright ears and a firm look in the eyes equal to any obstacle encountered along the way.

The excellent disposition of the Mangalarga Marchador, as well as its docility and intelligence, makes it an easy animal to train. After a very brief period of basic training, it is well prepared for assuming a direct and forward position with complete submission to commands.

Missouri Fox Trotting Horse

The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse was developed in the rugged Ozark hills during the 19th century by settlers who needed easy riding, durable mounts that could travel long distances at a sure-footed, ground consuming gait.


Missouri achieved statehood in 1821 and the pioneers who poured across the Mississippi River and settled in the Ozarks came largely from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. Naturally they brought along saddle horses popular in those areas. It soon became apparent that horse able to perform the easy, broken gait called the Fox Trot were the most useful in the rocky, forest covered hills of the Ozarks and selective breeding for the Fox Trot gait began.

Easy gaited stock imported to our nation's shores during the Colonial era left their genetic imprint on the Fox Trotting Horses of the Ozarks, the American Saddle Horses of Kentucky, and the Walking Horses of Tennessee. Some 19th century standouts such as the Canadian born stallion, Tom Hal, made sizable contributions to the easy gaited horses of all three regions.

The distinguished characteristic of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse is the Fox Trot gait; the horse walks with the front feet and trots with the hind feet. This extremely sure footed gait gives the rider little jar since the hind feet slide into place. The Fox Trot is a rhythm gait and the horse can maintain it for long periods of time with little fatigue. The Missouri Fox Trotter also performs a rapid flat foot walk and a delightful canter.


The myth that surrounds the Morab most often is their status as a breed. A lot of people misunderstand and consider a Morab a part-bred while others have termed them half-breeds. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Morabs (the get of an Arabian/Morgan breeding) are not half-Morgans or half-Arabian horses. They are Morabs, a breed. The fact that Morabs have the proven ability to transmit their distinguishing characteristics with a high degree of certainty to their progeny puts this misnomer to rest. Only foundation stock or first generation Morabs possess both Morab registration and 1/2 Arab or 1/2 Morgan registries. Thus making them a triple registered animal. Succeeding generations are then bred Morab to Morab to ensure the growth of the breed.


A major part of Mr. Lindsley's essay was concerned with perpetuating and improving the Morgan breed, using his essay as a forum to make recommendations. In his text he stated, "If the breed is to be perpetuated, it is evident it can never be by the use of Morgan stallions alone but combined with careful selection of the dams. He continued by stating where mares of Morgan blood cannot be obtained, mares possessing a strain of racing or Arabian blood may be considered. Lindsley specifically recommended 1/8 to 1/4 Arabian blood as suitable. This was my second documentation of the use of Morab bloodlines. It was an exciting revelation.


Justin Morgan was a living legend. In the manner of so many heroes, he began as an unremarkable colt and became the father of an entire breed of horses recognized for quality and dependability.

Born in 1789, Justin Morgan started life as a small, rough-coated colt known as "Figure." In 1791, he left his birthplace in Springfield, Massachusetts with his new owner, the soft-spoken schoolteacher Justin Morgan, by whose name the stallion eventually became known. Although his breeding was unknown (thought to be of Dutch, Thoroughbred, or Arabian breeding), the quality of Justin Morgan's ancestry showed in his straight clean legs; deep muscling over his quarters and shoulders; and fine, intelligent head with large expressive eyes and short, pricked ears. Add to these the quality of his movement, a thick but silky mane and tail, and a clean-cut throatlatch, and you have the conformation of the ideal light horse. Despite these fine qualities, Justin Morgan's lack of size was such that his debt-ridden owner found no buyers on their journey north to Randolph Center, Vermont. It was simply fate that no one but, his new owner realized what a little giant he was.


Over the next 30 years, the little bay stallion worked long, hard hours in the fields and on the roads of Vermont. Gradually, the local population began to talk about the feats of "the Justin Morgan horse". Standing just over 14 hands tall, Justin Morgan's exploits gained him fame because he was not as big as colonial workhorses nor as tall and long-legged as racehorses, yet he consistently outperformed both. There was the time he pulled a log no draft horse could budge, the day only he had the beauty, spirit and manners to carry President James Monroe on a muster-day parade ground; and the time he outran the most winning racehorse central Vermont had ever known, at least until that day.

Doing it all and doing it well, Justin Morgan remained sound of eye, wind, and limb throughout a lifetime of two ordinary horses. That should have been enough, but the stallion added still more: showy, ground-covering gaits with speed to spare at any one of them; a gentle disposition that made him safe enough for a child to handle yet spirited enough for any horseman, beauty men would to recall decades after his death; and a rare courage that made men who lost bets on him hit their flagons of rum and say, 'To the little Morgan!' and drink deeply.

Justin Morgan also proved to be one of the greatest breeding horses of all time. As the saga of the little stallion grew, countless mares were bred to him. So prepotent were the genes of this stallion that no matter what type of mare he was bred to, be she of heavy draft or refined racing-type, his offspring inherited his image and abilities. While most breeds develop by breeding horses of similar characteristics to each other, Justin Morgan's ability to pass his characteristics to his offspring for generations to come allowed this single stallion to found an entire breed in his likeness. Today, every registered Morgan traces back to Justin Morgan through his best-known sons Bulrush, Sherman and Woodbury.

In the coming years, the offspring of these strong, willing, able light horses grew along with the young nation that was building itself upon hard work and determination. In the hands of American colonists, Morgans cleared rugged Vermont mountainsides and converted them into rich farmland. But they weren't mere workhorses, Morgans had the style and elegance to capture the admiration of any city horseman. While some Morgans earned their keep on the farm others were in high demand to become smart roadsters for Boston and New York financiers. When harness racing reached its heyday in the 1800s, the World's Fastest Trotting Stallion was Ethan Allen 50, old Justin's handsome great-grandson.

As America grew so did the feats of the Morgan. New England men answered the call of gold and headed for California on Morgans. In the Civil War, the famed Vermont Cavalry was mounted on Morgan horses. Not only did the Union's General Sheridan ride his Morgan Rienzi, Stonewall Jackson rode his Morgan, 'Little Sorrel,' for the Confederacy as well! In the Indian Wars, the only survivor in the Battle of the little Big Horn was Keogh's Morgan-bred horse Comanche. If the pathways of history are paved with the bones of the horse, surely America's are paved by Morgans.


Also Known As: American feral horse, BLM (Bureau of Land Management) horse, Range horse


The Mustang is a feral horse found now in the western United States. The name Mustang comes from the Spanish word mesteño or monstenco meaning wild or stray. Originally these were Spanish horses or their descendants but over the years they became a mix of numerous breeds. These were the horses which changed the lives of the Native Americans living in or near the Great Plains. As European settlers came farther west they brought their horses with them. Some were lost to Indian raids, others were freed as wild stallions tore down fences to add the tame mares tn his herd or tame horse escaped from settlers as the original horses had escaped from the Spanish. Draft breeding was among the horses which added to the Mustang herds. Also the Indians bartered and captured horses between tribes, making the distribution more complete.

Herds of wild horses from the eastern United States were forced west by civilization and eventually crossed the Mississippi River and joined the western herds. French blood was introduced to the mix from herds pressured out of the Detroit area and from French settlers in the South in the region around New Orleans.



Decorated by nature, the origins of the Paint Horse in North America can be traced back to the two-toned horses introduced by the Spanish explorers, descendants of horses from North Africa and Asia Minor. Inevitably, some of these colorful equines escaped to create the wild herds of horses roaming the Great Plains. Captured and gentled, they raced alongside the vast herds of buffalo and traveled hundreds of miles on cattle drives. Cherished by the finest horsemen of the Western frontier, both Native Americans and cowboys sought the hardy horses loudly splashed with color.


Over time, breeders gradually improved the conformation and athletic ability of the rugged descendants of wild mustangs and cow ponies. Each generation passed its unusual and unique coat patterns and coloring to the next, creating the American Paint Horse. Today, the stock-type conformation, natural intelligence and willing disposition make the American Paint Horse an ideal partner for pleasure riding, showing, ranching, racing, rodeoing, trail riding, or just as a gentle friend for the kids.

Color and Conformation: a Distinctive Combination

While the colorful coat pattern is essential to the identity of the breed, American Paint Horses have strict bloodline requirements and a distinctive body type. To be eligible for registry, a Paint must come from stock registered with the American Paint Horse Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, or the Jockey Club (Thoroughbreds). The result is an intelligent stock-type horse that is extraordinarily versatile, powerful and athletic with unequaled beauty. Paints are stockier and more powerfully muscled than some other light horse breeds. Though generally short-coupled, strong-boned and well-balanced, American Paints also exhibit exceptional refinement and beauty, especially about the head and neck.

Color patterns differentiate the American Paint Horse from other stock-type breeds. Each horse has a unique combination of white and any one of the colors of the equine rainbow: black, bay, brown, chestnut, dun, grulla, sorrel, palomino, gray or roan.

Paint or Pinto? A Question of Bloodlines

The terms "Paint" and "Pinto" are often confused when referring to a horse with a light and dark coat pattern. In fact, they have different meanings. The Pinto Horse Association is a color registry, and Pintos can be any breed. Paints are APHA-registered horses that can prove parentage from one of the three approved registries AQHA, TB and APHA, as well as meet a minimum color requirement. While a loud-colored horse could be double-registered if it met the breed standards specified by each registry, the two registries are independent.

The tobiano pattern (pronounced: tow be yah' no) is distinguished by head markings like those of a solid-colored horse; their heads may be completely solid, or have a blaze, strip, star or snip. Generally, all four of the tobiano's legs are white, at least below the hocks and knees. Their spots are regular and distinctly oval or round and extend down the neck and chest, giving the appearance of a shield. Usually a tobiano will have the dark color on one or both flanks - although a tobiano may be either predominantly dark or white. The tail is often two colors.

The overo pattern (pronounced: oh vair' oh) may also be either predominantly dark or white. But typically, the white on an overo will not cross the back of the horse between its withers and its tail. Generally, one or all four legs will be dark. Also notable is that overos have bold white head markings such as a bald face. Overos generally have irregular, scattered markings. The horse's tail is usually one color.

However, not all coat patterns fit neatly into these two categories. For this reason, a number of years ago the APHA expanded its classifications to include "tovero" (pronounced: tow vair' oh) to describe horses that have characteristics of both the tobiano and overo patterns.

Paso Fino

The history of this noble animal began in Spain where the chance mix of breeds sparked the seed that became one of the world's finest riding horses. Moorish occupation of the Spanish countryside brought with it the Berber horse, also known as the Barb, an animal that had a strong genetic impact on equine development throughout Europe, North Africa, and the New World. Interbreeding with native stock produced the delicately gaited Spanish Jennet. They were subsequently bred with the Andalusian.


Just as the Moorish conquest of Spain introduced a potentially promising breed to that country, so it was with Columbus' second voyage to the New World, when he transported the first horses to Santo Domingo - now the Dominican Republic. These animals were a mix of the Berber, the Jennet and the Andalusian. Future voyagers would add to their numbers in Mexico and South America, but the overall isolation established these as the ancestors to the Paso Fino.

As remount stock for the conquistadors, the progeny of these horses were dispersed throughout the lands attacked by the invaders. The early fifteen-hundreds saw famous and infamous explorers and conquerors such as Martin de Salazar, Diego de Velasquez, and Hernando Cortez transport horses to Puerto Rico and Colombia, as well as Cuba, the Isthmus of Panama, and Mexico.

Like pieces in a well-planned puzzle, the best of the contributing breeds became prominent in these isolated horses. Among other traits, their young enjoyed the hardiness of the Barb and the natural presence of the Andalusian. But most important and treasured was the incredibly even and smooth gait of the Jennet. Remarkably, that gait became the genetic stamp that ever after, despite physical changes brought about by directed breeding or locale, identified this horse as the one we know today by the name Paso Fino.

It is the lateral four-beat gait that distinguishes the Paso Fino in the equestrian world. As it moves, the horse's feet fall in a natural lateral pattern instead of the more common diagonal pattern. Rather than trotting, causing that seat thumping bounce that can be unpleasant for horse and rider, the Paso Finn's medium speed is a corto, during which the rider is reassuringly seated.

The basic gaits of the Paso Fino in order of speed are the paso fino, paso corto, and paso largo. They also walk and canter. These are not trained movements, but are natural to the horse from the moment of its birth. Paso Fino owners pride themselves in the naturalness of their animals. As with a child, an upbringing that includes good food, affection tempered with discipline, and lots of exercise, will assure that the horse best fulfills its potential. Artificial training aids are not necessary to bring about this genetically inherent gait.

The gait itself is evenly spaced, with each foot contacting the ground independently. The power of movement is generated primarily from the hind legs, and the impact of footfall is dissipated before it can reach the rider so that the ride is incomparably smooth.

Though each Paso Fino is born with the gait, some are natural athletes whose skill and presence destines them for the show ring. Those who demonstrate superb execution of the classic fino gait will compete in classes where the ultimate test of the even footfall comes when the horse traverses the fino board to the hushed silence of the audience. As each hoof strikes the board, the quickness and even rhythm are communicated to judge and audience in a clear report. A champion generates a rapid staccato rhythm while muscles ripple over a fully collected body. The power of the hind leg drive is executed in beautiful contrast to the stunning restraint of the forelegs which move forward in inches. Horse and rider, as one, are challenged to perform at olympic quality levels, and the immediate reward is the audience's applause.

All Paso Fino gaits are a pleasure, but what most owners are looking for in a pleasure horse is not only beauty, spirit, carriage and disposition, but a comfortable medium-speed gait. That gait is the corto. Comparable in speed to a trot, the corto is the average trail gait. A well conditioned Paso Fino can travel at the corto for hours, and thanks to the smooth gait, so can the rider.

The largo is an even more extended version of the same footfall. A horse at the largo can cover ground at a breathtaking speed while still providing a secure and balanced seat for the rider.

Elegant and with a brilliant style, the Paso Fino generally ranges in size from 13.2 hands to 15.2 hands. Colors run the spectrum with a variety of markings from chestnut, bay, palomino, black, grey and roan to pinto. It is a spirited yet gentle horse, intelligent and tractable. The Paso Fino has been bred for physical balance, with no exaggerated muscling or size in any portion of the horse. The ideal show horse is at once dramatic, regal, restrained, and generates an aura of presence.


The exact origins of the Percheron have been lost over time. Some believe they are descendants of the original horses found in the region during the Ice Age, others that he is closely related to the Boulonnais horse used in the Roman invasion of Brittany. Still others believe the breed is from Abd el Rahman's Arab stallions or part of the horses used by the invading Moors at the battle of Poitiers which were divided among the victorious French forces. Regardless of these ancient beginnings it is known that at two points in history the native mares of the Le Perche region of France were mated with Arab stallions, first during the eighth century and later during the Middle Ages. By the time of the crusades the Percheron was widely recognized as outstanding for his substance and soundness, as well as for his characteristic beauty and style.


By the 17th century horses produced in Le Perche had attained widespread notoriety and were in demand for many different uses. The Percheron of this time showed less scale and was probably more active. He stood from 15 to 16 hands high.

In the early 19th century the French government established a stud at Le Pin for the development of army mounts. In 1823, a horse named Jean Le Blanc was foaled in Le Perche and all of today's Percheron bloodlines trace directly to this horse.

Percherons were first imported to the United States in 1839, by Edward Harris of Moorestown, New Jersey. The stallions, Normandy and Louis Napoleon, were imported to Ohio in 1851. Louis Napolean was later sold into Illinois and wound up in the hands of the Dunham family who were instrumental in forming the Percheron Association.

Thousands of Percherons were imported to America in the last half of the 19th century, and importations continued up until World War II. The Percheron quickly became the favorite of both the American farmer and the teamster who moved freight on the nations city streets. The Percheron was so popular that by 1930, the government census showed that there were three times as many registered Percherons as the other four draft breeds combined.

Peruvian Paso

Prior to the seventeenth century, most of the world's horses were naturally gaited. Horses that trotted were the exception, and "Boneshakers" as they were called were considered suitable only as pack animals or mounts for servants. Almost all traveling was done on horseback. Since most people knew very little about riding, a smooth riding horse was a necessity. Even Knights - who required trotting horses for battle - often kept a naturally gaited horse which he would ride when traveling, leading his trotting horse behind.


Following the seventeenth century, the uses for trotting horses increased. Networks of roads were built, and people began to travel by horse-drawn vehicles rather than on horseback. Since a horse that trots is more suitable than a gaited horse for pulling a wheeled vehicle, the breeding of trotting horses was increased at the expense of gaited horses. At about the same time, great expanses of land were devoted for the first time to cattle raising, and the horse took on importance as a tool for working the cattle. Here again the trotting horse has a greater advantage over the gaited horse, and even more emphasis was put on the breeding of horses that trotted. Almost simultaneously, worldwide popularity was bestowed upon horse racing, yet another activity where gaited horses do not excel.

As the seventeenth century opened, it was unusual to see a horse that trotted. At the close of the same century, it was unusual to see a horse that did not trot. It was one of the most unusual transformation that horse breeding has ever seen.

As the world's horsemen moved from naturally gaited horses to trotting horses, the Peruvians continued to esteem and breed their naturally gaited "Caballo Peruano de Paso". The Peruvian Paso horse descended from the bloodstock which was introduced to Peru from the Spanish, who at the time were the foremost horse breeders in the world. The Spanish horses brought to Peru blended the Barb, the Friesian, the Spanish Jennet, and the Andalusian. In Peru these Spanish horses were bred to produce the purest link that the modem world has with the once populous gaited horses. For several centuries, no outside blood has been introduced into the Peruvian Paso breed, and it is now the only naturally gaited breed in the world that can guarantee its gait to 100% of its offspring. Every purebred Peruvian horse has the inherited gait, which is the trademark of the Peruvian breed.


The Pinto horse is a color breed in contrast to most other breeds which are defined by their genetic ancestry. In America, the Pinto is regarded as a proper breed. Pintos have a dark background coloring and upon this color random patches of white. The Pinto coloration may occur in any breed or specific conformation. However, the Pinto Horse Assocation of America does not accept horses with Appaloosa, Draft, or mule breeding or characteristics. In the American west, the Pinto has traditionally been regarded as a horse the American Indian favored as a war horse since its coloring provided a natural camouflage.

Pinto, A Physical Description


The Pinto does not have consistent conformation since it is bred for color. When the darker color is black, the horse is often described as Piebald. When the darker color is anything but black, the horse is described as Skewbald. Pintos may be from a variety of breeds, ranging from Thoroughbred to Miniatures.

Though commonly associated with the Native American for its legendary magical qualities in battle, the Pinto horse was actually introduced to North America by European explorers, chiefly those from Spain, bringing their Barb stock that had been crossed with native European stock years before. It is believed that the Pinto patterns may have arrived in Europe via the Arabian strains, as Pinto markings appear in ancient art throughout the Middle East. However, evidence of the more dominant Tobiano pattern among the wild horses of the Russian Steppes suggests the introduction of Pinto coloring to Europe possibly as early as during the Roman Empire.

After the arrival of these European horses, great wild herds infused with the flashy color patterns we know today began to develop across America, eventually to be domesticated by the Native American. The white man continued to import many of the well-established and stylish European breeds as his foundation stock. Over time, however, with the civilization of the Native American and the white man's migration to the frontier, it often became necessary to cross these fancy, but less suitable breeds of the Eastern seaboard with the wild mustang stock to increase size and attractiveness as well as availability of a horse better suited to the strenuous working conditions of the day. This Western-bred horse became a fixture of America, especially the uniquely marked Pinto whose colorful presence in parades and films always added a little extra glamour.


Quarter Horse

The principle development of the Quarter Horse was in the southwestern part of the United States in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, eastern Colorado, and Kansas. Some breed historians have maintained that it is the oldest breed of horses in the United States and that the true beginning of the Quarter Horse was in the Carolinas and Virginia. Nye1 has suggested that the Chickasaws secured from the Indians were the true beginning of the Quarter Horse. These were small blocky horses, probably of Spanish extraction, which the planters secured from the Indians, and which were adapted for a variety of uses. The colonists were quite interested in short races, and it was only natural that they should have attempted to increase the speed of their horses; to this end some of the best early Thoroughbreds that were brought to the United States included the horse Janus, brought to the United States before the English Stud Book was established, were instrumental in the improvement of these local running horse. Later Imp. Sir Archy and other Thoroughbred stallions were used.


The early improvement in the Quarter Horse-so called because of its great speed at one quarter of a mile-and the early development of the Thoroughbred in the United States were closely associated. Some sires contributed notably to both breeds. Many short-distance horses were registered in the American Stud Book as Thoroughbreds when the Stud Book was established, even though they did not trace in all lines to imported English stock.

It is more logical to assume that the true establishment of the Quarter Horse took place some time later in the southwest range country, rather than in colonial times. It was in the southwest that the true utility value of these short-distance horses were truly appreciated. The cowman found the Quarter Horse quick to start, easy to handle, and of a temperament suitable for handling cattle under a wide variety of conditions. Even in the Southwest much was unknown of the breeding of many of the horses that were classified and registered in the 1940s as Quarter Horses. It is logical, therefore, to conclude that until the Stud Book was established and the pedigrees were based on fact rather than on memory and assumptions, the Quarter Horse should have been called a type of horse rather than a breed.

Quarter Pony

The Quarter Pony is a small scale replica of a Quarter Horse. Unlike the Quarter Horse, it may come in any color, or combination of colors. The Quarter pony has been around for many years, deriving from Quarter Horses not reaching the AQHA's minimum (14.2h) height requirement of the early years. Even though the AQHA's height requirement was later phased out, the quarter pony continued.


The most recent evolution in the quarter pony industry is the acceptance of various colors and color patterns, rather than sticking to the original standard of only accepting solid colored ponies for registration. Acceptance of colors is enabling breeders to breed those all so sought-after color patterns such as the tobiano and overo paint patterns as well as the blanketed appaloosa patterns onto to the quarter pony size and conformation. Known quarter horse bloodlines are encouraged but not required.

The Quarter Pony is perfectly suited for riders who are too small to handle, or simply don't wish to handle a big 15 or 16 hand horse. Quarter ponies are often the first choice for a child's mount due to their calm dispositions and even temperaments combined with their compact size. Most quarter ponies average approximately 13.2h and weigh 800-900lbs., however, many breeders are beginning to raise quarter ponies weighing in excess of 1100lbs. at 13.2h-14h tall. These heavily muscled quarter ponies are quite suitable for larger riders and are often being used to compete in such (mostly adult) events as Bull Dogging(Steer Wrestling). The Quarter Pony is a conformation and height breed, which must display quarter type characteristics and measure between 11.2h(46") and 14.2h(58") at the withers at maturity.


HEAD: The head of the quarter pony reflects alert intelligence. This is due to his short, broad head, topped by small ears, and by his wide set, kind eyes and large, sensative nostrils over a firm mouth. Well developed jaws give the impression of great strength.

NECK: The head of the quarter pony joins the neck at a near forty-five degree angle, with a distance between jaw-bone and neck muscle. The medium length, slightly arched neck blends into sloping shoulders.

SHOULDERS:The quarter pony's unusually good saddle back is created by his medium-high but sharp wither extending well back and combining with his deep sloping shoulders so that the saddle is held in proper position for balanced action.

CHEST AND FORELEGS: The quarter pony is deep and broad chested, as indicated by his great heart girth and his wide set, heavy forelegs which blend into his shoulders. The smooth joints and very short cannons are set on clean fetlocks and the medium length pasterns are supported by sound feet. The powerfully muscled forearm tapers to the knee whether viewed from the front or the side.

BACK: The short saddle back of the quarter pony is characterized by being close coupled and especially full and powerful across the kidney. The barrel is formed by deep, well sprung ribs back to the hip joints, and the underline comes back straight to the flank.

REAR QUARTERS: The rear quarters are broad, deep and heavy, viewed from either side or rear, and are muscled so they are full through the thigh, stifle, gaskin, and down to the hock. The hind leg is muscled inside and out, the whole indicating the great driving power the quarter pony possesses. When viewed from the rear, there is great width extending evenly from top of thigh to bottom of the stifle and gaskin. The hocks are wide, deep, straight, and clean.

BONE, LEGS, & FEET: The flat, clean bones are free from fleshiness and puffs that still show great substance. The foot is well rounded and roomy, with an especially deep, open heel.

STANCE: The quarter pony normally stands perfectly at ease with his legs well under him, this explains his ability to move quickly in any direction.

ACTION: The quarter pony is very collected in his action and turns or stops with noticeable ease and balance, with his hocks always well under him.


Racking Horse

Legendary for its beauty, stamina, and calm disposition, the popularity of this noble animal grew strong on the great southern plantations before the Civil War. It was learned that the horse could be ridden comfortably for hours because of his smooth, natural gait.


The phenomenal growth of this breed can be directly attributed to its intelligence and versatility. Beginning riders cherish the smooth, easy gait and the calm temperament of the Racking Horse. Veteran horsemen admire his beauty and ability to perform anywhere from the work field to the show ring.

There was a horse being shown in great numbers, a horse of a distinct type and characteristics, for which there was no specific judge, no showring category, no organization and ultimately no incentive for expansion and growth. The Racking Horse became a dream and a new and most significant chapter in equine history of this country was begun.

Knowing that this single foot horse called the racking horse had its origins rooted deeply in Walking Horse bloodlines, it was then realized the possibility of promoting this animal with no action device, no set tail and without the canter while spot lighting the docile nature and easily ridden lateral gait exemplified by the rack.

Rocky Mountain Horse

Tradition has it that around the turn of the century a young horse appeared in eastern Kentucky that gave rise to a line of horses that has been prized and treasured in this part of the country ever since. The basic characteristics are of a medium-sized horse of gentle temperament with an easy ambling four beat gait. This gait made it the horse of choice on the farms and the rugged foothills of the Appalachians. It was a horse for all seasons. It could pull the plows in the small fields, work cattle, be ridden bareback by four children to the fishing hole, or to town comfortably on Saturday. They even performed well hitched to the buggy Sunday morning to go to church. Fancy barns and stalls were not necessary. Because of its cold blooded nature, it tolerated the winters in Kentucky with a minimum of shelter. For these reasons, in small groups, the breed was preserved, sustained and gradually increased in this area. Naturally, out crossing with the local horses did occur but the basic characteristics of a strong genetic line have continued.


In Spout Springs, Kentucky, on the farm of Sam Tuttle, these horses found a nurturing ground. Sam, who had the concession for horseback riding at the Natural Bridge State Park, used these horses for many years to haul green and inexperienced people over rough and rugged trails. Old Tobe, his most treasured stallion, who fathered fine horses up until the ripe old age of 37, was as "sure” footed and as gentle a horse as could be found. He was the one that carried the young, the old, or the unsure over the mountain trails of Kentucky, without faltering, even though a breeding stallion. Everyone who rode the stallion fell in love with him. He had the perfect gait and temperament.



The American Saddlebred Horse was first mentioned in official government correspondence in 1776.

Paul Revere's famous ride was a Narraganset Pacer, a breed which was important in the development of the Saddlebred.


Also, in the Revolutionary War, American cavalry decisively defeated British regulars at King's Mountain, South Carolina. These farmers and frontiersmen were mounted on American Horses.

American Horses accompanied pioneers following Daniel Boone through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. These animals were seed stock, making Kentucky a major horse producing state.

In the War of 1812, similarly mounted Kentuckians ranged from Michigan to Illinois to fight the British and their Indian allies.

After that war, the production of good Saddle Horses became a priority in Kentucky. These animals played a major role in the settlement of the upper Ohio Valley. They went south into Tennessee and beyond, and across the Mississippi into Missouri. Animals from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Tennessee all made contributions to the breed. Missouri rivaled Kentucky for the best Saddle Horses and Missourians say, "If Kentucky made the Saddle Horse, then Missouri made him better."

Horse shows became a popular form of public entertainment, often held at fairs. The first recorded show as at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1817, but such competitions undoubtedly took place years before.

Denmark, the stallion who would be designated Foundation Sire of the breed, was foaled in 1839.

By the time of the Mexican War in 1846, the American Saddlebred was a well established breed. Entire companies of American volunteers from Kentucky and Missouri, mounted on these horses, fought in Mexico.

In 1856, St. Louis, the largest city west of the Mississippi, held its first great fair which featured the nation's first major horse show.

The American Saddle Horse gained fame as a breed during the Civil War, 1861-1865. Saddlebreds served as the mounts of many famous generals; Lee on Traveller, Grant on Cincinnati, Sherman rode Lexington, and Stonewall Jackson's mount was Little Sorrell. The three aforementioned horses were American type with close Thoroughbred crosses, and the latter was of pacing stock.

The Confederate commands of Generals John Hunt Morgan and Nathan Bedford Forrest were mounted almost exclusively on American Saddlebreds, and these horses performed legendary feats of endurance during the war.

Because most Confederate horses were privately owned, General Grant's order at Lee's surrender which allowed the men to keep their horses perhaps saved the breed.

After the war, the St. Louis Fair was revived. All breeds had their day in competition at St. Louis, but in the 1870's the Denmarks became dominant.

Because of the increased popularity and commercial value of the Saddlebred, enlightened breeders began to call for the formation of a breed association and registry in the 1880's.


But if he was useful in war, he proved to be even more so in peace. Turning his attention from battle to commerce and agriculture in a nation that takes both very seriously indeed, the Shire became nothing less than a national treasure in the 1800s. Big Shire geldings moved the commerce of this most commercial of all nations off the docks and through the streets of her cities. Over badly paved streets and on rough roads, weight was opposed by weight. There was a dependable and extensive demand, decade after decade, for massive horses with great muscular strength. Both qualities were necessary to enable them to move the commerce of this nation. It was the sort of situation that called for the breeder's skills, and the English have never been lacking in that respect. Whatever type of domestic animal they have need they have developed.


And so it was with this breed of horse. The needs of empire and the temper of the times called for a horse of enormous bulk, prodigious muscular strength, and docility … and the stockmen and farmers of England responded with one of their finest living creations-the Shire horse.

The marshy fen counties of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire lay claim to having exerted the earliest beneficial influence upon the breed and it was from these counties that sales were first made for the improvement of draft horses all over England. Leicestershire, Staffordshire, and Derbyshire were the first to benefit from these counties, and thus the Shire slowly spread over virtually the whole of England.

There were differences. The Shires coming out of their historic home, the fenlands of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, tended to have more bone and hair than those of their neighbors. Yorkshire and Lancashire, for instance, were noted for horses of a finer texture and more endurance. The rugged demands of the Liverpool market, where thousands of stout geldings were used, certainly contributed to correct type, and soundness, and great strength in the case of northern breeders-as London did to the south.

So when the demand for draft horses developed in our country, the Shires of England became one of our primary sources for the improvement of our equine stock,

An American horseman from that period, a dealer in several breeds and an acknowledged expert, had this to say about the Shire. "I have had opportunity for extended personal observations and inquiry as to the result of crossing them on native American mares, as well as on the grades and crosses of other breeds, and the evidence is of unqualified satisfaction. They have been found competent to transmit and impress their own characteristics with remarkable certainty, and the name "Shire Horse" had become a synonym for strength, constitution, energy, and endurance. "


The Standardbred horse is considered to be the fastest harness horse in the world. Harness racing has been a passion in the United States since the early 1800's. Then, the Morgan horse reigned as the supreme harness horse. But an event occurring in 1849 ended the Morgan Dynasty. This event was the foaling of a horse named Hambletonian 10, the foundation sire of the Standardbred horse. The breed gains its name from the fact that a horse must meet a certain "standard" of either timed speed at the mile or breeding in order to be properly registered. The increased brilliance of the Standardbred breed itself has reduced times for the mile by a minute — down 30 percent from the original record.

Physical Description


In many respects the Standardbred resembles its ancestor the Thoroughbred. It does not stand as tall, averaging 15.2 hands, although it has a longer body. The head is refined, set on a medium-sized neck. The quarters are muscular yet sleek. The clean hind legs are set well back. Individual Standardbreds tend to either trot or pace. This breed appears in varying colors, although bay, brown, and black are predominant. It weighs between 800 and 1000 pounds.

The Standardbred traces its ancestry to Messenger, from the Darley Arabian line of Thoroughbreds. He was imported to America in 1788. The Norfolk Trotter also had a strong influence on the early development of the Standardbred. Hambletonian 10, the acknowledged founder of the breed, was foaled in Orange County, New York, on May 5, 1849. He was sired by Abdallah and out of the Charles Kent mare. Hambletonian became a great sire producing a family of harness horses which outdistance all competition. Ninety percent of all modern Standardbreds trace to him directly.



he term Thoroughbred describes a breed of horse whose ancestry traces back to three foundation sires — the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian and the Byerly Turk.

Named after their respective owners — Thomas Darley, Lord Godolphin and Captain Robert Byerly — these three stallions were brought to England from the Mediterranean Middle East around the turn of the 17th century and bred to the stronger, but less precocious, native horse.


The result was an animal which could carry weight with sustained speed over extended distances, qualities which brought a new dimension to the burgeoning, aristocratically-supported, sport of horse racing.

So began a selective breeding process which has been going on for more than 250 years, breeding the best stallions to the best mares, with the proof of superiority and excellence being established on the race track.

Key to this selective breeding process is the integrity of the breed's records.

In early days, Thoroughbred breeding records were sparse and frequently incomplete, it being the custom, among other things, not to name a horse until it had proved outstanding ability. It was left to James Weatherby, through his own research and by consolidation of a number of privately-kept pedigree records, to publish the first volume of the General Stud Book.

He did this in 1791, listing the pedigrees of 387 mares, each of which could be traced back to Eclipse, a direct descendent of the Darley Arabian; Matchem, a grandson of the Godolphin Arabian; and Herod, whose great-great grandsire was the Byerly Turk. The General Stud Book is still published in England by Weatherby and Sons, Secretaries to the English Jockey Club.

Several years later, as racing proliferated in the fast-expanding continent of North America, the need for a pedigree registry of American-bred Thoroughbreds, similar to the General Stud Book, became apparent. The first volume of The American Stud Book was published in 1873, by Col. Sanders D. Bruce, a Kentuckian who had spent almost a lifetime researching the pedigrees of American Thoroughbreds.

Bruce closely followed the pattern of the first General Stud Book, producing six volumes of the register until 1896, when the project was taken over by The Jockey Club.


Welsh Pony and Cob

The original home of the Welsh Mountain pony was in the hills and valleys of Wales. He was there before the Romans. His lot was not an easy one. Winters were severe. Vegetation was sparse. Shelter, most often, was an isolated valley or a clump of bare trees. Yet the Welsh pony managed not only to survive, but to flourish.

Led by proud stallions, bands of mares and their foals roamed in a semi-wild state, climbing mountains, leaping ravines, running over rough terrain. This sort of existence insured perpetuation of the breed through only the most hardy of stock. Hence, the development of a pony with a remarkable soundness of body, a tremendous endurance, and a high degree of native intelligence.


Even an edict of Henry VII that all horses under 15 hands be destroyed did not eliminate the Welsh. Hiding in desolate areas where his persecutors were reluctant or unable to go, perhaps at Nant Llwyd, he continued to live and reproduce, preserving for mankind a distinctive strain of pony that today has generated enthusiasm among breeders and pony lovers all over the world.

Down through the years, the Welsh pony has served many masters. There is evidence to support the belief that he pulled chariots in vast sports arenas. He has worked in coal mines, on ranches, and on postmen's routes.

The Welsh pony has adapted himself to the whims and needs of humans as easily as to his environment. He loves people. He responds well to proper treatment and discipline. He can be trusted. He is an ideal pony for a growing child, and he has the spirit and endurance to challenge an adult.

Because of his heritage, the Welsh pony is not bothered by the somewhat extreme variations of climate and terrain encountered in the United States and Canada.

That the Welsh pony carries a trace of Arabian blood seems beyond doubt. However, he has maintained his own dominant physical characteristics over the years. It has been demonstrated that the Welsh crosses well with many other breeds, and this is, to some breeders, an important aspect of his unusual versatility.

One of the most noted Welsh breeders wrote: "The blood of the Welsh Mountain pony of perfect type can improve any other blood with which it is mixed. This is a very strong statement to make, but I have had ample opportunity to prove it."

The purebred Welsh pony of today is an animal of great beauty and refinement. He has a proud. aristocratic bearing. Yet he has the substance, the stamina, and the soundness of body and wind which are characteristic of animals that long have lived close to nature.

The purebred Welsh of today has a friendly personality and an even temper, intelligent and constantly alert. He has spirit, but this spirit is combined with gentleness and a willingness to obey. He does not resent discipline and shows respect for the master. young or old. who shows respect for him.

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