There are currently 2 million horse owners in the US.
While many folks adopt horses because they love to ride them, others have work for their animals to do. Their horses may jump, race, or help with ranch chores.
Some horse owners use their pets for dressage, a highly skilled form of riding used in exhibition or competition. Others may breed them for show, competition, or work.
If you have ever considered owning a horse, you are not alone. Horse lovers with ample property find them to be gentle companions and a wonderful source of exercise. If you love and care for your horse, they will become an immediate asset to your home and family.
What are the most popular horse breeds out there? Let’s take a look.
1. American Quarter Horse
Quarter Horses are great beginner animals because of their even temperament.
If you have never owned a horse before, you may want to invest in some riding lessons. You should also have your horse checked out by a veterinarian. Here are some additional tips for new owners.
Quarter Horses became popular in the American south. They provided entertainment on Sundays by running races a quarter-mile long, leading to their name. Some are known to run as fast as 55 miles per hour.
American Quarter Horses are currently the most popular breed in the world. They are used for both the trail riding and competition. Quarter horses are prized for being high-spirited without being nervous.
Pleasure riding, barrel racing, roping, and cutting, are just a few of the activities Quarter Horses excel at. They make excellent hunt seat mounts and racehorses. Quarter horses perform at rodeos and horse shows and are also sturdy working ranch animals.
American Quarter Horses are a mix of Arabic and English thoroughbreds. The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) in Texas currently has more than three million registered members.
Clydesdale horses were developed in Scotland during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
In the late 1800s, they were brought to the United States. Their strength and endurance enabled them to plow fields, pull wagons, and power machinery.
Clydesdales are known for their high-stepping walk and trot. They are prized for their strength, agility, and calmness. Today, they are used for both driving and riding.
Appaloosas are best known for their spotted, colorful pattern. There are 150,000 of them in existence today.
Appaloosas are strong, independent, and hardy. They have big bodies and sparse mains and tails. Appaloosas are sure-footed, which makes them excellent candidates for riding.
They also make great trail horses.
Appaloosas were developed by Nez Perce Native American tribes in Pacific Northwest. They are used for endurance riding, dressage, and jumping. It is recommended that experienced riders own them, as Appaloosas are very quick and agile.
4. Tennessee Walker
Tennessee Walkers are known for their long necks and solid builds. These elegant animals have a distinctive four-beat running walk and a flashy way of moving.
Great for beginners, walkers have calm dispositions. They are also known for their easy gait and sure-footedness.
Tennessee Walkers were created during the 1800s on American farms and plantations. They are the result of crossbreeding about six different types of horses. The “running walk” of Walkers made them an excellent choice for Civil War generals.
Tennessee Walkers are popular because they are strong, intelligent, and tall.
5. Miniature Horse
Miniature horses were developed in the 1600s and were originally used for coal mining. They are known for their grace, carriage, and alertness.
Today, they work as service animals for the blind and therapy animals in hospitals. Many also use them hitched to carts, wagons, or sleighs. They are too small to be ridden by anyone but a very young child.
In order to be classified as miniature horses, the animals must fall under 38 inches high, measured from the last hairs of the mane. Their average lifespan is around 30 years, although some live into their 50s.
Originally used as war horses, Andalusians were prized by nobility for their strength.
Andalusians are compact and elegant. They are used for dressage, driving, saddle seat, and jumping.
Mustangs are descendants of Spanish horses. After the conquest and colonization of America, they were returned to the wild. Mustangs multiplied on the prairies.
Many mustangs were then captured and trained by cowboys, who appreciated their strength, endurance, and even dispositions. Many of today’s cowboy horses are descendants of the original mustangs.
8. American Paint Horse
The American Paint Horse has a solid color that contrasts with its spots, known as pinto coloring. They are muscular and have low centers of gravity.
Paint horses are driven and ridden in almost all English and Western disciplines. They are used in barrel racing, jumping, and cross-country events.
9. Morgan Horse
Morgan horses are known for having intelligent, relaxed dispositions. They have refined heads and large, expressive eyes. Morgan horses possess upright, graceful necks and wide throats that allow them to breathe easily.
The animal is also known for being fiercely loyal and affectionate. Morgan horses are versatile and are excellent choices for beginners.
These horses have a reputation for being very healthy. They are not big eaters.
10. Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse
Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses are medium-boned and muscular. They come in solid colors as well as patterns. All have flowing manes and generous tails.
These horses are bred to be multi-purpose and are useful for driving, riding, and general farm work. They tend to be calm, alert, and sturdy.
The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is known for its four-beat gait, which is steady and unflinching.
America’s Finest Horse Breeds
American Quarter Horses and Morgan Horses are all excellent horse breeds if you are looking for a cheerful, even-tempered first horse. Colorful Appaloosas, strong Mustangs, and versatile Paint Horses can help you to compete and graze the countryside with strength and beauty.
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