Millions of people gather together for this big-hat, elegant event as they cheer on their beloved horse. Riding a horse is beneficial to creating a sense of peace as well as for gaining physical strength.
Seeing their strength, beauty, and ability to weather any storm so to speak makes them inspiring. The back, core, and thighs are the of the body parts that get the best workout.
Most horses are with one owner for the duration of their lifetime, and together they are able to face challenges and bring peace to one another. Whether your first pet is a goldfish that swims in circles all day or a dog who loves to play fetch.
Everyone loves their first pet and mine was a horse I got at 4 years old that was all my own. Now here I am, 20 years old, still the same avid horse lover I was then.
While dog and cats are very beautiful animals, there is nothing better than a horse naturally running and playing in a pasture. Horses are large and delicate creatures who are striking, even at a distance.
Whether you have been around horses your life or if you have just seen them for the first time, you can never get over just how beautiful the animals are. It sounds simple and obvious, but when you think about it, it actually makes horses really special.
Horse riding is so extremely diverse with many types of riding and even two different types of saddles for the two main disciplines. The fact that you can ride a horse gives it a unique status among domesticated animals.
Like most other domesticated pets, horses come in all shapes and sizes. There are many colors like bay or palomino, as well popular breeds like the American Quarter Horse and the Thoroughbred Race Horse breed.
Thoroughbred horses have become popular in American culture because of races like the Kentucky Derby and the Legacy of the Triple Crown. We have both made lasting friendships and family bonds while showing horses together.
Report this Content This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator. From working and racing to casual riding and equestrian competition, each horse has its special qualities.
A horse is a big investment in terms of time, housing, care, and money. Embraced by beginners and professional equestrians all around the world, the American quarter horse is famous for its agility, docility, and athleticism.
This breed is considered a “hot-blooded” horse, which means it's known for its agility, speed, and spirit. It's a fine multipurpose horse that often has a career in other equestrian competitions besides racing, such as dressage and jumping, or it lives its life as a companion animal.
Physical Characteristics: Deep chest; lean body; long, flat muscles The colorful, spotted Appaloosa was originally developed for hunting and battle by the New Peace Native Americans.
Physical Characteristics: Colorful coat pattern; mottled skin; striped hooves The strength and elegance of the Morgan have made it a popular horse breed.
In equine circles, the terms “hot-blooded,” “warm-blooded,” and “cold-blooded” are used to categorize a horse's temperament, size, and origin. They contain a touch of the temper you get from lithe, “hot-blooded” thoroughbreds or Arabians combined with the calm demeanor of “cold-blooded” working horses.
In most cases, a horse that's fully grown at 14.2 hands (57 inches) or less is considered a pony. The plucky Shetland and elegant Welsh are popular breeds of ponies.
They differ from crossbreeds because crosses are the result of known pedigreed horses that are intentionally bred. These horses have thick coats and manes that enable them to endure cold weather, and they're not easily spooked.
The Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire, and Belgian are some popular examples of these gentle giants. They have remained an important means of transport as people used to harness their power and built societies on their backs to rode out and to conquer nations.
Ranging from the Kenyan Savannas to the deserts of Nevada, horses are used for endurance, passion for power and courage. Also, it is one of the oldest breeds in the world with archaeological evidence dating back 4,500 years.
Throughout history, Arabian horses have been widely spread around the world both by war and trade and have remained an important means for Warriors. The most common coat color of the Arabian horses is bay; however, many chestnuts, gray, blacks and roans are available.
The average height of the breed is approximately 57 to 61 inches and weighs is 850 to 1,000 pounds. The horse breed is courageous, sensitive and intelligent animals who love attention.
The Carolina Marsh Lucky is one of the most useful animal breeds as they are easy to keep and can survive even in the toughest conditions. Often regarded as the real survivors, Carolina Marsh Lucky horse breed and have larger feet and gracious head that can be used for plowing, riding and much more.
The small-sized horses can bear heat and humidity while they are moving in the swamps and marshes of South Carolina. The popular horse breed comes in Multi-colored patterns such as bay, roan, dun, black, chestnut, and grille are seen.
The Andalusian originated in the Iberian Peninsula is a pure Spanish horse breed which was recognized for the first time in the 15th century. They are strongly built, compact elegant, have long, thick manes and tails.
The intelligent but shy breed are quick learners and you will have a quite delightful experience working with them. Miniature horses are found particularly in Europe and the United States, but they can also be seen in many other nations.
Also, during prehistoric times, this breed was kept as pets by nobility and used for work in coal mines. They are mostly used as service dogs for the blind and therapy animals in hospitals, or nursing homes.
The breed is best known for its colorful spotted coat pattern and is named after the official state horse of Idaho in 1975. In a number of western riding disciplines. They are tough, independent, hardy and sure-footed, with big bodies and sparse manes and tails.
The horse breed is mostly used in events like dressage, endurance riding and show jumping, however, it needs experienced owners and it is not suitable for the inexperienced rider because of quickness and excellent agility. Named after his best-known owner, Morgan’s were known for their versatility and commonly used as coach horses and for racing, as general riding animals in the 19th century American history.
Talking about the appearance, they have a short head with a wide forehead and the face looks like a flat profile. It was originally developed in the southern United States for use on farms and plantations.
It is a popular riding horse due to its calm disposition, smooth gaits and sure-footedness. This is the primary reason they are tall and light but at the same time one of the strongest and popular horse breeds in the world.
The breed comes in all color variations that made them one of the most diverse set of horses in the world. Apart from racing, they are also used in other riding disciplines such as show jumping, combined training, dressage, polo, and fox hunting.
The younger horse breed in the world because the development process has been started in 17th century England. I put together this reference guide as a quick resource with information on many of the most popular horse breeds in the United States.
Whether it’s the breed you first learned to ride or a horse you have a special bond with, we all have our preferences. The Quarter Horse excels at quick, intricate maneuvers due to their compact body shape.
Because of this, you often find Quarter Horses participating in rodeos, barrel racing, and other Western riding events. Although they are relatively new to the scene, POA, or Pony of the Americas, is quickly becoming one of the largest growing breeds in the United States.
I have a special place in my heart for this breed as my current pony, and one of the loves of my life, Tucker, is a POA. Mustangs are descendants of Arabian horses that were brought to America by the Spanish.
These qualities make them a common choice for racing although they also participate in other riding events. A breed with an interesting history, the Harbinger, traces back as far as the Middle Ages.
This breed is sociable and quite gentle, making them great for beginner riders of all ages. One unique fact about the Harbinger is that they always have a beautiful chestnut or palomino coat with a flaxen mane and tail.
A distinct colorful coat is one of the defining characteristics of the American Paint Horse. Originating from Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred bloodlines, this popular breed is most often used in Western riding events.
This combination makes them easily maneuverable, causing them to excel in a variety of Western riding events. However, they excel at almost any riding discipline, making this breed a wonderful choice for horse lovers of any age.
With its origin dating back to the early 19th century, the Missouri Fox Trotter is quite popular for trail riding. One of the most easily recognizable horse breeds, Arabians have an arched neck, large head, and high tail carriage.
Arabians first arrived in the Americas in the early 1500s, where they eventually became the foundation stock for the Mustang. A draft horse, known for their intelligence and good disposition, the Percheron is always ready to work.
Although quite large, this breed easily adapts to a wide variety of climates and conditions. Percheron's are most often used as draft horses, often used for sleigh rides, parades, and carriages.
They are most commonly used in the United States for harness racing, however, they also excel in a number of other equestrian disciplines. Although Standardized were first developed in North America, they are now a popular breed in many areas of the world.
Their solid build and wonderful disposition are ideal for many riding situations. Although they are most commonly used as working horses, they are becoming increasingly popular for both showing and pleasure riding.
Belgians in the United States are not quite as large as their European counterparts, however, they have similar characteristics and build. Originating in Germany, the Hanoverian is popular for its incredible temperament, athletic ability, and physical appearance.
The breeds on this list have stood the test of time, proving themselves as favorites throughout many generations. Some of these include the size of the horse, personality characteristics, experience, and riding goals.
Additionally, you should also consult an equestrian who is more experienced as they will be able to offer valuable insight into a horse breed that would be a good fit for you. Although there are many horse breeds that qualify, a few stands out as ideal for the beginner rider.
Horses running at a ranch in Texas Horses have been a crucial component of American life and culture since the founding of the nation. In 2008, there were an estimated 9.2 million horses in the United States, with 4.6 million citizens involved in businesses related to horses.
Notably, there are about 82,000 feral horses that roam freely in the wild in certain parts of the country, mostly in the Western United States. While genus Equus, of which the horse is a member, originally evolved in North America, the horse became extinct on the continent approximately 8,000–12,000 years ago.
In 1493, on Christopher Columbus' second voyage to the Americas, Spanish horses, representing E. Catullus, were brought back to North America, first to the Virgin Islands ; they were reintroduced to the continental mainland by Hernán Cortés in 1519. From early Spanish imports to Mexico and Florida, horses moved north, supplemented by later imports to the east and west coasts brought by British, French, and other European colonists.
Native peoples of the Americas quickly obtained horses and developed their own horse culture that was largely distinct from European traditions. Horses remained an integral part of American rural and urban life until the 20th century, when the widespread emergence of mechanization caused their use for industrial, economic, and transportation purposes to decline.
Modern use of the horse in the United States is primarily for recreation and entertainment, though some horses are still used for specialized tasks. A 2005 genetic study of fossils found evidence for three genetically divergent equip lineages in Pleistocene North and South America.
Recent studies suggest all North American fossils of caballine-type horses, including both the domesticated horse and Przewalski's horse, belong to the same species: E. ferns. Remains attributed to a variety of species and lumped as New World stilt-legged horses belong to a second species that was endemic to North America, now called Haringtonhippus Francisco.
Digs in western Canada have unearthed clear evidence horses existed in North America as recently as 12,000 years ago. Other studies produced evidence that horses in the Americas existed until 8,000–10,000 years ago.
Equine in North America ultimately became extinct, along with most of the other New World megafauna during the Quaternary extinction event during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago. Given the suddenness of the event and because these mammals had been flourishing for millions of years previously, something unusual must have happened.
The first main hypothesis attributes extinction to climate change. For example, in Alaska, beginning approximately 12,500 years ago, the grasses characteristic of a steppe ecosystem gave way to shrub tundra, which was covered with unpalatable plants.
However, it has also been proposed that the steppe-tundra vegetation transition in Bering may have been a consequence, rather than a cause, of the extinction of megafaunal grazers. The other hypothesis suggests extinction was linked to overexploitation of native prey by newly arrived humans.
The extinctions were roughly simultaneous with the end of the most recent glacial advance and the appearance of the big game-hunting Clovis culture. Several studies have indicated humans probably arrived in Alaska at the same time or shortly before the local extinction of horses.
Horses returned to the Americas thousands of years later, well after domestication of the horse, beginning with Christopher Columbus in 1493. These were Iberian horses first brought to Hispaniola and later to Panama, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and, in 1538, Florida.
The first horses to return to the main continent were 16 specifically identified horses brought by Hernán Cortés in 1519. Subsequent explorers, such as Coronado and De Soto brought ever-larger numbers, some from Spain and others from breeding establishments set up by the Spanish in the Caribbean.
The first imports were smaller animals suited to the size restrictions imposed by ships. Starting in the mid-19th century, larger draft horses began to be imported, and by the 1880s, thousands had arrived.
Formal horse racing in the United States dates back to 1665, when a racecourse was opened on the Hempstead Plains near Salisbury in what is now Nassau County, New York. There are multiple theories for how Native American people obtained horses from the Spanish, but early capture of stray horses during the 16th century was unlikely due to the need to simultaneously acquire the skills to ride and manage them.
It is unlikely that Native people obtained horses in significant numbers to become a horse culture any earlier than 1630–1650. From a trade center in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area, the horse spread slowly north.
The Comanche people were thought to be among the first tribes to obtain horses and use them successfully. By 1742, there were reports by white explorers that the Crow and Blackfoot people had horses, and probably had them for a considerable time.
The horse became an integral part of the lives and culture of Native Americans, especially the Plains Indians, who viewed them as a source of wealth and used them for hunting, travel, and warfare. In the 19th century, horses were used for many jobs.
In the west, they were ridden by cowboys for handling cattle on the large ranches of the region and on cattle drives. In some cases, their labor was deemed more efficient than using steam-powered equipment to power certain types of mechanized equipment.
At the same time, the maltreatment of horses in cities such as New York, where over 130,000 horses were used, led to the creation of the first ASPCA in 1866. In the 19th century, the Standard bred breed of harness racing horse developed in the United States, and many thoroughbred horse races were established.
Horse-drawn sightseeing bus, 1942At the start of the 20th century, the United States Department of Agriculture began to establish breeding farms for research, to preserve American horse breeds, and to develop horses for military and agricultural purposes. However, after the end of World War I, the increased use of mechanized transportation resulted in a decline in the horse populations, with a 1926 report noting horse prices were the lowest they had been in 60 years.
In 1912, the United States and Russia held the most horses in the world, with the U.S. having the second-highest number. There were an estimated 20 million horses in March 1915 in the United States.
But as increased mechanization reduced the need for horses as working animals, populations declined. A USDA census in 1959 showed the horse population had dropped to 4.5 million.
Numbers began to rebound somewhat, and by 1968 there were about 7 million horses, mostly used for riding. ^ One hypothesis posits that horses survived the ice age in North America, but no physical evidence has been found to substantiate this claim.
“Evolution, systematic, and paleogeography of Pleistocene horses in the New World: a molecular perspective”. “Ancient DNA Clarifies the Evolutionary History of American Late Pleistocene Equips”.
^ Hartman, Peter D; Paula, Grant D; Machete, Ross DE; Scott, Eric; Cahill, James A; Choose, Brianna K; Knapp, Joshua D; Stiller, Mathias; Woollier, Matthew J; Orlando, Ludovic; South on, John (November 28, 2017). “A new genus of horse from Pleistocene North America”.
“Rapid body size decline in Alaskan Pleistocene horses before extinction”. “Steppe-tundra transition: a herbivore-driven biome shift at the end of the Pleistocene”.
“A calendar chronology for Pleistocene mammoth and horse extinction in North America based on Bayesian radiocarbon calibration”. ^ Slow, Andrew; Roberts, David; Robert, Karen (May 9, 2006).
“On the Pleistocene extinctions of Alaskan mammoths and horses ". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (19 ed.).
“New carbon dates link climatic change with human colonization and Pleistocene extinctions”. “Iberian Origins of New World Horse Breeds”.
Report of the Chief of the Bureau of Animal Industry, United States Department of Agriculture. Horses in Society: A Story of Animal Breeding and Marketing, 1800–1920.
Many of these tribes favored loud-colored animals, and settlers often caught and used wild spotted mustangs. Eventually, breeders began selecting traits beyond just a loud coat color.
Common Colors: Chestnut, bay, brown, black, gray with various white markings. Just chaos , via Wikimedia CommonsKnown for their smooth gaits and good-natured personalities, American Saddle bred horses excel in the show ring and the lesson barn.
As English settlers brought their sleek carriage-pulling Thoroughbreds to America, they crossed them with the now-extinct Narragansett Pacer. In the South, the “American Saddle Horse” became bigger, flashier, and provided a more comfortable ride.
The “Kentucky Saddler” developed to carry plantation owners efficiently and comfortably across their lands, and they were a favorite mount of officers in the Civil War. While you might generally see them in saddle seat performance rings, they are often shown in hunter classes or Western tack.
Even before Roman times, elegant warhorses were used in Spain (and Lusitania) for hundreds of years for ranch work and bullfighting. Affable and agile, they respond well to light aids, which is a necessary trait during a high-pressure situation (such as a bullfight) and for dressage.
There are herds of wild mustangs today that trace their ancestry back to these fine riding horses. The New Peace people acquired spotted horses from descendants of Spanish bloodstock.
They began what would become a sophisticated breeding program for scrappy, hardworking range horses with good sense and tough feet. An Appaloosa’s spots are caused by the leopard-complex, which is a set of genes that controls coat pattern expression.
Thousands of years of meticulous breeding by the Bedouin tribes of the Arabian Peninsula created a horse that was swift, loyal, and had excellent stamina. They dominate the field of competitive endurance riding and racing, and they can cover 50 miles of terrain in one day.
The Belgian breed arrived in America in the late 1800s, but in 1904, Belgium sent “an impressive array of horses to the World’s Fair. This sparked a public interest in these heavy, docile horses that continues to this day.
Originally from Scotland, the Clydesdale is a popular draft horse for agricultural work, driving, and also riding. Clydesdale's are tall and handsome, with large feathered feet and flashy high-knee action.
Common Uses : Ranch work, endurance, rodeo events, performance, pleasure riding In 1878, General Ulysses S. Grant was gifted two exceptional stallions during a visit with his good friend, the Sultan of Turkey.
They make excellent ranch horses, and are also good for working with cattle. Bred for speed, stamina, agility, and talent, the Dutch Warm blood can excel at nearly every equestrian discipline.
They consistently perform in top levels of jumping and dressage competitions, including the Olympics. The breed began in Holland, as the needs shifted away from heavy workhorses to lighter riding horses.
After World War II, mechanized farming became the norm, and horses were used for recreation. They are popular choices for sport and competition in the United States, and many are imported directly from Holland.
Today, they are increasing in popularity as a nice show pony, perfect for exhibiting under saddle or driven in harness. The magnificent Frisian is known for its rich black coat, full mane and tail, and sophisticated regal appearance and way of moving.
These majestic black horses also hail from Holland, where strict breeding regulations have maintained exceptionally pure bloodlines for generations. Due to their striking appearance, these horses are also popular in movies and TV.
The Roma is an ethnic group of people that traditionally live and travel with horse-drawn carriages, pulled by striking painted horses. The Roma people have maintained extensive oral pedigrees for their animals creating a well-mannered, easy-keeping, flashy carriage horse.
Horse-drawn carriages dominated the transportation industry during the 1800s, but it was expensive to keep horses in the city. A blend of Thoroughbred, Arabian, Cleveland Bay and Norfolk trotter, the Hackney is mostly known as an elegant harness horse with a high-stepping energetic trot.
You may also occasionally see them in open saddle seat competitions with Morgans and American Saddlebags. For hundreds of years, farmers in the Tyrolean area of Austria and northern Italy have used the small, stocky, good-natured chestnut Harbinger horse for plowing their rocky terrain.
They are versatile horses, suitable for pleasure riding, light farm work, and dressage. The Hanoverian began as a noble coach horse, hauling the aristocrats of the Holy Roman Empire in the 17th century.
Early Holstein er horses developed in the 13th century, plowing farms for German monasteries. France imported Holsteins by the thousands to use as cavalry horses due to their stamina, strength, and good gaits.
Eventually, farming became mechanized, and the heavy artillery horses of World War II were no longer needed. So, breeders added Thoroughbred and Arabian bloodlines to turn the Holstein er into a talented competition horse.
Despite their small stature (only standing about 12-14 hands tall), they are considered horses, not ponies. They are agreeable and tough, and make excellent mounts for children, beginners, or those with joint problems who might be looking for a smoother ride.
They excel in endurance, trekking, trail riding, and can often be found in low-level dressage or hunter rings. At my barn, we affectionately call them “expensive lawn ornaments.” Although, these intelligent animals can be used to pull carts, in free-jumping or agility, and may be ridden by children.
Common Colors: Bay, black, brown, chestnut, pinto, buckskin, cello, palomino, champagne Another gained mountain breed, the Missouri Fox Trotter is a comfortable ranch and trail horse with a sweet disposition.
Known more for their surefootedness than their flashy movements, these horses are commonly found on the trail or in backyard farms. They’re even used by the U.S. Forest Service to cover thousands of miles of trails and open land.
Many of these traits are still evident today in the Tennessee Walking Horse, Saddle bred, and Standard bred. Today, Morgans make wonderful pleasure horses for riding or driving.
They stand out in the show ring with their fine good looks, but they also make excellent trail and family riding horses as well. When Christopher Columbus and the other conquistadors sailed to the New World, they brought their fine Spanish horses with them.
As more Europeans settled in the Americas, their horses were often sold, stolen, or escaped (not many corrals in those days! After hundreds of years of natural selection, herds of wild horses now roam the American West.
While people were unofficially crossing these two breeds for a long time, now there is a registry for approved sires and dams. While the registry is open to any of the three foundation breeds to produce National Show Horse foals, they still must be approved for breeding by the National Show Horse Registry for the foal to be registered as an NSW.
The hardy little Fjord horse was traditionally used in Norway for farm work, driving, riding, and navigating the harsh rocky climate. These horses have a distinct look that sets them apart from other breeds, including primitive markings and a stiff, mohawk-like mane.
Their small stature and gentle disposition often make them good choices for children, but they’re strong enough to carry adults as well. These horses excel at equestrian sports, and you can often find them in the winning Olympic circles of show jumping, evening, and dressage.
These are well-bred horses, and the breed association has a saying, “quality is the only standard that counts.” Thus, you may have several Oldenburg's that vary slightly in type and conformation. Despite this, they are bold horses with expressive gaits, and they excel in the performance arena.
Common Colors: bay, black, brown, buckskin, chestnut, dun, gray, palomino The Peruvian Pass is a smooth-gaited horse suitable for trail or pleasure riding or exhibiting in the show ring.
Like many other ancient Spanish breeds, the Peruvian Pass developed from the need for a comfortable riding horse over rough terrain. When people spent much of their time on horseback, they wanted comfortable horses with ground-covering ambling gaits.
As roads improved and carriages became more popular, trotting horses became the norm. The Peruvian Pass is known for the unique action of its termini, which is a natural rolling movement of the front leg during their ambling gait.
Like many other American gained breeds, the Racking Horse developed as an answer for crossing large Southern plantations in comfort and style. After racing fell out of favor (although it would later become popular again), Racking Horse owners turned to shows to exhibit the skills of their comfortable breed.
Unlike Tennessee Walking Horses or American Saddlebags, Racking Horses are shown without big shoes or tail sets, and correct form and speed are prized over flashy knee action. These robust sport horses from France often dominate the show jumping arena at the highest levels of competition.
Like many athletic warm bloods, the Sell Français began as a powerful carriage and cavalry horse. Originally from the British Shetland Islands, these ponies worked in the coal mines after child labor was outlawed.
These large, heavy horses were used in England for hundreds of years as strong pack and plow animals, making their way to the Americas in the 1800s. Because they possess excellent movement, they are also often crossed with Thoroughbreds to produce talented jumpers.
The ability to trot or pace is actually determined by a gene, which scientists have recently identified as the DMRT3. Now, breeders can theoretically test young Standard bred racehorses and determine whether their career will be more successful as a pacer or a trotter.
Born in England at the very end of the 17th century, three imported stallions became the foundation sires for what is arguably one of the most popular and influential horse breeds in history. All Thoroughbreds registered with the Jockey Club can trace back their lineage to these three important stallions.
As the racing industry changed (and actually became legal), flatter and longer tracks were built. Hundreds of failed racehorses retire from the racing industry each year, and many are able to excel in other disciplines such as jumping, evening, and dressage.
With a closed studbook, they have a distinct type –these horses have excellent conformation, “compelling presence, and nobility of bearing.” At the end of World War II, hundreds of Trainers traveled across the frozen Baltic Sea, fleeing from Soviet forces.
Only the strongest survived, and these individuals built the athletic and noble horse that exists today. With an endurance that makes them successful at the top levels of competition, they also excel in evening as well.
Like the rest of the warm blood breeds you can find in the US, the Westphalia horse is exceptionally athletic. They have pleasant dispositions and are easily trainable, making them suitable for a variety of different jobs.
Horses are unique animals, and they have always been seen as a sought after pet. Horses are great for people wanting a pet they can get out in the outdoors and enjoy an active lifestyle with.
Horse riding is a great way to keep fit and healthy in the outdoors. You can explore nature while keeping active, all with the help of your horse.