Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Some of the most predominant types of horses today are those that we commonly refer to as light horse breeds. Throughout history, humans have adopted light horse breeds for their swift, efficient travel and, in more recent years, their ability to provide leisure on the trail, speed on the racetrack, style in the show ring, and agility on the ranch.

Major light horse breeds will be covered below and classified as stock type, hunter type, or saddle type horses.

Stock type horses exhibit Western qualities and are more heavily muscled than other light horse breeds and are ideal to perform traditional ranch work.

Hunter type horses are longer and leaner than stock type horses and more suitable for activities requiring a longer, more ground-covering stride.

In most cases, saddle type horses begin to show more dramatic conformational differences by having a higher-tying neck, a flatter croup, and higher knee action.

In addition, some light horse breeds are also considered color breeds. Depending on the specific color breed, these horses can exhibit: 1)more white, 2)a varied coat pattern, or a 3)a specific solid color coat such as palomino or buckskin.