Light Horse Breed Rocky Mountain Horse

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Today, the Rocky Mountain Horse (saddle type) is being used as a pleasure horse, for trail or show, and for competitive or endurance riding. This medium-sized horse originated in Eastern Kentucky and has an easy ambling, four-beat gait for traveling the foothills of the Appalachians. Sam Tuttle of Spout Springs, Kentucky, owned the stallion Old Tobe, to whom much of the Rocky Mountain stock can be traced.

The Rocky Mountain Horse has …

Light Horse Breed American Quarter Horse

American Quarter Horse Cutting

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Unlike the imported Arabian and Thoroughbred, the American Quarter Horse (stock type) is the oldest surviving American horse breed. This horse was developed by the colonists and was often raced down the main streets of early American towns. The Quarter Horse quickly earned the reputation of being the fastest at one-fourth mile, thus leading to its name. The American Quarter Horse was instrumental in settling the West and possessed excellent cow sense for …

Light Horse Breed Thoroughbred

Thoroughbreds Racing

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

The Arabian played a major role in the development of the Thoroughbred (hunter type), which originated in England in the 1600s. All Thoroughbreds can be traced back to the lineage of three foundation sires.

The Darley Arab, Byerly Turk, and Godolphin Barb were imported to England for the purpose of increasing the speed of horses for sport racing. These sires were bred to royal mares to produce the characteristics that were introduced …

Light Horse Breed Tennessee Walking Horse

Tennessee Walking Horse

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

The Tennessee Walking Horse (saddle type) was developed in, you guessed it, Tennessee; actually, the middle basin of Tennessee. 

The breed traces back to:

The Tennessee Walking Horse breed was formally recognized in 1935 with the establishment of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ Association (now the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association). At that time, Allan F-1, otherwise known as Black Allan, was …

Draft Horse Clydesdales

Clydesdales pulling a Wagon

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Clydesdales are well noted for their white faces and leg markings as well as the bell-bottom effect created by the excessive feathering on their lower legs.

Six to eight horse hitches are used for advertising a well-known beer brewery and other companies. The Clydesdale’s long, springy stride, with extreme flexion of the knees and hocks, makes this horse ideal for a spectacular hitch.

Clydesdales are taller, weigh less, and are cleaner and flatter in …

Light Horse Breed Palomino

Palomino Horse

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

The Palomino(color breed/stock/type/hunter type/saddle type) breed is considered the golden horse. The ideal color of a Palomino is that of an untarnished United States gold coin. The mane and tail must be at least 85 percent white, and the skin must be primarily dark in color.

Many Palominos are double-registered with the Palomino Horse Breeders of America (PHBA, established in 1941) and the appropriate breed association. Currently, PHBA accepts registry from Palominos …

Sport Horse Breeds

Warmblood Horse in the Dressage Arena

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Today’s sport horses have a size and scope that enable them to demonstrate their strength and endurance in highly intense events such as show jumping, dressage, three-day eventing, and combined training. When we think of warmbloods, we generally think of the following breeds:

Hanoverians. Hanoverians originated in a section of Germany called Hanover. Hanovarian and Hanovarian crossbreeds can now be registered by the American Hanovarian Society, established in 1978. These horses are considered …

Light Horse Breed American Paint Horse

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

The Paint Horse (color breed/stock type/hunter type) was introduced into the United States by Spanish explorers. It is primarily comprised of stock type horses such as Quarter Horses. Some have Thoroughbred influence.

American Paint Horse

The two characteristic coat patterns of the Paint Horse are tobiano and overo

  • The overo pattern has no white crossing over the back; has one or more dark legs; is often bald-, apron-, or bonnet-faced; has body markings that are irregularly

Light Horse Breed Arabian

Arabian Horse trotting

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

The Arabian, (saddle type) originated in the wild desert of the Middle East in 5000 B.C. from the foundation stock of the Kohl breed and from five Al-Khamesh mares. It is the oldest and most influential breed. 

The Arabian is known for its

  • Endurance
  • Speed
  • Overall toughness

Arabians are small in stature, with a concave face and large dark eyes. Their characteristic arching neck comes high out of their withers and ties into …

Diversity Among Breeds of Horses

Youth leading a horse

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Some people may think a horse is a horse is a horse. In fact, horses are quite unique in their size, color, conformation, and manner of movement. These characteristics set each breed apart and determine its general purpose.

Within the horse industry, there are over 300 different breeds of horses. While some breeds look similar and are used in similar activities, there is great diversity. This diversity ensures that there is a horse …