The Quarter Horse
There’s no horse lover anywhere in the world who knows his or her horse facts who hasn’t heard of the American Quarter Horse. In fact, the Quarter Horse is probably the most popular breed in the United States today.
But what exactly is a Quarter Horse? Is he only a quarter of a horse in size, therefore, just a pony? No, this fantastic breed isn’t a quarter of anything!
The Quarter Horse originated in American colonial times in Virginia when European settlers bred their stout English workhorses with the Native Americans Mustangs. The result? A short-legged but muscular equine with great strength and speed, a broad head, and little fox ears.
It didn’t take long for the colonists and Native Americans to discover that their new crossbred horse was the fastest piece of horseflesh in the world for a quarter of a mile. Thus, the breed was christened the American Quarter Horse and began to flourish. Besides running quick races, it also pulled wagons, canal boats, and plows. When the American West opened up, cowpokes discovered that the Quarter Horse was perfect for herding cattle and roping steers. Although it remained a distinct breed for over three hundred years in the U.S., the Quarter Horse was only recognized with its own studbook in 1941.
If you are looking for a reliable mount that has a comfortable trot and smooth gallop, you might want to look at some seasoned Quarter Horses. (That means they have been trained properly and are at least five or six years old.) They come in any color or combination of colors. Their temperament is generally friendly, yet they’re determined to get the job done that you ask them to do.
I’ve owned a Quarter Horse or two, my favorite being Coke, a beautiful golden palomino color. He was built like a stock horse but was a gentle as a lamb. A perfect match for a safe, fun ride down the woodsy trail. 🙂
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