There are many horse breeds!
This is due to a number of factors, including:
- Geography: Horses were first domesticated in Central Asia, but they quickly spread to all corners of the globe. As horses adapted to different climates and terrains, their physical characteristics began to diverge. This led to the development of different breeds of horses in different parts of the world.
- Human use: Humans have bred horses for a variety of purposes, including transportation, warfare, agriculture, and sport. This has led to the development of breeds that are specialized for different tasks. For example, draft horses are bred for strength, while racehorses are bred for speed.
- Personal preference: People have different preferences when it comes to horses. Some people prefer horses of a certain size, color, or temperament. This has led to the development of breeds that appeal to different people's tastes.
Today, there are over 400 recognized horse breeds in the world. Each breed has its own unique characteristics and abilities. This diversity of breeds allows people to choose the perfect horse for their individual needs and interests.
Here are some specific examples of how geography, human use, and personal preference have contributed to the development of different horse breeds:
- Geography: The Arabian horse is a native of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a breed that is known for its endurance, agility, and beauty. The Arabian horse was well-suited to the harsh climate and terrain of the Arabian Peninsula, and it played an important role in the nomadic lifestyle of the Arabian people.
- Human use: The Clydesdale horse is a breed that was developed in Scotland for use in agriculture. Clydesdales are powerful horses that are known for their gentle temperament and their ability to pull heavy loads. Clydesdales were used to plow fields, transport goods, and work in coal mines.
- Personal preference: The Thoroughbred horse is a breed that was developed in England for racing. Thoroughbreds are known for their speed and athleticism. Thoroughbreds are the most popular breed of racehorse in the world, and they are also used in other equestrian sports such as dressage and show jumping.
The diversity of horse breeds is a testament to the adaptability and versatility of the horse. Horses have played an important role in human history for centuries, and they continue to be valued companions and working animals today.
AMERICAN INDIAN HORSE
ANDALUSIAN / LUSITANO
BUCKSKIN / DUNS / GRULLAS
CANADIAN WARMBLOOD HORSE
COLONIAL SPANISH MISSION HORSE
COLORADO RANGER HORSE
DONKEY / MULE
FOUNDATION QUARTER HORSE
HALF QUARTER HORSE
HORSE OF THE AMERICAS
KENTUCKY MOUNTAIN SADDLE HORSE
MISSOURI FOX TROTTER
MUSTANGS AND BURRO
NEW FOREST PONY
PURE SPANISH HORSE
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HORSE
SPOTTED MOUNTAIN HORSE
TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE
WELSH PONY AND COB
Horse Breeds - Organizations
Akhal-Teke, a Horse Like Shimmering Gold
Breed Profile: The Akhal-Teke
Courtesy of The Akhal-Teke Association of America
A horse like a shimmering gold mirage, its head held high, almond eyes focused on you, poised to leap into action, yet held by the tether of its deep bond with the human beside it.
That is the quintessential Akhal-Teke, a race that has shared its history with humans for thousands of years and is among the oldest equine breeds.
These horses are descendants of the steeds that enabled the Scythians to dominate Central Asia until the 4th century BC, described by the Greek historian Herodotus as controlling a vast empire from the Russian Steppes and India westward to the Baltic and the Caspian Sea, The Scythians were partly pastoral, partly nomadic raiders who supplied slaves to the Greeks. Fast horses were essential to their trade.
It is claimed the Ice Maiden of the Altai Mountains, discovered 11 years ago and widely publicized in America through the Nova special, was a Scythian. This woman, who lived over 24 centuries ago, according to radio-carbon dating, was buried with six horses in gilt harness. Her tribe has been called the Pazyryks. They occupied the mountain plateaus that now lie on the border between Russia and China. The Ice Maiden must have been a powerful figure to merit the sacrifice of so many horses, although in fact 5 were geldings and the sole mare was found to have crippling arthritis in her joints.
Meet the American Bashkir Curly Horse Breed
The American Bashkir Curly is one of the most mysterious breeds. It’s the only known hypoallergenic horse. People who are allergic to horses often find that they are not allergic to Curly Horses.
These unique horses with a curly coat are indeed a breed, a very old ancient breed found in art and statuary in early China as far back as 161 AD. There is also historic evidence of their presence in South America and Europe.
How did the Curly horses come to the USA? The answer is still uncertain, but there is proof that the Curlies have been in North America since the early 1800s.
Many Indian pictographs illustrating the "Winter Counts" (number of horses in their herd) have noted that in the winter of 1801-1802 the Sioux had stolen some curly horses from the Crow. This incident placed the tribes at the Standing Rock/Cheyenne River Reservation at the mouth of the Grand River in the Dakotas.
A significant location of the Curlies today has been traced to Indian Reservations in North and South Dakota. Many Curlies then and now have been acquired from the wild horses that roam the open lands of the United States.