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Learning Different Horse Breeds

Mar 15, 2008
Breeders are not the only ones who have the knowledge of different horse breeds. Many horse lovers do, too. The history of horse breeding as well as the features of different breeds are interesting learning that can give you a better understanding of these magnificent creatures.

History of Horses

It is important to first understand how the relationship between men and horses began before you try to learn horse breeds. Believe it or not, horses first became valuable to humans because they produced milk and could be eaten. Later on, however, humans realised that horses were strong and fast and began to use them to carry or draw loads and as a mode of transportation.

Today, different horses are bred to serve different human needs. They are no longer just used to do labors. Rather, they are more often kept for sports or leisure riding.

Breeding Different Horses

Purposeful breeding has thus been introduced, which means that horses are now bred in planned ways to meet specific human needs. To do that, the breeders need to select specific male and female horses with the desired characteristics to mate, so that the new-born horses will carry the traits desired by us humans. A widely known example is the racing horses. In fact, there are different registries around the world that document the various horse breeds.

To know about the different horse breeds is probably a hard mission for an average person, but a true horse-lover can usually tell a lot of the breeds. This is especially true for someone who is fond of horse racing or simply would like to get himself a horse. Often, knowing the breed of your horse would tell you what the horse is capable of doing and whether its price is truly justified.

Horse Species

Although there are many horse breeds, horses are generally placed under three main groups - pony, light, and heavy horses.

Ponies are the smallest kind of horses, and are known to many of us. Due to their size, some would even not consider them horses at all. Even so, ponies can be as hardy as other horses. Some breeds can carry adult riders and pull heavy loads. Because of their size and mild nature, ponies are often kept as pets by children. Examples of pony breeds are the Shetland and Welsh ponies.

Light horses are also strong like ponies but they are definitely taller, faster and have a sleeker look. Most light horses are used for riding and racing. In some cases, breeds of this kind also help with cattle rounding and carriage pulling. Examples of light horse breeds are Arabian, Thoroughbred, Appaloosa, Quarter Horse, Morgan and Standardbred.

Some horses belong to the heavy group. In the past, these horses were used for war. They were also used for carrying and pulling heavy loads. Heavy horses are therefore ideal for farm work. They are large but have well-formed, powerful muscles, shoulders and legs. Heavy horse breeds include Shire, Clydesdale, Percheron and Lipizzaner.

Keep in mind that even within the same group, different horse breeds can carry very different traits. Hence, it is always important to understand what sets your horse breed apart from the rest.
About the Author
We have just covered some basic areas of different horse breeds, and you can learn more about horse breeding from our site. You may also like to check out some fun horse videos when you are there. Have fun!
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