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Understanding Different Horse Breeds

Apr 11, 2008
You are bound to know some different horse breeds if you are a rider. You would probably know even more about horse breeding if you have your own horses. Even if you are just a horse fan, learning a little about horse breeding may make you more interested. Here are some things you should know.

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 Horses

What the breeder do is 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. With the success of purposeful breeding, more horses are now bred in planned ways to meet specific needs. A widely known example is the racing horses. In fact, there are different registries around the world that document the various horse breeds.

It might be boring for an average person to learn the different horse breeds, but this is not the case for horse lovers. 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 Varieties

Despite the vast number of 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.

Compared to ponies, light horses are much taller and faster and have a much 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.

The horse breeds under the heavy classification do exactly what their class name implies. In the past, these horses were very useful in battles among warriors, knights and soldiers. The heavy breeds like the Clydesdale and Shire also became popular for heavy duty pulling and work. That is why heavy horses have solid muscles.

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 discussed the basics of different horse breeds, and you can explore more about horse breeding from our site. You may also like to check out this related article about horse games to play.
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