To list all the different types of horses in one article is impossible, as it's an extensive one. There are over hundred different types of horse breeds in America, however, let us try and have a bird's eye view of the different horse breed types. Before heading into that, let's first understand that all horses belong to one family: Equidae and genus Equus caballus. This genus is further classified into various other breeds. Scientists have discovered that the earliest ancestor of the horse was an animal that was only 10-20 inches tall. However, nobody exactly knows when the first horse actually came into existence on this earth. Read more on interesting facts about horses.
Different Types of Horses
To simplify our understanding of how many different types of horses and ponies are present on this earth, we have categorized horses into different groups on the basis of common traits shared by them. Now, there is a stark difference between a breed and a type. A type encompasses several breeds of horses that share similar physical attributes.
The first category we would be looking into, are horses that have been grouped together because of their unique coat colors and patterns. Palomino is one example of color type. This color type of horses are characterized by yellow, golden or tanned bodies with off-white or white manes and tails. Palomino horses refers to the color of the horse and not the breed, thus, palominos come in all kinds of breeds. These horses are considered to be multi-purposed horses favored for not only their beauty but also for their endurance and maneuverability. One can find these gorgeous horses in rodeos, parades, ranches, etc. Then there's the Appaloosa type, which feature either dark bodies with speckles, light bodies with dark spots or dark spots of white body. Then there's also the Pinto type which are horses with coat patterns, with large patches of white and any other color. Read more on pinto horse facts.
These are generally the types of horses for riding due to their swift and agile bodies. They can be used for various sport activities and entertainment purposes. Under these light horses come the Arabian horses, also known as Arab. These horses are one of the oldest horse breeds and is known for its beauty and elegance. It's highly treasured for its great speed, endurance, stamina and strength. Then there's the thoroughbred horse breed, which is mainly used for horse racing. These high spirited, fast runners have been used for human pleasure of riding. Then we have the Morgan breed, which are valued for their gentleness, soundness and intelligence. These wonderful driving horses are also great at dressage, jumping, endurance, reining and cutting competitions. The American Quarter horse and Standardbred breeds also come under this type of light horses, wherein the former is found in cattle ranches carrying out sport activities like roping, reigning, etc. while the latter are used as harness racers.
This type entails large horses specifically bred for working on farms. These horses are characterized by strong, tall, muscular bodies with extremely gentle personalities. They are used for pulling heavy loads on the farm. Under this type we have breeds like Belgian horse breed, which is still used on farms due to its strength. However, it's more being used trail riding, gaming and show horses these days. Another breed under this type is the Clydesdale breed, which features large horses with feathery hair on their legs, just above the hooves.
Although these horses today appear in the show ring and are used mainly for trail riding, they were traditionally treasured and valued for the comfortable ride they gave their owners. These horses are known for their easy to ride, smooth and comfortable gaits. Under this type, comes the most popular riding horse called American Saddlebred, whose smooth style of walking and running has provided comfortable rides to its riders. These horses are not only a pleasure to trail ride, but are also capable of cutting well, jumping and is also an excellent competitor in dressage. The Campolina breed also comes under this type, which are used for leisure riding and driving, however, they are gaining popularity as suitable candidates for dressage. Some other breeds under this type are the Missouri Fox Trotter, Tennessee Walking horse, Mangalarga Marchador, Peruvian Paso, Walkaloosa, etc. Read more on horse riding.
These are small horses with specific bone structure, musculature and temperament. As compared to the other types of horses, ponies exhibit thicker coat, mane and tails. Moreover, in appearance as well, they have shorter heads, shorter legs, wider barrels and thicker necks. Since they bear semblance to foals, oft people mistake ponies for young horses or foals. Their ability to travel in narrow mine shafts cause them to be used exclusively in coal mines. These intelligent animals can oft become stubborn, which is why they require proper training. The different breeds under this type are Shetland pony, Welsh pony, Connemara pony, Chincoteague pony, Dartmoor pony, Fell pony.
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