This breed actually earns its name, trotters and pacers are required to meet speed requirements prior to registration with the breed. Their name actually comes from the qualifying standard time these animals must pass to qualify for registration (a mile in under 3 minutes).
This breed was originated by a single English Thoroughbred stallion named Messenger who was brought to America in 1788 and bred to local animals. Every Standardbred can trace their existence to the grandson of this foundation stud. However their bloodlines run across the board, a variety of different (mostly gaited) breeds were introduced in the hopes of creating faster and faster gaited animals.
The official stud book for this breed was formed in 1939.
Trotters Diagonal gait – Legs on opposite sides move at the same time. This is a natural gait, however it is harder to keep a trotter on their stride at high speeds.
Pacers Lateral gait – legs on the same side move at the same time. Approximately 80% of harness racers use this gait. The lateral pacing gait is ideal for harness racing.
Average height 15.2 – 16 hands Resembles a heavy Thoroughbred in confirmation
Head is large and may have convex profile Neck is medium length Shoulders are powerful Hindquarters are muscular and strong legs are solid and refined
One of the main goals for the breeders of the American Spotted Paso horse is combining the smooth gaits of the Peruvian Paso horse with the colorful coat patterns of the pinto.
The breed originated with a pure black Paruvian Paso stallion named Janchovilla who was bred to pinto mares. Of the resulting foals about 3/4 of them were spotted and all of them carried the Paso gait.
There are two different registries for this breed for animals with different degrees of Paso blood. However, to register with either the animal must have one purebred Peruvian Paso and exhibit the four-beat lateral gait.
Move with a four-beat lateral gait
Must possess an obvious pinto pattern, tobiano, overo or sabano
A kind and willing temperament
General riding Trail horse Endurance horse Show horse Therapy horse
Sport ponies have been enjoyed for hundreds of years in Europe and their stock gradually made it’s way to North America.
Through the years, American’s started their own breeding programs to further enhance and promote the sport pony.
In 1981 a North American Sport Pony Registry was initially founded as a division of the American Warmblood Registry. However by 1997 the number and quality of the ponies being produced in America was large enough to warrant their own separate registry.
These ponies are notable because they look and move like small horses and do not have physical pony traits. This is a type breed and their registry will accept a number of bloodlines as long as they meet the general requirements.
Average height 13.2 – 14.2 hands Moves more like a horse than a pony.
Small, regal head with defined jaw Kind eyes Short, wide ears Long, wide and well set neck Refined, athletic body Dry limbs with flat knees Dense medium sized hooves
The U.S. loves their ponies and through selective imports and good breeding practices, the American Shetland pony has made a name for itself as a smart and handsome harness pony.
Breeding centered in the state of Indiana after an influx of ponies were imported from the Scottish Shetland Islands starting in 1885.
The formation of the American Shetland Pony Club in 1888 started the selective breeding process that formed the Shetland Pony of today.
Within 50 years two distinct branches of the American Shetland emerged, the Pony of the Americas and the American Shetland.
Refined over the years, the Shetlands of today hardly resemble the hardy island ponies originally brought to North America from Scotland. Today the breeders have engineered a pony built for light driving and riding use.
Bloodlines were influenced by Hackney pony, Arabian and a small amount ofThoroughbred blood to produce a rather distinct confirmation.
Average height 11.2 hands Hardy and robust pony roots A result of controlled breeding Versatile and useful
Long head and ears with a straight profile Notable lack of pony character Deep chest Luxurious mane and tail growth Long hind legs
The American Saddlebred horse played a large part in the development of American history and they gained fame as a breed for their service during the Civil War.
Also known as the Kentucky Saddler, this breed was developed in Kentucky as a stylish utility horse for gentlemen of the south. They played a large role in the settlement of the upper Ohio Valley and their popularity spread through the south.
Their foundation comes from Morgans, Narragansett Pacers, Canadian Horses, Spanish Horses and trotter stock. Each breed contributing specific characteristics to build a tireless animal that is easy to train and handle.
During the civil war, their tireless service earned them acclaim as a breed. Confederate animals were almost exclusively of American type stock
The American Saddle-Horse Breed Association was formed in 1891 to protect and document the breed.
Average height 15 – 16 hands Beautiful and stylish Gaits are easy with a high, true, smooth action
Head is finely chiseled with a lean, smooth jaw Eyes are bright and set wide apart Ears are sharp and dainty Neck is medium and arched Short, strong backs Compact body with deep girth Tail is high set, proudly carried and flowing Clean, flat-boned and very straight legs Well-formed feet
The paint is a performance type color breed and are bred exclusively to keep their spotted pattern. Crosses to gaited, pony or draft breeds are not recognized by the registry, only Thoroughbred or Quarter Horse blood is allowed.
The first paint horses in American are thought to have been brought over from Spain, where record of their existence stretches back to 700 A.D.
These spotted horses were prized by Native Americans and among the early cow ponies and stock animals of the 18th and 19th centuries.
There are two major patterns recognized by the paint breed overo and tobiano
Overo Rarely has white extending across the back between withers and tail At least one (and often all four) dark legs Head markings are bald, apron or bonnet-faced White markings are irregular, scattered and spash-like Tail is generally one color Animal may be either predominately white or dark
Tobiano Generally displays solid colored head with a facial marking Usually all four legs are white below hocks and knees Spots are regular and clear in oval or round patterns Spots on neck and chest and either one or both flanks are dark Animal may be either predominately white or dark
Average height 15 – 16 hands Good balance Built solid for stock work Compact and refined
Head is straight with large eyes Neck is muscular and well-formed Sloped shoulder and short, strong back Legs are solid and strong
Especially known for their association with the Cowboys of the wild wild west, the Quarter Horse is a symbol of American Horsemanship, and the oldest North American breed.
The breed originated in 17th century colonial Virginia. The horses available to the new settlers there were of mixed Spanish descent, carrying traces of Andalusian, Barb, and Arabian blood.
Early in the 17th century these local horses were crossed with English Thoroughbreds. The result of the tough Spanish stock and the more refined English animals was a squat, stocky animal with large, muscular hindquarters.
Used to help build the west, the Quarter horse is built to haul goods, work cattle, and riding long distances over rough terrain.
Above their versatility, they are prized for their sprinting speed over the quarter mile. The origins of their name, their explosive speed over the quarter mile track make them entertainment too.
Today the Quarter Horse Registry is the largest in the world with over 3 million entries.
Average height 15-5.2 hands Strong, muscluar hindquarters make them strong sprinters versatile and eager to please
Head is short and wide, with a small muzzle Underline is longer than the back, gives compact impression Chunky, muscular hindquarters Legs are strong, with flat knees
The American mustang symbolizes the freedom of the wild west in North America. The word mustang comes from the Spanish word mestena which is roughly translated as a group of wild horses.
The Mustang is a descendant of Spanish horses introduced in the 16th century by Spanish conquistadores. These imported horses formed wild herds after the Spanish conquests, and continued to reproduce with local animals. Their bloodlines carry Barb, Jennet and Andalusian influence.
The American Mustang Association (AMA) was formed in 1962 in San Diego, CA to preserve and document the pedigrees of American Mustang horses.
Horses are registered to meet morphological standards and measurements in the hopes of preserving the characteristics of the original Spanish animals.
The specific physical attributes of registered animals are distinct and the animals cannot be registered under another breeds registry.
Average height 13.2 – 15 hands Being descendant from the Barb means that a true mustang should have 17 ribs and 5 lumbar vertebrae. Symmetrical, smooth muscled and well proportioned
Head is refined with a tapering muzzle & carried high and proud Neck is crested and high set Shoulder is long and sloping Back is short and hindquarters are muscular Deep girth Low set tail Legs straight and sound without coarseness Hooves are wide at the base and dense
Can be any color due to bloodline dilution, although more traditional Spanish horse coloring is valued. roan | dun | buckskin
The mustang is a wild animal Stubborn tendencies Highly spirited Full of vigor
General riding Cow horse Trail horse Carriage horse
Their bloodlines draw from many sources, initially it was mainly Shetland and Dartmoor stock, and later the Americans crossed them with Hackney, POA andThoroughbred blood for refinement and size.
In 1978 the American Miniature Horse Association was formed to protect and document the American Miniature horses as a distinct breed. Only animals within the required size guidelines and proper confirmation were allowed to be registered.
There are two types recognized by the registry
Division A Miniatures Up to 34″ in height at the withers
Division B Miniatures Between 34″ and 38″ in height at the withers
Average height – up to 38″ Agile and strong
Due to the different bloodlines there are several different types of American Miniatures. The main two are Arabian and Draft. Physical characteristics will vary, animals are registered based on height and well-proportioned confirmation.
The world’s largest breed of ass, the American Mammoth Jack stock was developed in the U.S. through the selective cross breeding of imported European stock with local Native American and Mexican animals.
Small time breeding of these animals was done for more than 100 years prior to the development of an official registry in 1888.
This is an animal developed based on the needs of people in various areas, but mainly for agricultural & transportation needs. The intention was to create a larger & stronger animal more capable of heavy workloads.
Selective breeding helped to preserve important traits, but was often limited to what was available to use. However initially the registry attempted to standardize the breed to only include black animals a minimum of 15hands tall.
Over the years, these this rigid type lines have blurred and the breed encompasses a number of types.
Jacks must be a minimum of 14.2 hands Jennets must be a minimum of 14 hands Incredibly strong
Head is well shaped & tapered to a round muzzle Large, wide-set eyes & long, upright ears Neck should be muscular but not too thick & well proportioned Good width, depth & length of body Strong loins & a full hip Legs should be strong and thick Feet are large & well cupped
Also known as cow pony, buffalo horse, mustang, Indian pony, cayuse and Spanish pony, these horses are descendants of the animals the Spanish conquistadors brought to the Americas that were adopted by the indigenous people.
The American Indian Horse Registry (AIHR) was established in 1961 to preserve and document the pedigrees of Native American horses in the hopes of preserving the bloodlines.
The AIHR acknowledges 5 classifications of American Indian Horse
Class O Not bred to conform to standards, but to preserve original bloodlines Any horse registered since 1979 has direct bloodline connections to one of various tribes Can be registered with Spanish Mustang Registry & Southwest Spanish Mustang Association
Class AA Must have at least one Class O parent Some BLM horses qualify for this classification
Class A Have unknown pedigrees BLM horses qualify under this classification
Class M Include modern bloodlines One parent may be registered under another breed registry
Class P For ponies of indian horse type Galiceno, POA, Welsh and Shetland blood may be in their pedigrees Also includes ponies of unknown ancestry
Average height 13 – 15 hands
Because the bloodlines are diluted and breeding for bloodlines is more important than confirmation this breed will vary physically.
The drum horse makes a great heavy riding horse that has proven to be both a versatile and athletic mount. They are a relatively new breed to the US, but they have a rather distinguished history.
Drum horses were originally used by the Queen of England for her ceremonial band. The animals had to be large and sturdy enough to carry large kettle drums during any type of pageantry.
This meant that they were required to carry a great deal of weight through crowds of people. The mounted drummers needed their hands free to play, so they controlled their animals via reins attached to their stirrups.
The drum is an elegant heavy horse breed that utilizes the finest examples of theshire, clydesdale and gypsy cob breeds.
In the US the drum horses are favored more as riding & competition horses, both mounted and driving. They make sturdy, athletic mounts with a level head.
Average height 16 hands and larger Strong and forward movement Gaits well balanced and even
Head attractive and well-proportioned Eyes expressive and kind Both convex and concave profiles acceptable Neck is long and well muscled Mane is abundant Chest is deep and broad Barrel is well-rounded with long well-set ribs Legs straight and clean Hooves are large with open heels Feathering is required of the breed and should begin above the fetlock joint and cover the hoof
A relatively new breed, the American Cream Draft comes from Iowa in 1905 and a foundation mare named Old Granny.
The only draft breed native to the US, the American Cream Draft is a rare breed with a cream coat, pink skin and amber colored eyes, all three specific traits of thechampagne dilution gene.
The American Cream Horse Association of America was developed in 1944 and the breed was recognized in 1950 by the Iowa Department of Agriculture. The flagship mare was bred to a number of different draft breeds and colors in the hopes of maintaining the creamy color.
The replacement of farm animals with heavy equipment caused a sharp decline in the cream numbers and the breed faced extinction. In 1982 a revival attempt was made and today the numbers still increase.
Average height 15 – 16.3 hands Medium-heavy draft type
Head is refined with a flat or concave profile Eyes are wide set and expressive Well muscled shoulders Rounded hindquarter and large barrel
American Bashkir horses are the only breed found to be hypoallergenic, those allergic to horse dander do not have a reaction to these animals.
The origin of this breed is shrouded in mystery, which has caused debate as to whether or not “Bashkir” should be part of the official name of the breed. The existence of an horse with the curly gene is a mystery on North America. Their roots are obviously of the Bashkir horse from the steppes of the Ural mountains, however they were discovered in America early in the 19th century.
When minimally expressed curls may only appear in the ears, on fetlocks and in the mane and tail. When maximally expressed the horse displays curls all over, dreadlocks in its mane and curled eyelashes.
Mane and tail can completely shed out in the summer only to re-grow again with their winter coat.
Average height 13.3 – 16 hands Curly hair characteristics Body hair should be fine and soft Comes in many variations Those allergic to horses can enjoy the curly horse
Medium sized head, wide set eyes and curled up eyelashes Neck is medium in length, deep at the base Back is short and deep in the girth Heavy boned legs Hooves are very hard and dense Coat is fine and soft with ringlets, a soft marcel wave or crushed velvet curls Mane is kinky or wavy Tail is in ringlets or wavy
The albino gene is fatal to horses, a pure albino is a result of lethal white genes from both parents and will always die in the womb. American Albino (also called American Cream & White) horses are pure white, but not actually albino genetically.
The American Albino is a color which has been given registry as a breed in the U.S., started to recognize the offspring of a white stallion named Old King. He had a record of producing white foals out of solid-colored mares.
The ancestry of Old King is not known, but he was thought to have been of Arabian /Morgan descent due to confirmation similarities. He was initially bred to Morgan mares and in 1936 the American Albino registry was created to track his bloodlines and breeding records.
In 1937 the American Albino Horse Club (now called the American White & American Creme Horse Registry) was formed and their sole object was to preserve the pedigrees and promote interest for the different types of American Albino horses.
Average height 15 hands Pink skin and pure white hair Can exist in almost all breeds of horse
Will vary depending on the breed Stunning white coat
Intelligent Excellent disposition Willing
Can be found in almost any discipline.
Many different bloodlines may be registered as American Warmblood horses, they are required to be of sport horse or warmblood type and meet studbook requirements.