Horses belong to the equus family. Equus comes from the ancient Greek word meaning quickness. Horses are mammals in the same family as zebras, mules and donkeys.
- a stallion is a male horse
- a mare is a female horse
- a foal is a baby horse
- a filly is a young female horse
- a colt is a young male horse
- a foal is a yearling after its first birthday
- a sire is the word used for the father of a horse
- a dam is the word used for the mother of a horse
- a pony is not a baby horse. It is a fully grown small horse
- a horse's height is measured in hands. One hand = 4"
The mother horse, or mare, is pregnant (or "in foal") for 11 months. Most mares give birth in the spring to a single baby (foal) although twins are not uncommon. Mares produce milk for their young and will feed them for several months.
Within 1-2 hours of birth a foal is able to stand up and walk. When foals are born their legs are almost the same length as they are when they are fully grown - their legs are so long they find it difficult to reach down to the grass to eat! Foals can focus their eyes almost as soon as they are born and cut their first teeth within a week. They are fully grown by 3 - 4 years of age.
Horses love to eat short, juicy grass. They also eat hay (which is dried grass) especially in the winter or when they are stabled. Extra high energy food such as barley, oats, maize, chaff, bran or processed pony nuts are good for working horses. Horses have small stomachs for their size and need to eat little and often - if in a field, horses will graze for most of the day.
An average life span for a horse is around 20 -25 years, though they can live for up to 30 years. The oldest recorded horse was "Old Billy," an English barge horse, who lived to be 62 years old.
The Orlov Trotter was developed by A.G. Orlov at Khrenov stud beginning sometime between 1775 and 1784. The first date is that of the establishment of the Khrenov stud while the latter is that of the birth of Bars I, the progenitor of the modern pedigree Orlov. Arabian horses were crossed with the Dutch, Danish and Mecklenburg harness breeds. The Orlov evolved under the natural conditions of Voroezh region, characteristic of central Russia, and used natural pastures in the flood plain of the Bityug river. The combination of stable and pastures produced a breed with good action and adaptability...
The National Show Horse Registry (NSHR) was created to meet a growing need within the equine industry for beautiful show horses with athletic ability, for new excitement and incentives in the show ring and for a broader base for the show horse industry.
The overwhelming choice for this new breed was an animal that would combine the beauty, refinement and stamina of Arabian with the size and high-stepping motion of the American Saddlebred. With these two breeds as its cornerstone, the National Show Horse was born in 1981. During its history, the NSHR has taken steps to make possible the empl...
Named for the forest in southern England, where this breed originated, the New Forest pony is one of the recognized breeds of mountain and moorland ponies of the British Isles. They are noted for intelligence, strength, versatility and a quiet, willing-to-please temperament. Of all the native British pony breeds, New Foresters are the least afraid of man.
Also Known By: Noriker or Norisches Kaltbult (German), Pinzgauer
The Noric horse, also known as the Noriker, has been bred for approximately 2000 years in the alpine piedmount of Austria. The recent status and census of this rare domestic animal shows the serious position in conservational breeding.
Archeological sites dating back to around 600 BC provide evidence that Celts in the alpine region owned horses, in some cases even spotted horses. After the province "Noricum" was founded by the Romans on the territory of modern-day Austria, heavy breed Roman draught horses were introduced to Central Europe at the time of Christ's birth, giving rise to a...
Also Known By: Northland Pony, Lyngen, Lyngshest (Norway)
There is a variety of ideas as to the origin of this breed. Research indicates that it came into Norway from the east during very early times. For various reasons it was forced northward where it lived and developed through the centuries, but after World War II the breed was at the door of extinction. It is of the northern type and is similar to the Lofoten.
Of all the horses registered with the German Equestrian Federation in 1987, approximately 8 percent were Oldenburgs. The Oldenburg registry represents one of the top lines in Germany. The percentages are somewhat skewed as to Oldenburgs, due to the fact that the region in which these horses are bred is a small one and therefore produces fewer absolute quantities of horses than other registries. While representing the smallest breeding area in Germany, Oldenburg is nevertheless one of the most important.
The American Paint Horse - A Colorful Part of Our Western Heritage
Let your imagination carry you back to a simpler time. A time when wide open spaces under clear, crisp skies beckoned to come explore the wild frontier. Rediscover those basic values and simple pleasures on the back of a colorful horse. Celebrate this chance to return to the roots of the American West with a unique, living legend - the American Paint Horse.
The history of this noble animal began in Spain where the chance mix of breeds sparked the seed that became one of the world's finest riding horses. Moorish occupation of the Spanish countryside brought with it the Berber horse, also known as the Barb, an animal that had a strong genetic impact on equine development throughout Europe, North Africa, and the New World. Interbreeding with native stock produced the delicately gaited Spanish Jennet. They were subsequently bred with the Andalusian.
The Pony of the Americas is a popular and growing breed. It was begun in 1954 to provide a pony with good appearance, speed, and stamina for young riders who were too big for a small pony but not ready for a full-sized horse. The Pony of the Americas is a distinctive breed of pony possessing the attractive coloration of Appaloosa Horse. The POA is a rugged, athletic pony with the speed for games and jumping and the intelligence and patience for showmanship and equitation. Small size makes it easy for parents to match a child to a pony. The POA's great disposition makes them highly competit...
Also Known As: Asiatic Wild Horse, Mongolian Wild Horse, Mongolian Tarpan, Taki
The Przewalski horse (Equus przewalski poliakov) is the last remaining wild species of horses. All other horses are either domesticated or descended from horses which were once domesticated. Until the mid-1990's the Przewalski was extinct in the wild, exterminated by hunters. Through efforts of the Przewalski Foundation in the Netherlands and breeding preserves in Askania Nova, Ukraine, in 1992 two combined breeding groups of Przewalski horses were reintroduced to Mongolia with the ultimate plan to reintroduce the animals to the open steppe.
The principle development of the Quarter Horse was in the southwestern part of the United States in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, eastern Colorado, and Kansas. Some breed historians have maintained that it is the oldest breed of horses in the United States and that the true beginning of the Quarter Horse was in the Carolinas and Virginia. Nye1 has suggested that the Chickasaws secured from the Indians were the true beginning of the Quarter Horse. These were small blocky horses, probably of Spanish extraction, which the planters secured from the Indians, and which were adapted for a variety o...
The Quarter Pony is a small scale replica of a Quarter Horse. Unlike the Quarter Horse, it may come in any color, or combination of colors. The Quarter pony has been around for many years, deriving from Quarter Horses not reaching the AQHA's minimum (14.2h) height requirement of the early years. Even though the AQHA's height requirement was later phased out, the quarter pony continued.
This is an all-purpose utility breed. It was developed in Estonia at Tori stud from 1890 to 1950, by crossing native Estonian mares with European halfbred stallions. The breed was founded by the stallion Hetman, the son of Stewart and an unknown hunter mare. Stewart was a crossbred of a Norfolk Trotter and an Anglo-Norman mare.
The formation of the breed involved extensive use of Hetman and his sons. As a result, a valuable breeding nucleus was rapidly formed. By the end of the 1930s, however, signs of inbreeding depression were found, which manifested themselves in a deterioration of perfor...
Also Known By: Fjord, Norges Fjordhest (Norwegian), Fjording, Nordbag, Nordfjord, Northern Dun, Norwegian Dun, Norwegian Pony, Vestland, West Norway, West Norwegian
The Norwegian Fjord (pronounced Fee-ord) Horse is Norway's oldest horse breed. It is estimated that the original Fjords migrated to Norway and the Scandinavian peninsula over 4,000 years ago and they were domesticated about 2,000 B.C. They have been selectively bred in Norway for over 2,000 years and the first directed selection program began in the mid-1880's. The original Norwegian Fjord varied in color and averaged 12.1 hands in size. Selection has increased the height to 13 to 14.1 hands and the breed is one of the few modern breeds exhibiting only the primitive or dun coloration.
What's the most versatile breed of horse from the show ring to the work fields?
Legendary for its beauty, stamina, and calm disposition, the popularity of this noble animal grew strong on the great southern plantations before the Civil War. It was learned that the horse could be ridden comfortably for hours because of his smooth, natural gait.
The phenomenal growth of this breed can be directly attributed to its intelligence and versatility. Beginning riders cherish the smooth, easy gait and the calm temperament of the Racking Horse. Veteran horsemen admire his beauty and ability...
The original home of the Welsh Mountain pony was in the hills and valleys of Wales. He was there before the Romans. His lot was not an easy one. Winters were severe. Vegetation was sparse. Shelter, most often, was an isolated valley or a clump of bare trees. Yet the Welsh pony managed not only to survive, but to flourish.
This breed was developed in Ivanovo and Vladimir regions on the basis of large native horses through crossbreeding with various draft breeds, such as the Percheron and the Suffolk, and later with the Clydesdale and, to a lesser extent, with the Shire. The latter was in wide use only from 1919 through 1929. The aim was a horse of medium draft power or less which would have rather high speed. In the formation of the breed, a particular role was played for more than a hundred years by Gavrilovo-Posad breeding station, previously a stud farm and a state breeding stable. Its experts invested no sma...
The Yakut was developed in Yakutia by unconscious and natural selection in the harsh conditions of northern and central Siberia, Russia.
Compared to horses of similar type and Mongolian origin, the Yakut is larger and more massive. Three Yakut types have been formed: the Northern original Yakut (the Middle Kolyma or Verkhoyansk horse); the smaller southern type which was not crossed with improved breeds; and the larger southern type tending towards the breeds used for the improvement of the local Yakut. The last type is widespread in the regions of central Yakutia, including Yakutsk, Namts...
Over one hundred years ago, in the Middle Basin of Tennessee, a unique breed was created - the Tennessee Walking Horse. The early settlers of this region who came from Virginia, the Carolinas and other surrounding states, brought with them fine Standardbreds, Morgans, Thoroughbreds, Canadian and Narrangansett Pacers. By combining the traits of these great horse families, the foundation was laid for the Tennessee Walker who developed distinctive qualities of its own.
In the mid-1950's a group of dedicated men met to form an organization for the purpose of preserving the last of the true, old-type Spanish Mustangs, a breed that once roamed the western part of the United States in great numbers but was now threatened with extinction. The efforts of Robert E. Brislawn of Oshoto, Wyoming, were the primary moving force that brought this group together.
To preserve the breed, Brislawn collected individual animals that he considered the best examples of the breed. He chose his stock carefully, culling out those he believed less than ideal.