The world’s most popular light horse breed is American Quarter horse that has more than 4 millions registered horses. It’s the oldest horse breed in the United States and its name comes from the ability of these horses to race in quarter mile or less with speeds up to 55 mph (88.5 km/h). The record is 440 yards in 21 seconds or less.
Heavily muscled and compact, these horses can run a short distance over a straightaway faster than any other horse! Thoroughbred horses crossed with horses descended from Spain developed from Iberian, Arabian and Barb horse, as Chickasaw horse in the 17th century are the beginnings of this breed. Those horses were small, hardy, quick and used as work and race horses. The establishment of the Quarter Horse took place in the southwest range country.
The first Quarter horse that attracted attention in the Southwest was Steel Dust, foaled in Illinois in 1843. He was a blood bay, which achieved popularity as running horse and stood 15 hands high and weighed approximately 1,200 pounds. Peter McCue was foaled in 1895 and is the most famous sire in the establishment of the Quarter Horse breed. Many registered Quarter’s are traced in mane line as his sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons. Today the best-known Quarter Horse is the King Ranch, Kingsville, Texas. Average height of Quarter horse is between 14 and 16 hands and weight around 1200 pounds.
Characteristics of the modern Quarter horse are: small, short, refined head, small fox-like ears and a broad forehead, strong, well-muscled body and neck, with strong back and good withers. Quarter’s have thick muscular shoulders and are exceptionally famous for their powerful hindquarters. There are three types of Quarter: stock (bulldog type); Thoroughbred or hunter (racing) type; and the in-between type, which has characteristics from both types. The stock horse is for reining and cutting; they are shorter, smaller, and stocky, with quick, agile movements and very powerful hindquarters. The hunter type is taller, leaner and smoother muscled. Quarter race horses are bred to sprint short distances, thus they have long legs and have earned a nickname world's fastest athlete. Other common nickname is America's Horse. Halter-type is larger yet, with a heavily muscled appearance, wide jowls and refined muzzles. Halter and hunter type can grow 17 hands. Other types are western pleasure show and show hunter, which are slimmer, taller, but slower and smoother gaits. Besides shows, Quarter’s are great at herding stock, ranch work, barrel racing, cattle roping, rodeos and recreational horse for children.
There is a not common genetic disease in the Quarter Horse bloodlines called hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP) that leads to uncontrolled muscle twitching or profound muscle weakness and it may lead to collapse and/or death. They are of solid color with 17 recognized colors: brownish red (sorrel), bay, black, brown, buckskin, chestnut, dun, red dun, gray, grullo, palomino, red roan, blue roan, bay roan, perlino and cremello.
And Finally you can Play a Game with this Horse . Move the pieces of the jigsaw by using your mouse and solve a puzzle of a sensible, intelligent, reliable, willing and calm horse breed. Enjoy!