The most popular breed in the United States, Quarter Horses are used for racing, cattle work and pleasure riding. This breed contributed to the establishment of the United States, proving themselves equally proficient at pulling wagons, breaking tough prairie sods, and chasing cattle on Western cattle drives.
Quarter Horse Mare
Scientific & Common Names
Genus & Species - Equus ferus caballus
Common Name - Quarter Horse
Quarter Horses are compact, with muscular bodies and strong legs. They have small, refined heads, broad chests, and powerful hindquarters. They range in size from 14 to 16 hands (56 to 64 inches) at the withers. The horses that are used for working livestock are smaller and more agile than those typically used for racing. American Quarter Horses come in 17 recognized colors, although the most common color is sorrel (reddish brown).
Most Quarter Horse brood mares are bred when they are around 3 years old. They can successfully reproduce until they are in their late teens. The pregnancy lasts 330 to 350 days. She will nurse her foal for about a year before the foal is weaned.
Quarter Horses are calm and steady. Their unflappable natures make them great choices for beginner riders and family mounts. Many Quarter Horses have the natural ability to work cattle. They often easily understand what their riders want them to do in rodeo events or as a working horse on a ranch.
The American Quarter Horse has evolved from a racing horse to one of the most diverse type of horse in the world. Originally, English settlers in the eastern colonies received horses of Spanish origins from the Indians. These settlers bred the Barb-influenced horses with their own stockier, draft-type horses to create a quicker, more agile mount. Some of the wealthier colonists began adding a little Thoroughbred blood to their horses. The English settlers enjoyed racing their horses on the weekends, and the typical race length was a quarter of a mile, from where the Quarter Horse received its name. However, it was in the West and southwestern United States that the Quarter Horse became the horse that it is today. Western cattlemen found the Quarter Horse perfect for cowboys on long cattle drives, providing quick bursts of speed and a comfortable gait for long rides.
The American Quarter Horse Association says that there are 3.1 million registered Quarter Horses in the world, making it one of the most common horse breeds.