Archive for September, 2011

Haflinger Horses

The Haflinger descends from a race of mountain ponies that grazed the Alps for years. Austrian farmers had bred them for years, but then the Austrian government took over after World War I. Now, Haflingers are one of the most selective breeds in Europe. Haflingers came to the US back in the 1960’s and now are popular all across the nation.

The Haflinger is tempting to call a pony and not a horse due to its height. The Haflinger usually stands between 13 and 15 hands high; although short in stance, this horse is built for power and hard work. The Haflinger has Arabian in its blood, so their characteristics are sometimes similar. Haflinger’s appear to be elegant and harmonious with delicate, yet strong features to be distinguishable from other breeds. They have strong  muscles and expressible features. Haflingers are all shades of Chestnut in colors from light to dark, their manes are generally very light in color.

Haflingers are hard-working horses always ready to perform. Haflingers are characterized into two types. The heavier draft type is used for work on the farm and draft competitions. The Haflinger used for pleasure purposes is a great driving horse, jumper, and serious dressage mount. Overall, Haflingers are great for anyone.

Haflingers are known to be mild-tempered and easy to get along with. They are willing to work and will always get the job done. Like any other horse, they have to be worked with but turn out to be good companions and performers.

Friesian Horses

The Friesian is one of the oldest domesticated breeds from Europe, native to the province of Friesland in the northern Netherlands. The number of this breed went drastically down prior to World War I, but the breed rejuvenated by introducing Oldenburg blood into the bloodline. Now the Friesian attracts great attention and its future is sure to be a bright one.

One of the most outstanding and known characteristics of a Friesian is its very long mane and tail. Their mane and tails are never cut and a lot of times touch the ground. They have long fetlock hair in addition to their long mane and tail. A true Friesian is black with only a white star on the forehead being acceptable. Other colorings are found, but considered undesirable in breeding horses. The head of the Friesian is carried quite high, and their face is expressive and distinctive. Their legs are muscular yet smooth. Generally, they stand around 15 to 16 hands in height with great disposition. 

Friesians are most commonly known as driving horses, but they are often rode as well. They are very popular in the show ring as dressage horses, truly a beautiful sight to see in the ring. Although the Friesian isn’t bred as a jumping horse, some like to do so. Friesians seem to be physically successful in whatever they are used for. The Friesian is an all-around horse. They are beautiful enough to show off in the ring yet they are still great horses to have at home to use as pleasure horses. Friesians generally have mild temperament, but like any horse they have to be worked with. They are tractable and sensible, yet lively.

 

 

Clydesdale Horses

The Clydesdale is known for being a heavy draft horse. Clydesdale’s originated in Scotland where the farmers of Lanarkshire discovered this breed. They were bred to meet agricultural needs of farmers, along with commerce for the coal fields and general heavy haulage. The reputation of  this breed soon spread across the world. Clydesdale’s are characterized by their broad foreheads, a flat profile, large nostrils, clear eyes, a well-arched neck, muscular body, wide set hooves,  and of course their large stature. The overall impression of a Clydesdale is not to be seen as grossly large, but seen for the quality and weight of their stature.  The height of a Clydesdale usually ranges from 16.2 to 18.2 hands with weight ranging from 1600 to over 1800 pounds. However, the world’s tallest Clydesdale at this time stands 20.2 hands tall (6’10).

Clydesdale’s are most commonly bay in their coloring, while others can be black, brown, and chestnut. Sometimes they are roan in their coloring which means there are white hairs throughout their solid coat. Clydesdale’s are generally known and preferred to have four socks to the knees and hocks and a well-defined blaze or bald face. Even though this appearance is preferred, it doesn’t mean Clydesdale’s that don’t have these markings are discriminated.

The Clydesdale is a very active horse with a mild temperament. They are rather intelligent and gentle hearted. Clydesdale’s are generally used for work horses, while some are used for showing and pleasure purposes.

Appaloosa Horses

The Appaloosa horse breed was originally bred in the inland northwest of America by the Nez Pierce Indians. The Appaloosa changed this culture forever. Appaloosa’s became known across the country as settlers moved into this area.

Mainly, the Appaloosa horse breed is characterized by their distinct color patterns. There are five basic color patterns: Leopard, Snowflake, Marble, Frost, and Blanket.

Leopard: Dark spots over a white background over the whole body.               

 

Snowflake: White spots on a dark background over the whole body.                       

Marble: Mottling over the whole body.                                                                                    

Frost: White speckling on a dark background over the whole body.                       

Blanket: Most common pattern, white or spotted area only over the hind end. Although these color patterns are prominent, Appaloosa’s can also be solid in their coloring.

In addition to their distinct color patterns, there are four characteristics that identify an Appaloosa: coat pattern, mottled skin, white sclera, and striped hooves. Mottled skin is different than commonly found pink skin in that it has dark areas of pigmented skin in its area. The sclera is the part of the eye which encircles the iris-the colored part of the eye. All horses have sclera, but the Appaloosa’s is white and more visible than other breeds. Many Appaloosa’s will have bold and defined vertical striped hooves with dark or light coloring. Although this is a distinguishable feature, this does not seperate an App from a non-App, so other features need to be looked at.

Appaloosa’s height usually ranges from 14.2-16 hands. The Appaloosa is a light horse breed, this means they are agile and swift on their feet due to usually weighing under 1500 pounds. Appaloosa’s are known for their genuinely quiet temperament and are great family horses. Most of the time, Apps are used for trail and leisure riding, but they are also used in the show ring, on racetracks, and for use on the ranch. Apps are a beautiful breed and personally my favorite breed.

Arabian Horses

Arabian horses came to America from the Middle East long ago, and they have now become known as one of the most popular horse breeds across the country. Arabian horses are characterized by a small head and narrow muzzle, and are distinguished by their large prominent eyes. Arabians have strong, muscular legs built to withstand their great endurance. Their height usually ranges from 14.1-15.1 hands. Arabians coloring ranges from bay, chestnut, gray, and sometimes black and white.

Arabians hold the reputation of being beautiful, courageous, intelligent, energetic, and strong. They are so close to their owner that it sometimes can be troublesome. They fear almost nothing and are sometimes indifferent to sudden movements or noises, while other breeds are spooked rather easy.

The Arabian horse breed is unique in the way that it was not a result of selective breeding, although it has influenced other horse breeds. Known as the most famous Arabian that came to Europe, the Darley Arabian became one of the three foundation sires of the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are mostly famous for their prominent use in horse racing. Along with the Thoroughbred, Arabians have influenced horse breeds such as the Orloff Trotter, Percheron, and the Morgan.

Arabians are known for a wide variety of uses. Uses such as hunting, jumping, endurance, dressage, trail riding, and ranch work. Of course, Arabians are used for pleasure riding at home as well as most horses are. Overall, Arabians are known for their endurance in which they have no equal.

 

Hi There Everyone!

Hi there, my name is Gavriel and I am going to be blogging about various horse breeds each week. Each week will be a new breed and new information on that particular breed. Eventually, I will post a blog with various terms I use throughout the blogs in case you aren’t familiar with the terms I use. Overall, I hope you enjoy my blog even though it will be a little rusty. Thanks for reading!

-Gavriel 🙂