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365 Days in Horse Country – The Quarter Horse

Blog by Michael Stuart Webb | December 4th, 2013

365 Days in Horse Country – The Quarter Horse


The most populous breed of horse in the world is the American Quarter Horse, supported by the largest horse registry and association in North America, the American Quarter Horse Association.

Developed in the American West in the 1800s as a working cow horse, the breed name comes from the fact that these horses can run a quarter of a mile faster than any other breed.

The Quarter Horse is famous for its easy going disposition, trainability, and solid good looks.  Although seen mostly in the Western disciplines, Quarter Horses are versatile creatures, and they also compete in dressage, jumping, and driving.

Quarter Horses come in a wide variety of equine colours, including sorrel, bay, black, gray, roan, palomino, dun, and buckskin.  Pinto-marked Quarter Horses are registered as Paints, and they are considered a different breed. 

Because many Quarter Horses also carry Thoroughbred blood, they can range in size from 14.2 to 16 hands.  Appendix Quarter Horses, which are half Thoroughbred and half Quarter Horse, are the type of Quarter Horses most often used for racing.