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From cave paintings it is believed that the equid from which modern horses are derived resemble the modern (( Przewalski Horse )). The large strong heads and erect manes depicted in these paintings bear a striking resemblance to this modern breed.
The first domestication of the horses was probably in the steppes of central Asia between 3000 and 4000 B.C. These first animals were kept for meat and milk. As early man became more mobile undoubtedly horses began to be used as pack animals.
Oxen were being used in the Middle East at approximately 4000 B.C. for plowing. Progressively they were used on sleds, which were eventually mounted on rollers, with the final evolution of wheels. Early in the 3rd millennium B.C. there is archeological evidence that vehicles drawn by equid, generally onagers or ass hybrids, were being used in warfare.
As horses from the north became more numerous the carts moved to the familiar two-wheeled chariot with spoked wheels. Due to his greater speed the horse rapidly replaced other equid as harness animals.
The Abyssinian is found in Ethiopia and is a pony/light horse breed. There is a great deal of variability in it coloration, size and conformation.
Reference: Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp. Photographs:
The Akhal-Teke’s conformation can be favorably compared to the Persian Arab, another breed of ancient origin. Its head is similar to the Arab’s, being long and light with expressive eyes. It has relatively long ears and a long neck. It has a short silky mane, or none at all, and a short tail. This breed has a narrow chest, long back, and flat ribs. The legs are long and slender, clearly revealing the tendons. It averages 15-15.1 hands in height. It is often dun in color, although it can be bay and gray, with a pale golden coat preferred. The Akhal-Teke is among the most elegant of the world’s horses.
The Akhal-Teke descended from the ancient Turkmenian horse which was one of the four original horse “types” that cross the Bering Strait from America in prehistoric times. It was originally bred by tribes of Turkoman. The Akhal-Teke now is bred in the other provinces of the southern U.S.S.R.
Records Set by Akhal-Teke Horses
In 1935, fifteen Akhal-Teke horses were required to travel from Ashkhabad to Moscow on a forced march of approximately 2,600 miles and 3 days without water, including travel across the Kara-Kum desert of approximately 255 miles. The entire trip lasted approximately 84 days.
The Akhal-Teke named “Absent” won the Prix de Dressage at the Rome Olympics in 1960.
Reference: Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511 Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995
The Albanian is a small horse belonging to the Balkan group. There are two types of native Albanian horse, which are referred to as Mountain and Myzeqea (plains). In recent years interbreeding between the two types has made the distinction less clear. Traditionally the Myzeqea is larger standing at 13.2 hands and the Mountain type on average about 12.2 to 12.3 hands. The ancient inhabitants of this area were Illyrians, Indo-Europeans who overran the northwest part of the Balkan peninsula around the fifth century B.C. The Serbians settled here during the seventh century A.D. and were overpowered by the Turks in 1386. During the Ottoman Empire, a great deal of Arab blood was infused into the local horses, which were likely various combinations of Tarpan, Turkmenian, and Mongolian stock. The Albanian knighthood of Skanderbeg was a rear force for this national hero, terrifying the Osman invaders (Ottoman Empire) and bringing honor and glory to the country.
The Albanian is known for its freedom of movement, agility in difficult terrain, disease resistance, and endurance. In the past these horses were used more for transport and riding than for agricultural purposes. In the early 1990′s, measures were taken to promote and increase the number of Albanian horses and to improve them for agricultural work. The improved breeds are concentrated in large breeding centers such as the Zootechnic Station at Shkodra and at specialized farms where stallions are produced for improving local horses. Since 1980 there has been a great increase in the number of horses in Albania.
The Myzeqea is very good for long distance use and is exceptionally strong for its size and many have an easily ridden ambling gait. The Albanian are hardy efficient horses. They are often used as carriage horses as well as for riding and light draft.
The goals of Albanian breeders today are concentrated increase in number and improvement. Purebred Arab, Nonius, and Haflinger horses are crossed with the native Albanian and several improved types are emerging. The native horse of Albania has few disadvantages of quality, the main need being increased size for better agricultural work. The Haflinger breed was imported from Austria to help improve the working abilities of horses in the hilly regions of the country.
Reference: Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995. International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds
The Altai were developed over a long expanse of time and have been significantly influenced by the harsh continental climate and the conditions specific to the mountain taiga which they call home.
In the typical Altai the head is average in length, large and somewhat coarse; the neck is fleshy; the back is long and slightly dipped; the croup is well developed, the legs are short and properly set. Occasional defects in conformation include sloping pasterns and bowed hocks. The average measurements (in cm) are: stallions – height at withers 140, chest girth 170, cannon bone girth 19; mares: 137, 170 and 18 respectively. The colors are chestnut, bay, black and gray, sometimes spotted.
The Altai is highly adapted to year-round pasture grazing. Altai crosses with pure breeds have a good performance. They are larger, more massive and stronger than the Altai while retaining their sound health and are undemanding as regards their management. Activities are underway to develop a new meat producing breed by crossing the Altai with the Lithuanian, Russian and Soviet Heavy Draught. These crossings were made after the revolution as well as under the Soviet government, and then the crossbred horses were bred “in purity.”
This breed were reared in the Altai Mountains for many centuries and are well adapted to its harsh environment. Horses have always been important to the tribesmen and nomads in this mountainous region, requiring horses with a strong heart, lungs, muscles, and tendons along with very hard feet. A sure-footed horse is important, as they must travel over steep mountain trails cut from the rock and cross fast-moving streams and rivers. The development of the Altai has resulted in the creation of a hardy animal which is indispensable to the people who depend on it.
Reference: Dmitriez, N.G. and Ernst, L.K. (1989) Animal Genetic Resources of the USSR. Animal Production and Health Paper Publ. by FAO, Rome, 517 pp.
Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995
American Cream Draft
An Iowa Treasure ‘Old Granny’ the first known American Cream, appeared at a farm sale in Story County, Iowa, in 1911. By approximation, her foaling date was somewhere between 1900 and 1905. She appeared to have nothing but draft breeding in her bloodlines. A veterinarian, Eric Christian, was very much attracted by the beauty of her foals and persuaded Nelson Bros. of Jewell, Iowa, to keep a colt, Nelson’s Buck, for a stallion, and create a new breed of horses having rich cream color, white mane and tail, pink skin and amber colored eyes.
Records gleaned from early registrations confirm that ‘Old Granny’ was mated to Belgians,, Percherons, Greys, Dunns, Sorrels, all being of draft bloodlines and often the rich cream, pink skin, white mane and tail and amber eyed foals were dropped. The stallion having the greatest influence on the American Cream, Silver Lace, was foaled in 1931 out of a Farceur Belgian mare and Knox. Silver Lace had a narrow blaze running down his face. At maturity he was 16 hands and weighed 2,230 pounds. Knox as foaled in 1926 by a bay grade Shire mare out of Yancy. Yancy, the only son of Nelson’s Buck to be registered, was foaled in 1923 to a black Percheron mare. Nelson’s Buck, the first known stallion out of ‘Old Granny’ arrived in the spring of 1920. Though sired by a black Percheron, he was just as cream-colored as ‘Old Granny’ his dam.
C.T.Rierson of Hardin County, Iowa, became interested in the attractive new horses and began buying all the good cream colts sired by Silver Lace that he could find for sale. With the help of the horses’ owners, he meticulously recorded the ancestry of each horse. Rierson became the founding force behind the America Cream Horse Association of America. Thanks to his persistence, on July 11, 1944, a charter was issued by the State of Iowa to a group of 20 charter members of the American Cream Horse Association of America. This culminated nearly 40 years of interest in creating a new breed of draft horses originating in Iowa.
In 1944, Rierson wrote: “I have 16 head of them now and have sold five to new breeders since we started our organization. These horses are all descendants of our old cream colored mare, brought into this territory over 30 years ago. She and her descendants were mated with both Percherons and Belgians and, in later years, inbreeding and line breeding has been practiced with many good results in both type and color. They have style and action and a good disposition. They are making a class for them at the Webster City, Iowa, Fair this year. This is the county in which they originated and it will be the first time they have been shown in a class by themselves.” It was at one of these fairs, that the inspiration for the name of “American Cream” came to him. The name seemed particularly appropriate since these horses are entirely American to the best of our knowledge and they do have the rich cream color.
In November 1948 the National Stallion Enrollment Board recommended the American Cream Horse Association of America for recognition on February 15, 1950, they were recognized as standard by the Iowa Department of Agriculture, giving them all the privileges granted to older established breeds in the state.
By the late 1950′s, 41 members had registered 200 animals. As tractors replaced horses in the fields, many draft horses met their deaths at the canneries. Arnold Hockett of Estherville, Iowa, was one of the few who continued working his fields with Creams. He, and another farmer, Richard Eads, of Lanark, Illinois, hung onto their Creams. In the late 70′s, Arnold and Richard, together with two other Cream enthusiasts, William Walczak of Sheboygan, WI and Clarence Ziebell of Charles City, Iowa began encouraging Karene Bunker Topp, Secretary of the inactive association, to call a meeting for the purpose of reorganizing and registering the creams they owned. In the fall of 1982, seven persons met at Dubuque, Iowa, and officially reorganized and reopened the books to permit the registration of dark skinned females while retaining the ruling that all males have pink skin in addition to the other requirements.
The breed was placed on the endangered species list by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, information about the breed was organized, and E. Gus Cothran, Director of the Equine Blood Typing Research Laboratory at the University of Kentucky offered to blood test American Cream horses. His results stated that “compared with other draft breeds and based upon gene marker data, the Creams form a distinct group within the draft horses. The Creams are no more similar to the Belgian than they are to Suffolks, Percherons, or Haflingers”. Many had thought that the Cream was only a color breed, but this research proved otherwise.
In the 1950′s the percentage of Cream foals dropped having both a Cream sire and dam had risen to nearly 80%. Stallion reports being submitted today do not indicate that high a percentage but it is increasing.
One hundred fourteen American Creams have been registered since 1982. Full membership is open to owners of American Creams and Associate membership is available to anyone interested in the American Creams and the Association but not owning an American Cream draft horse. Thirty-four members own ninety registered American Cream draft horses and 28 Associate members are interested in and help to fund the work of the Organization by yearly dues.
In 1993 the members voted to amend the Articles of Incorporation to change the name of the Association to American Cream Draft Horse Assocaition and to extend the Charter to perpetual duration. This Document was filed with the Secretary of the State of Iowa on April 28, 1994.
The American Cream Draft horse is classified as a medium-heavy draft type. The average weight of mares being 1600 to 1800 pounds at maturity. Stallions will weigh from 1800 pounds to a ton. They will stand 15 to 16.3 hands. We find this size most desirable for those harnessing, hitching, and driving these easily trained, good dispositioned, willing to work, Cream of Draft Horses, today.
American Creme and White
Also Known By: American Albino In 1908 Old King was born. Owned by Professor William P. Newell of Illinois, Old King was true white, pink skinned and had dark brown eyes (as do 90 percent of his progeny). In size he stood 15.2 hands and weighed about 1200 lbs. He was of a very stocky, well muscled with a broad chest, deep girth, sloping croup, strong straight legs, heavy crested neck, thick, long and wavy mane and tail, broad between the eyes, well shaped ears, intelligent and gentle. Versatile, he was trained for riding, parading, driving and high school routines. He also had the ability to pass his qualities on to his progeny. His foal crops when bred to colored mares was 50 percent white, 50 percent colored. His descendants achieved 75-80% white progeny.
He was purchased by Caleb R. and Hudson B. Thompson of West Point, Nebraska in 1917 to be the foundation of a new breed of horse they hoped to develop. With Old King as a sire and Morgan mares (a few with mixed bloodlines), and using very select, scientific inbreeding methods the brothers were successful in their dream. Old King contracted swamp fever in 1922 and eventually passed away from its effects in 1924 at age 18.
In 1936 Caleb (Cal) married Ruth Hackenberg Thompson and Hud decided to drop out of the horse business to pursue ministerial ambitions. Cal & Ruth continued breeding and promoting the horse now known as the American Albino horse. They developed the White Horse Troupe as their main tool of promotion and toured throughout the United States and southern Canada. They and their horses became known internationally. They sponsored a training and riding school for underprivileged youth from which they selected gifted children to travel as performers in the troupe. Most of the riders were in their late teens although a few were between ages five and twelve. Some of the features of the famous troupe were: Six horse tandem roman ride, five horse roman teams, both teams jumping hurdles with a rider standing on their backs; high and broad jumping including jumps over convertible cars and over human hurdles; high schooled acts (both dressage and trick) and wildest rescues of damsels in distress from “runaway” stages. The performers rode their horses bareback and had some specialty acts in which the horse was ridden without bridle or saddle over the hurdles. Jumps averaged 3 feet in height with the high jumps being five feet in height.
The Thompsons and their troupe showed with such famous personalities as Gene Autry, Red Ryder, Minnie Pearl, and Tex Cooper. Some of Old King’s progeny went on to be movie stare and mounts for important dignitaries. One horse was sold to a prince from India. Another named Constitution was provided for Admiral Haley to ride in the Victory Parade in Now York City following the end of World War II. Another portrayed Thunderhead in the movie of the same name. Emperor Hiro Hito’s mount Silver Tip, although not a descendant of Old King’s (he was a California bred cowpony, was registered in the AAHC).
The Thompsons found it necessary to develop a system of recording progeny. Thus in 1937 the American Albino Horse Club (AAHC) was incorporated to record the progeny of Old King. The first horse registered was Old King’s grandson, Snow Chief 2nd who set the standard of excellence for the new breed. Ranch breeding records had been kept on the foundation mares’ and Old Kings progeny. Snow Chief 2nd sired 66 foals before having a winter accident on an icy spot in his paddock resulting in a broken neck. However, he had left a breeding legacy in his son, White Wings, who sired 108 foals, all but three being white. White Wings was the star performer in the Thompson’s White Horse Troupe and knew about 50 tricks. He was so gentle he was exhibited many times by a ten-year-old girl performer.
The original foundation bloodline horses were predominantly organ breeding and stood 15.2 – 16.2 hands weighing 1,100 – 1,300 lbs. Versatile, they were used for driving, farming, riding, jumping, dressage and circus routines, many times one horse accomplishing most of the above.
Eventually the books were opened to horses of like color, but not necessarily of Old King breeding. Thus, the American Albino Horse Breed became a color breed in the full sense of the word. Both draft breeds and pony breeds were to be included under their own type. To qualify a horse had to have a true white coat (no ivory cast to the coloring), pink skin and dk. brown, black, hazel or blue eyes. Equine genetic experts claim that horses have never been known to throw pinkeye foals. Therefore, all eye colors are now accepted.
In 1963 Cal Thompson passed away and poor health made it necessary for Ruth Thompson to sell off her beautiful herd which now numbered over 150 head and move to Oregon where her family lived. She continued to maintain the registry, however, as well as retaining a few of the best horses for herself, one of them being her favorite stallion, Thompson’s Abraham. She reincorporated the registry under the name The American Albino Association. This was superseded by the World Wide Horse Registry in the early 70′s and a second division for cremallo and perlino horses to be called American Creme Horse was added. At this time the horse known formerly an American Albino became the American White Horse.
In 1985 Ruth Thompson returned the registry to the state in which the breed was developed, Nebraska, and reincorporated as the International American Albino Assn., Inc. which is the current title of our registry.
In 1989 Ruth, always looking to the future of the breed, enlisted the help of Dean and Carley Daugherty to restore the White Horse Ranch, foundation home of the breed. Desiring also to preserve the breed, she bought two mares, Morning Star and Snow Queen from Minnesota breeders Lester and Lois Novotny to whom she had previously leased her stallion, Thompson’s Abraham. She already had a two-year-old filly, Abraham’s Sweetheart at the ranch. With the three mares and stallion, Abraham’s Knobhill Pockets, leased from Elaine Althaus, also of Minnesota, the White Horse Ranch was once more home to the progeny of Old King.
The Nebraska State Historic Society nominated the ranch to be listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1989. On July 5th, 1990 it was accepted as a historic site. Also in 1990 Ruth Thompson was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Hereford, Texas for her work in developing a new breed of horse.
Current uses for this versatile horse brood are: driving, English show and pleasure, Western show and pleasure, parade, entertainment industry, endurance competition, jumping, and working stock horse. Because of the varied bloodlines from most major breeds, there is really nothing these horses can’t do. There have even been a few albino Thoroughbred race horses in Europe.
The IAAA sponsors an annual high points awards program. The American Whites and American Cremes have proven themselves many times over to be great show horses as they bring home top honors in open classes while competing against their darker colored counterparts.
Many misconceptions continue to be circulated about the Whites and Cremes, however they do not have “weaknesses” commonly associated with albino types. They do not go deaf or blind or loco. They have great strength and athletic ability. With good care they have been known to live into their thirties and on occasion into their early forties. Average life span in mid-twenties. Ruth Thompson’s stallion, Thompson’s Abraham, lived to be 29 years old. Snow White, one of her performing mares was sold in 1963 at age 31 with a foal at her side. She lived several more years and won blue ribbons for her young mistress in western pleasure classes.
On the negative side, however, it is true that pink-skinned horses are more sun sensitive, although this varies from horse to horse. It is not true that they are “harder to keep clean” but it is a fact that when they are dirty, it is more evident.
Characteristics of the Breed:
Being a color breed conformation in the American White and American Creme will vary according to each individual’s bloodlines. Those descendants of the foundation sire, Old King, continue to follow the conformation listed earlier, with one exception: the height requirements allow for shorter horses. Many are in the 14h – 14.2h range now.
The American White, regardless of breeding, must have pink skin and truly white coloring … no slight pigmentation of hair allowed. A few, small scattered spots are permissible (Usually found around eye, chest, and on genital areas, but only on skin, not on hair, these spots frequently are not exhibited until the foal approaches 18 months in age.). The various eye colors common to horses are acceptable including amber and very pale blue and parti-colored.
Eye color in horses which can trace their ancestry to Old King is 90% likely to have dark brown or black eyes.
The American White will reproduce 50% white when bred to colored stock. It will sometimes have a colored foal, however, when bred to a white mate. The Whites do not dilute color as do the Cremes with exception being when a White has a Creme ancestor and thus carries a creme gene. High rates of white have been obtained when sire and dam both trace from long lineage of white ancestors. We have one mare who, having been bred to a chestnut stallion, produced six out of seven foals white, far above the expected 50% level.
The American Creme must also have pink skin which in some cases may take on a deeper tan color which we refer to as “pumpkin”. However, its coat color may vary from a pale ivory (so close to white some people mistake it for white) to a deeper rich cream. Mane and tail may vary from true white through varying shades of cream to a rich cinnamon-buff. Eyes of the American Creme are usually a pale color, i.e. pale blue or pale amber, and rarely dark, although brown eyes are possible.
The American Creme will reproduce its color 100% when bred to a Creme. However, when bred to a colored horse it will dilute color, is.: Chestnut X Creme = Palomino, and Bay X Creme = Buckskin or Dun. This is a simplified genetic explanation as color of ancestors also will enter into the picture when breeding Cremes to other colors.
International American Albino Assn., Route 1, Box 20, Naper, NE 68755. Phone: (402) 832-5560.
American Walking Pony
Have you ever seen a dream walking. . .Well, we have!
It was a beautiful Spring day, May 10, 1968 , a newborn golden palomino colt galloped up the hillside at the Browntree Farm beside his proud mother, a glittering liver chestnut.
This colt was the product of years of experimental crossbreeding to produce a large pony around 14 hands in height with Arabian type and smooth saddle gaits.
Dream Come True, the Perfect Pony was named BT Golden Splendor and has thrilled spectators at horse shows with his incomparable gaits, golden color, flowing long mane and raised tail carriage.
In the Fall of 1968, the American Walking Pony Registry as established with the breed’s founder, Joan Hudson Brown serving as Executive Secretary. Registration Number 1 went to Browntree’s Flicka, a mare instrumental in the development of the breed. BT Golden Splendor was assigned Number 5 and is the first stallion registered in the breed.
After the American Walking Pony was featured in articles in various horse magazines, horse lovers from around the world expressed interest in purchasing breeding stock.
The foundation cross that produced the American Walking Pony was the Reg. Tennessee Walking Horse and the Reg. Welsh Pony. The Walking Horse contributed the smooth saddle gait and the Welsh, the lovely head and long arched neck. Ponies of various bloodlines of this cross were accepted for registration.
The unique gaits of the American Walking Pony are the Pleasure Walk, the Merry Walk and the Canter. They also can trot as well. In reality the breed is seven gaited comparable to Roan Allen, a Champion Walking Horse who also exhibited and won in the Fine Harness Division and Five Gaited Division, as well.
The Walking Pony, one of America’s most versatile breeds has jumping capability inherited from the Welsh Pony and is highly successful at open shows as a Pony Hunter.
In 1981, Leslie Klein of Rancho Mirage, California, rode her Reg. American Walking Pony, Orrkid’s Minuet to win a National Championship Competitive Trail Junior Division.
Proving the versatility of the breed, BT Golden Flair in the early 1960′s, was a Champion Five Gaited Pony. He was sold as a five year old to a family with several children who rode him for pleasure and showed him in open Pleasure Classes. In his old age, with little re-training, he competed in Open Western Pleasure Junior Riders at the walk, jog trot and lope winning against Arabians and Quarter Horses. In 1982, at age 24, shown by his owner, Tammy King, Flair won Youth Western Pleasure and came back into the ring in the American Walking Pony breed class and placed second behind Golden Splendor.
The Walking Pony gaits are inherited and the recommended training procedure is as follows: After the pony has been lounged, fitted with a snaffle and line driven for several weeks, he can then be mounted first with someone holding him from the ground. After he is lead about and then ridden on a loung line while the rider teaches him to respond to the snaffle to stop and turn, then the rider can take him on alone teaching him body pressure, pressing with the legs encouraging him to go forward. After the pony is responding to the snaffle and obeying the rider, the bit can be changed to a curb bit with a low port, 4 3/4″ mouthpiece and no longer than 7-inch cheek. A leather-chin strap is preferable during training.
When the pony is walking and reining correctly, then he should be pushed into a faster walk by leg pressure or tapping with the heel. Pull the reins lightly and squeeze with the legs at the same time to collect the pony and get his back legs under him. Each day, try to increase the speed more. The pony should be going at an easy to ride gait which is the Pleasure Walk. It is faster than a walk and comfortable to ride. Should the Pony want to trot, it may become necessary to pull one rein and the other simultaneously and swing in the saddle from side to side. This is to get the pony off balance to get him started in his pleasure walk. The Merry Walk is faster in the same cadence with little head motion.
After the Pleasure Walk an Merry Walk are perfected, training can be advanced to the Canter. The easiest way probably is to begin from the Pleasure Walk, to the Merry Walk and keep squeezing or kicking if necessary, until he breaks into a canter. After he canters fast for a few minutes, use slight rein pressure to slow him down a little at a time. After a few minutes, stop him and walk for awhile. If the pony seems nervous, talk to him and pet him until he calms down. Every time you ask him to canter pull his head slightly toward the rail and encourage him to take the lead to the inside of the ring. Kicking him behind the saddle next to the rail as you pull him slightly toward the rail is the best Canter signal as the judge cannot see your signal. After the pony is performing well on the rail at the canter, begin working him in smaller circles as this help to slow his canter and teach balance.
Visit a Walking Pony breeder and ride a walking pony, and experience that feeling of lightness and smoothness that you have never before known. It is unique to the breed, truly “A DREAM WALKING”.
American Walking Pony Association, P.O. Box 5282, Macon, Georgia, 31208. Phone: (912) 743-2321.
The Andalusian horse has been highly regarded since the Middle Ages. Also the Andalusian, has officially been known as the Purebred Spanish Horse, reigned for several centuries throughout the known world as the embodiment of perfection in horseflesh. The Andalusian is represented by the names Iberian Saddle Horse, Iberian War Horse, Jennet, Ginete, Lusitano, Alter Real, Carthusian, Spanish Horse, Portuguese, Peninsular, Castilian, Extremeno, Villanos, Zapata, and Zamaranos.
Spanish horses have been esteemed for their quality and appearance since Roman times. The Moors invaded Spain in the Seventh Century and brought Barb horses with them. These oriental horses were crossed with quality native Spanish stock, and the result was the Andalusian. In the Middle Ages, the Andalusian was the favored mount for European nobles. The Andalusian was a major influence on the Lipizzaner breed in the 1500′s. More recently, it was used as a cavalry mount. Its numbers at one time diminished, but today the Andalusian’s physical appearance and flashy action make it one of the world’s most desirable riding horses.
The Andalusian has a distinguished appearance, usually appearing in the colors white and light gray, and occasionally bay. It is a compact horse with excellent proportions, and usually stands at 15.2 hands. The mane and tail are abundant. It has a flat or slightly convex nose, small ears, and its head is set on a substantial neck. The chest is quite massive and the quarters are lean. The legs are clean and the action is quite energetic. The Andalusian is renowned for its ability to learn and its superb temperament.
The Andalusian originated in and gained its name from the Spanish Province of Andalusia. Its ancestors are the Iberian (Spanish) horse and the Barb horse which was brought to Spain by invading Moors. It was bred principally by Carthusian Monks in the late Middle Ages. The famed William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, wrote: “…the Spanish horse is the noblest animal in the world…” Cortes brought Andalusians to America for his conquests.
Notes of Interest
Andalusian horses owe a great deal to the Carthusian Monks who bred them, beginning in the late Middle Ages. In the late 1400′s, studs were founded at monasteries in Terez, Seville, and Cazallo. The monks were superb horse breeders and trainers, and kept the blood of their horses quite pure. The Andalusian’s purity was threatened in the 1800′s when Napoleon’s army invaded Spain and stole many horses. One herd of Andalusians was hidden and used to renew the breed. In 1832, an epidemic devastated Spain’s horse population. Only a small herd of Andalusians at the Monastery of Cartuja survived. No Andalusians were exported until 1962.
Reference: Andalusian Association de Caballos de Pura Raza Espanola New Zealand Inc., 334 Mystery Creek Road, RD 1, Ohaupo, New Zealand
Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511
Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995
This is the only picture of this breed tha we could find. If you have a better one please let us know if we can add it. Thank you.
Also Known As: Eleia, Ilia
Found in the region of Ilia in Greece the Andravida is a light riding and draft breed. Developed in the early 20th century from Anglo-Norman crossed with local breeds. Nonius stallions were used after 1920. The herdbook was established in 1995. The breed is nearly extinct.
Reference: Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp. Photographs: We are currently searching for photographs or slides of this breed.
Also Known By: Anglo-Kabardinskaya porodnaya gruppa This breed was created in the northern regions of Caucasus in Russia by crossing Kabarda mares with Thoroughbred stallions at the Malokarachaevski and Malkin studs. the bay stallions Lestorik (1939) and Lukki (1939) and the dark bay stallion Lok-Sen (1923) were of particular importance in development of the breed. The Thoroughbred breeding comprises from 25 to 75 percent in the present day Anglo-Kabarda breed.
Anglo-Kabarda horses are well suited to the climate of the Caucasus, thriving at pasture the year round and are able to negotiate difficult mountain terrain skillfully. At the same time, they are much larger and faster than the purebred Kabarda, and the conformation is more like that of the Thoroughbred.
The Anglo-Kabarda horses participate at national and Olympic events and are used as saddle mounts on farms of the northern Caucasus.
Reference: Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995. Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.
The Appaloosa’s heritage is as colorful and unique as its coat pattern. Usually noticed and recognized because of its spots and splashes of color, the abilities and beauty of this breed are more than skin deep.
Appaloosas are found in nearly every discipline. Setting speed records on the race track, excelling at advanced levels of dressage, jumping, games, reining, roping, pleasure, endurance and as gentle family horses – any of these roles can be filled by the versatile Appaloosa. Their eager-to-please attitudes and gentle dispositions make them a pleasure to work with in any area.
Humans have recognized and appreciated the spotted horse throughout history. Ancient cave drawings as far back as 20,000 years ago in what is now France depict spotted horses, as do detailed images in Asian and 17th-century Chinese art.
The Spanish introduced horses to North America as they explored the American continents. Eventually, as these horses found their way into the lives of Indians and were traded to other tribes, their use spread until most of the Native American populations in the Northwest were mounted (about 1710).
The Nez Perce of Washington, Oregon and Idaho became especially sophisticated horsemen, and their mounts, which included many spotted individuals, were prized and envied by other tribes. Historians believe they were the first tribe to breed selectively for specific traits – intelligence and speed – keeping the best, and trading away those that were less desirable.
When white settlers came to the Northwest Palouse region, they called the spotted horses “Palouse horses” or “a Palouse horse.” Over time the name was shortened and slurred to “Appalousey” and finally “Appaloosa.”
During the Nez Perce War of the late 1800′s, Appaloosa horses helped the Nez Perce avoid battles and elude the U.S. Cavalry for several months. The tribe fled over 1,300 miles of rugged, punishing terrain under the guidance of the famed Chief Joseph. When they were defeated in Montana, their surviving horses were surrendered to soldiers, left behind or dispersed to settlers. Nothing was done to preserve the Appaloosa until 1938, when a group of dedicated horsemen formed the Appaloosa Horse Club for the preservation and improvement of the diminishing spotted horse.
As Appaloosa numbers grow, so do ApHC programs and services. There are more than 600 ApHC-approved regional shows and a World and National Show annually. To make owning an Appaloosa challenging and fun, these shows offer numerous awards in three main competition levels: youth, non-pro and open.
For those who just want to enjoy the outdoors on horseback, there is the saddle log program which requires no special travel or equipment, but simply spending time with your Appaloosa. The organization also sponsors four week-long trail rides each year complete with entertainment and catering.
There is something for everyone in the world of Appaloosas. Many are fine-tuned show horses and well-conditioned athletes, but some also hold the distinction of being reliable family horses. Often chosen for children’s mounts because of their level heads and even temperaments, Appaloosas win hearts as quickly as their color turns heads.
The AraAppaloosa is not a new type of horse. Although it is a new horse registry in the United States. It is represented by the AraAppaloosa and Foundation Breeder’s international.
The AAFBI supports breeders who incorporate Arab bloodlines into their foundation Appaloosa Breeding programs, breeding what they consider to be the original type of Appaloosa horse. The AAFBI believes that the backgrounds of the spotted horse (Appaloosa) and the Arab have much in common. The spotted horse is recorded as one of the oldest identifiable distinct breeds, and in reality the horse of the Arab breed. The Arab dates back to many centuries. The early types were often particolored, as shown in Middle Eastern and Egyptian art.
Meriwether Lewis, a well-known explorer and horseman, was one of the first white men to visit the Nez Perce Indian tribe of the northwestern United States, making one of the first white men to see their modern Appaloosa horses. He wrote in his journal on Saturday, February 15, 1806, “Their horses appear to be of an excellent race; they are lofty, elegantly formed, active and durable.
The founder of the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) in 1938, Claude Thompson, remembered seeing the beautiful Nez Perce Indian Appaloosa in his youth. He felt that Arab blood was the only way to develop the true Appaloosa. He infused Arab blood into his Appaloosa breeding program. That was the only outcross originally permitted in the ApHC at the time so many of the foundation Appaloosas had this blood.
The AraAppaloosa is a fine Appaloosa of great quality; one with color, elegance, performance ability, soundness, and stamina. The AraAppaloosa combined the color, personality, and good temperament of the foundation-bred Appaloosa with the Arabs refined bloodlines and color patterns.
Reference: International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Bonnie L. Hendricks, 1995, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK.
The Bedouin tribes of the desert, believing the horse to be a gift from God, told many romantic tales of the Arabian’s beginnings. One such legend claims God fashioned the desert south wind into a creature who “shall fly without wings”. No matter how the horse came to the desert, Bedouins took them as prized members of their households. Individual horses were selected for the gentle, affectionate nature, the striking look and proud spirit the breed is known for today. The Arabian was also bred to withstand long treks across the desert and the tribal wars which sometimes followed such trips. The Bedouins developed horses with strength, courage and stamina required for survival, and for the speed and responsiveness needed to win the tribal skirmishes. All in all, the Arabian Horse developed a significant list of attributes!
When Europeans sought to improve their saddle horses, Arabians were imported to cross with native strains. The standard procedure was to use purebred Arabians, especially stallions, to improve stock. The Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian and Godolphin Arabian are conspicuous in English Thoroughbred pedigrees. Similar improvement plans took place in France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Hungary, and Russia. Today, Arabians are found throughout the world and the blood of Arabians flows in all breeds of light horses.
Ancient Bedouin breeders were careful to record bloodlines and jealously guarded the purity of their Arabians. As a result, even though centuries have passed, today’s Arabian cannot be mistaken for any other breed. Whether ridden English or western, shown in park classes or used for trail riding, Arabians have the same basic distinctive appearance.
The Arabian’s head has a characteristic dished profile with a prominent eye, large nostrils and small teacup muzzle. His gracefully arched neck rises out of a long sloping shoulder and broad chest. A short, strong back and high trail carriage complete the picture.
Arabians come in grey, chestnut, bay and roan and an occasional solid black. Although some individuals will vary, most are between 14.2 and 15.2 hands in height and weigh between 800 and 1,000 pounds.
Arabian Horse Trust, Westminster, CO
Also Known By: Cheval de Trait Ardennais or Ardennais (French), Belgian Ardennes The Ardennes is thought to be descended from heavy draft horse praised by Julius Caesar in De Bello Gallico. Ancestors to the breed are thought to have been bred on the Ardennes plateau for 2,000 years. The breed was valued by Napoleon for its endurance. The Ardennes is among the oldest of the European heavy draft breeds. During the eighteenth century, Arabian breeding was introduced into the breed and more recently Belgian Draft blood was used to increase size and strength of the animals.
The Ardennes is a lighter, mountain bred, version of the Belgian Draft horse. It was used in creating the Baltic Ardennes, Russian Heavy Draft and Swedish Ardennes. They may be bay, roan, chestnut, gray or palomino. Black is excluded from registration and is very rare.
These animals have been praised for their calm, tolerant disposition and their ability to work in hilly and rough terrain. It is also said that, for its size, it is an economical animal to feed.
Reference: Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995. Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.
Also Know By: Argentine Landrace, Criollo
The Argentine Criollo is a light riding horse found in Argentina and Uruguay. They are of the Criollo type and were revived in the period from 1875 to 1890.
by Gérard Barré, translated and adapted by C. Ganné
The chosen mount of legendary Gauchos, the Criollo horse is the symbol of equestrian cultures in Latin America. This hardy little horse is exceptionally easy-handling. To invoke its name is to fuel dreams of adventure… Present in all of South America, the name given to the creole horse varies from country to country: Criollo in Argentina or Uruguay, Crioulo in Brazil, Costeño and Morochuco in Peru, Corralero in Chile and Llanero in Venezuela.
The Horse of Conquistadors : Heritage
The Criollo horse or breed, literally “creole”, has no actual name of its own. It is the direct descendant of horses brought to the New World since the arrival of Columbus, imported by Spanish conquistadors during the 16th century and notably by Don Pedro Mendoza, founder of Buenos Aires, in 1535. Many of these war horses escaped or were abandoned, and rapidly returned to a more primal state in an environment perfect for their development, the Pampa. For the next four centuries, the Criollo breed adapted itself to the vast South American plains through the pitiless process of natural selection. This adaptation to the rude conditions of life on the Pampa was determined by selective factors acting on wild populations, which permitted them to develop qualities of physical hardiness and resistance to diseases.
Reference: Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.
Also known as the Asturcon, this breed originated in Northern Spain. It is used for riding and packing and stands 11.2 to 12.2 h.h. Centuries ago the existence of a small horse breed originating in the northwest of Spain was recorded. The Romans referred to these horses as asturcons and thought well of them – and they were popular with the French during the Middle Ages. Pliny (23-79 A.D.) described them as a small breed that did not trot, but moved in an easy gait by alternately moving both legs on one side.
The ambling gait was natural for this small horse, and done in such a way that it gave a comfortable ride. As a result, they become popular as ladies’ mounts. Known as palfreys in England, they were called haubini in France, a word that later became hobbye and eventually hobby horse. Much of this blood was taken to Ireland, where the “Irish Hobby” was greatly admired.
It is thought by some that the Astrurian developed as a cross between the Garrano pony of northern Portugal and Spain – a direct descendant of the Celtic pony – and the Sorraia, the original saddle horse of Iberia, which gave the breed its calm temperament. Some other blood must have been present in the Astrurian’s lineage, however, because the ambling gait is not present in either the Sorraia or Garrano. Suspected by the author is a strong and more direct link to the ancient Celtic pony, of which some strains at least must have been amblers. There is a narrow but clear trail of ambling horses to be found in Turkey, China, Mongolia, and Siberia, tracing the route of the prehistoric horse to the now submerged land-bridge at the Bering Straits.
Living in a feral state for the most part, under difficult conditions, the breed was facing extinction. The predominant colors for the Asturian is black or bay with no white markings.
The Asturian has a small although sometimes rather heavy head, with a straight profile, small ears, and large eyes; the neck is long and quite thin with a flowing mane; the withers are moderately high; the back straight and strong; the croup is sloping with a low tail-set; the shoulder is well sloped. The feet of this pony are well shaped and very tough.
Population Status: Rare
Reference: Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
Australia’s first horses arrived here in 1788. Irregular shipments followed that initial cargo. Because of the conditions the horses lived under, only the fittest survived. Some horses died during the voyages. When horse racing was recognized as a sport in 1810, good quality thoroughbreds were imported from England to Australia.
It is thought that the name Brumby for Australian feral horses is thought to have been derived from a James Brumby who arrived on the Britania in 1791. James Brumby, born in Scotton Lincolnshire, was a soldier with the New South Wales Corps, he was also a farrier and it is thought that he was responsible for some horses in the early Australian Colony.
When James moved to Tasmania in 1804 it is thought that he left some horses in New South Wales. Locals asked who owned the horses, “they are Brumby’s” was the reply. Whilst there is some uncertainty as to the origin of this name for horses the above appears the most certain route to their naming
The first horses were used for farm work, and contributed to the opening up of Australia’s pastoral land. Explorers used horses and bullocks for transport. Horses were later bred for the remount trade.
The low number and quality of fences, and infrequent musters, meant that many horses escaped. Some horses were also abandoned as machinery took over many of their tasks. Both groups of horses became feral.
Brumbies are rarely of consistent size, conformation or color. This is because domestic mares may escape and join feral horse herds. Also, they were originally of mixed type, including draught and thoroughbred.
Brumbies are viewed as both a pest and a resource. They can cause damage to fences, overgraze cattle pastures, drink and foul water supplies, and make cattle mustering more difficult. They may also mate with domestic mares, and carry and pass on diseases.
Their usefulness in Austalia has been as meat, hair (for musical instruments, brushes, upholstery), and tourism/recreation. They can be captured and used as replacement stock horses, but demand is low. When the weather is dry, Brumbies may make water available by pawing at sandy creekbeds, providing water for wildlife and cattle as well as themselves.
Because of the limited commercial need for these horses, regular culling is necessary, and studies have been carried out as to the most humane and efficient method. This culling is necessary not only to reduce the horses’ impact on cattle farming, but for the protection of the horse herd. A large number of horses in drought conditions would suffer starvation, thirst, and may consume toxic plants.
Australian Stock Horse
History The Australian Stock Horse evolved through selective breeding in response to the demands of the environment. The history of the breed began in 1788 with the arrival of the First Fleet which brought the first horses to the colony of N.S.W., as the whole of eastern Australia was then known. These horses were of English Thoroughbred and Spanish stock; later importations included more Thoroughbreds, Arabs and Timor and Welsh Mountain ponies. Horses arriving in the colony needed strength and stamina – not only to survive the long sea voyage (which took between nine and twelve months) – but also to work in foreign, untamed environment which had become their home. After the crossing of the Blue Mountains as settlers ventured inland, strong and reliable horses became a necessity. Explorers, stockmen, settlers, bushrangers and troopers all relied on horses which could travel long distances day after day. Weak horses were culled, and only the stronger types were used to breed the sturdy saddle horses essential for the colony’s development.
Despite the mixed origins of these horses, they developed into a strong and handsome type which was eventually called the Waler after the colony of N.S.W. J.C. Byrne in his “Twelve Years Wandering the British Colonies” (1848) wrote “…the race of horse at present in use in Australia is not to be surpassed in the world for symmetry and endurance. It is hard to say exactly how they are bred for there have been large importations of mares from Chile and Peru, stallions of the pure Arab breed from India, and also from England and the Cape of Good Hope. Much pains have been bestowed on the breeding of these animals and the results have rightly rewarded the exertion.” Exploits of the explorers and stockmen and their reliable horses in the Australian bush became folklore, and stories such as “The Man from Snowy River” and “Clancy of the Overflow” depict the character of these pioneers and their horses.
The hardiness of the Waler made him a natural mount for the cavalry and when the British found themselves undermounted at the time of the Indian Mutiny, the Waler came to the rescue. The earliest shipment to India was in 1857 when 29 horses were sent from Sydney to Calcutta. They proved superior to the local breeds and the remount officers were quickly commissioned to buy more. They initially chose 250 – a small number compared with later purchases – during 1858, 2500 were sent to India. In the Boer War, the Waler was exported in even greater numbers and from 1899 to 1902 about 16,000 horses served in such regiments as the Lancers, Commonwealth Horse, Mounted Rifles and Bushman’s Troop.
Later, in the Middle East during the First World War, the British generals called again for Australian Light Horse regiments and their Light Horse regiments and their stock horse remounts. About 160,000 Australian horses served in World War I with generals and cavalrymen from 20 nations, from both sides, accepting that these horses were more reliable and had greater endurance than other breeds. The English cavalryman, Lt. Col. R.M.P. Preston, D.S.O., in his book “The Desert Mounted Corps” described the stamina and spirit of the Australian Light Horse”… Calvary Division had covered nearly 170 miles… and their horses had been watered on an average of once in every 36 hours… The heat, too, had been intense and the short rations, 9 1/2 lbs. of grain per day without bulk food, had weakened them considerably. Indeed, the hardship endured by some horses was almost incredible. One of the batteries of the Australian Mounted Division had only been able to water its horses three times in the last nine days – the actual intervals being 68, 72 and 76 hours respectively, yet this battery on its arrival had lost only eight horses from exhaustion… the majority of the horses in the Corps were Walers, and there is no doubt that these hardy Australian horses make the finest cavalry mount in the world….”
Sadly, only one Waler returned after the war; the remainder were either killed in action or shot to ensure that they would not fall into the hands of the Arabs or Egyptians. This was indeed a great tragedy for the Australian Lighthorsemen who were so proud of their horses. Although many good breeding stock left Australia never to return, the huge shipments did not seem to affect the horses population at home. In 1906, Australia has 1,765,186 horses and in 1918 when the human census was 5,030,479 there were 2,527,149 horses.
After the First World War, despite the recognition Australian horses had won and although the Waler was known as a distinctive type, there was not stud book or registry. Mechanization of primary industries reduced the need for working horses and it was not until the 1960s that an interest in horses was revived. This revival sprang from the increasing leisure time available to society. At the 1971 Sydney Royal Show, Mr. Alex Braid of Wellington, N.S.W., and Mr. Bert Griffith of Scone gathered a group of enthusiasts together to discuss the formation of a society. In June, 1971, about 100 people met at Tamworth to launch the Australian Stock Horse Society, which at last gave our home-bred horses the recognition and formal organization they deserved. The first step was to appoint classifiers who could asses horses offered for inspection. To qualify for inclusion in the Australian Stock Horse Stud Book a horse had to score at least 50 points out of a possible 100; stallions and mares scoring slightly less than 50, and all acceptable geldings went into an appendix. The maximum score is broken down into 60 points for conformation, 20 points for breeding and 20 points for ability. The Society quickly spread and branches were soon formed in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. The movement reached Victoria in 1973 and later Western Australia and Tasmania. By 1979 membership had increased from the initial hundred to 12000 and the society’s classifiers had accepted more than 40000 horses for registration. Reference: The Australian Stock Horse Society Limited, SCONE NSW, Australia
Development of the Azteca The Azteca breed was the first breed developed in Mexico. Horses of Spanish blood have always be favored in Mexico and in 1972 development of a breed using Andalusian, Quarter Horse and Criollo began. Don Antonio Ariza, President of the house of Pedro Domecq worked with tenacity and patience, and managed, with the help of many other individuals, to realize the dream that Mexico have its own national breed. The Mexican Department of Agriculture granted official registry to the Azteca breed on November 4, 1982.
Don Antonio imported Spanish Andalusian horses and began to breed them at Rancho San Antonio near Texcoco in the state of Mexico. Selection for the Azteca breed began by the crossing of these Spanish Andalusian stallions with Quarter Horse mares or alternatively the crossing of Andalusians with mares of mixed Criollo blood. The Azteca may have a minimum of 3/8 to a maximum of 5/8 Andalusian or Quarter Horse blood, while the percentage of Criollo may not exceed 1/4. The breed aims at blending the qualities of the Andalusian and Quarter Horse. The result is an elegant animal, ideal for performance or pleasure riding.
Conformation of the Azteca
One of the most important characteristics related to conformation of the Azteca is the height of the horse. At an adult age the height of the Azteca should be 14.1 to 15.2 hands in the female and 14.2 to 15.3 hands in the males. This height was established in consideration of the Azteca’s intended use in Charreria.
The head is lean, the facial profile is straight or slightly convex. The size of the head is medium in the female and moderately more developed around the jaw in the male. The profile in general should be erect, the eyes full, expressive and lively. The nostrils should be full and ample, projecting mobility. The muzzle is medium size, firm and with movement. The neck of the Azteca should be wider at its base and much finer closer to the head, which should form a straight angle. These characteristics form a very well arched neck at the border of the mane and straight at the border of the lower base chest. The manes are abundant and beautiful.
The Azteca should possess well developed and conformed shoulders, which leave sufficient space between the withers. The withers should be medium and disappear smoothly over the dorsal and back, with cappilary regions which should have a slant of approximately 45 degrees. The chest is deep, relatively wide, the rib system arching. The back is short, straight and strong. The rear quarters should be strong and muscular, with a wide croup and arched, strong hindquarter. They possess a beautiful tail smoothly implanted at medium height. The legs are muscular with strong joints, long and slender cannons, prominent tendons and well proportioned feet.
The coat is silky and all colors are permissible but paints, appaloosa and albino are not accepted in the breed.
Aptitudes and Abilities of the Azteca
Aztecas possess beautiful paces, are easy to break and train, and respond brilliantly to the different equine school disciplines requiring suspended and elevated gaits. These hoses possess valuable aptitudes for all equine high school disciplines. The proportions of their anatomical and muscular structure, their strength and resistance, as well as their beautiful stamp, confirm that the Azteca breed is a represented figure in the official competitions of this noble sport.
The Mexican charro requires a calm horse to rope from, excel in all working ranch endeavors, and the elegance to be shown off in pleasure riding. Aztecas have shown their quality in various other events of charriera as well, and are now being used in reining and cutting events.
The Azteca, although a young and new breed, has already distinguished itself greatly in sport jumping.
The Azteca has also proven itself as a mount for the brave Rejonero (bullfighter who uses the rejon). In this the Azteca horse excels and shows its agility, gracefulness and gallantry. Their skillful and sure movements give its steady and graceful figure a strong rhythm of dancing, which is insolently beautiful.
Their temperament, lively, happy and obedient, exalts once more their physical qualities. The Azteca breed has a valuable place with the most prominent and outstanding equine breeds.