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There is no horse that can run a quarter of a mile faster than a Quarter Horse – which is where this horse breed gets its name.
(American) Quarter Horse
Height at the withers:
145 – 165 cm
compact body, short, wide head, very muscular hindquarters, wide stance
Colour of coat:
all colours, dappled horses are not desired
calm, friendly, intelligent, easy to train
soft, flat, known for their slow trot (“jog”)
Dressage and western riding, rodeo, riding tournaments and equitation, recreational riding
Did you know? The fact that western riding, and western horse breeding along with it, was brought to Germany in particular thanks to the well-known Swiss horse trainer Jean-Claude Dysli and the American Alan Jacob. They brought the first Quarter Horses to Europe in the 1960s. Jean-Claude Dysli’s daughter Kenzie, who works as a horse consultant for our show “World of Fantasy”, still continues to breed these horses at her hacienda in Andalusia today.
With more than 4.6 million animals, Quarter Horses are the world’s most common horse breed. It’s no wonder that they are popular among riders as sport horses and recreational horses. After all, their versatility combined with their well-balanced nature makes them reliable partners in many areas. These American horses have many people think of cowboys and cattle herds. In fact, the animals are often used for cattle driving because of their so-called “cow sense”. This means, they have a natural feel for the cattle herd and their riders’ wishes, which makes them able to adapt their movements to the situation at hand. But that’s not their only specialty: American Quarter Horses are the fastest horses when it comes to running a quarter of a mile (around 400 metres), which is where they get their name. For these quarter mile races they accelerate very quickly, leaving other horse breeds far behind – even English thoroughbreds.
The oldest North American horse breed was created by crossbreeding various European breeds to combine their positive characteristics and skills. When the American continent was discovered by European settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries and brought horses with them, wild horses had already gone extinct there. The Quarter Horse originated from crossbreeding Arabian horses, Berber horses, English thoroughbreds and Irish ponies. They served as loyal partners in all kinds of situations to the settlers conquering America – and today, they are still sturdy and reliable.
The breeding association with the most members in the world, the American Quarter Horse Association, distinguishes between different types of Quarter Horses. Depending on what the horse is used for, certain characteristics are more pronounced. However, they all have very well-developed hindquarters and a small head in common. Typically, these muscular horses have small fox ears and pronounced lower jaws. The classic Quarter Horse type is called “stock horse type”. The different types are also named after the respective western discipline which they have been bred for. All coat colours and shades are allowed. They also have their own names in Quarter Horses: there are more than 17 colours. Only dappled horses are not desired. They are registered as so-called “Paint horses”. In general, Quarter Horses have strong nerves, they are sensitive and good-natured. They are quick and happy to learn new things. This makes them extremely popular among riders of different disciplines. They are specialised in and mainly used for western riding and the associated disciplines such as reining.