A brief introduction before telling the Quarter Horse.
The first specimens of Equus Caballus appeared in the American continent about a million years ago but, due to climatic upheavals, all the equidae of these lands became extinct around eight thousand years ago.
The Spaniards were the first to bring horses back to the New World in 1500: robust workhorses, selected from Iberian, Berber, Arabian (in the image) and Ponies from northern Spain.
The qualities required of these horses were essentially calm, strength and a quick sprint over short distances, indispensable for working with herds: in other words, the western riding style.
This style of riding and the Quarter Horse breed developed in function of the work with the herds and it was again the Spaniards who brought the saddles with the long stirrups and harnesses that allowed one-handed driving to the New World to invent the “American saddle” equipped with a knob, more comfortable and which allowed the rider to sit for long hours following the herds in their movements.
European civilization brought the tradition of racing to the New Continent and on holidays speed races were organized and, since the horses available were those used in daily work, the races were organized in such a way as to exploit their best feature: speed on the short distances.
Horses competed on the main roads of the villages over a quarter of a mile (about 400 meters) and the popularity of these competitions quickly grew, so much so that around the mid-1700s the horses participating in them were called the “Quarter Race”.
In order to improve what was not a real breed with fixed and transmissible genetic characteristics, subjects of the English Thoroughbred breed (in the image) were imported from Europe which gave the Quarter Horse a greater harmonious shape and increased its power and speed.
The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) was then formed in Forth Worth, Texas with the aim of collecting, registering, preserving and controlling the Quarter Horses.
The register is divided into two sections: in one there are the sons of two quarter horses while in the other the horses sons of a quarter horse and an English thoroughbred registered in the Jockey Club.
These last specimens, although to all intents and purposes quarter horse, are called Appendix (or Quarter Racer) and are used in gallop races and in the disciplines of English riding.
Two quarter horses
Quarter Horse is …
… Quarter Horse is an extremely compact and solid horse but the main characteristic is the development of the musculature which explains the power of this horse.
It possesses what Americans call good mind or intelligence mixed with willingness to train and learn, good character, perseverance and reliability.
He is always attentive to the rider’s commands and if he is in feeling he can be lively and playful.
The Quarter Horse is very versatile: from herding work to numerous American and English riding disciplines including bouts, jumping, and galloping over short distances and is perfect for school, walking and for hippotherapy.
Used by cowboys, it juggles well in activities that require cow sense.
Among the sporting specialties in which this breed is involved we list reining, western pleasure, barrel racing, ranch sorting, team penning, pole bending, cutting and roping.
The Quarter Horse who has perhaps shown more than any other the versatility of the breed is the famous Rugged Lark who, ridden by Lynn Palm, has performed, as well as in the specialties of western riding, in show jumping and dressage obtaining excellent results.
The coat of the Quarter Horse
The colors recognized by AQHA are descrbed in the Association’s Official Handbook
Bay: extended color of the coat from brown to reddish brown; tail and mane black, usually black on the lower part of the legs.
Black: color of the black coat, without light areas. Black tail and manes.
Brown: brown or black coat color with light areas on the muzzle around the eyes, on the hips and inside the upper part of the legs. Black mane and tail.
Sorrel: reddish or coppery red coat color, tail and mane usually of the same color, sometimes blond.
Chestnut: color of the dark red or red brown coat, tail and mane usually dark red and brick red, sometimes blond.
Fallow deer (dun): yellowish or golden body color; tail and mane black, brown, white or mixed: mostly it has a dorsal stripe, zebra stripes on the legs and a transversal stripe above the withers.
Fallow Deer (red dun): a subspecies of the fallow deer type, with a yellowish or flesh-colored coat; tail, mane and red dorsal stripe.
Grullo: smoke or mouse-colored coat (not a mixture of white hairs and moles, each hair is mouse-colored); black mane and tail; mostly black dorsal stripe and black lower leg.
Buckskin: yellowish or golden coat color: black mane and tail, usually black on the underside of the legs. Buckskin has no dorsal stripe.
Palomino: yellow-gold coat color; white tail and mane. The Palomino has no dorsal stripe.
Gray: mix of white hairs with hairs of any other color; it often arises dark, or almost dark, and becomes light with age, with the appearance of a greater number of white hairs.
Red roan: mixed, more or less uniform coat of white and red hair, usually darker on the head than on the legs; it may have a black, red or blond tail and mane.
Blue roan: more or less uniform mixed coat of white hairs, with black hairs on the body, usually darker on the head and on the lower part of the legs; there may be a few red hairs.
After the Quarter Horse …
… after the Quarter Horse we continue with the horses and we present our Murano Glass Horses, the excellence of Made in Italy in the most elegant animal (but we don’t like to call it animal), our jewelry collection dedicated to horses in silver, leather, wood, Vietri ceramics and paper and don’t forget that you can have your horse, or the horse of a loved one, painted in a precious majolica plate, as precious as the horse that will be painted.
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