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The Friesian There are two main “body types” or “conformation types” of the Friesian horse. The classic “baroque” body style and the more modern “Sport” body style.   The Baroque body style is probably the most recognizable in the Friesian breed. Baroque Friesians are characterized as having powerful hindquarters, a muscular arched neck, a straight or slightly convex profile and a full, thick mane and tail. A Friesian that is considered “baroque” is usually around 15.2 – 16hh. These Friesians are better suited to Classical High School Dressage and Driving with a naturally high and upright head carriage, full body, deep chest and high, animated knee action at the trot. The Sport Horse conformation is a result of people’s desire for a slightly lighter, taller horse better suited to Sport Performance such as show jumping, dressage, trail and all around riding, but still retaining the “splendour” of the Classical  Friesian. Friesians with a sport body type usually stand between 16 – 17hh and have a slimmer, longer neck, but still maintain the natural “arch” and upright head carriage of the classic baroque type Friesian.  Sport type Friesians are not quite as “full bodied” as the baroque Friesian and appear more streamlined overall, but they should still have powerful hindquarters and the high & animated knee action of the Baroque Friesian as this is a strong characteristic of the breed. All Friesians, whether Baroque or Sport type are characterized by their long, thick, flowing manes and tails and moderate to heavy feathering on their legs, arched necks with an upright head carriage and a very animated trot. The Friesian has a sense of proud nobility and majestic presence like no other horse. This, coupled with their docile nature, willingness, intelligence, and bravery makes for an extraordinary equine. History of the Friesian Horse The Friesian breed was developed in the province of Friesland in the northern Netherlands. The first written evidence of the “Friesian Horse” was in 1544. In the early years the primary use of the Friesian was in battle. Sometime between the 16th & 17th centuries the Spanish invaded the Netherlands and the demand for a heavy war horse dwindled as battle arms changed and thus Andalusian blood was introduced  to lighten the heavy Friesian horse. This made the Friesian more suitable for work in urban places drawing carriage. The Friesian was also used at this time in France and Spain, in riding schools for High School Dressage. The breed picked up popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries as the demand for both harness horses and agricultural horses increased. Even more popular was the Trotting Races. The Friesian has been a major influence on breeds such as the Orlov Trotter, Norfolk Trotter and the Morgan due to its animated trot. In the 1800’s people began to breed Friesians with a lighter build and crossbreed them to other stock to better suit the Trotting races that were so popular. This sparked controversy with  those who were adamant in preserving the Friesian Breed as the purebred  it was in the 16th century and before. As a result, the Friesch Paarden Stamboek (FPS) was founded in 1879. In 1913 Farmers needed a heavier work horse for their farming and therefore began to replace the Friesian with shorter, heavier built horses better suited to agricultural work. Friesian breeders, in an attempt to keep the breed a useful work horse, began to re-develop the breed as it had been centuries before; shorter and heavier boned with less “showy” attributes so that they were physically able to handle the workload. As the age of machines took over the farming industry in the 1960’s, working horses were no longer needed and farmers were often too poor to keep horses around for pleasure. This led to Friesian numbers dropping yet again to dangerous levels. By 1965 the number of Friesian mares registered with the FPS had declined to around 500. Again Friesian enthusiasts pulled together to sustain the breed and the Friesian was saved from extinction. From 1967 to present the Friesian has been valued as a marvellous Sport Performance and Recreational Equine used in both horseback riding and carriage driving. The Friesian Horse is now one of the most sought after breeds in the Equine world and they are praised for their magnificent presence, natural beauty, calm demeanor, trainability, and rideability.
The Quarter Horse There are three main ‘body’ or ‘conformation’ types of Quarter Horse: The ‘Stock’ conformation type is the mostly commonly seen in Quarter Horses today. These are the Quarter Horses used in events such as  Reining, Cutting and Western Pleasure. They are usually smaller in stature (14hh – 15.2hh), very ‘catty’ - agile and quick on their feet - with powerful hindquarters. Western Pleasure horses tend to be a bit taller and smoother in their movement but they still retain the basic Stock body type. The ‘Racing and Hunter’ body type of Quarter Horses are leaner, taller (anywhere between 15.2hh – 16.3hh) with long clean legs and powerful hindquarters. They retain more of the Thoroughbred conformation of their forefathers and are better suited to racing because of their lighter build and longer stride. The Hunter type is usually even more like the Thoroughbred in build and is seen in the English ring performing disciplines such as HUS, Show Jumping, Dressage, Hunt Seat, etc.   The ‘Halter’ Quarter Horse usually has the conformation of the stock body type but they are more heavily muscled (sometimes even beefy looking) with a smaller, more refined head and muzzle, big jowls and sometimes smaller feet. They usually stand anywhere from 15.2hh – 16hh. History of the Quarter Horse The development of the American Quarter Horse started in the 1700’s. People who were in need of a reliable, sturdy, hard working equine on the farms and settlements began taking the ‘local’ breeding stock - descended from the Iberian, Arabian and Barb horses brought to North America by the Conquistadors - and breeding them to Thoroughbreds imported from Europe. While the Americans wanted a hard working ranch horse, they also wanted a horse that had speed, as Racing was a common entertainment in those days. Thus, by breeding local stock to Thoroughbreds, they created the “Famous American Quarter Running Horse” - a horse that could work hard all week and race on the weekends. It was the fastest horse in a quarter mile, outrunning the imported Thoroughbreds at the shorter distance.   One of the best known Thoroughbred stallions to contribute to the early Quarter Horse was Janus. Janus was the grandson of the Godolphin Arabian and he possessed great speed, strength and power that he passed on to his foals along with a solid, compact build. Other founding Thoroughbred stallions of the early Quarter Horse were: Sir Archy, Printer & Tiger. With the addition of a little Mustang and sometimes Morgan blood the “Famous American Quarter Running Horse” became the “American Quarter Horse” as we know it today. The foundation sires of the American Quarter Horse as we know it are: Steel Dust (1843), Shiloh (1843), Old Cold Deck (1862), Locks Rondo (1880), Old Billy (1880), Traveler (1889) and Peter Mccue (1895). These stallions shaped and molded the Quarter Horse to what it is known as today and they can all be traced back to Thoroughbred Stallions Janus, Sir Archy, Printer and Tiger.   The American Quarter Horse is still popular today for the same uses that led to its fame over 200 years ago...Ranching & Racing. The Quarter Horse is also recognized for its versatility through such events as Reining, Barrel Racing, Cutting, Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle, Show Jumping, Trail (both competitive & non-competitive), Hunt Seat Equitation and more. The American Quarter Horse is valued as a versatile, willing, intelligent, quick, agile and sturdy equine – which has led it to become the largest breed registry in the world today.
The Morgan Whereas some breeds of horses can have multiple body types, there is officially only one ‘body’ or ‘conformation’ type for the Morgan horse. The Morgan is characterized as having a compact, yet refined build with strong legs, a straight or slightly convex profile, broad forehead and large expressive eyes. He will have a well-defined wither, laid back shoulder and an upright and well arched neck. Their hindquarters are strongly muscled and the tail is set high. Average height of the Morgan is anywhere between 14.1 – 15.2hh. History of the Morgan Horse The Morgan is America’s oldest breed of horse. It began its development in 1789 with a stallion named Figure. Figure was later named Justin Morgan, after one of his owners. All Morgans can trace their lineage back to Justin Morgan. Justin Morgan produced three founding stallions of the Morgan breed: Sherman (1808), Bulrush (1812) and Woodbury (1816). These three stallions were the most influential sires by Justin Morgan and built the reputation of the Morgan Horse as being the most versatile working equine of America. The Morgan has been used and is still used to this day as a Ranch, Western Pleasure, Cutting, Racing, Endurance, Show Jumping, Dressage and Carriage horse. The breed is well known for its animated and elastic trot, stamina, vigour, eagerness and intelligence.
The Appaloosa Appaloosas are used for both English and Western riding. In English they are popular for Fox Hunting, Eventing and Show Jumping and in Western they are often used as ranch horses, Barrel Racing, cutting, etc. The Appaloosa is classified as a “stock horse”, but like the Paint and Quarter Horse, they share the three body types of Stock, Racing & Hunter, and Halter types. For more information on these body types please see the QUARTER HORSE (above). History of the Appaloosa Horse The beginnings of the Appaloosa are much like the Paint and Quarter Horses, in the 1700’s, with horses brought to North America by the Spanish Conquistadors. This however is where the similarities end. People of the Nez Perce tribe first obtained horses around 1730 and established a strict and very successful breeding program for their horses. In 1806, explorer Meriwether Lewis wrote in his journal on Febuary 15, 1806: “Their horses appear to be of an excellent race; they are lofty, eligantly [sic] formed, active and durable - in short, many of them look like fine English coarsers [sic] and would make a figure in any country.”  Lewis did note spotting patterns, saying, "... some of these horses are pided [pied] with large spots of white irregularly scattered and intermixed with the black brown bey [sic] or some other dark colour".* It is estimated that only 10% of the Nez Perce horses were spotted at this time and it was only after Lewis’ expressed interest in the breed that the Nez Perce people began breeding more for spots than they had before. White settlers called these horses the “Palouse Horse” in reference to the Palouse River that flowed through the Nez Perce country. Over many years, different variations of the name appeared such as: Apalouse, Appalucy, Apalousey, Appaloosie eventually becoming what we know the breed as today, the Appaloosa. War between the Nez Perce people and the white settlers in 1877 resulted in the dispersal of the Nez Perce breeding program and the “Palouse Horse” was forgotten. In 1937 Francis D. Hains wrote an article on the Apalouse Horse’s history. The article stirred up interest and those that were dedicated to preserving the breed of the Nez Perce people founded the ApHC in 1938. In an attempt to revitalize the breed, Arabian blood was added to the Appaloosa’s gene pool and eventually so was Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse blood. The result was the spotted, hardworking horse that we know today as the Appaloosa.
The Paint Horse The body type is very similar if not the same as, the American Quarter Horse. There are three categories: The ‘Stock’ type, The Racing and Hunter’ type and the ‘Halter’ type. For more information on these body types please see the  QUARTER HORSE (above). History of the Paint Horse The history and development of the American Paint Horse is very closely tied with the history and development of the American Quarter Horse. Paint horses were often “cropouts” of Quarter Horses, and because the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) did not allow white above the knees or past a certain point on the face, this left these pinto colored Quarter Horses unregisterable. However, enthusiasts of the pinto colored quarter horse came together and created the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) in 1965, accepting unregisterable pinto Quarter Horses as American Paint Horses. Thus began the American Paint Horse as a breed.   Now the AQHA accepts cropout foals for registration under an “excessive white” rule, which allows for some horses to be double registered AQHA and APHA.
The Arabian Arabians are often characterized by their ‘dished’ faces, high set tails and arched necks, finer bone and spirited presence. The Bedouin people created five subtypes of Arabian: the Kuhaylan (or Keheilan), Hamdani, Abeyyan, Seglawi and Hadban. Kuhaylan Subtype - These horses are often described as masculine looking, more muscular and very balanced. They have a deep chest, broad back, croup, gaskin and forearm. Their heads often have a straight or slightly convex profile and wide flat forehead. They are often 15hh or less, have a moderately high head carriage and great horsepower. These horses often have a quieter disposition. Hamdani Subtype - This subtype is closely related to the Kuhaylan subtype but larger, bigger boned, slightly longer frame and more prominent in the wither. The head is very similar to the Kuhaylan, but slightly longer. This strain of Arabian is thought to be the best in endurance and stamina and, like the Kuhaylan, they have quiet dispositions. Similar to the Kuhaylan, their movement is more forward and flowing. Abeyyan Subtype - The Abeyyan are more refined and smaller than the two previous mentioned subtypes, standing at around 14.2hh. These Arabians have a very high head carriage and a loftier gait. The head is often convex or dished with a bulge at the forehead and a tapered muzzle. They have longer backs, deep barrel, broad forearms and a very high tail set. The disposition of these horses is more spirited than the Hamdani and Kuhaylan strains. Seglawi Subtype - This strain of Arabian is also very refined and they have a very elegant, feminine appearance. They have a very high neck carriage and tail carriage, with less prominent muscling than the Kuhaylan and Hamandi Subtypes. They have a “showier” gait, with higher knee action and they are often described as “hot” or very spirited. They are also known for their great speed. These horses usually stand around 14.2hh. Hadban Subtype - The Hadban Arabians seem to be influenced by both Kuhaylan and Seglawi bloodlines. They have a strong appearance like the Kuhaylan Arabians with flowing lines, straighter profile and deep chest but they have the refinement of the Seglawi Arabians. These horses are known to be easy keepers and have great endurance. Although still flowing in nature, the Kuhaylan strains display a more animated gait. History of the Arabian Horse It is thought that the Arabian breed originated in the Arabian Peninsula and is one of the oldest domesticated breeds of horse. Domestication of the Arabian horse was first recorded by the Bedouin People four to five thousand years ago. The desert environment and the culture of the Bedouin people moulded the Arabian into the hardy, quick, and intelligent animal that it is today. Because of the harsh desert climate, the Arabian had to be cooperative with the Bedouin people to ensure its survival, and was often brought into the tents to prevent theft and for protection from the elements. This resulted in the Arabian developing very strong bonds with the people, which can still be seen today between an Arabian and its owner. The Bedouin people bred the Arabian as war horses with speed, endurance, soundness and intelligence. These traits have carried on throughout the centuries to the Arabian horse that we know today, creating a hardy, strong willed, spirited and loyal creature.
Warmbloods The Warmblood is not necessarily a breed in the sense that an Arabian, Thoroughbred, Morgan and Friesian are a breed. This is because Warmblood studbooks (With the exception of the Trakhener studbook) are open. This does not mean that any breed of stallion can breed a Warmblood registered mare and have the foal be registerable as a warmblood, it means that certain approved breeds, such as the Arabian and Thoroughbred, are allowed to breed with registered Warmblood horses and produce Warmblood registerable foals. Warmbloods from different registries or of different breeds can also be bred and produce Warmblood registerable foals, with the exception of Trakheners. Usually, where the foal is born will determine what “breed” of Warmblood the foal will be. As an example, A Holsteiner stallion out of Holstein, Germany could breed a Westphalian  mare from Westphalia, Germany and the foal would be considered a “Westphalian” Warmblood, as the foal would have been born in Westphalian, Germany. History of Warmbloods  The Warmblood was first developed as an Agricultural worker and quickly evolved into a Military horse in the 19th century.  From there, the Warmblood was developed more as a Sport Horse and Riding Horse than a ‘working’ horse. The goal of Warmblood breeders is to evolve and develop these horses, through select breedings, to be the best they can be. Two popular lines of Warmblood are known as ‘Oldenburg’ and ‘Hanoverian’. THE OLDENBURG - The Oldenburg was founded by Count Johann von Oldenburg in the late 16th century. The breed was developed using Friesian mares bred to Danish, Turkish, Neapolitan and Andalusian stallions, which gave them a high stepping and elastic movement. In the 17th century they were very popular as Coach Horses for their high stepping movement, but were also practical working horses suitable for Agricultural work. Thoroughbred blood was added to the breed in the 18th century to produce a lighter animal, but still capable of work. As time went on and Machinery replaced the horse in both war and farming, the Oldenburg was remodeled once again to make a better Riding and Sport Horse. They are now known for being very successful in Show Jumping, Eventing, Dressage and Olympic sports. THE HANOVERIAN - The Hanoverian is one of the oldest breeds of Warmblood and was originally developed as a Carriage Horse. King George II founded the breed in the 16th century in Hanover, Germany. Breeds such as the Holsteiner, Thoroughbred, Cleveland Bay, Neapolitan and Andalusian were used to develop the Hanoverian Warmblood. In the 18th century the breed was very popular as a High Class carriage horse and contnued so for many years. After WWI the breed evolved to better handle Agricultural work and after WWII when the age of Machinery began, demand for a lighter Sport Horse increased. As such the breed was refined with Thoroughbred blood and sometimes Anglo-Arabian and Trakhener was used as well. Hanoverians are another popular breed for Sports such as Eventing, Dressage and Olympics.
FPS/FHANA Purebred Friesian Stallion 2005 AQHA Appendix Mare, Buckskin, EeAaCRcr 2010 ApHCC Appaloosa Mare, Fewspot Near-Leopard Brown Silver Morgan Stallion. Carries the extremely rare Silver Gene. photo courtesy of Judith Dexter-Mia Mar Morgans 2001 APHA Mare, Black Tobiano, double homozygous, EEaaTT, 5-Panel n/n 2005 Arabian Mare, Bay, EeAa Canadian Warmblood Mare, Seal Brown, homozygous Black