Kayla F asked:
I have a 25 year old mare and i would like to treat her the best i can. I still ride her and stuff like that. But if anyone new of any good books for older horse care i would really love it if you could tell me! Thank you so much time!!
Breeders are not the only ones who have the knowledge of different horse breeds. Many horse lovers do, too. The history of horse breeding as well as the features of different breeds are interesting learning that can give you a better understanding of these magnificent creatures.
History of Horses
Let us first examine how the relationship between men and horses has evolved, as this will help us better understand different horse breeds. Believe it or not, horses first became valuable to humans because they produced milk and could be eaten. Later on, however, humans realised that horses were strong and fast and began to use them to carry or draw loads and as a mode of transportation.
Now, horses are no longer just used to do labors. Rather, they are more often kept for sports or leisure riding. Hence, people are breeding horses to serve the different needs by human beings.
What the breeder do is to select specific male and female horses with the desired characteristics to mate, so that the new-born horses will carry the traits desired by us humans. With the success of purposeful breeding, more horses are now bred in planned ways to meet specific needs. A widely known example is the racing horses. In fact, there are different registries around the world that document the various horse breeds.
To know about the different horse breeds is probably a hard mission for an average person, but a true horse-lover can usually tell a lot of the breeds. This is especially true for someone who is fond of horse racing or simply would like to get himself a horse. Often, knowing the breed of your horse would tell you what the horse is capable of doing and whether its price is truly justified.
Despite the vast number of horse breeds, horses are generally placed under three main groups – pony, light, and heavy horses.
The smallest kind of horses are known to us as ponies. As they are so small, some would even not consider them horses at all. Even so, ponies can be as hardy as other horses. Some breeds can carry adult riders and pull heavy loads. Because of their size and mild nature, ponies are often kept as pets by children. Examples of pony breeds are the Shetland and Welsh ponies.
Next to ponies are the light horses. Some of the breeds under this group are the beautiful Arabian and the fast Thoroughbred. Other breeds are the Quarter Horse, Appaloosa and Morgan. These horses are primarily meant to be ridden for fun or for sport. In the past, they were popularly used to pull light wagons, carts, carriages or chaises.
Some horses belong to the heavy group. In the past, these horses were used for war. They were also used for carrying and pulling heavy loads. Heavy horses are therefore ideal for farm work. They are large but have well-formed, powerful muscles, shoulders and legs. Heavy horse breeds include Shire, Clydesdale, Percheron and Lipizzaner.
Keep in mind that even within the same group, different horse breeds can carry very different traits. Hence, it is always important to understand what sets your horse breed apart from the rest.
I do not know what inspired me, but as a young teenager I was quite determined to have a foal. I had a mare and all I had to do was find a stallion and my wish would come true. The sad fact is that no one around me knew any better. Horse breeding costs, in time, in money, in care, there is always a cost involved.
I found two farms in our area that had stallions and both were willing to attempt a cover for free. It would cost me nothing or so I thought. I took my mare to stay with a stallion in his pasture for a couple of weeks hoping that nature would take care of itself. My mare never became pregnant and lost a riding horse for that time.
Young as I was, I just took things in stride, but now that I know better I am quite frustrated with the facts. Had I have known anything about breeding horses I would of at least spent money to have a veterinarian come and inspect my mare. That way we would have known when she was in season.
If you want to breed you really need to spend money. Your mare needs to be in season that means that her reproductive cycle is at the stage where she is most likely to conceive. You can, if you know what the signs are, watch and chart your mare’s cycle to know when to take her to the stallion.
On the other hand if you do not have the knowledge you should have your veterinarian palpate your mare. He will examine her and tell you exactly the day, sometimes the time (morning or afternoon) that she is most receptive. It is money well spent.
The stallion fee is usually the largest sum of money you will part with for breeding. Stallion fees are based upon several factors such as breed, performance and bloodlines.
Bloodlines contain genetic history, who the father (sire) and dam (mother) were and their parents, much like our own family tree. A bloodline is preferred when on both the sire and dam’s side there are horses that have performed and excelled in a discipline.
Stallion fees are usually paid upfront; it is to your advantage to select a stud that offers live foal guarantees. That way if your mare aborts or if the first cover is not successful, you can take your mare back for another cover at no extra cost.
A good horse breeder will have the veterinarian do several visits to the mare to ensure her health and that of the foal. The cost in my opinion is worth it, for example when a veterinarian detects twins during an examination he will be able to remedy the situation which will better your chances of having a live foal.
When cost is not a concern you could choose to stable your mare at the stud and have the trained staff take on the responsibility. They will keep a record of your mare charting her cycle, veterinarian visits, coverings and care. Once your mare is in foal you would arrange to collect her and take her home.
Basic costs of horse breeding include the stallion fee and veterinarian exams for the mare. Other costs to consider are transportation, boarding and veterinarian visits during the pregnancy and after. Once the foal is born you have the cost of his care as well as your mare.
Warmbloods are amazing animals. They are some of the most beautiful horses in the world, with a versatility that is unbelievable. Warmbloods, unlike what many people think, are a true breed. All of the studbooks are closed. What this means is only a horse of that breed can be registered in that studbook. The only exception is individuals of other breeding that are deemed to be able to improve the bloodline of the current breed. This is shown through performance records and the success of offspring in competition. There are various types of Warmbloods:
The Hanoverian’s originate from Germany. There primary use is for dressage and show jumping. These horses are mildly temperamental, with more of a calmness in nature than many horse breeds. The most common coloring in the Hanoverian are Chestnut, Bay and Grey.
The Hanoverian Horse is a well built, well put together horse with much success in the disciplines of dressage and show jumping. This breed tends to be very versatile.
The Holsteiner originates from Germany, usually reaching 16 to 17 hands. These horses are mildly temperamental and are used for show jumping, dressage and reining. They tend to usually be bay in color, but mostly any solid coloring. Most Hosteiners have a defined canter that tends to be very expressive, but lacks an impressiveness at the trot. They are typically well known as excellent jumpers but have made their imprint on the dressage community.
The Dutch Warmblood’s originate from Holland and are very easy going, typically calm in nature. These good tempered horses are built well running around 16 to 17 hands. They are known to excel at whatever discipline they are trained by.
The Friesians originate from Holland and Germany with the studbook now kept in Germany, the FPZ. They are mildly temperamental growing to a huge size of 17 hands. They are primarily used for Dressage and reining but are sometimes seen on the show jumping circuit. These horses are also used for trick training, being widely versatile and very easily trainable. There are distinct characteristics of the Friesians. Baroque, which is mainly upright, with higher action and more feathering with a heavier mane and tail. Traditional, which is heavier and more drafty usually used for driving, and Sport Horse, which is used for all types of riding and driving. These horses are amazing. Very versatile with a very calm temperament for such an enormous horse.
The Swedish Warmbloods originate from Sweden, obviously. They will grow to be 16 to 17 hands. The are used for show jumping, dressage and reining. There coloring is all solid, predominantly Chestnut. The Swedish Warmbloods are one of the youngest warmblood breeds , so true “type” is not quite defined. Mainly having solid movements, with the conformation and their temperament being highly variable.
The Trakheners originate from Poland and East Prissuia. They tend to be a little more temperamental than a lot of other warmbloods. They are used for dressage, jumping and eventing. Coloring is mainly solid with defined characteristics of nice movements with good push from behind. They tend to be a bit stubborn and even difficult at times. Although there are some very lovely Trakheners. This breed possess a strong competitive drive owing perhaps to the large amount of Thoroughbred blood most carry.
The Oldenburgs originate from Germany. They grown to the large size of 16 to 17 hands. These horses are very calm and loveable. There coloring is solid but any color. They are primarily used for dressage and jumping. They were the first studbook with an American Division. Interestingly enough, all American Warmbloods approved by the ISR are registered as Oldenburgs, regardless of their actual parentage.
The Andalusians originate from Spain. They are smaller in height, ranging from 14.3 to 16 hands. They are used for dressage, bullfighting, parades and trick training. They come in solid colors, including mulberry. Bay and grey are the most common. Black and Dun are the least common. Andalusians are classically styled Baroque horses. They have thick manes and tails and tend to have high , lofty actions for their size. The Spanish Olympic Team was comprised entirely of Andalusians for the 2000 Games.
Horses are an amazing animal, no matter what the breed or bloodlines. They love their owners and one forms an attachment to their horse like no other. I couldn’t imagine my life without my horse.
If horses are your passion, it is relatively easy for you to identify various breeds of horses. What is more, you will not find it hard to train or take care of them. There are more than one hundred varieties of this animal. All of them have different traits which require specific care and attention in order for you to get close to them. If you do not know anything about horses, training or rearing them will be really difficult. This is the reason why you need to study or know more about them before you think of buying one. If ever you decide right away and you are not prepared, you will end up with a hind-leg kick from your horse.
Comprehending horses means that you have to delve into the relationship that you have with your horse. Compared to other farm animals, the former has always been very special to the humans. Even in the past, the horses are relied upon for different things. They are depended upon for transportation, for milk, for entertainment, for companionship, and sadly for some, food. If several years ago horses are used mostly to carry or lug heavy loads, this animal is now kept for leisure purposes or sports. The most common places that you will get to see horses are farms, ranches, and racing stables. When it comes to a specific breed, you have to buy a horse which you know fits your requirements accordingly. If you want to acquire the right variety for your children, you should choose a horse which is gentle and sweet. On the other hand, the best breed for horse racing is one which is fast and swift.
Horses for sale are common nowadays, what with the huge number of individuals wanting to buy their own. While you can look into your options when you visit farms, there is a more convenient way of checking out selections. This is possible when you check out online sites that offer free classified listings. One of these sites is HorseClicks, which provides photo classifieds of various horse breeds. You can take a pick from Arabian horses, Thoroughbred, Appaloosa, Quarter, Buckskin, Paint, and other breeds. The classified listings of Horses Click provide information such as the name of the horse, age, date of birth, gender, breed, color, height, and price. There is also a comment on the traits of the horse and what it has accomplished.
Through the free photo classifieds of HorseClicks, you will be able to find the perfect horse breed. There are three general classifications of horse varieties. These are heavy, light, and pony. Heavy breeds have well-developed muscles, legs, and shoulders. They are suitable for farm chores, especially with the pulling of heavy carts. Examples of this breed are Percheron, Shire, and Clydesdale. On the other hand, light breed horses are useful for racing, riding, carriage-drawing, and rounding up of cattle. These horses are sleek, swift, and tall. Common examples of this breed include the Arabian, Appaloosa, Quarter, and Thoroughbred. The last breed would be ponies, which are suitable as pets or companions for children. Their size is small and their nature gentle. Common examples are Welsh and Shetland.
Thoroughbreds are known as “America’s Racing Horse”. This breed of horse runs at the race track every single day around the world.
This breed of horse was originally bred in England due to the English horsemen’s desire to have a fast race horse. There are three that founded this bloodline which are: Byerley Turk, Darley Arabian and Godolphin Arabian, named after their respective owners, Thomas Darley, Lord Godolphin and Captain Robert Byerley. All of these stallions were imported to England from the Mediterranean Middle East between 1670 and 1710. The result was an animal that could carry weight with sustained speeds over extended distances. Approximately ninety percent of modern thoroughbreds have descended from Eclipse whose grandsire was Darley Arabian, who was never beaten in eighteen races.
Another descendant of Darley Arabian is Diomed; he won the first running of the Kentucky Derby in 1780. When he was twenty one years old he was brought to the United States where he produced the male line through his son, Sir Archie.
While most people are familiar with many of the pure breeds of horses, there are many interesting crossbreds. Each breed has its own benefits, and it is not unusual for people to try to get the best of both breeds by crossing them. The following are some common crossbreds and their usual characteristics.
Most Arabian crosses are designed to refine the horse, without adding much height. Arabians are known for being highly sensitive and intelligent horses, who can be a bit flighty or silly at times. Most of the breeds they are crossed to tend to be solid citizens who could use a bit more pep. Many Arab crosses make excellent all-round horses who do well for children and for pleasure. Some make excellent dressage horses or hunters, combining the beautiful Arab movement with the solid personality of their crosses.
Some of the most common Arabian crosses include the Morab (Morgan x Arabian), the Quarab (Quarter Horse x Arabian) and the Arapaloosa (Appaloosa x Arabian). Another common Arabian cross is the Anglo Arabian (Thoroughbred x Arabian). Anglo Arabians are unlike the other crosses in that they are highly sensitive, have good height, and are excellent athletes. The cross has been so well established in France, that it became the foundation of their Selle Francais breed. Arabians also cross very well with some pony breeds such as Welsh Ponies.
Thoroughbreds are the most common horses to see crossbred into other breeds. Adding size and refinement, the Thoroughbred is an amazing athlete who generally produces crossbreds with excellent performance potential.
One of the most popular Thoroughbred crosses is the Appendix Quarter horse. Not only are half-breds accepted as Appendix Quarter Horses, a high percentages of Thoroughbred blood is permitted in the registry.
Smaller thoroughbreds are also crossed onto many pony breeds to produce pony-sized offspring with horse-type bodies. This type is highly popular in the hunter ring. Many successful ponies that near the highly desirable 14.2hh size are in fact part Thoroughbred.
Many breeders like to cross Thoroughbreds to draft horses. These crosses are lighter weight than drafts, and are well suited to riding. Many draft crosses become field hunters, but some of the more refined crosses become good performance horses.
Appaloosas are hardy horses who are renowned for their unusual coloring. Some breeders like to cross other types of horses to Appaloosas to attempt to get the Appaloosa coloring on a horse while retaining the type of the breed they are crossing to. Arapaloosas are the Arabian x Appaloosa cross mentioned earlier, but other popular crosses include Pintos (Pintaloosa) and Tennessee Walkers (Walkaloosa).
A cross between a Shetland pony and an Appaloosa mare produced the colourful Pony of the Americas, now an established breed.
Some people enjoy crossing the highly popular gaited breeds, such as Tennessee Walkers, to other breeds. They try to retain the gait, but gain the size, substance or coloring of the other breed. Some gaited crosses include the National Show Horse (Arabian x Saddlebred) and the Tennuvian (Tennessee Walker x Peruvian Paso).
No matter where you look, you will see other types of crossbred horses. Some are popular enough that breed registries have been formed for them. Others are still rare. While many breeders consider crossbreds to be no different than grade horses, others will defend their crossbred “breed”, claiming that it has as much validity as other breeds. Either way, you can find a cross of almost anything if you look hard enough.
The American Quarter Horse is the first breed of horse native to the United States. The breed evolved when the bloodlines of horses brought to the New World were mixed. Foundation American Quarter Horse stock originated from Arab, Turk and Barb breeds. Selected Stallions and Mares were crossed with horses brought to Colonial America from England and Ireland in the 1600′s. This combination resulted in a compact, heavily muscled horse that evolved to fill the colonists passion for short distance racing.
Nature itself has always had an impact and influence on breeding over the years. In the wild only the strong survived, horses roamed free and were unprotected by man. The stallion (male leader) fought other stallions to protect and maintain his herd. Any weakness threatened his entire lifestyle.
Today man has a major role in breeding, no longer is the need for strength and survival so important. Rather we are able to do selective breeding for traits such as color, breed, conformation and athletic ability.
When horses were first domesticated we either needed them for transportation or as work animals to help on farms. All work was demanding of the horse and man saw what he needed from horses.
Certainly no thoroughbred should endure pulling a tank in the snow for weeks on end.
A heavy set horse is far better suited for that job. And so began the mixing and mingling of bloodlines and breeds.
As we have progressed in life with conquering new lands so we have taken our trusted steed along for the ride. Horses that travelled to distant lands were bred with the native horse of that land. A new breed evolved and man bred to refine the qualities and characteristics.
Horse breeding is natural, but not all horses are meant to be bred. In order for two to make three we need a stallion (male) and a mare (female) which mate. A mare can only be bred with when she is in season. If the covering (mating) is successful she will give birth to a foal (baby) ten months later.
If you are interested in breeding for what ever personal reason, the best place to begin is with a sound, healthy horse. Generally the stallion owner offers his horses services during the breeding season for a fee. If you want to make money breeding then you certainly need to own a stallion that has good bloodlines, good conformation and temperament.
Those three aspects are essential ingredients for breeding. A mare has a little more elbow room in her requirements. This is only because she is going to produce a single foal per year, whereas a stallion is bred to around 40 mares per season with live cover and a lot more when using artificial insemination.
The resulting foal is definitely a combination of mare and stallion qualities, the stallion does not have more influence in the gene pool. You do not need a top competing mare in order for you to breed for a foal. Any horse owner with a mare can choose to breed.
With that said I do not mean that any horse owner should choose to breed. If you are interested in breeding become educated in horse breeding first. Talk to people who have bred, visit stud farms and learn about the industry.
Horse breeding is a fascinating and wonderful career. If you cannot afford the stud fee for the top horses you could investigate working on the stud farm. There are a number of studs that offer benefits and incentives to staff which can include a free service to a mare.
When deciding to breed your horse, know what kind of horse you would like from the match. Know the rules of the horse breed, some horses will not be accepted into the breed registry without specific traits like color. Always look for a stallion that compliments or improves on the qualities of your mare.
In timed events, horses must be willing and able to respond well to their riders, make quick turns and be able to burst forward at full speed, when it is necessary to do so.
Because of their strong hind legs and muscular power, it is most often the American Quarter Horse that is used in rodeo events. Given that the American Quarter Horse got its name because the breed clocks the fastest quarter mile runs, it’s little wonder that, when it comes to timed events in the rodeo ring, Quarter Horses are used for barrel racing and steer wrestling and are considered to be great calf roping horses as well.
Calf roping horses aren’t just in the rodeo ring for their speed and precision; they play a greater role in the event as well. For those who are unfamiliar with calf roping, the event involves the calf roping horse, his rider and a calf. The roping horses are brought up to a full gallop; the rider throws the lasso around the calf and dismounts. The horse then backs up enough to keep tension on the rope while the rider ties the calf. When he returns to the horse, the rider mounts and the tension on the lasso rope is eased to determine whether or not the calf will remain tied.
Calf roping horses, therefore, not only need to be trained and athletic in order to work with the bursts of speed and sudden stops, but also they need to be able to respond well to their riders. The relationship that calf roping horses have with their riders is essential to the success that will be had during this exciting competitive event.
Therefore, when most riders look to buy a horse as a calf roping horse, temperament and intelligence are characteristics that most horse buyers are looking to find in a horse. Calf roping horses – as well as all American Quarter Horses that are going to be used on a ranch and in similar settings – should have a calm disposition, and they should be able to respond quickly to their riders and the situation where they are used.
As with shopping for most products, when you are looking at any horse, you’ll want to determine how you will be using the horse. Those who are going to be riding in rodeo events on a regular basis – in other words, a rider who will be taking his calf roping horses from one rodeo to another and competing as a professional athlete – will probably be looking at a horse differently than someone who intends to compete in only a few events during the year.
In other words, those who will be training their horses for a few weekend rodeos are more likely to be looking at American Quarter Horses that are not only adept in the rodeo ring, but that also are comfortable working throughout the week at the ranch. Of course, other individuals may be looking at calf roping horses that they have seen during rodeo events and may decide to choose a Quarter Horse as a cattle horse, solely for use on their own ranch without the intention of competing. Many ranchers find that the calf roping horse is well-trained and well-suited for average, everyday activities in the ranching business.
Of course, the right calf roping horse for one rider isn’t always going to be the right horse for another. When looking at horses for sale, if you are looking at Quarter Horses particularly for calf roping, it’s important to choose a horse that a good fit. In some cases, that will mean choosing a horse that’s solid and gentle and will be great for those who are learning the sport. In other cases, it will mean a taller horse, for others it will mean a shorter horse: it’s a matter of personal comfort and preference.
As always, you’ll want to be sure that the horse is in good health, that its legs and back are strong enough to carry your weight, and that the horse you choose either is already in great shape or can easily be conditioned for your chosen competitive sport or other use.