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How to Think Like A Horse: The Essential Handbook for Understanding Why Horses Do What They Do

Horse Stable and Riding Arena Design

Horse Owner's Veterinary Handbook (Howell Reference Books)

Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage: Designing and Managing Your Equine Facilities

Types of Horses

Types of horses are different from breeds of horses. There are hundreds of different breeds, such as Thoroughbred, Arabian, Welsh pony, and many others. However, there are only five types of horses.

There is hunter, a robust type of horse that is a good riding horse and needs to be well balanced. It is a superb jumping horse, because it is built for strength and speed. It is not a breed, because it lacks fixed common characteristics according to the requirements of the environment in which it is ridden. Many hunters contain pony blood, and some have Irish Draught, Thoroughbred, and Cleveland Bay blood in them.

A hack is another type; this is used for a show horse. It has supreme elegance, and its gaits are perfectly balanced; it has perfect manners. Though most hacks are of Thoroughbred blood, many contain Anglo-Arab blood. A hack is a model of good conformation, even though it is light and graceful, it must be neither ponyish nor gangly.

Riding ponies are the children's equal to the show hack, but while it has the proportions of a Thoroughbred, it still holds the pony appearance and character. In Britain, show riding ponies are exhibited in three divisions according to their size. The base stock is largely Welsh Ponies, or Welsh ponies with Arabian blood. Riding ponies' action is similar to that of the Thoroughbred, in that it is long and free. The Welsh pony blood in this type provided essential pony character and added the substance. Arabian blood added sound legs and manageable temperament.

The fourth type is called cob. It is one of the most attractive horses. It isn't a breed, although it is immediately recognizable. It is an all-around horse. It is used under both saddle and harness. They are sometimes bred in Ireland to Irish draft crosses. Some other sources are small Thoroughbreds, Cleveland Bays, and pure Irish Draft. They have strong hindquarters, legs that have a lot of bone, and a short, arched neck with powerful sloped shoulders. Their manes are often roached (shorn off) to give the horse a jaunty, sporting look. They are expected to behave and be a 'gentleman's gentleman'.

Polo pony is the fifth type, and it is neither a breed nor a pony anymore. It is recognized by its appearance and outline. It was bred to play polo, as its name suggests. It has a distinct Thoroughbred appearance, and to play polo it has to be fast, balanced, and it has to be low to the ground with fast strides. They are from Quarter Horses, Criollo, and small Thoroughbreds.

Types of horses are very different from breeds, although just as important. Types are crosses of different breeds, so that makes them a mix of several good and/or bad qualities. That way there is not just one or two things about them that are typical in a breed.
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