150 horse-breeds .....
have resulted from man’s domestication of the horse over the past 3000 years.
Horses or "Equus Caballus" belong to the family Equidae.
All modern horse-breeds have the following in common:
* They live in herds.
* All have teeth designed
to grind plant food.
* All are prey animals with
several different types of predators.
* All are swift runners.
* All are hoofed mammals.
When man started domesticating horses approximately 3000 years ago,
there existed 4 distinct types of horses.
These were different in appearance, conformation and abilities.
These 4 distinct types... are thought to have been similar in build and characteristics to:
The Exmoor Pony which inhabited northwest Europe.
The Highland Pony which inhabited Northern Eurasia.
The Akhal-Teke inhabited hot climates and was a taller
more light weight horse.
The Caspian Pony pony which lived in Western Asia.
These four conformationally different horses and ponies were descendants from 3 distinct species of horses that had acquired their conformation, characteristics and temperaments from the environment that they inhabited.
Northern European terrain and climate produced a bigger, heavy, slow moving species.
Asia produced a a primitive looking Asiatic Wild Horse the Przewalski that could endure extreme heat and cold.
Eastern Europe produced a more refined species with a finer build.
From the four sub-species of horses, Exmoor, Highland Pony, Akhal-teke and Caspian Pony, the 150 modern breeds of horses are thought to have developed.
Whereas these basic 4 types came about as a natural response to the environment the horses inhabited, the horse-breeds came about by the influence of man in the domestication of the horse.
Through the use of selective pairing during the domestication of the horse, man could produce a type of horse suitable for the work which was required of it. Thus the difference in conformation of the plow horse, the horse used for battle, and the horse used for speed.
Modern breeding has also classified.... horses into cold bloods, hot bloods and warm bloods. These terms refer to the temperament of the horses not to body temperature.
Draft horses are generally known as Cold bloods”
Thoroughbreds and Arabians are known as “hot Bloods”
A selective crossing between hot bloods and cold bloods produce a certain type of sport horse with generally good temperament and athletic build and are known as warm bloods. The Andalusian Horse
Most warmblood breeds are continuing to evolve. In fact, they are not "breeds" in the sense that Thoroughbreds, Arabians and Quarter Horses are breeds. Except for the Trakehner, they do not have closed stud books. Other breeds are often introduced to the gene pool to improve the evolutionary process of attaining the "Breeding Goal" of the particular studbook.
In my experience with horses........ I have had the pleasure to work with several horse-breeds. Both full bred or crosses. I have found, in general their different temperaments and physical abilities seem to predispose them to certain types of work.
The Dutch Warmblood
The Hanoverian horse
The Morgan Horse
The Paint Horse
The Percheron Horse
The Quarter Horse
The Riding Pony
The Thoroughbred Horse
The Trakehner Horse
Welsh Pony & Welsh Cob
Poem for a Thursday
He's of the colour of the nutmeg.
And of the heat of the ginger....
he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water
never appear in him,
but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him;
he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.
~William Shakespeare, Henry V
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