By: Phil Wiskell
Quarter Horse seems like a strange name for an animal, but only until you understand that Quarter horses are able to run a quarter mile faster than any other horse can run the same distance (in some situations, a Quarter Horse has been recorded at over 50 miles per hour while running at full speed), then its given name makes good sense. In part, that is a testament to the horse’s athletic ability, along with its strong, well-muscled hind legs.
Combine versatility and an even temper with those characteristics (athleticism and muscle structure) and you can see why Quarter Horses are some of the most popular choices among those who are buying from a list of horses for sale. Not only is the American Quarter Horse common with a lot of general buyers, but the breed is popular overall; the majority of horses registered worldwide are registered with the American Quarter Horse Association.
Of the registered Quarter Horses, many run races thanks to their speed. Many others are participants in horse shows. Others work on ranches around the world. Still others – thanks to the Quarter Horse’s compact body – are used in working with cows, calf roping, barrel racing, reining, cutting as well as other riding events. But don’t think of the Quarter Horse as merely a workhorse: the Quarter Horse is equally at home in other equestrian events.
Sport and speed both create environments in which the American Quarter Horse feels at home. With Thoroughbred, Arabian and Morgan bloodlines all contributing to the genetic pool of the American Quarter Horse, it’s not difficult to see why the Quarter Horse excels in most situations.
Because of this, the American Quarter Horse is often seen in show environments, in racing events, in rodeos as well as on the ranch, and even in stables that are home to horses that are owned by individuals and families, who just want a horse that they can take out for enjoyable rides on trails. It’s important to note, however that just because Quarter Horses are used for ranch working purposes as well as for trail riding doesn’t mean that they don’t serve other purposes as well; for example, many quarter horses have been used for dressage and for jumping competitions.
As with anything else in life, not all Quarter Horses are created equal. Most grow to between 14 and 16 hands high with some growing to 17 hands. Stock Quarter Horses are agile and muscled, however they appear to be compact and a bit stocky. Halter Quarter Horses, on the other hand tend to be taller and have similar smooth muscling to the Thoroughbred.
Regardless of whether or not the horses are of the stock or halter variety, you’re likely to discover that Quarter Horses are available in a wide variety of colors. Most commonly, you’ll find them listed as sorrel – a brownish-red, chestnut brown shade. That, however, doesn’t mean that you won’t find Quarter Horses listed that are described as black, bay, gray, dun, palomino, red roan or a number of other shades. All of these colors – along with spotted or pinto colors – are found to be acceptable when it comes time to register a horse with the American Quarter Horse Association, provided the horse’s parents were registered as well.
If you are looking for a family horse, lineage and registration with the American Quarter Horse Association may not be among your top priorities when you’re looking through listings of horses for sale. Instead, you may be focused on a child’s request for “a brown one,” or on finding a Quarter Horse that is closer to 14 hands rather than 16 or 17, which will make it easier for even the youngest members of your family to ride.
On the other hand, if you are looking for an American Quarter Horse because you are looking for the right animal to help you around the ranch, when it comes to reigning in cattle, you may actually want to know whether or not the Quarter Horse is from a working line.
In other words, when you’re making an effort to research Quarter Horses for any purpose, focus on your needs first and foremost. You will be more likely to find a Quarter Horse that will meet your expectations if you know what your expectations really are. This way you are sure to find exactly the Quarter Horse you need and want.
About the Author
Phil Wiskell is a writer for HorseClicks.com, popular classifieds of horses for sale, used trailers and ranches for sale.
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