How To Identify an American Quarter Horse

Down at the racetrack to take in a few races? Admiring all the majestic looking stallions? Wonderful, horse racing is a fantastic sport full of excitement, suspense and competitive spirit. What’s that you say? You are not an expert and do not know much about the sport horse racing? Never fear, horse racing is not a very complex sport. All you really need to know about are the horses. One type of horse is the American Quarter Horse. The most popular kind of racehorse, it gets its name from the fact that horses of this type excel at running a particular distance, a quarter mile to be precise. Here is how identify an American Quarter Horse and show everyone around you that you do know a thing or two about horse racing:

  • The head. The head will commonly have a convex or straight profile. They should have a big, broad forehead. All horses have gentle, kind eyes and Quarter Horses are no different. The attachment to the neck should clean and lean and not at all meaty or big. The mouth is small and round.
  • The body. Most quarter horses have big, strong bodies perfect for running short distances. The Halter type of Quarter Horse is the biggest of the different breeds. They have most well-developed muscles and stand taller than your average Quarter Horse at 17 hands high (the average height is 14-16 hands). Racing horses are leaner but still have muscular hindquarters that allow them to run fastest, earning them the nickname, the World’s Fastest Athlete. The topline of the neck should be longer than the lowerline.
  • The legs. The hindquarters are higher than the withers creating a downward slope from the hip to the base of the neck where the jockey sets his saddle and sits. Again, for racing horses, the legs should be leaner than that of the Halters since these horses need to be quick on their feet. Do not mistake being lean for weakness, as these horses still should have strong and powerful legs. Halters will have a stockier appearance.
  • Colors. The most common color for Quarter Horses is a variation of chestnut called sorrel, which is brownish red. Other colors are black, bay, grullo, gray, dun, red dun, palamino, perlino, cremello, red roan, blue roan and white.
  • Racing capability. Quarter Horses run short distances really fast. Their glorious physique allows them to do this. They can be seen racing in most parks and especially during the Kentucky Derby. They compete for large sums of money or purses.

Horses have been a part of society for a long time as they serve man in many different ways. They can be used for transportation, hunting and entertainment. American Quarter Horses are very popular so knowing as much about them can really make you an expert on horse racing. It will take time to differentiate the breeds and the different colors but if you spend enough time around horses, you should get the hang of it.


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