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Home First Posted Feb 12, 2010
Jul 24, 2010

Four Foundations Theory of the Horse

What is the Four Foundations Theory? This theory tries to explain how horses evolved into the domesticated form of horse we have today.

  • All horses descended from 4 foundation stocks
  • Environment influenced how each stock developed
  • Our modern day horses developed from Europe, Asia and the Middle East
  • There may have been interbreeding between the 4 subspecies
  • Forest horses (warmbloods), draft horses, oriental horses and tarpan horses emerged

Forest horses adapted to the forested environments of Central Europe, the draft subspecies developed to handle the damp, cold environments of Northern Europe, with a small, stocky body covered in shaggy hair, the oriental type developed in the dry, arid deserts of the Middle East, becoming tall, slim, and energetic and the tarpan evolved to handle the cold, dry world of Northern Asia, being small, sturdy, and somewhat shaggy.

This is, however, only a theory.


Four Foundations Theory