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Horse Breeds
First Posted: Jan 11, 2011
Jan 12, 2011

Light Horse Breeds

by Debora Johnson

We have all heard horses referred to has warmbloods, coldbloods, hotbloods, etc. Another designation for horses is the "light horse breeds." What does this mean. What breeds would come under this umbrella? Many breeds come under the light horse umbrella. These breeds are fast, efficient in their way of going, are often used as excellent trail horses, are raced, used as sport horses in competitions, used as working breeds on ranches, and shown in the ring. Light horse breeds are smaller than draft horses, larger than ponies, and include warmblood and hotblood breeds.

There are different designations for the light horse breeds. They are categorized into three areas: stock type, hunter type, saddle type. Many color breeds can also come under this light horse designation. Stock horses are Western type horses. They are heavily muscled like the Quarter Horse and are often used as a working horse breed for ranch work as are Appaloosas. Hunter type horses (sport horses/warmbloods) are leaner and longer than their stock counterparts. Some examples of sport horses would be the Hanoverians, Holsteiners, and Trakenhers. They are used for equestrian activities where greater ground covering stride is needed: show jumping, dresssage, eventing and more. Saddle type horses are used for pleasure riding and trailing, driving (light harness work) and show. They have quite different conformations often exhibiting a flatter croup, a neck that ties in higher to the body, and higher knee action. Many gaited horses would come under the umbrella of saddle types including the Tennessee Walker, Rackers, American Saddlebreds, Kentucky Mountain and Spotted Saddle Horses, Morgans, etc. Standardbreds are pacers and used in racing and for light harness work. Color breeds have more white, varied coat patterns and/or specific colored coats such as the Palomino or Buckskin The Paint would be a color breed that would be considered a light breed. Depending on its ancestry it could be a stock horse or saddle type, as well.

Temperaments are varied depending on the breed's ancestry and development. Some are laid back and some are quite spirited such as many Arabians and Thoroughbreds.

See my Breeds Section for the many horse breeds.

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