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Wrangling on the Range #181

10 Popular breeds - Facts you may or may not know




them a few minutes, and they can tell you why they love their
breed-and why you should, too.

Of course, every breed has its well-known story and
characteristics, but what about those lesser-known bits of
information and trivia? We decided to sleuth out some
little-known facts - information that might surprise you about a
breed's history, special characteristics, or interesting
individuals. Then we turned the spotlight on a breed
representative who's doing something unique, standing stereotypes
upside-down, or serving as an ambassador for their breed. No
matter what your favorite breed is, you're sure to be inspired by
the passion behind these horses and their enthusiastic fans.


You may know this: 

Quarter Horses originally were bred for short sprints, and they
carry the rich heritage of the American West. The American
Quarter Horse Association was founded in 1940 and is located in
Amarillo, Texas.

But did you know: 

AQHA presented President Dwight D. Eisenhower with two Quarter
Horses after he left office. Having heard that Eisenhower wanted
a horse for his Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, farm, then AQHA
President Albert Mitchell set out with a special AQHA task force
to find him one. In 1957, the young association presented him
with Doodle De Do (a Peter McCue descendant) and added Sporty
Miss, a King P-234 granddaughter, for Eisenhower's grandson,
Bill Brewer, former AQHA executive vice president, says that
while the breed is known for its versatility, not many people may
realize that Quarter Horses have excelled in grand prix jumping
"One horse that comes to mind is Threes And Sevens, a nice
Quarter Horse gelding who qualified for the U.S. Equestrian Team
ridden by Peter Leone. He won several major grand prix jumping
events," Brewer recalls. The horse also was ridden in the
prestigious international Volvo World Cup series in the early

Famous early Quarter Horse stallion Wimpy was originally assigned
number 213A. Later, after he won the Fort Worth Quarter Horse
Show, he was granted the number 1 registration (with the "P"
designation for permanent). Wimpy died in 1959, at the age of 22,
and he was buried on the Cauble Ranch in Texas. Resting near him
are legendary Quarter Horses Hard Twist and Silver King.
Celebrity rep: Wild Card Dun It, a 10-year-old buckskin stallion
by famed reining sire Hollywood Dun It, recently added "movie
star" to his impressive resume when he was ridden by Robert
Duvall in the movie, "Seven Days in Utopia." Wild Card Dun It was
AQHA's 2006 all-around high-point junior horse with points in
heading, heeling, tie-down roping, working cow horse, reining,
barrel racing, and halter. He's owned by Louis Waters of Utopia,
Duvall, who was staying on Louis and Wanda Waters' property
during the movie's production, saw Wild Card at pasture with a
band of broodmares. He liked the stallion's calm nature, but
Wanda said the horse's ability to pick up a lope from a
standstill impressed him. Duvall asked the Waters for permission
to ride Wild Card in the movie, and the stallion stood quietly
throughout the hubbub of lights, cameras, and action.
For more info: (806) 376-4811;

WELL IF I HAVE MY INFORMATION CORRECT (someone correct me if I'm
MY HORSE FINAL TOUCH (grandfather was I'm Impressive) HAD TO BE


You may know this: 

Colorful Paints grew out of the Western stock horse tradition.
The American Paint Stock Horse Association was founded in 1962,
and the American Paint Quarter Horse Association merged with it
in 1965 to become the American Paint Horse Association,
headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.

But did you know: 

Rain, the animated girlfriend of "Spirit, Stallion of the
Cimarron," produced by Dreamworks, was given an honorary
registration by APHA.
Long ago in South America, the single term overo was used for all
the various spotting patterns in horses: tobiano, overo, and also
the blanket and leopard patterns typical of Appaloosas. In
Argentina, "overo" describes all spotting patterns other than
tobiano. In the United States, overo is usually used to mean
"Paint (or Pinto), but not tobiano." The frame overo pattern
occurs in a limited range of horse breeds. It seems to appear
only in breeds that have Spanish ancestry, including the Paint.
In 2007, a Paint racehorse named Got Country Grip surpassed the
Quarter Horse world record of 14 undefeated races when he won his
15th race. In 2008, he went on to win his 16th.
Celebrity rep: In 2010, a Paint named Cotones Nite Special won a
gold medal at the World Equestrian Games and was named Horse of
the Year by the U.S. Equestrian Federation. Dually registered and
also known as Gunners Special Nite (AQHA), he was ridden by Tom
McCutcheon of Aubrey, Texas.
In the individual finals at the games, Colonels Nite Special
scored 228. "He's just such a great horse. Sometimes you walk out
of there patting yourself on the back and thinking you did a
great job, but that horse just makes me look good," says
For more info: (817) 834-2742;



You may know this: 

Appaloosas are colorful, versatile, and have an historic
connection with the Nez Perce Indians. The Appaloosa Horse Club,
founded in 1938, is located in Moscow, Idaho.

But did you know:

In 1989, the National Reined Cow Horse Association Open Snaffle
Bit Futurity was won for the first and only time by a non-Quarter
Horse, when Carl Gould rode Appaloosa mare Ima Jo's Doll to win
The "leopard complex" is the name given to the coat patterns seen
in Appaloosas (but also present in a number of other breeds). The
leopard complex gene, called "Lp;" can manifest itself in any
pattern, from interspersed white hairs (similar to roaning) to
white blankets to the "few-spot" pattern (which would be
considered homozygous for the gene, or LpLp). Most recently,
genetic research indicates a link between Appaloosas homozygous
for Lp and the occurrence of night blindness in these horses.
Bright Zip, clinician John Lyon's beloved Appaloosa stallion, was
blind in both eyes - but not because of a genetic predisposition.
His blindness was the result of an adverse reaction to a
medication. "Zip was so unperturbed by his blindness that he
would run, at liberty, from one end of the arena to the other,
jumping obstacles along the way purely from John's vocal
commands," says Rick Lamb of

Celebrity rep: Earthquake Ike, a 14-year-old Appaloosa stallion,
is a multiple national and world champion cutting horse with his
National Cutting Horse Association certificate of ability and
sweepstakes and maturity wins. Owned by Robert Biorkman of
Granbury, Texas, and trained by Mike Combs, Earthquake Ike is
also the sire of Appaloosas that are winning in the cutting pen.
For more info: (208) 882-5578,


You may know this: 

Arabians evolved in the deserts of the Middle East. The Arabian
Horse Association formed in 2003 as a merger of the Arabian Horse
Registry of America (formed in 1908) and the International
Arabian Horse Association (formed in 1950).

But did you know: 

Thoroughbreds, Orloff Trotters, Percherons, and Morgans are among
the breeds that claim Arabian blood.
Walter Farley was just 16 years old when he first began writing a
book about a black Arabian stallion and a young boy. The Black
Stallion was published when he was 26, in 1941.
That same year, the U.S. Army set out to create a supply of
saddle horses that could be called into service if needed. They
hoped to use Arabians in the program, but the breed was scarce.
Arabian Horse Registry directors donated 11 horses to start a
breeding program at Fort Robinson, in Nebraska.
In 1943, the U.S. Army owned more Arabian horses than any other
breed except Thoroughbreds - especially surprising when you
consider there were only 2,621 registered Arabians in the United
States at that time.
Arabians are divided into six different bloodlines: Crabbet,
Russian, Egyptian, Polish, Spanish, and "Domestic:" Crabbet
Arabians, with origins in the Bedouin desert, were imported to
England by Lady Anne and Wilfred Blunt for their breeding
operation at Crabbet Park in England (from 1878 to about 1906).
"Domestic" Arabians might be thought of as "American" Arabians,
and are heavily based on Crabbet bloodlines with others added in.
Celebrity rep: Thunder II, an Arabian gelding owned by Sharon
Magness Black, is the Denver Broncos' mascot. His real name is
Winter Solstice, and he's trained and ridden by Ann
Judge-Wegener. During games, he likes to face the crowd of
76,000, rather than the field, and his halftime game-day fare is
hay and carrots.
For more info: (303) 696-4500;


You may know this: 

Missouri Fox Trotters are a gaited breed developed in Missouri.
The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association, formed in
1948, is headquartered in Ava, Missouri.

But did you know: 

Fox Trotters originated as ranch horses bred for smooth-riding
gaits and stamina. Historically tied to the grazing-cattle
industry of the Ozarks, Missouri Fox Trotters survived the advent
of the automobile largely because the region's cattlemen
continued to use and breed them.
More than 96,000 Fox Trotters have been registered since 1948.
The Missouri Fox Trotting Pony Registry was established in 2004
under the umbrella of the MFTHBA and registers Fox Trotters from
44 inches to 56 inches tall.
In 2011, a Missouri Fox Trotter named Charger's Rampage was
inducted into the North American Trail Ride Conference Horse Hall
of Fame. Owned by Lisa Brooks of Alpharetta, Georgia, Charger's
Rampage completed 198 rides, covered 11,600 miles of competition
in 16 years, earned 16 national championships, and won 39
sweepstakes. He finished first 57 times and had 134 third or
better placings.
Celebrity rep: The Kansas Kowboy D, an 8-year-old gelding, was
the MFTHBA world grand champion open versatility horse in 2010,
with six world championships. He was an MFTHBA gaited performance
champion, winning four world championships, in 2008.
He was named the Friends of Sound Horses Horse of the Year in
2010, after his owners, John and Samantha Brandreth of Canton,
Georgia, decided to take him from a gaited performance horse to a
gaited versatility horse - which meant competing in versatility
horse sports like reining, cutting, and barrel racing.
"I don't like doing the same thing over and over," John Brandreth
says of his decision to change directions with Kowboy. "I wanted
to prove to myself just how versatile the Missouri Fox Trotter
is. Kowboy is just one of those special horses, and you've got to
give him something different to do."
For more info: (417) 683-2468;


You may know this: 

The versatile Morgan was one of the first breeds developed in
America. The first Morgan was a bay colt known as Figure, foaled
in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1789, later owned by Vermont
resident Justin Morgan. The Morgan Horse Club was formed in
Vermont in 1909 and renamed the American Morgan Horse Association
in 1971.

But did you know: 

The University of Vermont is home to the UVM Morgan Horse Farm,
which is dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the
Morgan through breeding and selection. Designated as a site on
the National Register of Historic Places, the farm is also home
to significant Morgan history and a variety of educational
In the early days of the Civil War, the First Vermont Cavalry was
formed with some 1,200 horses, mostly Morgans. Historians believe
that by the end of the war, 200 of the original 1,200 horses
survived some 75 battles, including Gettysburg, Cedar Creek, and
Cold Harbor.
A recent change in registration rules eliminated rules on white
markings, allowing Pinto color patterns.
Celebrity rep: In September 2011, at the FEI Pony World Driving
Championship, Shelly Temple drove her 13-year-old chestnut Morgan
gelding, LR Ami B-Line (by Tanglwood Trade Wind and out of
Melissa's Nora Bea) to 11th place, helping the U.S. team garner
the bronze medal. You can check out Temple's blog at
For more info: (802) 985-4944;

You may know this: 

Mustangs are descendants of horses brought to the Americas by the
Spanish, as well as descendants of horses released by ranchers,
farmers, and other breeders. A number of associations and
organizations work to preserve, promote, or serve as a registry
for Mustangs, including The American Mustang & Burro Association;
North American Mustang Association and Registry; International
Society for the Protection of Mustangs & Burros; National Mustang
Association; and, for breeders of the Spanish Mustang, the
Spanish Mustang Registry or Southwest Spanish Mustang

But did you know: 

Mustang is an overarching term. The Gila Bend Mustang, Kiger
Mustang, Spanish Mustang, and Sulphur Mustang are among those
considered to fall under the "Colonial Spanish" Mustangs that are
descendants of original Spanish stock and are the focus of
specific breeding programs.
The wild horses or Mustangs managed by the Bureau of Land
Management are sometimes called "feral" because they are believed
to have descended from once-domesticated horses. A famous Mustang
was Comanche, known as the sole survivor of General George
Armstrong Custer's command at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
He was captured in a wild horse roundup, gelded, and sold to the
U.S. Army Cavalry in 1868 for $90. Two days after the Custer
defeat, the severely wounded horse was found wandering the
battlefield and was transported to Fort Lincoln. He remained
there, roaming freely most of the time, under orders excusing him
from all duties.
Celebrity rep: BLM Mustang Cheatgrass and trainer Teryn Muench of
Marietta, Oklahoma, won the 2010 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover
in Fort Worth, taking home $50,000 in prize money. During a BLM
adoption auction, Teryn settled on Cheatgrass, a bay, as the
horse he'd have 100 days to train for the competition. Three
months later, he arrived at the competition with a horse he knew
could win. "He's just super sweet," Teryn says of the gelding.
"The first time he saw a cow, and that cow looked him in the eye,
he just squealed and jumped straight in the air. He loves it. He
just wants to keep that rope tight." Cheatgrass has earned a
permanent home with Teryn and his wife, Holly, at their training
For more info: Search online for any of the associations or
registries listed above.


You may know this: 

Peruvian horses are gaited horses that descended from the mounts
of Spanish conquerors. The North American Peruvian Horse
Association (NAPHA) was formed in 2006 with a merger of the
Peruvian Paso Horse Registry of North America and the American
Association of Owners and Breeders of Peruvian Paso Horses.

But did you know: 

Peruvians are a completely separate breed from Paso Finos. While
both breeds have a four-beat, lateral gait, the Peruvian takes
long, glidingg strides compared to the shorter steps of a Paso
Each piece of traditional tack has spedfic uses and purposes,
with its roots in history; some tack items are vistiges of
protective battle gear. Because the Incas would attempt to cut
off the horse's tail (so the horse would bleed to death) the
Spanish added the baticola, a heavy leather piece to protect 
the tail. The stirrups, carved from a block of wood, served as a
water container for horse and rider, a wind block for a candle,
or a weight for ground tying. The leather Napa ojos (eye covers)
slip down their rawhide strings so the horse could be ground tied
or led across trail obstacles.
The horse arguably considered the foudation sire of the modern
Peruvian, Sol de Oro (V), was discovered in Peru by an eminent
breeder who came across a poorly kept stallion with a badly
healed broken leg. The farmer considered the animal worthless
because he couldn't be ridden and sold him to the man for $200.
Every champion of champions in Peru since 1961 has been of his
line; every U.S. champion of champions since 1973 carries the
blood of Sol de Oro (V).
Celebrity rep: LEA Conquistador, a 14-year-old stallion, is owned
by Trish Palmer of Santa Ynez, California. His trainer, Master
Chalan Roberto Quijandria of La Estancia Alegre in Alcade, New
Mexico, describes him as the smartest horse he's ever trained,
one that truly loves to perform. LEA Conquistador won numerous
championships across the country in regional and national shows;
he was undefeated in the Enfrenadura, the traditional Peruvian
reining competition.
For more info: (707) 544-5807;


You may know this: 

The Tennessee Walking Horse is well known for its smooth gaits,
calm disposition, and history as a plantation horse. The breed
performs three distinct gaits: the flat walk, running walk, and
canter. The flat walk and running walk are smooth four-beat
gaits. The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors'
Association was formed in 1935 and is headquartered in Lewisburg,
Tennessee. The National Walking Horse Association was founded 13
years ago and is headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky.

But did you know: 

The breed name "Tennessee Walking Horse" was suggested by Clyde
Westbrook, a horse breeder from Mississippi.
Roy Roger's horse Trigger Jr. was a registered Tennessee Walking
Horse named Allen's Gold Zephyr. The horse appeared in two of
Rogers' many films and eventually replaced the original Trigger
for personal appearances. According to his owner, "He had great
rein and could spin on a dime." 

(The writer has it backwards here - it was the original Trigger
that had great reign and could spin on a dime, or as Roy would
say "spin on a dine and give you 9 cents change." Roy also said
Trigger Jr. was a great circus horse, did all kinds of great show
moves, but was not worth a nickel as a cow pony. He was of course
not a Quarter Horse - Keith Hunt) 

Tennessee Walking Horse owners include the late Elvis Presley,
George Foreman, Sheryl Crow, and Oprah Winfrey.
Many mounted patrol horses are Tennessee Walking Horses. The
officers in Tennessee's Metropolitan Nashville Police Department
Mounted Patrol all ride them, and the TWHBEA honored the unit's
commander, Sgt. J. D. Harber, for his efforts to develop a
mounted police unit for metro Nashville.
Celebrity rep: Piper's Mountain Trapper is a 16-year-old
Tennessee Walking Horse who resides at the Kentucky Horse Park as
an ambassador for the breed. Owned by Neil and Barbara Earl of
Bloomingdale, Indiana, the sorrel gelding was shown to multiple
national high-point titles in NWHA shows before his move to the
park, where he's ridden in the Parade of Breeds and gives many
visitors a chance to appreciate the breed's beauty, gait, and
disposition. "He neck reins, backs, does 360 turns, and has a
great canter," says Neil. "He does what he does naturally, and
performs equally well in a snaffle and barefoot. And he loves
pretzels." (Trigger Jr. did much more than that, amazingly well
trained as Roy demonstrates on one DVD I have - Keith Hunt)

For more info: TWHBEA, (931) 359-1574;; or NWHA,
(859) 252-6942.


You may know this: 

POAs are diminutive and versatile, with Appaloosa coloring. The
breed was founded in 1954, and the Pony of the Americas Club is
in Indianapolis, Indiana.

But did you know: 

For years it was thought that the breedlaunching pony was the
result of an accidental breeding of an Appaloosa mare by a
Shetland Pony stallion. Almost 40 years after the breed's
development, historians discovered that Black Hand, the pony from
that union, was bred on purpose - not to start a new breed, but
to give a young mare an easier foaling.
POAs trace to Shetland, Welsh, Hackney, Appaloosa, Arabian,
Quarter Horse, English Cobb, Spanish Barb, Mustang, Palomino, and
Buckskin bloodlines. POA stallions have been exported to
Australia in past years to start the Australian Palouse Pony
Association. (Palouse is the region in the Northwest where the
Appaloosa horse gained its name.) While often thought of as a
breed for young riders, POAs also are ridden by adults, and POA
shows include classes for adults.
Celebrity rep: Lannan's Sid Superdot Chieftan was the
high-selling yearling at the Pony of the Americas International
Sale in 1969. He was a breeding stallion and halter champion, had
an illustrious show career, and then became the youngest premier
sire in the breed in 1983. A few years later, he moved to the
Kentucky Horse Park to represent the POA breed, eventually
working as a therapeutic riding pony at the Park. "He helped
hundreds of children overcome fears, gain confidence, and have an
enjoyable experience while also benefiting from it physically,"
says Sue Blake, barn manager at the Handicapped Riding School.
Chief died at the age 35, and was honored as only the second
horse to be buried on the park's grounds.
For more info: (317) 788-0107,


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