What's a Pony?

Global Horse Culture Archive on November 24, 2007, 6:15 am


The basic definition of a pony that I've known has been any horse under 14.2 hh. But the term pony also carries (for some people) the implication of a child's mount unsuitable for adults; a short, stocky, stubborn, shaggy creature. Thus there are some breeds that by height might be thought to be ponies, or indeed used to be called ponies, but are now called "horses" by their fans. For example the Icelandic Pony Horse, the Caspian Pony Horse, even the Miniature Horse. Then I found this
read more »

Nez Perce horses

Global Horse Culture Archive on November 16, 2007, 6:15 am


The Nez Perce tribe were the inventors of the original  Appaloosa (see my recent post). Needless to say, the US had at times a policy of confiscating or destroying the horses of Native Americans, so only recently (well, over a decade ago now!) have the Nez Perce begun a project to rebuild their horse breeding program. With the Appaloosa now an established breed in the US, and even the Foundation Appaloosa being fairly widely bred, the program directors thought to do something unique, and began
read more »

Japanese Knights

Global Horse Culture Archive on November 16, 2007, 6:15 am


This is one of an interesting set of photos on flickr showing men and horses in historic get-up in a parade in Japan. If you know more about it, please let us know in the comments! Photo: Nemo's great uncle on Flickr.com
read more »

The Steeldust Covenant

Global Horse Culture Archive on November 15, 2007, 6:15 am


Several US breeds have a sub-category of breeders who seek to preserve the "Foundation" horse. This means they are trying to preserve the breed as it was sometime in the past, before modern changes were introduced. FoundationHorses.com, dedicated to preserving the old-style Quarter Horse, is such a group. According to their website, the Quarter Horse of old (before the 1950s) was a stocky, rugged, level-headed horse, versatile and useful for all types of ranch work.  With the growing
read more »

The Original Appaloosa

Global Horse Culture Archive on November 15, 2007, 6:15 am


The Appaloosa is another US breed that has a breeders' movement to preserve "old style" bloodlines. The Appaloosa was originally a Native American breed, developed by the Nez Perce tribe, and known for its versatility, athleticism, and of course its unique color patterns.  However, in terms of registration, color was often taken as the most important factor, and horses that were crossed with Quarter Horses, draft horses, Paint Horses, Arabs or Thoroughbreds were counted as Appaloosas.
read more »

Promoting International Breeds

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 27, 2007, 6:15 am


The USA has seen the successful promotion of foreign horse breeds over the years. The Friesian is perhaps the best recent example. From a rare breed cherished and known primarily in its home region of the Netherlands, the Friesian now has a huge following and relatively large breeding population in the US. It was always known as a driving horse, but has become a hit as a dressage horse and even a saddle seat horse. What makes a "new" breed successful? The Friesian has to it's advantage
read more »

Conquistador Magazine

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 27, 2007, 6:15 am


Conquistador is a fun magazine, full of good quality photos and interesting articles, focusing on the Spanish-related breeds, from the Andalusian to the Peruvian Paso and beyond. I have a habit of subscribing to random horse magazines for a year, just to see what's going on in the horse world. This was one of my favorites. Sadly, the full magazine content is not published on the website, but there are a few articles and interesting links, particularly a huge array of links to breeders of Iberian
read more »

Lots of Hair/No Hair

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 25, 2007, 6:15 am


This lovely horse has an amazing long mane and tail. Take a look at some other long-maned horses, and a couple of shocking hairless horses (yes, no hair at all) in the historical photos on this page. Other pages of interest on the site include photos of zebras with strange mutations in their stripes, and creatures like elk being used for riding and carriage driving. Photo: www.messybeast.com
read more »

Termino

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 25, 2007, 6:15 am


If you've never seen a Peruvian Paso before, check out this video of a champion stallion. The Peruvian Paso has a unique movement to its smooth gait - a rolling action in the shoulders which is highly prized and called "termino". Even in the United States, Peruvian Pasos are shown in traditional Peruvian tack and attire.
read more »

Wonderful German Harness

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 22, 2007, 6:15 am


These Bavarian draft horses are wearing a fantastic dress harness (something so fancy would never be used for daily work, only for parades and shows). The black leather is decorated with large pieces of silver and the edges set off with blue trim. One of the most beautiful harnesses I've ever seen! Be sure to visit mhobi's photostream for more views of these horses.
read more »

Unusual Halter

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 22, 2007, 6:15 am


This German draft horse is wearing a halter of a type I have not seen before: the cheekpieces and lower portions are all made of decorative chain links. This is not a design used to discipline the horse (as some people might be familiar with - such as using a chain looped over the horse's nose to control it). The design of this halter would not apply any pressure with the chains; in fact, the two parts of the halter than exert pressure on the horse are made of wide pieces of leather. The chain
read more »

Rare Color, Rare Breed

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 22, 2007, 6:15 am


The Rocky Mountain Horse is one of many relatively rare North American breeds that descend largely from old Spanish colonial stock. The overall build - including small size, sloping croup with low-set tail, narrow chest (when seen from front) - is typical of these breeds, as is the smooth intermediate gait. The Rocky Mountain Horse is frequently seen in this rare color, called "Chocolate", or more correctly, Silver Dapple. The characteristic chocolate brown coat and silver mane and tail
read more »

Marsh Tackies

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 18, 2007, 6:15 am


The Marsh Tacky is a rare breed of horse found in the southern US, specifically in the swamps of South Carolina and Georgia. Like the Florida Cracker, Chickasaw, and a few other southern US breeds, the Marsh Tacky is of Spanish Colonial type. This means it is predominantly descended from the horses brought by Spanish settlers to the southeastern US. Through the 1700s the southern US was culturally much closer to the Caribbean than to the English northeast. Most of the old southern breeds of horses,
read more »

Pony Races

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 11, 2007, 6:15 am


The UK is big on Shetland Pony racing. This example is a miniature steeplechase format, with child riders in jockey's silks, and shaggy little ponies (Shetlands are typically 10-12 hands high!) flying along over the hurdles with ease. Very cute.
read more »

Hackneys

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 11, 2007, 6:15 am


I saw a Hackney Horse just the other day at a pleasure driving show in New York State. He was pulling a historic cart driven by an elegantly costumed gentleman, and although that Hackney was 25 years old, he was spry and fancy and delightful to watch. Hackneys are an old harness breed, originating in England. They have a powerful trot and a naturally highset neck and knee action. The Hackney Horse is somewhat rare these days. I have seen more Hackney Ponies than Hackney Horses at fairs and horse
read more »

Little Bitty Steps

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 11, 2007, 6:15 am


The Paso Fino is renowned for its super-collected "paso fino" ("fine stepping gait"), which is a four-beat gait done with little tiny rapid steps. It's only purpose is to show off the talents of the horse. If you were actually going somewhere, you'd want longer strides (they can do that, too). In competition Paso Finos are gaited down a boardwalk in the arena, so you can hear the hoofbeats. They should be rapid and extremely even. This horse has one of the fastest footsteps I've
read more »

Horse Lover's Fantasy Vacation

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 11, 2007, 6:15 am


Cheval Passion, held each January in Avignon,France, is a dream for horse lovers. Circus performances, all sorts of equestrian competitions, a trade show, and more over several days. I love in particular the "Equestrian Café" - four restaurants surrounding a sand arena, so you can eat lunch and watch horses performing at the same time. Check out the promotional video for the nightly extravaganza:
read more »

Fancy Friesians

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 10, 2007, 6:15 am


Friesians are a light draft breed, traditionally used in harness, though they have gained popularity in recent years as riding horses. Here is a video of Friesians in competition in the Netherlands, showing off their high-stepping, fast trot. Harness horse breeds typically excel at trotting, as that is the best gait for pulling a cart (vehicle with two wheels) or carriage (vehicle with four wheels).
read more »

Practical Uses for Draft Horses, Part 1

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 10, 2007, 6:15 am


This beautifully made 10 minute film shows the old-time method of logging using draft horses. Horses do less damage to the forest than motor vehicles, and the slow, quiet work in the forest is pleasant for both humans and animals.
read more »

Practical Uses for Draft Horses, Part 2

Global Horse Culture Archive on October 10, 2007, 6:15 am


This funny home movie shows the usefulness of draft horses in unexpected situations. I won't spoil it by telling you more than that.
read more »