The American Quarter Horse
Bethany G. Holt
One of the
world’s most multipurpose breeds is the American Quarter
Horse. The versatile
American Quarter Horse can be found excelling in almost every
pursuit, whether its
the everyday schedule or the
of the glamorous show ring.
In the late
1600's, New England colonists began to cross imported English
with assorted breeds such as the Chickasaw
and the Choctaw.
foundation sires of the
Chickasaw and the Choctaw were Arabians, Barbs, and Turks, brought to
Englanders loved racing their horses.
These horses were not Thoroughbreds (they
came later). They were stocky work horses used on the farm to plow the
and plant crops. These “equine farm hands”
as the Quarter Horse or the “Quarter-miler”. They
could race a quarter of a
mile faster than any other horse.
gained popularity on the
east coast, the Quarter Horse began moving west.
The Quarter Horse gained most of their
popularity for being hardy
The King Ranch is one of the many ranches that helped fine tune the American Quarter Horse's ranch work abilities. They also were the owners of Old Sorrel, a well known Quarter Horse stud that had great influence in the history of the American Quarter Horse.
There are four types of Quarter Horses today.
· The "Bulldog" Quarter Horse is about 14 to 14.3 hands and weighs 1150 to 1350 pounds. They are known to be very muscular. Docile, intelligent, and tractable are some of their traits. The Bulldog horse is used in all fields, especially as a working ranch horse. 
|Wimpy P-1 is an example of the "Bulldog” type. He was the first registered Quarter Horse of the America Quarter Horse Association and displays classic foundation conformation of heavy muscling and compact height.|
Foundation American Quarter Horse Mare & Foal
Photos courtesy of RW Turner Ranch
Quarter Horse is 14.1 to 15 hands and weighs
|Blondy’s Dude is an excellent example of an all-around “Semi-Bulldog” type America Quarter Horse. He competed in hunter under saddle, reining, barrel racing, pole bending, and many other classes. |
The "Semi-Bulldog" American Quarter Horse
Photos courtesy of F3 Paint and Quarter Horsess
· The "Progressive" Quarter Horse is about 15 to 15.3 hands or over and weighs 1025 to1150 pounds or more. This type is in between the Semi-Bulldog and the Running varieties. They are fairly docile, intelligent, and highly tractable. This breed is the most versatile of Quarter Horses. Many are equally suited to English and Western events. 
Rugged Lark is an
The "Progressive" type American Quarter Horse
Photos courtesy of Rebekah L. Holt
Quarter Horse is 15.1 to 16 hands or more and
weighs 1050 to 1200 pounds. Depending on the amount of Thoroughbred
this type may resemble the Semi-Bulldog
or the Progressive
type or even Thoroughbred. They are usually docile (though
intelligent, and fairly tractable. This variety does well in the racing
than any other field.
Dash For Cash,
Dash For Cash
Champion and Sire of Champions
This 16 h.h. AQHA gelding is considered a "Racing" type, though he's a roping horse.
Photo courtesy of Rebekah L. Holt
· The coloring of the Quarter Horse can be any solid color. Sorrel is the most common color of the America Quarter Horse. Here are other recognized colors: bay, black, brown, gray, palomino, buckskin, dun, red dun, grullo, red roan, blue roan, bay roan, perlino, cremello, and white.
· The average height is 14 to 16 hands for mature stallions, geldings, and mares. 
Photo by Cappy Jackson
Photo courtesy of: Carol Rose Quarter Horses
Great grandson of Blondy's Dude
(featured in article above)
|Shining Spark is an
outstanding example of the American Quarter Horse.|
The top breeding stallion of Carol Rose Quarter Horses, Shining Spark could be considered one of the most famous, influential, and successful sires that have impacted the American Quarter Horse breed today.
Not only exceptional examples of conformation, beauty and intelligence, Shining Spark and his progeny are capable of doing the job and doing it WELL.
According to Carol Rose Quarter Horses, Shining Spark's progeny have earned more than 8.4 million in competitions.
To read more about Shining Spark and to see some of his foals, be sure to visit www.carolrose.com!
versatile performance abilities,
beauty, intelligence and friendly nature makes it one of the most
horse breeds in the world. If you are ever in need of a reliable mount,
consider an American Quarter Horse.
read more about the American Quarter Horse, Visit, www.aqha.com
Be sure to ask AQHA about their free educational and breed promotional materials just for kids/youth!
RW Turner Ranch
Debbie Fuller, F3 Paint and Quarter Horses
Rebekah L. Holt, eQuest Photography
Cappy Jackson, Carol Rose Quarter Horses
Walford, Bonny, Champion
Horses of the Americas,
Publishing Company, Inc.,
“Quarter Horse,” http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-breeds/profiles/quarter-horse-horse-breed.aspx,
 Reference 1
 Simmons, Diane C., “Wimpy P-1”, Legends Volume 1, Western Horseman, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO, pg.12-17
 Reference 1
Frank, “Blondy’s Dude”, Legends
Western Horseman, Inc.,
 Reference 1
 Reference 1
 Reference 12