Most popular riding breeds
At the beginning, Humans began to domesticate the horse to use it as food, but then noticed that it could help with their development and began to use it in agriculture, pulling the plough, and to transport them over great distances. We also used it as his fundamental ally in the wars, for example in Europe and Asia, where many of the great empires could be installed precisely thanks to the use of the horse, which allowed them to reach the confines of their territories. This did not happen in America, where the Inca, Aztec and Maya empires encompassed small territories because they had no horses and moved on foot.
As a result of these activities (agriculture, transport and wars), much more “valuable” than the use of horse meat as food, began to forge a strong relationship between humans and horses, which has lasted to this day.
Discarding the breeds that were used for heavy work or loading, most of the breeds that human was forging from the process of domestication were used to ride. That is, basically, the races were “molded” by man to be useful for working and loading or for riding, either for transport or for wars.
These breeds were not only generated in terms of artificial and utilitarian selection, but were developed around different forms of dressage and training.
Horses with warm blood and cold blood
While all horses, both riding horses and those of working and loading, are warm-blooded mammals, to make a differentiation based on their functions and characteristics, in the jargon of horsemanship the following colloquial expressions began to be used: “Warm-blooded horses” or “cold-blooded horses”. The horses destined for riding were called “horses of warm blood”, wanting to characterise with this expression to the most spirited, awake and fast horses. On the other hand, the horses destined to the work and the loads, that were of great musculature and volume, strong and slower, were denominated “horses of cold blood”.
Qualities of a good riding horse
The qualities of a good riding horse have changed over the time according to the destination of use. In the thirteenth century, a good riding horse was defined as that of flattened and moving shoulders, a defect considered too prominent chest and the back legs to backward lunge. F. Minot recommended that the riding horses be strong, tough, energetic and with solid limbs, in addition to having a smooth trot and being light and agile in their different movements. When the horse began to be replaced by the power of the engines, both in war and transport, back in the early twentieth century, it was the time when the riding horses were bred and selected based on sports and recreation, and therefore its conformation its character were selected with the mentioned objectives.
Therefore, the breeding of the riding horses, which were used for sport, was subjected to a selection that was functional to equestrian sports, such as greater lightness and agility, more stylized musculature and stronger ligaments so that they can hold on the rigor of sports practice.
In horses destined for recreation and leisure, were sought with great resistance to make long trips and above all to a controllable and docile animal, so that they do not present nervousness or behaviour alterations that turn a journey unpleasure on horseback, into a constant struggle of the rider with the horse.
The riding horses
The riding horse is one that by its characteristics is suitable and adequate to be ridden by a rider.
The Thoroughbred and the Arabic Horses were the most selected and adapted to ride, as well as many of the horses resulting from the crossing of these breeds with native, strong and heavy mares. Currently, there are also riding breeds belonging to different countries, as is the case of the Icelandic horse, considered cold-blooded, which would be quite far from the European riding horse standards, but which is well used. Or also the Peruvian Paso Horses, which meet the best riding horse conditions, for having a great smoothness of march.
Then, we will describe the main characteristics of the most popular riding breeds.
Most popular riding breeds
Currently, there are more than 160 breeds of riding horses, not including the ponies, so here we are going to refer to those that today we could consider the most “popular”, both for sports and leisure.
Here we will refer to two breeds of horses that are considered to have contributed to the formation of a large number of the current breeds of riding horses. Now, these two breeds continue to be pure and contributing to the improvement of horse breeds, in addition to being used as riding horses in sports as well as in horseback riding or equestrian routes.
While there are other pure races the two most popular are undoubtedly the Thoroughbred and the Arabian Horse.
The Thoroughbred was selected for its speed and has dominated the races since its conception, surpassing the Andalusian Horse, considered the lightest, next to the Berber, since the Roman times.
On the origin of the Thoroughbred there are different opinions, but it can be said that it descends from a small group of stallions imported from North Africa and the Middle East to England at the beginning of the 18th century. The information that is held of the mares is limited, although it seems that a large part of them have a common origin to that the stallions.
For a century, the population remained very restricted, since the races were circumscribed to the court. From the 18th century the races became popular and in 1791 the Stud Book was proposed, which in its 5th edition (1891) includes the list of the oldest known females (80 animals) considered as founders of the current population.
The most important founder stallions were:
- Darley Arabian, born in Syria and considered to be the first regular and well-known predecessor of racehorses and a leading figure in the Stud-Book.
- Godolphin Arabian, of Berber origin was a horse with a conical head, thin limbs and narrow hooves.
- Byerley Turk, brought from Serbia.
- Curwen Bay of Berber origin.
These four stallions provide a third of the genes of the current population.
The breed is reproduced throughout the world, with a highly specialised breeding and handling regime, being its selection extremely demanding. Cannot speak properly of a standard in the Thoroughbred, since special attention is paid to the purity and quality of its origins, as well as to its performance in the races.
Its multiple origin confers morphological heterogeneity, particularly in size; some specimens remind Arabs of the size, while others have the air of “half-bloods”.
In principle, it could be defined as eumetric, orthoid and longilinear, but it is a breed with large fluctuations, so that specimens appear within hypermetry, sub convex and even ultra-long, so it is said that a horse is Thoroughbred when it is enrolled in the Stud Book of the Thoroughbred. However, the homogeneity in the whole race comes from some characters: long-limbed body, fine and elegant head with straight front, long neck, muscled and oblique back, broad and deep chest that allows a great breathing capacity, slim limbs, fit, powerful and strong ligaments.
In general, we can point out that its height at the cross is between 1.60 and 1.65 mts, and its weight between 400 and 500 kg.
The head is medium, elongated, emaciated, with hardly any subcutaneous fat and thin skin.
Of straight profile, wide and straight front, medium to long and separated ears, straight nasal, open nostrils and square muzzle, marked jaw. Long neck, straight, pyramidal, narrow neck with shallow insertion in head and trunk, with which it forms an angle of about 45º.
Very prominent, long and narrow cross, long back line lumbar and slightly raised toward the moths.
High rump, variable inclination according to destination, with high birth tail and stuck, low legs.
Deep chest, ribs little arched and very deep, belly picked up.
Long limbs and open angles.
Long and inclined back, oblique arm, long forearm, short cane, small hooves and generally of bad constitution.
Regarding the fur, followed by the sorrel and the thrush, the rest of the coats together does not exceed 1%.
Although this horse is used mostly in races, we can say that it can also be used to ride in the field if it is properly trained.
The Arabian Horse
The origin of this horse is a little hazed, there are some legends, but it is known that it is one of the oldest breeds. There are archaeological evidences of 4,500 years ago of horses similar to the current Arab, and that was developed in the deserts of the Middle East and from there it spread to the rest of the world due to trade and wars.
They have had as their masters the Bedouins, who considered them as part of their family, and thus, they were selecting the most docile to be reproduced. This closeness with the human generated a race of good disposition and quick to learn, but they also developed a spirited and attentive horse to be able to carry out the war assaults.
Arab is considered one of the 10 best races in the world and is used for different purposes, being the endurance races one of the main races. The Arabian horse represents: speed, resistance, refinement or beauty and a very good bone structure and for this there are three lines that each represent one of the attributes mentioned and all share the fourth.
Arab horses of good lineage have deep and well-angled hips, and shoulders with good fall.
Most have compact bodies with short backs. Some, and not all, have 5 lumbar vertebrae instead of the usual 6, and 17 pairs of ribs instead of 18. For this, an Arabian horse can easily carry a heavy rider, even if it is small.
The standard of the race is fixed at a height at the cross of 1.43 to 1.53 m, although this height brings it closer to the height of a pony. The Arabian is considered a horse beyond stature because of its physical conformation.
Some crosses that have been made on them have managed to raise height from 1.52 to 1.62 m.
Considered a horse of warm blood, for his speed, agility, brio and stylized muscles, it is that it presents a great sensibility that allows him to learn very quickly what he is taught.
For its brio and ductility this beautiful horse is also used with great success in equestrian routes or horseback riding, in addition to other various uses to which it is intended.
It is undoubtedly one of the best horses in the world.
Special breeds linked to horseback riding
Here we will mention the Paso Breeds that, in our opinion, are those that present a greater future for use in equestrian routes or equestrian tourism, due to the comfort and smoothness of their walking and the resistance to travel long distances.
The Peruvian Paso Horse
This equine race is native to Peru and was present everywhere in Viceroyalty of Peru especially in what is now northern Argentina. This horse arrived with the Spanish conquistadores, who brought horses that were in the peninsula Iberica and that were a mixture of the Iberian or Andalusian horse with the Berber Horse of North Africa, who gave him the ability to amble.
From this mixture, the Andalusian horse, which carried other bloods, like the Frisian, gives the Iberian horse the bearing, and the influence of the African race of the Berber, is what gives the horse, his softness in his steps.
The air of the amble is a two-stroke walk executed by the movement of the members of the same side (front and back members of the same side), unlike the trot, two-stroke gait, and which is present in almost all equine breeds, which is executed by the diagonal movement of its members (right posterior limb with left anterior limb).
The gait of the two-stroke ambles produces an undulating movement, in the horizontal plane, of the centre of gravity of the horse, unlike the two-stroke gait of the trot that produces an undulating movement, in the vertical plane, of the centre of gravity of the horse, although both gaits are two-stroke, the trot is much harder for the rider.
Having not received contribution from other breeds, for more than 400 years and a selection of the breeders of the Viceroyalty of Peru, in the sense of affirming those attributes that favoured the softness of the chair and the resistance to walk long distances, plus the natural adaptation to the topography of the territory, the genes were affirmed, that in search of softness, they were leading the breed to break the amble and develop what is known as walking in “Paso Llano”, this is what makes the walk of two time of the amble, which is also uncomfortable, in a smooth four-time isochronous.
This four-step isochronous gait, which begins with the first movement of the back limb on one side a few seconds before lifting the anterior limb on the same side, so that the first beat of the movement ends with the support of the back limb, a few seconds before the support of the previous member, on the same side. This makes the impression of three members supporting, in four, of the 8 sequences that have this walk so that the cycle is completed, and begin to move the leg with which the movement began, to begin advancing.
This virtue of breaking the amble means that having three supports on the ground the movement of the centre of gravity of the horse has imperceptible movements and this, gives the softness to the chair.
All the horse races when they go to the Paso, they do moving member by member with three supports, similar to the one described, perhaps failing a bit the synchronicity, this is why in any breed to go in the Paso is very comfortable for the rider, but they do it at a speed of 6 km/h, if the rider tries to hurry the march the horse develops the two-stroke walk of the trot, which is diagonal and can walk at 15 or 16 km/h. The Paso Peruvian horse reproduces that Paso mechanics at speeds of between 12Km/h to 18Km/h, therefore, that to increase its speed it does not resort to two-stroke walking of the trot.
In https://ampascachi.com/en/horse-riding/horses/peruvian-paso/ you can appreciate an animation of the Paso Llano and the trot, where you can see the 8 sequences of both gaits and also appreciate the movement of the back of the horse, in each type of walk.
This way of go at Paso with broken amble or “Paso Llano” is a genetic quality that makes the horse work that way, it is not “taught” to walk in this way, it does it naturally, when there is purity in the breed.
Of course, as all living beings must be properly trained, so that they also improve their walk, but all their morphology and their bony angulations are prepared for this.
If we add to this movement that makes the riding soft, the energy of reaction or vivacity of the breed, with more its special beauty and style, when it is assembled, and the elongation of its strides in the level step, which allows to increase speed without excessive energy expenditure, makes the hobby of riding in the nature on a Peruvian Paso Horse, be for a rider a unique experience, which can only be understood after mounting it.
While there are other breeds of Paso, as we will mention some in this content, none fulfil as the Peruvian Paso Horse, which, in our opinion, makes it the best horse to practice horseback riding or equestrian tourism.
Lastly, we will say that it is a rather low horse, between 1.44 to 1.54 in height, with a compact and muscular body, broad and deep, elongated and strong limbs; his head is flat and wide with bright and very expressive eyes; robust, muscular and well inserted neck and its predominant coat is the chestnut but there are also sorrel, dark brown and mixed coats.
El Peruvian Paso Horse is the one that we put at your disposal in Ampascachi Horse Riding Holidays. We invite you to know the proposals that we have thought for you. [CALL TO ACTION: SEE ROUTES TO HORSE IN ARGENTINA]
The Tennessee Walking Horse
This horse, also known as Tennessee Paso Horse, emerged in the southern of United States and is recognized as an ideal breed for all types of work, including ploughing.
The Paso through which the horse is known gives comfort to the chair and therefore to the rider.
The origin of this breed is in the American Narragansett ambler horses and Canadian horses, crossing these breeds, the breeders looked for a resistant animal, that moves easier and in mountainous terrain.
At a later stage, a cross-breed horse with national trotters is used, calling these pups Tennessee Pacer that they had a good amble, although it was still very compact and rough.
From here, the breeders began to look for horses more distinguished or refined but resistant and it was so they mixed the Tennessee Pacer with Thoroughbred, Standerbred, Morgan, and with blood of American Chair horses.
By 1885, they had a horse that met the requirements and that would be the basis of the breed.
The Tennessee Walking is a medium horse with a long neck and good back inclination. The head is large, with refined bones, with small ears well placed. The horse has an elongated step and the common colours are black, chestnut and sorrel.
His height is between 1.50 and 1.60 m and is a gentle horse, with a great capacity for work.
His knees remain high at all gaits and offer extreme comfort to the rider.
The Tennessee Walking horses run three ways: The Flat Walk, the Running Walk and the Gathered Gallop or Canter.
The Flat Walk and the Running Walk are rhythms of four lateral beats, the second being faster and more extended than the first.
Among the peculiarities of these Paso Horses are the movement of the later train, which seems to want to anticipate the previous one; the suspended and elevated action of the hands; and a rhythmic movement of his head, which is balanced by the rhythm of the footsteps.
It is a very good horse to travel horse routes or horseback riding.
The Icelandic Horses
Although it looks like a pony, it is considered a proper horse.
The Icelandic horse is the only autochthonous equine breed in Iceland, although it has spread to many parts of the world.
It is believed to have descended from the Scandinavian ponies between the 9th and 10th centuries, and its first references date back to the 12th century, when they were the object of cult in the Nordic culture.
He adapted very well on the island to the extreme conditions to which they finds themself.
Despite being small (its height is between 1.25 – 1.45 mts), it is very strong and resistant, and suffers few diseases; therefore, according to the Icelandic government, no horse is allowed to enter the country, to avoid bringing diseases and preserve the purity of the breed.
In fact, if a horse has to go abroad to compete or for any other reason, it cannot return to the country.
They are also very calm and brave, perfect for horseback riding in Iceland.
This horse has very unique abilities. Besides the Paso, the trot and the gallop, it has two other characteristic airs: the Tölt and the Skeid. The Tölt is a variant of the trot in which the horse moves at high speed, moving the two-legged side and always maintaining a limb on the ground, which translates into greater comfort for the rider.
The Skeid or Flying Walk, is a very fast step also in which you can reach 56 km/h. In this walk, the lateral bipeds move in unison at great speed.
Currently the horse has aroused much interest in different parts of Europe and the US where mares and stallions have been brought for breeding.
We think it is a very strong horse, resistant and comfortable in its ambient, which is very attractive for horseback riding or equestrian tourism.
Breeds linked to horse routes
All breeds can be trained to ride in the open, some are presented with better conditions for the activity of horse routes, for their calm predisposition, energy and physical agility.
Here we would like to make a distinction between a horse’s temperament and verve:
The word temperament is commonly used to refer to horses that can only be assembled by experts, since they are difficult to control, because they are shown as very energetic, and can scare a not very experienced horseman, but this situation is more linked to altered and unpredictable behaviour of the horse, which has to do with a “nervous energy”, not conducive to it, very linked to dressage or training that has been given to a horse. They are horses of bad behaviour, which results from bad treatment or undue training.
The verve, on the other hand, is the predisposition of the horse to advance, responding clearly to the aid of the rider, means: “response with energy, agility, reaction fast, but quiet”, the horse moves decisively through narrow spaces, water courses, climbs a hill or the slope even with slippery or uneven terrain, etc., also this has to do with the form and technique with which the horse has been trained, but also with the breed.
Summing up: “A well-trained horse, responds with energy, but is totally controllable by any rider.”
Very different, when speaking of temperament, is distinguishing between breeds of horses very attentive, sensitive to any strange presence, agile, strong but stylised muscles, fast and resistant, known as races of “hot blood”, which respond with “verve” as opposed to large, heavy horses, of a musculature very voluminous, which serve to make a lot of strength and exhibit a less alert and calm behaviour, and respond more slowly to the aids known as “coldblooded” breeds. the cross of both breeds we have by results the races denominated of “warm blood”.
These horses were bred by the Nez Persé Indians in north-western Oregon and Idaho. Unlike other tribes, these Indians raised only the best stallions and mares to achieve the breed with the colours that we recognize today at Appalosa.
These base animals were valued for their ability to move safely on rocky slopes, as well as for their strength and power.
It is as if they had grown up just to walk on all kinds of terrain. It has a strong and compact body and hard hooves.
His character is calm and good spirited, and can take his rider to faraway places without problems.
The Quarter Horse or Quarter Mile
The Quarter Horse is the result of the crosses that were made in the USA since colonial times for activities of different types of work, both in the field and for the transport of stagecoaches, for weekends riding and to run short races.
We would say that it began to acquire definitive breed characteristics with the breeding developed in the most important ranches in Texas such as King Ranch, Four Sixes, Wagoner Ranch, and others. In these ranches is where the breed is defined by the Thoroughbred, Morgan and the American Saddlebred, with the already specific sense of having a cowboy horse, even in automobile times, were essential to manage and guide the herds.
In addition to providing a fast start, ability to turn and stop, necessary for work with livestock, qualities provided by the powerful hindquarters, this quality also helped the horse to show an extraordinary performance in short races.
In 1940 a group of breeders, ranchers and other people related to the horses of the southwest of the United States founded the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) to preserve the genealogy of their “Quarter Mile” type cowboys.
The current Quarter Mile is a horse of medium height, 1.43 to 1.60 m at the withers, and it has an extraordinary muscular mass, with a broad chest and a good thorax.
Its speed and ductility are based on its surprising musculature and the location of its centre of gravity a bit back than any horse, are then strong and resistant.
His head is well proportioned and with good insertion in the neck, which is neither too thin nor thick.
It has a calm character and is easily handled.
The range of its fur is very wide, being the most popular the one of the sorrel, only they are not accepted within the breed the painted one, the albinos and the spotted ones like the Appalosa.
In the American rodeo, the ‘Quarter Mile, occupies the main place of the cowboy competitions.
Races linked with the equestrian sport
Hot blood Dutch, the KWPN
The KWPN or Dutch hot-blooded sports horse; as its name indicates, the purpose for which it was selected, giving today very good results in the training and jumping competitions. It is also used to ride in the field in tasks related to leisure.
The KWPN is the result of crosses of German, French and English horses, some crosses with other breeds, this breeding and the dedication and professionalism of the Dutch breeders resulted in this modern sports horse, with high performance in competition, with calm character and always willing to pass tests.
Some features are:
- KWPN Horse is 1.60 to 1.75 meters high.
- The most common colours are: chestnut and brown, but there are also black and white colours.
- The head is elegant with a straight profile. The neck is long and stooped. The shoulder is tilted and the chest is sunken with a lot of space for the heart.
- The front legs are strong with many muscles and the haunch is well planted and the joints are solid. These physical qualities make this horse a strong animal.
The Hanoverian horse is originally from Germany and is currently one of the most popular breeds in the world, especially for the practice of sports horse riding.
Among his ancestors we find specimens of the Holsteiner breed, Thoroughbred and a native horse from the Hannover region.
From the different crosses was obtained a light animal and elegant gait that both used it for carriages and to mounting; with physical aptitudes that also allowed to be used it in the field.
After the two World Wars were made crossings with Trakehnes, giving the result greater lightness, power and freedom similar to the Hanoverian. Some features are:
- The breed has height between 1.60 to 1.70 mts.
- The neck is rather long and thin but strong.
- The body is of medium length, wide and strong with a muscular and rather flat rump.
- Elevated presence and high tail insertion.
- Relatively short limbs, which gives it a very massive figure.
- The bones are strong and their joints are large and marked.
- Very resistant hooves.
- The hair is varied, there are sorrel, thrushes and blacks
- It is a horse of a pleasant and docile mood.
This breed was developed in Germany during the seventeenth century, with the aim of getting a horse for pulling carriages. The main base of this breed was the Friesian horse.
Over time, the breed was improved with the blood supply of the Napolitano horses, Berbers, Spanish, Hanoverian and Thoroughbred, achieving a greater refinement of the horse for more complete uses, than pulling carts.
It is an animal of great physical build and is well used in the present in horse racing, dressage and even in competition of carriages. Some features are:
- Height 1.60 1.70 mts.
- Main coats: black, brown and cream.
- Very muscular chest and body.
- Strong hind quarters.
- Long and strong neck.
- Short Legs.
- Quiet mood.
The Westphalian is native to the Rhineland and is the product of basically three breeds: Thoroughbred, Arabic and Hanoverian.
In the 1970s, the moment of the rise of horsemanship in Germany, this horse strongly emerges into the sectors of equestrian sports as a product of its high quality, noticing this in all kinds of competition.
It is fame for its aptitudes and conformation, due to its ductility so much for the jump, dressage and for its great resistance; it is a great competitor and in addition it works very well as riding horse.
Some features are:
- Its height is from 1.55 to 1.68 mts.
- Large head, long straight forehead, medium ears and large eyes
- Muscular, athletic and well-balanced, possesses elastic movements and a long step.
- Long neck and well inserted, with good back inclination.
- Back and loin a little longer than other warm blood horses.
- Rump a little inclined with correct and muscular members that end in big hooves.
The Holsteiner is a warm-blood breed of German origin.
Its origins date back to the thirteenth century in the province of Schleswig-Holstein, some think it is the oldest warm-blood breed.
For centuries, these horses have not had a specific use, so they were used for riding, pulling carts and also in some agricultural work. In fact, the breeders of these horses made crosses with different breeds, depending on the characteristics they needed, but the most common crosses during the first centuries was with Spanish and Italian thoroughbreds.
During the twentieth century, when there was an important change in the conformation of the horse’s body, significantly slimming it to be used almost exclusively for sporting purposes.
The bases of the current breed began to be permanent from 1961.
The breed, as we express, is very oriented towards sport, especially the jump and although the number of them is lower than the other breeds (no more than 6%), many of them are champions.
They also present good results in carting, dressage and eventing.
In order to obtain these good general results in the competitions, the crossings with pure Arab blood and with the Trakehner were decisive. Some features are:
- Height 1.60 1.73 mts.
- The neck is strong and well connected.
- His chest is broad and well expanded.
- It has a broad step with very good cadence.
- The most popular coats are black, Chestnut or dark brown, although they are also found sorrel and thrushes.
Pura Raza Spanish (PRE)
The Pura Raza Spanish horse, named after 1912, which historically and internationally was known as Andalusian horse, is the result of a breeding that go into the time before the Roman Empire.
There are equestrian records in the areas of what is now Spain. Roman authors such as Plutarco, Plinio and Seneca spoke of a horse from Hispania, referring to a beautiful and arrogant animal, ideal for war, as for the games that were practiced at the time.
In the time of King Phillip II, he ordered to create and systematize the “cabaña caballar” of his kingdom from the creation of the Royal Stables of Cordoba, where he grouped the best stallions and mares of the surrounding provinces bordering the river Guadalquivir, that were the most prolific in breeding horses. We are referring more precisely to the region of Andalusia. This is how the “real stud” was born and that, long after, it became known as the “national stud”.
Undoubtedly, the first selection of stallions and mares, as we said, was made with the best found in this place, horses which were already known as Andalusian or Cordoba horses, and which corresponded to that horse which made reference the Roman authors already mentioned, and without adding any crosses with breeds brought from other places, they were improving through an adequate selection.
The Pura Raza Spanish is the heir of that blood and of that systematic selection, made in the Royal Stables of Cordoba.
A horse that is balanced between the beauty of Renaissance art and the overcoming of the Golden Age, shows the past, the present and allows to visualize a great future.
The Pura Raza Spanish is one of the most valued horses, because it is in balance, because it is worthy everything, and so its beauty and brio is the result of keeping the blood clean, without crosses and improving the genetic quality in each generation. This breed has influenced generation of several breeds of the Central European and American continent.
Some features are:
- Has a great versatility brought it from the harmony of its forms, its brio and resistance. Giving extraordinary performance for sports, especially dressage, and to riding in the field.
- Height approximately 155-162 cm.
- Head: proportioned, of medium length and profile of subconvex to rectum; ears medium, slightly brow and discreetly domed, bright, triangular eyes and expressive look.
- Neck: medium size and length, slightly arched and muscular, well inserted in the head and trunk with abundant and silky mane.
- Trunk: proportionate and robust, with a discretely wide and prominent cross and a consistent and muscular back. The back should be wide, short, muscled, somewhat arched and well attached to the back and rump.
- Croup: medium length and width, rounded and slightly sloping. Low birth tail.
- From Legs: long back, muscular, oblique and elastic. Strong leg and good inclination. Forearm of medium length. Knee developed and thin.
- Back Legs: muscled thigh, buttock slightly arched and muscled and long leg.
- Hard and compact hooves.
- Movements: agile, high, extended, harmonic and rhythmic. Special predisposition for the calls and the turns on the posterior third.
- Character: the PRE is a horse balanced and resistant, energetic, with ease to adapt to various services and situations.
The origin of the Trakehner is located in the east of Prussia (border region between Lithuania and Poland nowdays).
In the 17th century, Frederick I of Prussia chose the best studs of Schweiken to start a breeding selection to make a military breed of horses and in the 19th century blood of Arabian blood and Turkmen was introduced to refine the breed and currently The Trakehner is a tough, powerful, athletic and elegant horse.
It possesses an energy and vitality unfit for a warm-blood horse, it looks more like a Pure Blood, with a very pure pedigree that makes it suitable to improve other breeds.
Some features are:
- Height between 1.60 to 1.75 mts.
- Powerful body, wide and deep thorax, and long and equally muscular rump.
- Long neck that ends in a wide front head, with very expressive eyes.
- His limbs are thin but very powerful.
- Very hard hooves.
- Its main coats are the thrush, sorrel, bay and black.
- It is a very fast and strong horse.
- It can be said that the main characteristic is to be an athletic and energetic horse.
Originally from France, this breed was bred mainly for sports.
Although, being a very young breed; in Europe, it was recognised as such in 1970, because in its veins run very old blood like that the Pura Sangre, the Hunter or the Anglo Norman.
The crosses that have been made the most to improve the breed are: the Anglo Arabic with the French Trotter, the Pura Sangre with the French Trotter and Pura Sangre with the Anglo Arabic.
Although, the first stallions arrived in the 18th century (Le Pin year 1730), it was not until after the Second World War that the breeding of this breed was characterised by having specimens endowed with great skill, determination, endurance and speed and be specialists in jump events.
Some features are:
- Height from 1.60 to 1.75 mts.
- A lot of power.
- Strong and well-muscled extremities and well-proportioned specially the hindquarters, which favours him notably in the jump.
- The layers of main coats are bay and sorrel although the breed admits all types of coats.