Sunday, April 6, 2008

Quarter Horse

The quarter horse is thought to have originated in the mid- to late 1600s in the American colonies of Virginia and the Carolinas. It was used for racing on straight quarter-mile (400 m) tracks, from which it derives its name. At such a short distance, equal to 2 furlongs, fast starts and the ability to reach to speed quickly are of great advantage, and the first quarter horses were bred with these points in mind. Bred probably from local native stock and thoroughbred as well, the quarter horse was developed with a relatively short body; broad, muscular, hindquarters; strong, sloping shoulders; and southwestern United States on castle ranches, where its quick starting, stopping, and turning made it valuable as a cow pony.

Quarter horses may be any solid color, as well as buck skin, smoky, and palomino, but paints or pintos are not permissible. Quarter horses generally range in size from 14-2 to 15-2 hands high (147 to 157 cm /58 to 62 in).

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