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C O N T E N T S Introduction 7 T H E H O R S E S 14 R E P O R TA G E 96

Glossary 110 Shows & Associations 110



Index 112

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THE HORSES

APPALOOSA

18

MARE

APPALOOSA

F

amiliar for its eyecatching spotted coat, the Appaloosa was first bred by the Nez Perce peoples in the Pacific Northwest of America. Its name is a corruption of “Palouse” horse, the name by which settlers traveling West first knew it.

Related Breeds

Features

Weight ......... 950–1250 lb (430–570 kg) Height ........... 14–16 hands (54–64 in/142–163 cm)

In addition to the leopard spots, there are three other very individual characteristics of the Appaloosa: the horse tends to have mottled skin, particularly around the eyes and muzzle; the sclera (the white part of the eye around the iris) is visible all the time, rather than (as more usually) when the horse is panicked or upset; and the hooves are striped. These are all useful clues in a breed that otherwise varies widely in terms of weight, height, and conformation. The range of body types is a result of the number of different horse breeds that went into its development.

The original Appaloosas derived from the Spanish horses that were brought by the first settlers and were quickly appropriated by Native Americans. From the late nineteenth century, American Quarter Horse and Arabian bloodlines were added to the core stock.

Size

Origin & Distribution Originating in the Pacific Northwest in the mid-eighteenth century, the Appaloosa is still bred mainly in the United States. This breed is the official mascot of the state of Idaho. United States

Use



The Nez Perce people were noted breeders by the mid-eighteenth century, and sold Appaloosas for high prices as ranch horses. In the 1930s and 1940s, the breed was strengthened by the addition of Arabian blood, and over the last thirty years Appaloosas have become known for their strength and stamina. They are used for racing, Western competition riding, and English eventing.

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THE HORSES

FRIESIAN

20

STALLION

FRIESIAN

L

Related Breeds

arge and powerful, yet also elegant, the Friesian has been bred in the Netherlands for centuries. Ancestors of the breed were used as battle horses in medieval times. From the seventeenth century, Friesians were refined with the addition of Andalusian stock, creating lighter horses used for drawing carriages.

Pedigree Andalusian horses were bred with Friesians to create a lighter horse, while pure-bred Friesians have themselves been used as foundation stock for the Morgan and the Norfolk Trotter, both bred to be used in trotting races.

Size Weight ......... 1300–1600 lb (590–730 kg) Height ........... 15–17 hands (58–68 in/147–173 cm)

Features A gleaming coat, flowing mane and tail, and long feathering on the lower legs combine to make this an outstandingly handsome horse. With only the very occasional chestnut exception, Friesians are invariably a solid, rich black, without markings of any kind. They have an especially characteristic high stepping gait when trotting, and their personalities are generally energetic and lively yet they are also gentle and easily trained.

Origin & Distribution The Friesian is still found mainly in the Netherlands, although there are a number of appreciation societies and small breeders scattered over Europe, the US, and Australia. The Netherlands

Use



Through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Friesians were used both as driving horses and for farm work, and also participated in trotting races, popular at the time. In recent years, the breed has been protected by its own society of breeders and is in demand for dressage, carriage driving, and also as a general show horse.

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THE HORSES

CLYDESDALE

22

MARE

C LY D E S D A L E

T

he Clydesdale came about when Scottish breeders imported heavyweight Flemish draught horses and bred them with their indigenous mares to create a new breed of strong draught horse, which were in high demand in the early nineteenth century. The horses were named after the area they were developed, Clydesdale, which was the original name for the county of Lanarkshire in Scotland.

Related Breeds Clydesdales have sometimes been bred with other draught horses, but without notable success. The breed was judged to weaken the Irish Draught Horse when used with Irish stock, but was also used in the creation of the Australian Draught Horse.

Size Weight ......... 1800–2000 lb (820–910 kg) Height ........... 16–18 hands (64–72 in/163–183 cm)

Origin and Distribution

Features The Clydesdale is a solid but compact horse, smaller and quicker in its movement than other comparable draught breeds, such as the Percheron or the Shire. Most Clydesdales are bay with a white face stripe and feet, and heavy feathering on their lower legs. Other colors—black, chestnut, and roan—exist but are rare. The horses have arched necks, sloping shoulders, and broad heads with convex profiles.

Beyond its native Scotland, the Clydesdale is particularly popular in Australia and New Zealand. Small pockets of the breed exist, too, in the USA and Canada, and a number of other countries. Scotland

Use



With few draught horses still being used, and those mostly for show, the Clydesdale has suffered a sharp downturn in recent years. A society is dedicated to the breed’s preservation.

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THE HORSES

NORWEGIAN FJORD

24

MARE

NORWEGIAN FJORD

B

red in the mountains of Western Norway, the Norwegian Fjord is one of the purest and most ancient breeds in the world and has been used on the farms of Norway for centuries. Small in stature but very strong, the horse was developed to perform light draft work, and is still used both for riding and in harness.

Features The Fjord horse is compact with a well-arched neck, and is heavily muscled. It is a uniform dun color, ranging from a mid-cream to a much darker beige or even red. Its mane is usually cropped or “roached” so the short hairs stand upright. Specific characteristics mark the Fjord out as a “primitive” breed, including the marked dorsal stripe down the center of the back, similar horizontal stripes across the backs of the lower forelegs, and occasionally stripes, too, across the withers (the shoulder area at the base of the neck).

Related Breeds The Norwegian Fjord horse has no close relations in the equine world, and is not usually used in any cross-breeding. Its bloodlines stretch back uninterrupted for generations.

Size Weight .......... 880–1100 lb (400–500 kg) Height ........... 13.1–14.3 hands (53–59in/135–150 cm)

Origin and Distribution The Fjord horse has been widely exported all over the world, and there are many international organizations dedicated to its survival in its current pure breed form.

Norway

Use



The Fjord’s mild temperament, and sturdy conformation and constitution make it an excellent all-purpose breed. In the past, it was popular on farms for heavy work; today it is pressed into service at riding schools, as a therapy horse, and even for tourist transport. It is also used in competitive carriage driving.

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