Horses were domesticated more than 6,000 years ago and they were our primary mode of transportation for most of that time. While today people rely on cars to get around we still ride and race horses. Horses are popular all over the world and that has resulted in a number of different breeds. Despite the different breeds, horses fall into one of three categories; pony, light and heavy. Horses are further broken down into a bunch of sub-categories but when you’re looking for a breed for you these three categories will suffice for comparison.
Ponies are smaller and they are often the first type of horse that small children start riding. You are probably familiar with the Shetland pony, it is the smallest and one of the most popular of the pony breeds. There are also the Connemara and Welsh ponies both bigger than the Shetland and good for older children.
Most of the horses that are ridden or raced fall into this category and there are lots of breeds. One of the more popular breeds of light horses are Arabians and these are graceful and fast. Closely related to the Arabian are Thoroughbreds and these are the horses that you find at race tracks. Thoroughbreds and Arabians are expensive and not ideal for ranches or family riding. Here is a look at how delicate and graceful Arabians can be.
A more practical horse that is used on farms or for basic riding is the Quarter Horse. It is an American breed that is also used in racing and it got its name from how fast it can run a quarter mile. It is a hardy breed that can race or work a farm. A smaller and friendly family breed is the Morgan Horse, made famous in the story “Justin Morgan had a Horse”. Other light breeds include Appaloosa, Paint, Standard Bred and Paso Fino.
These horses are work horses and battle horses. The most famous of these breeds are the Clydesdales, friendly horses that were bred to work on farms. War horse include the Lipizzaner which you are probably familiar with from their performances they do throughout the world. Horses today aren’t used to go into battle and there are very few left pulling plows.
If you are looking for a horse to ride recreationally then the lighter breed is probably best suited. The horses in this category can vary drastically in price, there are Arabians that have sold for millions while you can get a Quarter Horse for a few thousand.