American horses: main breeds

. american horses

Before talking about American horse breeds, let's take a few brief strokes on the history of equines in America. It is known that in the prehistory, during the Pleistocene there were native horses in almost all of America, and that the territory corresponding to the Pampean region was particularly rich in these animals.

But the arrival of the human being more than 11.000 years ago seems to have been one of the decisive factors in the equine extinction Native Americans. It would be a long time later, during the conquest of America, when the Spanish conquerors reintroduced this magnificent animal that spread throughout the continent from the XNUMXth century. Little by little, horses from other countries such as England or France, were arriving in America and, jAlong with the Spanish equines that already populated the American land, new breeds were being formed; American horse breeds.

American Cream Draft

The American Cream Draft, is the the only breed of draft horse developed in the United States that exists today. It is recognized for its characteristic cream-colored fur or golden champagne, and for its amber eyes.

American Cream Draft

Source: youtube

With the mechanization of tillage work, the specimens of this breed decreased considerably during a few decades prior to 1982, when it was realized that the breed could be lost. Since then it has been growing the number of registered American Cream Draft equines (a breed registry was created in 1944), although it is still a low number.


Considered one of the best horses in the world to travel long distances, it is easily distinguishable by its particular mottled fur, It has dark areas interspersed with pink skin and results in freckled skin.

According to archaeological research, it is said that this breed comes from the Asian continent and was introduced in America by the Spanish from approximately 1519.


Name "Appaloosa" comes from the Palouse River, what traversed the lands of the Nez Perce Indians. These natives were the ones who discovered the good character, nobility, strength and great versatility of these equines with such a defining mottled coat. It was the ideal horse for Nez Perce activities, such as hunting or warfare, and for this reason they began to breed and tame them.

From the cross between the Appaloosa horse and the Arabian horse, the AraAppaloosa arises. A Pair of High resistance equines that are very suitable as cowherd horses, in track competitions and raids.

With a height that ranges between 142 cm and 152 cm, this breed from the Appaloosa has the refined forms and poses of the Arab race, with a small head, high tail and graceful movements, but in addition, it has the characteristic spotted coat of the Appaloosa. AraAppaloosa is lighter and more refined than Appaloosa more of the Quarter Horse type.

Buckskin horse

The Buckskin horse is a American breed that is currently bred mainly in what is considered its place of origin: California. It is a tenacious, strong and resistant breed, very suitable for cowboy work.


They are equines with a height between 145 cm and 155 cm, of body compact and balanced, with rounded shapes. It has short and thin limbs, although very resistant.

Their fur tends to yellowish and reddish colors, being his head coat light tawny. The characteristic of the Buckskin is that they have the tail and the black mane, ademas A line, normally fine, also black runs down the back from the withers to the tail.

Creole horse

The Creole horse is a equine breed characteristic of the Southern Cone but distributed throughout America, although it has developed differently in each of the countries of the continent. Every year there are more who raise it, they use it both for the hard tasks of the field and in their moments of leisure.

Creole horse

The tribes of southern Chile and the cordilleran area went to the eastern plains attracted by the wild horses that inhabited them, and began to take them to their lands to domesticate them in their own way. These equines evolved by adapting to the environment in which they lived and were crossed with other breeds until they found the current Creole horse. They are rustic animals, of great strength and muscles that can have almost any type of coat.

The Creole horse breed was about to be lost their breeding being neglected with the arrival of new equines, new uses, etc. But In 1910, the Chilean Horse Breeders Section was created in Chile, and the recovery began under the genealogical record of the original Creole horse.

Outer Banks Horse

The Outer Banks horse is a breed of wild Horse which lives on the islands of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Herds can be found on Ocracoke Island, Shackleford Banks, Currituck Banks, and Rachel Carson Estuarine Sanctuary.

Outer banks horse

Descendants of Spanish horses, it is a breed of horses that could become wild after surviving shipwrecks or being abandoned or escaping in some of the expeditions led by Lucas Vázquez de Ayllon or Sir Richard Grenville.

They are horses small, robust and docile in character which They adapted to life on the islands and swim among them in search of fresh water and fresh grasses.

Peruvian Paso Horse

The Peruvian Paso horse is a native race, as the name suggests, from Peru. It's a breed known for more than four centuries and that he has been growing up in other countries of South America such as Colombia or Puerto Rico, and also in the United States.

peruvian paso horse

With a height of around 145 cm, we are facing a Medium to small sized horse, with a compact, wide and very muscular body. Their limbs, although short, are very strong. The neck, well proportioned to the rest of the body, ends in a broad and flat head that has very expressive eyes.

Although we can find almost all varieties of layers, chestnut and chestnut color predominates in their fur.

Quarter Mile

El Quarter horse or Quarter horse, it is a breed of horses originally from the United States especially suitable for short races, specifically those of 402 meters from where it gets its name. It is said that it is the horse of those cowboys and peasants who live and die mounted on their horses. Being an outstanding equine as a cowboy horse and in all kinds of competitions and exhibitions related to rodeos.

It is the breed of horse with the most registered animals in the world, more than 4 million, this makes it one of the most popular equine breeds.

Quarter mile quarter

The current Quarters are short (between 143 cm and 160 cm) and stout, with a muscular build and large and broad chest. They have one great sports and work capacity, being famous for their fast starts, their ability in turns and stops, their speed in short distances, their intelligence and good behavior.


The Morgan breed is one of the first equine breeds developed in the United States. Thus, has influenced many of the races of the country, such as the Quarter horse, Tennessee Walking Horse or Standardbred Horse. What's more, was exported to many countries during the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. Both in the United States, as in Europe and Oceania, this breed has been bred and developed. In 2005, more than 175.000 Morgan horses were estimated throughout the world.

Morgan American chair

The Morgan breed is typical of the states of Vermont and Massachusetts. It is about equines compact and refined with a fur, normally, black or brown, although they can present different layers, including the pint. They are very known for their great versatility and used in various disciplines. They were also warhorses during the American Civil War.

As we already saw with the Appaloosa, when crossing the Morgan with the Arabian horse a new equine arises the Morab. With the aim of creating a breed of light draft horses that was also capable of doing farm work, they began to cross these two breeds. from 1880. It would not be until 1973 when the first Morab horse was registered, before this date they were registered in the Morgan breed registry.

Combining elegance and power, the current Morab is a very suitable for exhibition competitions for its attractiveness. In addition, for its Good character It is a good equine for leisure riding and as a moderate work horse.


Of course, they cannot be missing the wild horses of North America: The mustang or mustangs. This equine breed is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. In their layers, they can present a great variety of shades, however, su most characteristic coat is he who It mixes brown tones with blue tones, which gives the animal a unique shine. This coat is precisely one of the most valued aesthetic characteristics in these equines.


They are highly appreciated for their great resistance and strength, they are rather compact specimens that have a height that ranges between 135 cm and 155 cm. His impetuous and absolutely independent character it is characteristic of feral horses. 

In reality, these equines began as bighorn horses, animals that adapted to the wild, after escaping or being released for some reason. The vast American plains and the absence of natural predators contributed to its very rapid expansion. Today they are in danger of extinction.


The Nokota horse is a breed of maroon and semi-maroon equines which originated in the badlands of Teodoro Roosevelt National Park.

A characteristic of this breed is that it is the only one in which roan-blue fur is very common, in addition to black and gray. In some calving lineages, coverall markings such as white fur can also be found on the face and extremities.


The first equines from this breed were wild herds that had become isolated as they moved away from the Dakotas. 

It is a breed with a great adaptability to adverse situations, agile and intelligent, features that have helped it survive. Since they were a race that they tried to eliminate. 

Today Nokota horses live in Teodoro Roosevelt National Park, living with domesticated horses deliberately introduced to the park, and in a network of ranches and farms under the hand of the Nokota Horse Conservancy (NHC). The NHC's goal is to preserve the original Nokota population and support those horses of Nokota ancestry.

American Pinto

Was born as "Horse of the Indians" since it was the Comanche Indians, and the Redskins who selected the use of these specimens for their beauty and color, their ability and great resistance.


By 1800, the plains of the western United States were populated by wild herds of pinto horses, what they became the source of equines for the American Indians. It would be these American Indians who they started with the breeding of this breed, looking for the wildest and with the best characteristics to be crossed with Spanish horses.

The result was compact horses, with very defined muscles, characterized by having a small and flattened head, long neck and rather short and very strong legs. They were horses of great strength and resistance.

Today, many of these horses are genetically enhanced by crossing them with the Quarter-Mile breed, to further elevate their physical abilities in terms of speed and endurance.

Argentine polo

The Argentine Polo Horse is an equine breed developed in Argentina for the practice of Polo. The English introduced polo to Argentina in 1890 by importing horses to play the sport. The Argentines soon became fond of this game. In the 1920s many renowned players began to use only Creole horses for this purpose. The Argentine Polo, It is born from the crossing of Pura Sangre de Carrera horses with rustic country horses.

Argentine polo

The Argentine Polo Horse is characterized by its great resistance and speed, both because of their genetics and because of the training they receive. Polo horses are trained for several years before reaching the necessary quality to play.

The importance of breeding in this breed lies in its agility and dexterity, leaving the aesthetic aspects more aside. They are specimens of slender body, long neck and strong limbs ideal for the development of this sport.

Rocky mountain horse

The "Rocky Mountain", as the name suggests, are original of the Rocky Mountains of the United States. It was around the XNUMXth century, when a young equine appeared in the lands east of Ketucky, it would be this specimen who would begin to be called the "horse of the Rocky Mountains." and the one who would become the father of this breed so appreciated in Europe and North America.

Rocky mountain horse

Without a doubt, one of the highlights of the Rocky Mountain is her fur. As with the mustang, they stand out for one in particular that is representative of the breed, although they can cover almost any solid color in their coats. This striking and beautiful coat that we refer to, is made up of Chocolate shades on the body, blonde mane and blonde tail with silver tones.

Another reason for which this breed is known or stands out, in addition to its good temperament, is for its enjoyment of human company, to such an extent that they are compared to dogs.

American saddlebred

The American or American saddlebred, also called American saddle or American, is a breed of horse that originated in the United States. It is known as a fine show drag horse. There are two categories of exhibition: those with three steps (walk, trot and canter) and those with five steps, to which in addition to the usual walking steps included in the previous category, we must add the rack and the slow step.

saddlebred american

With a height between 150 cm and 160 cm, this breed was created by crossing Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Morgans with local mares they had a simple step. It has shades in the coat that vary between black, bay, brown, brown or gray.

Argentino chair

The Argentine Silla breed, began to be entered in the Silla Argentino registry from 1941, because there was a great homogeneity in the specimens that emerged from selected herds, with what began to be a defined race.

Argentino chair

From this breed we can highlight its temperament energetic and lively, very suitable for sports as well as its morphology. It is of strong and proportionate structure, of medium volume and weight. Its coat, remarkably smooth and silky, can be chestnut, chestnut or tordillo.

tennessee walking

The Tennessee Walking Horse, also known as the Tennessee Paso Horse, It is a breed of horse that emerged in the southern United States.

This breed of horse is widely recognized as ideal for any type of job, from pulling the plows, as a means of transportation. It is usually a breed to be reckoned with by farmers.

Another of the great skills of the Tennessee Walking, it is your step. The movement of the animal is done by the elbow. They are synchronized and rhythmic movements, giving the rider the greatest possible comfort and transmitting very little movement to it.

tennessee walking

The Narragansett Walkers of the State of Rhode Island, to the northeast of the United States of America, and Canadian horses are the ancestors of this breed. For the creation of Tennessee Walking, equines that worked in plantations were selected. They had the characteristics of moving with ease even in mountainous terrain, qualities that their descendants would inherit.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I did writing it.

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  1.   Paul coudenys said

    quite a few large American breeds are missing, such as the Azteca horse (Mexico) the Mangalarga Marchador (Brazil), Campolina (Brazil), Pantaneiro (Brazil), the Colombian Creole, etc.