The Hackney Horse and his characteristic high trot

Hackney Horse

Source: YouTube

The Hackney horse breed, also called the Norflok Trotter, is of british origin and highly appreciated for its great versatility. The name of the breed derives from the Anglo-Saxon term hnegan, which means to neigh. This term would merge with the Norman hacked which would come to be a derivation of the Latin word equius. Already in the denomination of the breed we can begin to glimpse the antiquity of it. The term Hackney is already written in the fourteenth century in England.

These equines they are characterized above all by the trot they possess, elevated and unique. It is precisely from this trait that he has derived his nickname "The Aristocrat of Exhibitions." Do we know them a little better?

The Hackney breed, thanks to their trotting movement and their bearing, are well known on the equine show tracks, standing out in the hitch mode. Conclusion equines with good aptitudes for dressage, competition and exhibition. Therefore, it is easy to find them in disciplines such as jumping, dressage or shooting exhibitions.

What is the Hackney horse like?

With a height that is around 155 cm, we are facing horses intelligent and very fiery. It can be said of them that they are powerful horses with a harmonious shape. In them stands out his spectacular trot: they raise their hands notably and tuck their hindquarters a lot, making a rounded movement. It is this movement that has made them famous in the world of equine exhibition.

They have a rather small, somewhat convex head with a rectilinear profile, where there are two large eyes. The head is crowned with small, mobile ears that always seem to be on the alert. Its neck is long and curved and leads to strong shoulders and a broad chest.

The body of this breed is very compact and well formed. It has a muscular back, a rounded rib and rump.

Its limbs are medium and finished in rounded and hard cases. He has a lot of muscle in his forearms and long, well-formed knees,

Its silky fur usually has layers chestnutschestnuts, dark chestnuts or chestnuts, the latter being the most common. In the first centuries of the breed, black Tobiano and colored Tobiano capes could also be found, although today they are extinct.

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, dark, piebald and chestnut colored coats were preferred, more appropriate to watch a car. For example, lighter colors such as chestnut, golden chestnut, red chestnut were only well seen until noon.

As a curiosity, there are also Hackney Ponies (with a height at the withers of about 142 cm.) whose graceful trot resembles that of horses. In them, the rounded action of the trot is much more pronounced, as they raise the knees and tuck the hindquarters in such a way that the hocks pass under the body.


Source: youtube

A little of you history

In XNUMXth century England, horse breeders seemed to be interested in finding out which was the best breed of trotter horse. The aim was to cover his famous English mares with trotting stallions. Between this century and the next, the foundations were laid for many of the best-regarded British breeds today. All the fruit of the work of the breeders, who achieved very extensive records of the breeds of the island.

The Hackney breed as such arose in Great Britain in the XNUMXth century. Although at the beginning they were used mainly like draft and saddle horsesToday we can find it in a large number of equestrian disciplines. All thanks to its versatility.

The first horse of this breed was born in Norfolk (England) in 1760. From that moment and thanks to the trotting horses of Norfolk and Yorkshire, these new equines were developing and acquiring their own characteristics until they became their own breed.

Among the ancestors of the race Hackney on the paternal side, we can find a Thoroughbred Race from the Darley Arabian line. By 1797, the sport of trotting was widely integrated into English life. Mares with such gaits were highly appreciated. Both they and the mares of the pack horse variety were used by breeders to strengthen the characteristics of the Hackney of the time.

It became a very valuable breed. It was one of the saddle horses favorite among ladies due to his trot. From the end of the XNUMXth century and during the first half of the XNUMXth, the breed was used mainly as a saddle horse. Also highly valued for primitive jogging races.

Their particular fast trot and action made them highly admired horses. This produced that North American horse breeders chose this breed to improve their own characteristic of lighter characteristics.

In these centuries, the farming community discovered a useful horse in the Hackney breed. In addition to serving as a saddle horse, he could take care of the farm on certain occasions.

The arrival of the Railroad

With the invention of the railroad the Hackney race was in danger. People began to realize that it was faster to travel by train than on horseback. The railway it soon replaced the work done by a large number of trotting horses. Many breeders thought that the age of horses was forever over and stopped doing breeding work. However, the Hackney Horse Society moved swiftly and rescued the Hackney race by deriving its usefulness towards other tasks. The breed was gaining followers who saw these equines as excellent horses for leisure. It was a good point in favor of the breed that at that time the taste for horses with high gaits, with a good appearance, began to emerge. For this reason, some breeders focused on that path. The fame of British Hackney began to spread worldwide.

Over time, the breed grew in specimens, acquiring and strengthening the characteristics that today represent it. To achieve this, in Hackney genetics, many races participated equines. Some are: the Norfolk and Yorkshire trotting horses, the Friesians, the Normans, the Galloways and even the Andalusians.

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

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  1.   jaime said

    Thank you very much for sharing this information. I find myself compiling legends about these equines, for the development of Equestrian Tourism, after reviewing phenotypes and the centaurs that flew on their backs. The equestrian culture in each country is huge.