American Quarter Horse

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
fast facts

About American Quarter Horse

950-1,200 lb
Compact, heavily muscled
25 years
Best Suited For
All levels of horse riders and owners, including beginners
Calm, cooperative, adaptable, even tempered, willing to please, easy to train, versatile, gentle, intelligent
Comparable Breeds
Thoroughbred Horse, Barb Horse
Top Breed
American Quarter Horse Breed History

As one of America’s oldest and most popular equine breeds, the American Quarter Horse is tied to the country’s history. The breed was developed in Colonial America in the early part of the 17th century when the colonists were breeding select horses that were of Barb, Turk, and Arabian descent. These equine breeds had been brought over to the New World previously, and they were later bred with the breeds that were arriving from Ireland and England.

As a result of the mixing of English equine breeds with Spanish equine breeds, a compact horse featuring a strong and muscular body was created. This horse was favored for races over short distances of a quarter mile, as well as for farm related work. The English colonists started calling the animals “Celebrated American Quarter Running Horses,” and they introduced Thoroughbred blood into the breed later on as well.

The American Quarter Horse is known for having a pleasant personality.

When the American pioneers continued to move further west throughout the 1800s, the American Quarter Horse became even more valuable because it was found to have a cow sense. In other words, these horses were able to outmaneuver cattle, so they also became assets on cattle ranches that were developing across the plains.

The American Quarter Horse Association was created in 1940, and that was when the breed was given its official name. Today, the Quarter Horse breed is still one of the most popular in the world.

Breed Traits

The American Quarter Horse is known for having a pleasant personality. In fact, one of the many reasons why these horses are so popular is because they have a docile and calm nature. This is an ideal breed for all levels of riders and horse owners, including those who are total beginners, because these horses get along so well with people.

These horses are also popular because they are highly intelligent and willing to please. Most of them are easy to train, handle, and keep, and because they have a steady and gentle demeanor, they make wonderful companions for families.

Overall, this breed is known for its strength and speed, but those features are perfectly combined with a mild temperament and a versatile personality that allows these horses to be loving companions and pleasure horses, as well as dedicated work horses.

The American Quarter Horse has a docile and calm nature.

Overall Description

The Quarter Horse has several distinguishing features, including a short, heavily muscled body with a sure-footed gait that provides a comfortable ride. These horses also have sloping and powerful shoulders, powerful hindquarters, a deep chest, and a muscular neck.

The head is relatively small, with a flat profile and a wide forehead. The eyes are wide, and the ears are always alert and pointed. Also, the horse’s legs will be firm, sturdy, strong, and muscular, but the feet will be noticeably small, especially when compared to the size of the rest of the body.


The beautiful Quarter Horse comes in a wide range of colors. Those colors include sorrel (which is brownish red and is the prominent color of the breed), white, bay, gray, chestnut, buckskin, red dun, dun, black, palomino, perlino, cremello, grullo, brown, red roan, bay roan, and blue roan.

Also, even though the Pinto and Appaloosa markings are not acceptable for this equine breed standard, it is normal to recognize white markings on the American Quarter Horse’s legs or face. However, only limited white markings are allowed below the horse’s knees and on the face, as they are not allowed anywhere else on the body, and the white markings could be a range of shapes, such as blazes, strips, stars, and stockings.

Quarter Horses are highly intelligent and willing to please.

Grooming Requirements

In order to keep your American Quarter Horse looking its best, you should groom your companion regularly.

A curry comb, which is one of the most important tools that you will use to groom your horse, will do a fine job of removing dirt, debris, and loose hair from the body. It will also massage the animal’s skin, releasing natural oils that will make the coat shine beautifully as a result. In addition to the curry comb, you can also use a body finishing brush on more sensitive areas, such as on the horse’s face and legs.

Take extra care to ensure that the horse’s mane is kept as clean as possible because dirty manes will be itchy, and your horse will be more likely to rub and tear out the hair if there are bugs or fungi in it. Also, only shorten the mane by pulling and thinning it by hand, rather than by using scissors.

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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