The ‘mane’ attraction of these horses isn’t just their beauty
The thoroughbred is the Usain Bolt and Arnold Schwarzenegger of the horse world. Easily recognized by their muscular front legs, hindquarters and well-defined sloping shoulders, they are mostly found in bay, chestnut, brown, grey, black and roan.
The average height of a thoroughbred is about 162cm, although they can be as small as 142cm and as tall as 171cm.
All modern thoroughbreds can be traced back to 3 Arabian stallions imported to England, from the Middle East between the late 17th hundreds and early 18th hundreds. Talk about perfect breeding!
Due to the courage, agility and power behind this thoroughbred breed, they’re mostly used for horse racing, endurance riding (such as hunting), jumping and general riding.
As you can see by the photo above, the Shetland pony only grows to be about 102-107cms tall. These pint-sized creatures have very stocky features, and thick coats to withstand cold temperatures.
Although they may be small, Shetland ponies sure pull their own weight—and then some! Originating in the Shetland Isles in Scotland, they were commonly used to pull carts, coal and plough farmland in the Bronze era.
Today, most Shetland ponies in Australia are seen being ridden by young children and competing in harnessed competitions.
While Shetland ponies are at the small end of the height scale, Clydesdales are at the top. Weighing in between 770kg to 1,000kg, Clydesdales are recognized by their plate-sized hooves covered in a layer of tufted hair.
Clydesdales are believed to have been used for about 300 years. In the 17th century, these now gentle giants were used as warhorses, but have also been used as draft horses on farms.
These days, the Clydesdale performs inside the show ring and in some cases is used on farms, pulling carriages and sometimes hauling the starting stalls at many racetracks.
New Forest Pony
Combine the shorter head and legs of a pony with the strong, full body of a horse and you have the New Forest Pony. Standing at between 122 to 147cm tall, New Forest Pony is a very hardy and reliable breed.
The New Forest Pony has been found to have strong ties in history, with some studies suggesting their ancestry is linked back to endangered Spanish Celtic-type ponies, Asturcón and Pottok.
As the New Forest Pony is very sure footed, they were commonly used in the coal mines, as well as carrying riders across varied and potentially dangerous terrain.
In Australia, The New Forest Pony has adapted into an all-round riding pony. They are mostly used in dressage, polo, long-distance and cross-country events.
We’ve nicknamed this breed, the ‘sassy horse’, due to its flowing fringe and upright mane, often cut into decorative shapes to display the dual colouring. The Fjord horse is quite stocky and broad, with a crested muscular neck, wide set eyes and small muzzle.
The Fjord horse is one of the oldest breeds of horse in the world, bearing a similar appearance to the horses used by the Nordic Vikings. The name of this breed comes from the inaccessible mountain region in Norway, known as Fjording.
Fjord horses are very intelligent, sure-footed and quick to learn. This makes them the perfect, all-purpose horse, commonly trained for young children to practice riding.
Looking for a trusted horse vet?
Whatever breed of horse you call your 4-legged friend, you want the best for their health. These vets are qualified to handle a range of horse-related services.
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