The American quarter horse, also known as the Quarter horse is one of the oldest breeds native to the United States. The primary purpose of this breed is for performance. He has a compact and bulky body which measures 145 to 163 cm and weighs around 431 to 544 kg.
The American quarter horse is highly valued for his versatility and docile nature. He is a great match for families and new riders. One of the best traits of the breed is his swiftness, making him a prized horse in races.
The lifespan of an American quarter horse ranges from 25 to 35 years if properly cared for. Since he is susceptible to several health issues, regular vet check-ups are very important to keep him in good condition.
What is an American quarter horse?
The American quarter horse is the first-ever horse breed native to the United States. He is also one of the oldest recognised breeds in his homeland. His origins began in the 1600s when native horses from Spain were crossed with English horses.
Other equine breeds such as Chickasaw horse and English thoroughbred horse were used to develop the American quarter horse. He was primarily created for performance. The breed’s name was derived from its successful quarter-mile racing in Rhode Island and Virginia.
In the 1800s, the Quarter horse became an indispensable companion for pioneers in the West, especially in cattle ranches. Due to his adaptability and meek countenance, cowboys, farmers, and ranchers often used him to travel in the harsh landscape. In 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) registry was finally established.
What does an American quarter horse look like?
The American quarter horse’s body is short, well-muscled, and sturdy. The full-grown size of an American quarter may range from 145 to 163 cm (14.3 to 16 hands) and may weigh around 431 to 544 kg (950 t 1,200 lb). His head is short and wide, whilst his chest is deep and broad.
The coat of the American quarter horse comes in a wide range of colours, with sorrel and chestnut being the most common. Other colours include bay, bay roan, black, blue dun, blue roan, brown, buckskin, dun, cremello, gray, grullo, perlino, red dun, red roan, and white. He also has white markings found on his face and legs.
How to care for an American quarter horse
Keep the American quarter horse’s skin healthy and his coat sleek and shiny through regular brushing. This also helps in getting rid of dirt and debris. Inspect his mane and tail for possible mites and bugs. Removal of these pesky parasites will prevent him from rubbing and tearing out his hairs.
Use a hoof pick to extract any filth and grime stuck on his hoofs. When washing the Quarter horse, be sure to pick a mild shampoo and only use a small amount to prevent his coat from losing its sheen. During the winter season, consider switching to using a dry shampoo.
What is the American quarter horse used for?
The American quarter horse breed is an all-rounder. Due to his versatility, he suits well in various kinds of work in farms and ranches. He is also known to excel in quarter horse racing, barrel racing, rodeos, and horse shows.
The American quarter has a gentle and relaxed nature, making him an excellent choice for families and novice riders. The breed is intelligent and quite easy to train too, which adds more appeal for horse owners and enthusiasts.
What are the distinctive traits of the American quarter horse?
Highly agile and fleet-footed, the American quarter horse is famous for running in breakneck speed. Records show that some American Quarters can run as fast as 55 miles per hour. The breed is also naturally talented in manoeuvring cattle and this skill was later dubbed as ‘cow sense.’
What does an American quarter horse eat?
The diet of the American quarter horse should be composed of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. In general, the breed should only consume 1.5 to 2 per cent of his body weight. Therefore, he needs around 15 to 20 pounds of food every day.
Feed him with fresh grass, rolled oats, hay, and other grains including bran or barley. Treats such as fruits should only be given occasionally to prevent health problems like digestive upset. Do not forget to remove the pits and seeds as they are choking and digestive hazards. Fresh water should be available at all times to keep the American quarter well-hydrated especially during hot season.
How long does an American Quarter Horse live?
A healthy and well-cared-for American quarter horse can live between twenty-five and thirty-five years. To ensure that he is in great shape, consistently provide him with basic daily needs.
Keeping up with regular vet check-ups plays a big role in ensuring that he is of optimal health as well. Health issues are another factor, which can greatly affect the American quarter’s lifespan. Below are the most common illnesses found in this horse breed:
- West Nile virus
- Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis
- Insulin resistance
- Equine herpesvirus
Cost of Ownership
How much is an American quarter horse?
The price of an American quarter horse can range from £6,000 to over £10,000. The total yearly cost of his livery is around £1,000 to over £7,000 a year, depending on the type you choose. Overall annual expenses for buying hay, straw, and shavings can be £120 to over £1,560, whilst the feed amounts to £250–£520.
In a year, vet fees incurred can be around £70, similar to dentist fees. You may need to pay approximately £40–£105 for deworming. Farriers charge around £25–30 for trimming and £50–£85 for shoeing. This totals to £225–£765 annually.
Availing pet insurance will add £20–£40 to your monthly bills. Looking for an American quarter horse? Find the right one for you here.
American Quarter Horse Fun Facts
- The American quarter horse named Wimpy is the very first stallion recorded in the AQHA registry.
- Go Man Go is an American quarter horse that greatly dominated the American quarter horse races. He was able to snag the title World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse three times.