One of the most influential Thoroughbred stallions used as a stud horse between 1746 and 1800 was Janus, who was directly related to Godolphin Barb, one of the foundation stallions of the Thoroughbred breed. Unlike most Thoroughbreds, however, he was stocky and had short legs, with a body that was not quite as long as is expected of Thoroughbreds. Today, you can clearly see his influence in the Quarter Horse---the strength, athleticism, and even conformation. It all traces back to a single stallion. In fact, nine of the eleven foundation stallions all trace to Janus.
Everybody loved the quarter mile races, but when they increased to half miles and miles, a new breed stepped into the racing spotlight: the Thoroughbred. Consequently, when pioneers headed West in the early 1800s, the Quarter Horse came with them. Quarter Horses seemed to have an natural ability, called cow sense, to read a cow's body language, so they became a cowboy's preferred mount. Today, they are still cowboy horses, and are used in many western disciplines, including reining, cutting, teaming penning and sorting, and just as a pleasure horse. Even some rural ranches still use them while working with cattle.
With 4 million registered worldwide, the Quarter Horse is today's most popular horse breed.
|This chestnut Quarter Horse, whose name is Streakin' Six, was|
inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2011. He entered in
nineteen races, winning ten, coming second in five of them, and
place third once. (Credit)
Quarter Horse's usually range from 14.2 hands high to 15.3 hands high. Their head is compact, with wide-set eyes, small ears, large nostrils, and large cheekbones. Also, their shoulders are sloping, their barrels are deep, and their chests are wide, and many people say that their muscular hindquarters, which can easily thrust them forward, are remarkable.
They come in many colors, although sorrel, which looks like a burnished chestnut, is very common.