In 18th century Norfolk, Thoroughbred stallions were crossed Norfolk Trotter mares. The resulting horse was excellent at hacking(hence the name) and could easily trot over long distances, going as fast as 18 miles an hour. In the mid-1800s, as roads improved, the Hackneys became carriage horses, moving much faster than they heavy carriage horses meant to pull wagons over uneven roads, a difficult task. Soon after, the Hackney pony came into existence by breeding Fell pony/Thoroughbred crosses with small Welsh Cobs, and then breeding those offspring with a 14 hands high Hackney named Sir George. Though it is disputed by many, Hackney ponies and horses are considered one breed, are registered under the same studbook, and judged the same way in the show ring.
|Both Hackney ponies and horses look very similar|
and have the same high-stepping gaits. credit
In 1891, the American Hackney Society was founded, and up until the Great Depression in the '30s, hundreds and hundreds of both Hackney horses and ponies were shipped to America.
Breed Description and Uses
Both the Hackney horse and pony are very similar in appearance. They have long hind hocks, a lot of knee action, a level croup, sloping shoulders, and a high-set neck. Their head is elegant and small. The horse type stands 14 to 16 hands high, while the pony is only 12 to 14 hands high. Both come in black, bay, chestnut, and sometimes pinto. Their tails are often docked.
Hackneys are generally used for English disciplines, such as dressage, jumping, and saddle seat, though they can also be used in driving, something even the ponies do well at.
P.S. Don't forget to check out Lauren's model horse contest and Hillary's saddle soap contest.