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Top Five Breeds for Jumping


appaloosa jumping1. Thoroughbred
Though these are known for being race horses primarily, they also make excellent jumpers. Their body build gives them great height and necessary speed while leaving them agile, strong and with good endurance. It was first developed in England where native mares were bred with imported Arabian stallions. Though used mainly for racing, they are also bred for show jumping, dressage, polo and fox hunting. They are the "go-to" breed for a number of other breeds as they provide a base for many new gene pools. They stand between 15 and 17 hands and are most often seen in bay, brown, chestnut, black and grey, but can also been seen in roan and palomino. It is interesting to know that any Thoroughbred born in the Northern Hemisphere has a birthdate of January first while those born in the Southern Hemisphere are given the date of August 1 to help standardize racing.

2. Quarter Horse
Solidly built and generally sturdy, the Quarter Horse is perfect for the beginning jumper. Eager to please they simply love to get out and do their best. They are used for trail riding and even by mounted police units. It is an exceedingly popular breed with a population of about 3 million. They are seen in rodeos, on ranches, and in show and pleasure events. The American Quarter Horse stands between 14 and 16 hands and comes in colors from black and brown to bay, chestnut, palomino, buckskin and grey. They were developed back in the 1700's by colonists and were the favorite of settlers moving west, and cowboys rounding up cattle.

3. Arabian
Smaller and thinner, yet more agile than both the Quarter Horse and the Thoroughbred, the Arabian has plenty of energy to get it over a jump. They are a bit difficult for beginners, however. They are perhaps the best known breed of horse, with a history shrouded in legend with little historical fact. It is known that they existed as far back as 5000 years ago and has been very carefully bred throughout its history. The Arabian is a horse with lean body that stands between 14 and 15 hands. They are used in a variety of shows including hunting, jumping, racing, dressage, trail riding and various working roles. It is interesting to note that only mares have been used historically for war and hunt, stallions were kept solely for stud.

4. Trakkener
This is a less popular desert breed with an incredibly heat tolerance and notable edurance level. They are similar in appearance to the Thoroughbred, enjoy jumping and are quite good at it. They are docile and sweet natured, making good companions as well as amazing jumpers and some breeders are even mixing the Trakkener and Thoroughbred lines in order to get the best of both worlds. It is known for having a "floating" trot. Trakkeners stand between 15 and 17 hands and can be any color with bay, chestnut and black being the most common.

5. Appaloosa
Though some horses may be too round to get over the high jumps, they are strong and determined and won't balk at a jump that another horse may find scary. Excellent for younger learners as they are a very versatile breed with great endurance and excellent disposition. Though they can be stubborn, they are also extremely intelligent. Developed by the Nez Perce Indians, they originate in the Northwest of America. They were selectively bred by the Nez Perce who became excellent horsemen with strong, fast and sure footed mounts. The short mane and tail were selectively bred so the horses would not get caught in the brush. Standing at 14.2 hands, this is a light breed used in a variety on contexts including showing and riding.



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