How to Understand the American Quarter Horse

The American Quarter Horse received its name its ability to sprint short distances for races of a quarter mile or less with speeds up to 55 miles per hour. The horse is not only known for its racing ability but its performances in horse shows, rodeos, and working on a ranch.

The American Quarter Horse origin and history

The legacy of the American Quarter Horse all began with colonists breeding their thoroughbred horses with native horses like the Chickasaw horse, which was developed from horses with descendants from Spain, which all began with the Arabian, Barb, and Iberian. The first official American Quarter Horse was foaled in 1843, which was the beginning of the Quarter Horse with the first one Steel Dust.


You can easily spot an American Quarter Horse by its well-muscled body with a broad chest and rounded hindquarters that are of course quite powerful. The head is short with a straight profile. There are two major body types found with the quarter horse, which are stock and racing. The stock horse is shorter and a bit more compact whereas the racing is a bit taller and offers smoother muscles. The most common colors found with the American Quarter Horse include brownish red, sorrel, and chestnut. However, other colors are also recognized including gray, palomino, dun, buckskin, red dun, brown, grullo, black, brown, blue roan, red roan, white, bay roan, Cremello, and Perlino.

American Quarter Horse
American Quarter Horse


In most cases, if you have a quality pasture for grazing, your American Quarter Horse will do quite well; however, in winter grazing may be difficult. The best to feed your horse include grasses such as Timothy, Fescue, and bluegrass; however, alfalfa and legume are also great. Alfalfa offers more nutrients, but be sure not to overfeed. Grains are also important for a healthy horse including oats or other grains. Do not forget salt as it is a very necessary mineral that helps with body functions such as muscle contractions and nerve impulses. A salt lick will do the trick very well.

Training and uses

The American Quarter horse excels at reining, working cow horse, calf roping, cutting, barrel racing, various western riding events. They are also known for their driving, showjumping and English disciplines.

Health issues & life expectancy

Horses, in general, have the same health issues, which include internal parasites, colic, laminitis, hoof problems, heaves, external parasites, and exertional rhabdomyolysis. The best way to ensure your American Quarter Horse stays healthy is by visiting your vet regularly. Ensure your vet is horse veterinarian, as a dog vet will not know all the issues that are associated with the health of your horse. An ailment prevalent with the American Quarter Horse is hyperkalemic periodic paralysis. This condition will cause the muscles to contract uncontrollably and beef up.

The life expectancy for the American Quarter Horse is 25 to 30 years.

Go to a country ride with your quarterback horse and take a backpacking tent with you.