Last updated: October 9, 2023
We recently met someone hauling a quarter horse to a showjumping event. This horse piqued my curiosity and made me wonder what else this versatile breed can do because our region’s quarter horses are either bred for racing or rodeoing.
Quarter Horses are athletic and, when properly trained and conditioned, are excellent jumpers. And although the quarter horse breed is a mixture of various horses, they are not warmbloods, nor are they considered a gaited breed.
The American Quarter Horse is the most versatile horse breed in the world. They are highly competitive in many equestrian events, but there is a lot more to them than their athletic ability alone.
Are quarter horses good jumpers?
Quarter Horses have the conformation, strength, quickness, and temperament to become fantastic jumpers. To be a good jumper, a horse needs to stand about a height of around 16 hands.
Quarter Horses range in heights from 14.5 to 16.5 hands tall. And even though they may be on the short side, they make up for their height deficiency with their powerful hindquarters.
Moreover, Quarter Horses are known for having a sound mind, which gives them the potential to learn lots of new things within a very short span of time. They are extremely intelligent and willing learners.
Quarter Horses have great strength and agility. It has a muscular build with huge muscles and big hindquarters. They can accelerate at a phenomenal rate.
Quarter horses are agile and can be easily steered. Holding onto them requires low effort, and if they are adequately trained, they understand their role and perform well.
Besides being fast and powerful, Quarter horses are also quite flexible. Flexibility is essential because, without a limber body, it would be difficult to bend their legs to overcome an obstacle.
Quarter horses are known for their work ethic; they love it. As long as there is a good relationship between the horse and its trainer, they are willing to train for long periods.
Because they are willing workers, they don’t shy away from difficult training. Quarter horses typically don’t mind doing tasks over and over again until it’s perfected. With proper practice, they can master any skill.
Quarter horses have a lot of courage and are quite fearless. Regardless of what is thrown at it, quarter horses tend to keep going. When you have a connection between horse and rider, no obstacle is too high.
Quarter horses make excellent jumpers with competent training, and under a rider, it connects with them. The American Quarter Horse breed certainly has all the qualities and attributes needed to be a good jumping horse, but the performance still depends significantly on its training and rider.
Is a Quarter horse a warmblood?
Quarter horses are not a warm-blooded horse breed. Although they originate from cross-breeding, quarter horses don’t have the proper mix; they lack sufficient draft (cold blood) bloodlines to be a warmblood horse.
The blood types of horses are divided into three categories: warm-blooded, hot-blooded, and cold-blooded. Warmbloods are a combination of hot and cold-blooded horses.
This classification by blood does not refer to the body temperature of the horses. Instead, it is linked to the temperament and use of the horses. A typical hot-blooded breed is lightweight, quick, and high-strung.
They are quite tough to handle because of their hot temper, strength, and power. Hot-blooded horses have the desired athletic ability, but they need a more level head.
Because of their high-strung temperament, hot-blooded horses were crossbred with large, cold-blooded draft horses, who were much calmer, and the result was horses with both athletic bodies and calm minds.
This crossbreeding resulted in horses with solid muscles and good bone mass. These horses were also very easy to train compared to the hot-blooded horses.
Such qualities made warmbloods versatile, and hence, their popularity increased very fast. Soon, these horses were used in various sorts of shows and competitions.
To conclude, warmbloods are horses that have blood temperatures similar to all the other types of horses. They are the fusion of strong, powerful, hot-blooded horses and calm and collected cold-blooded horses.
They have been bred to become an athletic horse with a steady temperament. Nowadays, these warmbloods feature in almost all equestrian events. They surpass others easily in many athletic competitions and are fierce competitors.
Although quarter horses are a mixture of many breeds, they are not warmbloods.
Are quarter horses a gaited breed?
Quarter horses are not a gaited breed. All horses have gaits and can be taught specific rates, but gaited horse breeds are selectively bred to perform ambling gaits naturally.
Popular gaited breeds include the Tennessee Walking horse, Paso Fino, and Morgan. Horses are said to be gaited based on how they move or walk. Gaited horses typically have a four-beat gait, which is very natural.
These gaits are slow compared to a canter but are faster than walking. The paces have different forms depending on the breed of the horse. The gaited horse commonly has a broken gait, which allows it to have at least one of its feet on the ground at any time.
This ensures that the gaited horse is supported all the time and is not in free fall, which provides an even and smooth ride. Gaited horses naturally have five gaits.
These include walking, galloping, back, trotting, and canter or loping. Quarter horses show the standard gaits of most equines: walk, trot, canter, lope in Western horse lingo, and gallop.
Gaited horses are efficient.
A gaited horse’s efficiency is much greater than its non-gaited counterpart because they do not need to waste any energy by fighting against gravity or free fall.
As a result, gaited horses generally have much more stamina than other rough-trotting horses. The efficient movements of the gaited horse give the rider a much smoother ride.
Some of these horses have diagonal gaits, and others have lateral gaits. The diagonal gait is a better sure-footed movement than the lateral gait, as leg support is on the opposite corners.
The gaited horses with lateral gaits move with their front and back foot on one of two sides and then with their front and back foot on the opposite side. Such movements make the gaited horses relatively easy to control and train.
Quarter horses are smart and athletic, traits needed to perform gaited movements. But the fact that they can be taught gaits does not make them a gaited breed. Quarter horses are not a gaited horse breed.
In conclusion, the calm and cooperative Quarter horses are a fantastic choice for eventing. Although they are not warm-bloods, they make excellent jumpers.
Quarter horses are the most popular American breed of horses. They got their name from their ability to outpace other breeds of horses in short sprints of around a quarter-mile or less.
It’s also one of the oldest racing breeds, and they continue to excel. Their pace is quite staggering, and some of these horses can reach speeds as high as 55 mph (88.5km/h).
Apart from racing, The American Quarter Horses are known for their horse shows and rodeo presentations. This makes the Quarter Horse a very versatile horse.
- Are Quarter Horses the World’s Best Horse Breed?
- Why Are Some Horses Called Warmbloods? Definition & Breeds.
- Arabian Horses: Are They Fast, Expensive, or Gaited?
- The Best Horse Breeds for Dressage and Show Jumping. Top 5
- What is the Best Horse Breed? (Top 3 Breeds By Activity)
Meet Miles Henry
An avid equestrian and seasoned racehorse owner, Miles Henry brings his extensive experience to the equine world, proudly associating with the AQHA, The Jockey Club, and various other equine organizations. Beyond the racetrack, Miles is an accomplished author, having published various books about horses, and is a recognized authority in the field, with his work cited in multiple publications.
🔗 Connect with Miles: