Anatomy of a Horse

Do you know your Irish Draught from your Dutch Warmblood? Anatomy of a Horse explores the biology and mental attributes of four different horse breeds that work in four diverse industries.

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15 - 17 Hands

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Irish SportHorse

Easily maintainable, versatile and strong. They have both speed and endurance and are a popular breed due to their athleticism and jumping talents. They are often referred to as an all round horse as they are a result of a Thoroughbred cross.

Head

This breed of horse is a cross between an Irish Draught and a Thoroughbred. It has an attractive head that is often referred to as a "roman nose". The breed have large eyes and long ears, their neck is long, muscular and slightly arched.

The breed has sloped shoulders and their chest is deep but not overly broad. The breed has a strong bone structure with a robust back and lions. This breed of horse have a muscular croup that is often sloping to improve their jumping ability.

The breed have powerful limbs and hindquarters. Their lower legs are tight and the breed has a good bascule when jumping.

Industry:

Eventing (Including flat)

Average Life Span:

30 - 31 years

Mental Attributes:

Irish Sport horses have a focused attitude and a good temperament. The breed are warmblood and known for being calm but also energetic. This breed of horse is brave and intelligent with a great amount of stamina. The breed are bred for their trainability and willingness to work.

Notes:

The horses are generally healthy and easy to feed, however the breed do require a lot of exercise and outdoor access.

Emma Hyslop

International Event rider

Emma Hyslop, thinks that trainability is the most important personality trait of the horses that she competes with. Hyslop looks at what the parents have done in their career and how well the horse can jump over hurdles. In terms of building a relationship, Hyslop said that it depends on the trainability of the horse and the talent of the rider.

emmahyslop.co.uk

Famous Horses

  • Coolcorron Cool Diamond
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15 - 16 Hands

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Dutch WarmbloodHorse

Great athletic ability, always in harmony with its rider and has good trainability. The breed are reliable and even-natured which makes them a good breed to ride.

Head

This breed of horse have a well shaped head, with a straight profile. Their eyes are set well apart and the breed has large ears. Their neck is often well arched with prominant muscles.

The breed has strong shoulders and prominant withers, a muscular back and loins. Their joints are well defined and their ribs are well sprung with strong bones.

Their legs are strong and the breed has long forearms. Hindquarters are powerful with defined muscle and their tail is set high.

Industry:

Dressage

Average Life Span:

20 years

Mental Attributes:

Even tempered and are often obedient and smart. Reliable and calm.

Notes:

This breed can suffer from pastern arthritis and congenital eye defects. These horses are commonly used in films.

Spencer Wilton

Olympic Dressage rider

Summer 2016 Olympic silver medalist, Spencer Wilton, competes in Dressage and has experience working with Dutch Warmbloods. Wilton said that their most important personality trait is sensitivity. He looks for the straightness in their limbs and the way this transfers to movement. When building a confident relationship, Wilton said that it depends on the horse. Sometimes it can be instant and other times it can take months to build a relationship.

spencerwiltondressage.co.uk

Famous Horses

  • Idocus
  • Kennedy
  • Voltaire
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14 - 16.5 Hands

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ThoroughbredHorse

The horse has a great amount of endurance. The breed is intelligent and quick to learn. The breed are resilient and tough. It is believed to be the purest of horse breeds.

Head

The breed has large, expressive eyes that are shaped like almonds. Their head is long and chiseled. The breed has narrow ears that are high-set and alert to sound. The breed has a refined, intelligent head and elegant neck.

The horse has well sloped shoulders. Their chest is narrow and their body is long and lean. Located at the front of their stomach, the breed has a deep girth that ensures plenty of room for the heart and lungs.

The horse has powerful hindquarters with long limbs and flat muscles. The legs are slim with prominant tendons. The breed has a well set tail and hard legs with well let down hocks.

Industry:

Jump Racing

Average Life Span:

25 - 30 years

Mental Attributes:

Intelligent horses, not easily spooked. The horses are bred to be spirited and bold. The breed is very loyal.

Notes:

This horse has the ability to survive in really harsh weather. The breed can be affected by genetic diseases such as Naked Foal Syndrome.

Every current listing of horse racing tips, however exhaustive, refers to the descendants of just three horses - Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian, and the Byerly Turk

Peter Scudamore, MBE

National Hunt racer

Eight-time champion jockey Peter Scudamore MBE, (who has ridden 1,678 winning horses in his career), said that he looks for bravery, athleticism and a strong jumping ability in the horses that he competes with. In terms of physiological attributes, the most important feature that Scudamore looks for is a large and powerful heart to ensure the horse has a natural advantage over its competitors.

twitter.com/petescu

Famous Horses

  • My Babu
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15.3 - 16.3 Hands for stallions

15.1 - 16.1 Hands for mares

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Irish DraughtHorse

This horse is very versatile and can be used across multiple disciplines when crossed with other breeds, especially a Thoroughbred.

Head

The breed has a pleasant head and bold eyes that are set well apart. The breed has a wide forehead and long ears. Their neck is long and often arched.

The breed has a good spring of ribs, strong loins and a powerful stride. Their girth is deep and the breed has a strong back.

These horses have short legs and powerful hindquarters with strong bones. Their hooves are big and round.

Industry:

Traditional

Average Life Span:

30 years

Mental Attributes:

Good temperament, docility and willing nature. It is a sensible horse, active and a quick learner. It is safe to ride and takes care of its owner.

Notes:

No breed related health problems.

Clare Blaskey

Founder of Blue Chip Feed

Clare Blaskey has worked with Irish Draught horses throughout her career. She described the breed as a very sound horse, with strong legs and a calm temperament. Speaking to myracing.com, Blaskey said that Irish Draughts are often used for breeding. Due to their sound nature, they are very easy to build a relationship with as they connect well with humans.

bluechipfeed.com

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