The Holsteiner

September 23, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Featured Pets, Horses

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Holsteiner!

If you are a horse person and really enjoy showing and competing, the Holsteiner horse breed is definitely worth checking out. These are considered to be very athletic horses and are an excellent breed to use in Equestrian Olympics. Show jumping, hunting, combined driving, and dressage are all events in which the Holsteiner is competitive. Many people who are serious about athletic horse events vouch for this breed. On top of this, another great benefit is these guys are known to have a nice, gentle temperament. Usually they are easy going, quiet, and sometimes even a little lazy!

Holsteiner History

The Holsteiner, originally from Germany, is an older warmblood breed of horse. It is believed that they date back to the 13th century and a monastery was the driving force in developing this breed. In the Schleswig-Holstein area of Germany, there is a written record of the local Count of Holstein and Storman giving the Monastery permission to graze their horses on their land. These are believed to be the first Holsteiner horses.

To keep the breeding of these horses going and to ensure their quality, many incentives and laws were passed. Eventually the rest of Europe started importing this breed in large quantities. France especially, imported thousands of these horses in the 1770′s.

In the 1800′s the Holsteiner breed declined somewhat. This was due to the economy, wars, weather, and over-breeding. Up and downs continued and by 1960 there were only around 1300 Holsteiner horses left. At this time The Germany Verband Association took it into their hands to start breeding and bringing the breed back up in numbers. The American Holsteiner Association came into existence in 1978, and also began trying to accomplish the same goals. It is because of these efforts that this breed has definitely stayed strong.

The Holsteiner

Being powerful and carrying themselves well, Holsteiners are very elegant horses. In general they are graceful, muscular, and flexible. All great athletic qualities. Most people who are serious about these horses want them for competition reasons. Breeding them can be difficult because the only horses eligible to be bred have to adhere to a strict set of standards in order to ensure quality within the breed. These are large horses, usually between 16 and 17 hands tall, with two recognized types. The classic type Holsteiners are heavy and large boned while the modern type is not quite as heavy and has more refined features.

Competitive Holsteiner Activities

Jumping is the strongest trait Holsteiners possess. Many people use them exclusively in this sport. Flaws were decreased and eliminated by selectively breeding a few horses, and they are now known for Olympic-caliber jumping internationally. In fact, they make up a large number of successful show jumpers even though they only represent 6% of all horses in Europe. In addition to jumping, Holsteiners are known internationally for combined driving, dressage, and eventing. In North America they also hold their own as show hunters and hunt seat equitation horses.

Holsteiner Care and Health Conditions

Caring for a Holsteiner is not overly difficult. You can easily keep them in either a pasture or in a stall area with other horses. They can be fed hay, grain, and alfalfa as well as a mineral supplement. All other normal maintenance activities should be done as well, such as grooming, bathing, keeping their hooves cleaned and trimmed, etc.

In general, Holsteiners are strong horses and well-adapted to harsh conditions. However because they are used heavily in competitions, they are prone to problems. Becoming lame because of extreme tendon extensions is a problem they are more prone to. Using leg protection while jumping and boots or foot wraps for dressage work can go a long way in helping to prevent leg problems with these horses.

Holsteiner Availability

If you are serious about a Holsteiner, they can be found. Commonly bred in the state of California, that is a good place to start if you are located in the United States. They can also be found across Europe from various breeders. You can expect to pay at least $15,000 for a foal or yearling. But it is well worth it in the show business!

Holsteiners are no doubt a specialty horse. If you own one or have experience with one we would love to hear your stories! Please share!

Jasmine Hinesley is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Different Horse Breeds for Various Equine Disciplines

April 29, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Horses

Submitted by Andres Ong, Content Writer

Horse Breeds
A Beautiful Arabian Horse!

The sport involving the equine is truly a science. What was once a sport that relied on gut instinct and sheer stamina alone has now evolved into an arena where numerous variables must be accounted for. Proper training and nutrition are essential to maintain optimum performance while the particular breed of horse can affect many individual traits and help determine the qualities of a champion. In races for example, both riders and thoroughbred racing enthusiasts alike pay particular attention to the type of breed. Individuals who have a keen eye for this sport will follow websites like online horse racing at Kentuckyderbybetting.com, which will usually take the breed into account in effective sports betting strategies. While there are different horse breeds in general, here’s a quick look at the breeds of horses mainly used for two of the major equine disciplines: Racing and Dressage/Show Jumping.

Racing

Arabian

This breed is considered one of the most famous in the racing community. They are characterized by a refined, wedge-shaped head and large eyes. An interesting characteristic is that the Arabian breeds tend to have a large bump on the center of their forehead. This is said to have aided them in the dry desert climates by increasing their sinus capacity. Gray and chestnut colors are the most common and Arabians are not as large as some of their other racing counterparts. They exhibit an excellent temperament and endurance.

Trakehner

Originally bred in East Prussia, these fairly large horses are known as some of the most handsome of the breeds as well as excellent jumpers. Although they have particularly large bones, they display an elegance rarely seen in horses of such size. Generally black or chestnut in color, they are both intelligent and eager to please; lending them a personality ideally suited for the racetrack. While bred as both dressage horses and show jumpers, they also are well known as being powerful competitors in the horse racing circuit.

Thoroughbred

This particular horse breed is arguably the most popular among racehorses. Thoroughbreds are hot blooded horses who are famous for their speed and competitive spirit. Though Thoroughbreds are mostly known for horse racing, they can also be trained for various equine disciplines such as polo, show jumping, dressage and more.

Dressage/Show jumping

American Saddlebred

These horses are well-known for their “can do” attitude and their fiery, albeit gentle disposition. They are well-proportioned animals and have wide-set eyes and a large head atop a notably long neck. Thus, this breed is one of the most photogenic. They come in all colors and are between 15 and 17 hands in height. These are superb riding horses, as they are said to have both the intelligence and temperament to get along well with their human riders.

Oldenburg

This horse was originally used as a work horse and trained to pull coaches, but has been adapted for dressage competition since the late 19th century. This rather tall breed is usually colored black, brown or gray. The strong body and hindquarters make the Oldenburg a notably powerful horse. Their powerful hind quarters and pronounced strength also make this breed ideal for jumping as well as endurance competition. An example of the Oldenburg as well as similar breeds of light horse can be found in this website.

American Warmblood

This breed has often been called one of the most well-rounded of horses. They are known for their powerful musculature as well as a flexible gait. Breeding stock is a bit more stringent for this animal; requiring the respective mares and stallions to meet numerous requirements and thus lending to its superior performance. Their temperament is complimented by an energetic and alert presence. Therefore, the warmblood is particularly suited for dressage and show jumping.

It is easy to see that there are particular breeds suited for specific equine disciplines. This is the primary reason that horse race bets are often partially determined by the breed of the horse as well as the rider and a host of other qualities. Websites such as ESPN likewise note the breed of the horse in posting statistics, which is an invaluable tool to help understand and appreciate the intricacies involved in various equine disciplines and competitions such as the Kentucky Derby.

Knowing what particular horse breed is used for a specific discipline is important if you are planning to own a horse. By learning this important information, you can make the right decision as to what type of horse to get. Just keep in mind that raising a horse is an enormous responsibility that requires patience and dedication.

Animal-World’s Featured Pet of the Week – The Quarter Horse

December 5, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Featured Pets, Horses

Umbrella Cockatoo

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Quarter Horse!

Have you ever wanted a horse or marveled at what beautiful creatures they are? Chances are, you have! Quarter Horses are just one type that you might be interested in!

Quarter Horses are truly an American breed of horse. Everyone has heard of them, and many people consider them to be one of the best all around breeds of horses. I will start with some history. They are one of the oldest breeds in America – starting from the early 17th century in Virginia, when settlers got horses from the Chickasaw Indians. The Chickasaw Indians horses were descendants of horses brought by Spanish explorers. These horses were then bred with English running horses, which gave them a good solid horse which could do everything they needed, from pulling and hauling, to riding and herding horses. In fact, the Quarter Horse eventually got its name because it could sprint a quarter of a mile faster than any other horse! Today, Quarter Horse racing is still in effect in the western United States.

The American Quarter Horse Association was the first registry for these horses, being founded in 1940 by Robert Denhard. It is now the largest breed registry in the world with over 3 million registered horses! These horses are considered a stocky type of light horse breed. They usually weigh under 1,500 pounds and are used most often as leisure horses. They can be used for other tasks as well – such as racing, ranch working, and as show horses. The Quarter Horse can reach 15-16 hands and they are compact, stocky, and muscular horses.

Quarter Horse care is fairly easy as far as horse care goes. They keep weight on quite easily and only need a low amount of daily feed (compared to some other horses). Their diet should consist of grass and hay, with vitamin and mineral supplements provided on a minimum basis as needed. They can become overweight somewhat easily so you must make sure to not overfeed them! This may be because their ancestors were free-roaming plain horses, making it necessary to thrive on the simple foods that were available. These horses can be kept in either a pasture or a stall, and they should be provided with ample exercise.

Training of Quarter Horses includes many different activities and sports because of their speed and agility. They are excellent at cutting, reining and gymkhana. They are also great at ranch-type work, including driving cattle which makes them wonderful Western Pleasure Horses. They can also do well at jumping and English Pleasure activities. They are very good at stopping quickly and turning sharply. In general these horses are fairly attentive and responsive in temperament, making them great family horses, beginner horses, and trail riding horses.

In general, Quarter Horses are pretty hardy horses and they live some of the longest lives! It takes ongoing neglect of their basic maintenance to really cause them problems. However, one genetic disease to be on the look out for before purchasing a Quarter Horse is hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP). This disease is not very common but it is passed down from the sire and should be tested for in any horse that you plan to obtain. The disease causes uncontrolled muscle twitching and/or muscle weakness and can sometimes cause collapse and death.

Quarter Horses are available just about everywhere in the United States and you should be able to locate one quite easily if you wish to obtain one. Look at Animal-World’s page on Quarter Horses for more information.

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.