In hippology, we distinguish multiple races of horses listed in several categories from all over the globe according to well-defined colors. Each race has its own field of equestrian discipline or according to its use (work, leisure, sport).

Horse breeds: the equine vocabulary

Each race has very specific criteria to judge its qualities and physical defects. The breed of a horse is therefore studied from head to foot. When it comes to analysing a horse, model competition judges, professionals, horse breeders tend to express themselves in language difficult to decipher for a layman, with phrases like:
It is well out of the front,
It covers ground,
It is open at both ends and is easily placed.
This vocabulary, very sibylline for the uninitiated, makes it possible to define the whole body subjected to criteria of beauty (even defects) established for each race.

Specific criteria according to the breed of horses

It is the morphology of the horse that defines a particular type of breed according to its size, its profile and the relationship between the different parts of its body.
Note: For example, for the size criterion, we can distinguish between small (or “hypometric”) horses, of normal size (or “eumetric”) and of large (or “hypermetric”) horses.

A geometric approach to race

To determine a breed, a horse can be inscribed in a square or rectangle by drawing the top line (upper body boundary) in comparison with the limbs. The results of this approach are as follows:
The Arab thoroughbred is inscribed in a square.
The English thoroughbred is inscribed in a horizontally elongated rectangle.
On the contrary, the draft horse, more robust, is inscribed in a rectangle elongated vertically.
A concave horse has a hollow back, or even enselled (like the seat of a saddle).
As for the convex horse, it is rather round.

The morphology of the horse: a race criterion

The whole body, head and neck included, defines the whole of its morphology more or less harmonious between each part of the body. Some primordial points are put forward by race. For

For example:
About the general silhouette, a horse is long if the whole of its morphology is elongated and it is short-lived if it is short or squat.
Mares often have wider hips than males. These should have a muscular neck and a beautiful forehand.
As for the amplitude of the places (ways in which the horse moves), it rests on a long shoulder pointing forward with a hip axis / long buttocks also.
A nice neck, the horse’s true balance, must be extended, firmly fixed in its lower part and thick at the base to maintain a good balance. The neck may then be short; Reversed; Long and slender (not attached).
The ganaches (posterior parts of the lower jaw) are different according to the race. They can define a head rather typed or a heavy head, in relation to the line of the chamfer (part going from the line of the eyes to the nasal region). For example, a typed head is usually reserved for Arabian thoroughbred because it has a convex chamfer.

How to observe the breed of a horse?

The morphology of the horse is studied from different angles:

  • At the stop, then in profile: this way of observing the horse makes it possible to define the proportions, the lines and the angles that draw his shoulders and hips.
  • Front and back: this method is very useful for examining the anterior and posterior aplombs, the limbs and the thickness of the body.
  • We also observe a horse at different speeds: at the pace or at the trot;
  • Making a round trip to see the horse back, but also from the front.

Number of horse breeds

There are 397 breeds of horses listed in the world. The most representative ones are of the “saddle” type which encompasses the sports, leisure, but also the ponies. 15% of breeds correspond to draft horses. As for the thoroughbred, whose favourite field is horse racing, it represents 5% of the breeds.
In addition, each horse breed may appear in several categories and have several uses such as dressage; endurance; hiking; races and work.

Horse Care Associations: