Did the First Quarter Horses Have Arabian Blood?

Did the first Quarter Horses in the American colonies in the 1600s have Arabian blood? The answer may surprise you—check our Just-for-Fun Trivia question.

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TRUE OR FALSE: The original mold for the Quarter Horse was created in the 1600s in the American colonies by the crossing of local stock with imported Arabian stallions and mares.

T / F

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ANSWER: Not true! But it’s a bit of a tricky question. Colonists on the Eastern seaboard in the 1600s crossed local stock with imported English stallions and mares, not Arabian ones.

[DIFFERENCES between Quarter Horse and Arabian reiners today.]

BUT…there may still have been some Arabian blood in the initial mix, as the local horses the colonists used were descendants of those brought to the New World by the Spanish explorers…and were of Spanish/Andalusian, Barb, and possibly Arabian blood.

The English imports they used in their breeding programs, meanwhile, were from stock that would, back in England, also bring the English Thoroughbred into being in the early 1700s.

The horse the colonists developed was a sturdy, compact animal with massive, well-muscled hindquarters. He served his master in various jobs, but was most prized for his explosive speed over short distances.

For this ability, he first became known—quite grandly—as “The Famous and Celebrated Colonial Quarter Pather.”

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