Image: Copyright © Romona Robbins http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/myshot/gallery/202058#/gallery/619633/
Playing virtual online horse games has taught me a lot about different breeds of horses and ponies. I had no idea that there were so many types and that each has unique characteristics. When I play an online horse game, and I learn about a new breed I put it in a sketchbook with a picture and a few important facts. Here are five of my favorites and some neat information about each.
1Arabian Horse - Arabian horses originated in the Arabian Peninsula. They are very, very fast. They have short backs and very strong hindquarters. I love their arched necks and soft mane and tail. They are very elegant horses and are also quite strong. Although Arabians are small compared to some other horses, only 14 to 15.2 hands high. They can weigh weight between 800 and 1000 pounds when full grown. Arabians can be almost any color and can have cute white sock markings on their legs and white splotches on their face. I use my Arabian horses for dressage and long distance trail races when I play online horse games.
2Tennessee Walking Horse - Tennessee Walking Horses were bred in Tennessee by early American settlers. These horses have a very smooth fast walk that makes them really fun to ride. Walkers can go a long distance using their natural gait. They were bred for riding, light farm work and driving. Country doctors and preachers long ago often rode on Walkers because they were so smooth. There are many colors of Walkers; I like the brown, palomino and chestnut the best. Most Walkers are very well behaved and gentle. I like to groom my Walkers long manes and tails when I play online horse games.
3Paso Fino Horse - Paso Finos came from Spain and have an amazing natural lateral gait that is beautiful to watch. I learned that the name Paso Fino means “fine step.” This makes a lot of sense because they seem to glide when the move. I have three different Paso Finos that I play with online, and each of them is a little different. One is quite large, and the others are smaller. However, they are all very sweet and fun to play with. My favorite online horse activity to do with my Paso is to compete in barrel racing.
4Shetland Pony - Shetland ponies have a very long and heavy coat which was used to protect them from the cold and wind on the Shetland Islands where they come from. Shetlands are used for riding, plowing and also as pack ponies to carry heavy loads. Shetland ponies are the smallest breed of horse and a very popular horse for children because they are so gentle.
5Hackney Pony - Hackney ponies are about 12 to 14 hands high and are really fast. Most are bay-colored, but some are gray, brown or black. I love their small ears and bright eyes. This pony was first bred in England and is really calm and easy to work with. I learned, from an online horse game that the Hackney pony does not have its own breeding stud, that it is bred with a Hackney horse. Most of these fine ponies are used for harness racing.
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