Wednesday, February 29, 2012



The versatility of a particular horse, especially draft horses, has always been a valuable asset. At no time in history was this as important as it was in the early years of American history.

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Between the years of 1820 and 1870, "new and improved" farm equipment created larger and more productive farms. With this came the demand for larger and stronger horses. In 1839 the increasing need for horses resulted in the first importation of European stock to America. After the Civil war ended in 1865 there were massive efforts towards domestic breeding and increased importation. By the turn of the century, Americans had over 27,000 purebred draft-horses, whose average size had increased to between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds. In 1910, it is estimated that over 3 million, of the nations 13,500,000 horses in the United States were used in nonfarm capacities. One of the most important uses of at this time were the fire horses. These were bred for superb for strength, bravery, and speed. New York City purchased its first draft horse in 1832 and by 1906 the City employed nearly 1500 in its fire battalions. Perhaps one of the most romantic and prominent uses in early America was that of the circus horse. This monumental role of the draft horse was essential as it announced and advertised the coming show. From town to town, this horse was used almost exclusively to haul the stock wagons, performers, baggage, animals, and equipment. The dappled grey Percherons, made famous by the Ringling Brothers Circus, is still the trademark of circus horses. In the early 1900's over 1400 were used daily by the Circuses of Barnum and Bailey and the Ringling Brothers. These "baggage stock teams" disappeared by 1938 as the circus became mechanized and were replaced with more modern equipment.

In 1914 only 20,000 horses were left in Britain, and the United State was asked to supply the Allied forces with fresh mounts. Over the next two years, over one million draft-horses were exported from America to Europe to assist in the conflicts of WW1. They hauled artillery to the front and packed supplies and ammunition.. Sadly, a vast majority of these were killed in battle as tanks and motorized artillery began to signal the end for the Calvary and foot soldiers.

By 1920, the number of registered Draft Horses in America had dropped to 95,000 and by 1945 to a mere 2000. In pockets of America, primarily in the most rural of economies, in Amish areas, and remote logging camps, drafts still played an important role; but for all essential purposes they had disappeared from the American scene. Some breeds, especially the Shire and Clydesdale were placed on endangered and watch lists due to extremely low worldwide numbers.

Though rarely credited as an event of the 1960's, this is the decade that marked the beginning of the renaissance for the draft horse business in America. Percherons and Belgians, whose numbers have always dominated, today make up 95% in the United States. New registrations of from all breeds are almost 5000 a year, while imports, primarily from England and Canada, number in the hundreds. Drafts are returning to our forests and fields everyday as working stock. Competitions at fairs are becoming more popular and also for carriage work in urban areas. Recreational uses of drafts for wagon rides and sleigh rides are providing added economic opportunities as our smaller farms become more diversified.


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Horse Posters

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Paint Horse Pictures

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We are proud to present a second page of both Paint Horse Pictures and additional Paint Horse History. This page will continue to grow as we find more and more great Paint Horse Pictures, so check back from time to time for new photos, and information ... / Steve

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American Paint Horse

Descended from horses introduced by the Spanish conquistadors, Paints became part of the herds of wild horses that roamed the Western deserts and plains. Once domesticated, because of their working ability and heart, cowboys for cattle work cherished the Paint. Native Americans revered the Paint, which they believed to possess magical powers.

Paint Horses Pictures
Paint Horse Pictures

While over the years the conformation and athletic ability of those rugged mounts of the Old West have been improved by breeders, the unusual coat patterns and coloring remain the same. The stock-type conformation, intelligence, and willing attitude make the American Paint Horse an excellent horse for pleasure riding, ranch work, rodeo, trail riding, racing, showing, or simply as a friendly mount for the kids.

Breed Characteristics for Paint Horse Pictures

Built for versatility, the American Paint Horse is generally short-coupled, strong- boned and well balanced. Yet Paints display a remarkable degree of refinement and beauty, especially about the head and neck. The Paint Horse's colorful coat pattern defines the breed, because it is perhaps the most obvious trait. However, Paint Horses must also possess a distinct stock- type conformation. Paints come in an endless variety of patterns. Their coat is always a combination of white with any of the basic colors common to horses: black, bay, brown, chestnut, dun, grulla, sorrel, palomino, gray and roan. Regardless of color, no two horses are exactly alike in coat pattern. For registration and breeding purposes, three distinctive types of coat pattern categorize American Paint Horses. The tobiano (pronounced: tow be yah' no) pattern is distinguished by head markings like those of a solid-colored horse; their heads may be completely solid, or have a blaze, strip, star or snip. Generally, all four of the tobiano's legs are white, at least below the hocks and knees. Their spots are regular and distinctly oval or round, extending down the neck and chest, giving the appearance of a shield. Usually a tobiano will have the dark color on one or both flanks - although a tobiano may be either predominantly dark or white. The tail is often two colors.

Painted Horses Pictures
Paint Horse Pictures

The overo (pronounced: oh vair' oh) pattern may also be either predominantly dark or white. But typically, the white on an overo will not cross the back of the horse between its withers and its tail. Generally, one or all four legs will be dark. Also notable is that overos have bold white head markings, such as a bald face. Overos generally have irregular, scattered markings. The horse's tail is usually one color.

Not all coat patterns fit neatly into the tobiano or overo categories. For this reason, a number of years ago the APHA expanded its classifications to include "tovero" (pronounced: tow vair' oh) to describe horses that have characteristics of both the tobiano and overo patterns. What is especially fascinating about Paint Horse breeding is that the genetics of coat color inheritance is still not readily understood. Like when diving for treasure not every oyster produces a pearl, not every breeding of two Paint Horses results in a colored foal. This makes each Painted foal that much more valuable.

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