If you’ve ever spent a substantial amount of time with different horses, you will know that each one has a personality of their own, much like humans. The behaviour of a horse can be influenced over time by a variety of factors, such as their upbringing, where they were raised, and how well they are treated.
Despite all this, there are some personality traits and temperaments that are endemic to certain breeds, as any seasoned trainer will tell you. That’s why each breed has different kinds of training, which is often also specialised further for that specific animal and its needs.
This can be apparent if you’re an avid horse enthusiast, or you follow horse racing betting sites – they will all show you the same thing: that different breeds act and behave in ways that other breeds simply do not emulate.
As far as temperament is concerned, there are generally two kinds of breeds: hot-blooded, and cold-blooded. We will discuss both, and which breeds fit into which group.
As you may have guessed, a hot-blooded breed tends to be the kind of horse that is high strung, full of energy, nervous, and often with fiery tempers. These are the kinds of horses that are generally much harder to train, but at the same time, are often some of the best competitors in the racing scene.
Long distance and speed racing are the best attributes of these breeds, which usually make up for the time and patience it takes to train them.
- Thoroughbred: the Thoroughbred is well known across the world as a fast, powerful horse that has dominated race tracks for generations. They’re mostly used for racing, mounted athletics, and jumping, and although they take much longer to train, they also tend to be much more competitive than other breeds.
- Anglo Arabian: A cross between a Thoroughbred and an Arabian that has retained the best traits of both, the Anglo Arabian is not so much a racer as a recreational horse. They are much easier to train, but are highly strung, and overreact in stressful situations.
- Arabian: One of the oldest breeds on record, Arabians have had a lot of influence on many of the world’s modern breeds, especially where genes are concerned. The Arabian is a runner, and enjoys long distance riding like few other horses, but they are easily scared, and their curiosity can sometimes land them in a tight spot.
A cold-blooded breed is the complete opposite to the hot-blooded, and while many of the breeds to share some similar personality traits; they are much easier to train and not as highly strung. Cold-blooded breeds are usually quite tall and muscular, and due to their calm natures and strong stature, they have made popular workhorses in the past.
- Shire: A huge horse that is often seen pulling a carriage, these gentle giants are generally quite docile and hard working. Their patience has made them excellent companions in the past, especially on long journeys through rough country.
- Clydesdale: Another large, taller horse, the Clydesdale has been used as a farm labourer for hundreds of years, and are quite unique due to their intelligence and high spirits. They’re also quite an energetic breed, and can still be found on farms across the world today.
There are many more horse breeds in the world, and while we’ve only covered a few, these breeds are the ones that most people have come across or heard of at least once before, and are favourites for modern day trainers.