...and on the eighth day God created the horse in perfect image, to romp, graze, gallop, play and make manure, wherever it darn well pleases, in divine grace.
Everyone has seen the ads on their favorite breed of horse: “Flashy bay, rides and drives. Typey.”
This week we will look at some cultivated breeds that have come together to make some quality animals, and they are suited to different areas of disciplines.
The Hack(1) is a beautiful show horse type that has to look good and have graceful movement in the show ring.
It must be very well-mannered and have presence, both in and out of the show ring.
This horse is a uniquely British-style of animal, and in the 19th Century, there were actually two different types.
One was the “Park Hack,” and was ridden by high-society types who wanted to be seen with a beautiful, flashy horse out in places like London’s Hyde Park or Rotten Row.
This horse had to present a real presence, move elegantly, have good manners, and above all let people see who was riding it.
It can be compared to modern society’s Park Horses, such as Morgans or Saddlebreds, but the Hack does not have the long toe like these show horses exhibit.
They appear very similar to Thoroughbreds and most are a cross of Thoroughbred and Anglo-Arabians, although not too much Arabian blood is desired.
The other type is the “Covert Hack,”(2) which was ridden to the fox hunt but not used for hunting.
It had to look beautiful and move smoothly, but it was not required to have much stamina.
The closest horse of today would perhaps be a nice looking trail horse, who may only come out on weekends.
They are considered to be a Wamblood or a Hotblood, and come in at 14HH to 15.3HH.
They do well in temperate climates and can be seen in all solid colors, no pinto or flea-bit.
The Hack has a quiet disposition and originates in England.
They are a very attractive animal, with a quality head and straight profile on an elegant neck.
The shoulder slopes nicely and they have a nice, straight back and well-rounded hind quarters.
Legs are straight, the cannon bones are exceptionally long.
The Riding Pony(3) also is a typey, British-style of animal.
It had become quite popular world-wide and is now bred in several different countries, including the US, Australia, Germany and France.
Riding Ponies have only been developed since the beginning of the 20th Century and are used both in the show ring and out.
It is a scaled-down version of the Show Hack, essentially, but it must retain its pony qualities. It is based on native English breeds such as the Dartmoor Pony, Welsh Pony and Welsh Mountain Pony.
These would be crossed with small Thoroughbreds or occasionally an Arabian.
The Arabian stallion, Naseel(4), sired a very successful line of Riding Ponies.
Riding Ponies should be refined and graceful, with the stretchy, low freedom of movement that Thoroughbreds display.
Since several different breeds were used to create the current result, there are a wide variety of colors seen the animal, although only solids, never pinto or flea-bit.
Originating in Britain, it is considered a Warmblood and comes in at 12HH to 14.2HH.
It does well in temperate climates and has a polite, easy-going disposition.
It exhibits a Welshy look, with a fine, well-proportioned head and beautiful eyes.
The barrel is deep with nice straight legs and well-muscled hid quarters.
Closing once again with the immortal words of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, “Happy Trails to You.”
1-4: “A Pocket Guide to Horses and Ponies,” by Corinne Clark