As you could guess form the name, Arabian horses originate from Arabian Peninsula. Appearance wise, this breed is well known for its arched neck and high carried tail. Once of the most recognisable and oldest breeds, the Arabian is thought to date back almost 4,500 years. Due to their excellent qualities, they dominate the discipline of endurance riding. They have also been used to improve other breeds due to their speed, endurance and strong bone structure. The Arabian can be found in many places like United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Continental Europe, South America, and its land of origin the Middle East.
Shetland ponies are one of the smallest breeds, not normally exceeding 42 inches (10.2 hands). Originating from the Shetland Isles, the small but mighty Shetland pony may be small but can still excel at certain tasks. These small but strong ponies are brilliant at cart pulling, driving and due to their appearance make super show ponies. For small riders, you cannot go far wrong with a Shetland pony, they are brilliant first ponies. Due to their strong and intelligent nature, they make good companion ponies as they are relatively easy to look after.
The cob horse is usually a shorter horse of a compact muscular build. With strong bones, larger joints, and a steady disposition. They are larger than ponies and excel at driving and showing, as well as dressage, jumping and even hunter classes. There are various breeds of the common cob, including welsh cobs, with the typical build of the traditional cob. In competition, unlike most other cobs, these animals are shown with full manes and tails. Gypsy cobs, often seen in coloured horse classes Originally a favourite of Romany travellers, who used them to pull caravans, they are now used for driving, dressage, showing, and even jumping. Norman Cobs are a breed of light draft horse that originated in the province of Normandy in northern France. Cobs are good allrounders, thanks to their responsive yet calm temperaments.
The Thoroughbred is very well known for its speed, spirit and agility. Mainly seen as a race horse breed this type of horse also has many other talents such as show jumping, Cross-country, dressage, show Hunting and even western riding. Thoroughbreds are mainly found in England where the breed was developed but they are becoming more popular elsewhere. Astonishingly, all modern thoroughbreds can trace their pedigrees to three stallions originally imported into England in the 17th century and 18th century.
The appaloosa has a beautiful leopard spotted pattern. Mostly popular in America, known as stock horses used in western disciplines. Although their reputation as a working horse is slowly changing as more and more people are buying them as show horses for halter shows, show jumping and even endurance riding. If you have ever seen prehistoric cave paintings in Europe depicting prehistoric horses with leopard spotting, this is where the Appaloosa bread originates from.