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Quarter Horse

American Quarter Horse Breed Profile

Height 14.2-16.2 hands (57-63 inches; 145-160 cm)
Body Square, muscular
Head Short, broad, wedge-shaped
Neck Long
Colors All colors
Temperament Friendly, sweet-tempered, well-balanced
Gait Flat, smooth
Type Warmblood/thoroughbred
Origin USA
Bred since 19th century
Suited for Western, rodeo, dressage and leisure riding

World’s Fastest Horse on Short Distances

The American Quarter Horse is an extremely fast, agile, versatile, reliable horse that is always willing to work. Generally, the English thoroughbred is supposed to be the fastest horse breed – but mainly on long distances. The American Quarter Horse is much faster on short distances as it can speed up very quickly.

American Quarter Horse Photo: jacotakepics/Shutterstock

Very Popular With Cowboys

Because of their characteristics, American Quarter Horses are particularly popular with cowboys. They mainly train the horses for western riding and rodeos. The riders do not really need the reins and have their hands free to catch a cow with the lasso for instance.


They Came With the Conquerors to America

The American Quarter Horse has its origins in the times of the discovery of America. The settlers brought breeds such as Arabs, Berbers and Andalusians as well as Irish ponies and English thoroughbreds with them across the Ocean. Today’s American Quarter Horse is the result of crossbreeding.

Lively and Ambitious

The American Quarter Horse is very lively and ambitious, but it never overdoes anything. Even in hectic situations it always keeps calm and remains well-tempered.

Colors: 17 Colors and More

The American Quarter Horse is one of the most colorful horse breeds. 17 different coat colors are accepted by the breeding association AQHA. In addition to chestnut, black, brown and white there are smoky gray, sorrel (dark red), Cremello (white cream), Perlino (light cream) and many others.

Where Does the Name Come From?

At the end of the 18th century, „Quarter Mile Races“ were rather popular. They covered the distance of a quarter mile. The mile is the American measure of length and a quarter mile indicates a distance of about 402 m. Quarter Horses usually won those races against other breeds.

Fun Facts

The American Quarter Horse is the most common horse in the world – there are about 4.6 millions of animals registered.


Pilgrim, the injured horse in „The Horse Whisperer“ was enacted by an American Quarter Horse (amongst others).

The movie stallion Black Beauty also was an American Quarter Horse.

The American Quarter Horse is the mascot of the US state of Oklahoma.


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