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popular horse breeds


Popular Horse Breeds – Attributes & Abilities

Whilst there are over 350 different breeds of horses and ponies, each with its own strengths, physical features and versatile abilities, there are certain breeds that have become popular with competition riders, racers, and casual equestrians alike. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most popular horse breeds in the UK today. 


American Quarter Horse 

Height: 14 hands (56 inches) to 16 hands (64 inches) 

Weight: 950lbs to 1,200lbs 

Best for: Showjumping, short-distance racing/sprinting, working, trail riding 

Originally bred from English thoroughbreds and Native American Chickasaw horses during the 1600s, the American Quarter Horse has the largest breed registry in the world. 

Favoured for its agility, docility, and athleticism, the American Quarter Horse is the fastest short-distance racehorse breed, reaching speeds of up to 55 miles per hour! 

Extremely versatile, these horses are easy to train and well suited to a range of roles, including as a working horse, a family horse, a show horse, or a trail horse, making them one of the most popular horse breeds in the UK and USA. 



Height: 14 hands (56 inches) to 16 hands (64 inches) 

Weight: 800lbs to 1,000lbs 

Best for: Long-distance trail riding, racing 

Originating from the Arabian Peninsula, where the Bedouin tribes reside, Arabian horses have a rich heritage and history, with a lineage dating back as far as 3000 B.C. 

With black skin to protect them from the heat of the desert, the breed is famed for being strong and robust. Modern-day Arabian horses have inherited their ancestors’ hardiness and stamina, making them the perfect breed for long-distance trail riding. 

Although Arabian horses stand relatively small when compared to other racehorse breeds, their speed and agility make them excellent racehorses comparable to thoroughbreds. 



Height: 15 hands (60 inches) to 17 hands (68 inches) 

Weight: 1,000lbs to 1,300lbs 

Best for: Racing, dressage, showjumping 

Amongst the most popular horse breeds is the trusted Thoroughbred. As one of the most well-known racehorse breeds in the world, the Thoroughbred’s lineage can be traced back to Arabian ancestry. 

Due to their favoured physical qualities, Thoroughbreds are often crossed with other breeds. Cleveland Bays, from England, are widely crossed with Thoroughbreds to produce working hunters. 

As a result of selective breeding, Thoroughbreds are considered to be ‘hot-blooded’, and are known for their speed, agility, endurance, and strength, enabling them to excel in racing and a range of other equestrian sports. 



Height: 14 hands (56 inches) to 15 hands (60 inches) 

Weight: 950lbs to 1,200lbs 

Best for: Trail riding, racing, working 

Originally developed for hunting and battle by the Nez Perce Native Americans, the Appaloosa is known for its distinctive, colourful, spotted patterning, making it a popular breed for film and television features. 

This popular horse breed was almost lost when a vast majority of the horses were stolen or killed during the Plains Wars of the 1870s. However, fortunately the breed had its resurgence in the 1930s, and its longevity is now protected and overseen by The Appaloosa Horse Club

Being both hardy and versatile, Appaloosa horses are commonly used for trail riding, racing, and gathering and working cattle. 



Height: 14 hands (56 inches) to 15 hands (60 inches) 

Weight: 900lbs to 1,100lbs 

Best for: Showjumping, eventing, trail riding, dressage

With a mixed heritage of Arabian and Thoroughbred, with Welsh cob and Fresian horse also in the bloodline, the Morgan is a multi-purpose horse breed which performs well at work, on the race track, and in horse shows. 

Being sure footed over rough trail and dignified in the show ring, the Morgan breed is known for its strength and elegance, making it a popular choice with riders within all equestrian sports. 

Whilst their distinctively regal look and refined features contribute to their popularity, it is the calm and friendly temperament that is the defining quality of the Morgan breed. 


The range of surfaces we offer are suitable for private and professional use, offering excellent levels of support, cushioning, and energy return for all breeds of horses across all disciplines. 

Ready to make an investment in your riding surface? Contact our team today on 01282 937283 and we will be happy to chat through your requirements. 


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