While most people are familiar with many of the pure breeds
of horses, there are many interesting crossbreds. Each breed
has its own benefits, and it is not unusual for people to
try to get the best of both breeds by crossing them. The following
are some common crossbreds and their usual characteristics.
Most Arabian crosses are designed to refine the horse, without
adding much height. Arabians are known for being highly sensitive
and intelligent horses, who can be a bit flighty or silly
at times. Most of the breeds they are crossed to tend to be
solid citizens who could use a bit more pep. Many Arab crosses
make excellent all-round horses who do well for children and
for pleasure. Some make excellent dressage horses or hunters,
combining the beautiful Arab movement with the solid personality
of their crosses.
Some of the most common Arabian crosses include the Morab
(Morgan x Arabian), the Quarab (Quarter Horse x Arabian) and
the Arapaloosa (Appaloosa x Arabian). Another common Arabian
cross is the Anglo Arabian (Thoroughbred x Arabian). Anglo
Arabians are unlike the other crosses in that they are highly
sensitive, have good height, and are excellent athletes. The
cross has been so well established in France, that it became
the foundation of their Selle Francais breed. Arabians also
cross very well with some pony breeds such as Welsh Ponies.
Thoroughbreds are the most common horses to see crossbred
into other breeds. Adding size and refinement, the Thoroughbred
is an amazing athlete who generally produces crossbreds with
excellent performance potential.
One of the most popular Thoroughbred crosses is the Appendix
Quarter horse. Not only are half-breds accepted as Appendix
Quarter Horses, a high percentages of Thoroughbred blood is
permitted in the registry.
Smaller thoroughbreds are also crossed onto many pony breeds
to produce pony-sized offspring with horse-type bodies. This
type is highly popular in the hunter ring. Many successful
ponies that near the highly desirable 14.2hh size are in fact
Many breeders like to cross Thoroughbreds to draft horses.
These crosses are lighter weight than drafts, and are well
suited to riding. Many draft crosses become field hunters,
but some of the more refined crosses become good performance
Appaloosas are hardy horses who are renowned for their unusual
coloring. Some breeders like to cross other types of horses
to Appaloosas to attempt to get the Appaloosa coloring on
a horse while retaining the type of the breed they are crossing
to. Arapaloosas are the Arabian x Appaloosa cross mentioned
earlier, but other popular crosses include Pintos (Pintaloosa)
and Tennessee Walkers (Walkaloosa). A cross between a Shetland
pony and an Appaloosa mare produced the colourful Pony of
the Americas, now an established breed.
Some people enjoy crossing the highly popular gaited breeds,
such as Tennessee Walkers, to other breeds. They try to retain
the gait, but gain the size, substance or coloring of the
other breed. Some gaited crosses include the National Show
Horse (Arabian x Saddlebred) and the Tennuvian (Tennessee
Walker x Peruvian Paso).
No matter where you look, you will see other types of crossbred
horses. Some are popular enough that breed registries have
been formed for them. Others are still rare. While many breeders
consider crossbreds to be no different than grade horses,
others will defend their crossbred "breed", claiming that
it has as much validity as other breeds. Either way, you can
find a cross of almost anything if you look hard enough.
About the Author
Lydia K Kelly is a writer for HorseClicks, classifieds of horses
for sale Saskatchewan,