The planned mating of horses that is directed by humans has given rise to a number of special breeds of horses. Breeders, the persons who help facilitate healthy horse breeding, seek to bring about an enhancement in the physical performance abilities of the offspring or foal even more than improving their appearance. This matching of ‘form to function’ is a successful means of development of different healthy and (functionally) superior breeds.
People from all over the world have owned horses for various reasons. This is just the reason why various breeds of horses had been developed over the years to provide improved efficiency at particular tasks. Horses can now be classified into three main categories- pony, light and heavy. There can, however, be created further subcategories like draft horses, gaited horses and warmbloods.
It is by learning about these various breeds that an idea can be formed on the kind of horse best suited for a situation and a particular type of work. Some horses are best suited for children to ride on them while some are right for the whole family’s riding purpose. Again, some other horses may be appropriate for racing- the race horses while some others may prove to be helpful on the ranch.
There are a number of popular breeds of ponies the smallest among which is the Shetland pony which is given to children as their first horse to ride on. For older children the Connemara pony is recommended. This being larger than the Shetland is suitable for older children. The Welsh pony little larger than the Connemara is a good breed of horse for young adults and young teens to ride on.
Among the light horse breeds are the Miniature Horses. Though this may seem like a pony but it is not actually one. It does not have the characteristics of the pony. This horse serves as a companion for children and also acts as a guide for the disabled. The adored Arabian horses also come into the category of light horses. These are attractive, loving, graceful and speedy horses. The Arabian horse is perceived to be a perfect breed. Not only does it possess the required speed and endurance for racing but it also has got a kind and noble disposition.
The popular light breed horse Thoroughbred is a descendant of the Arabian horse. This being a fast horse is well suited for racing purposes. For ranching a Quarter Horse, an American breed, is most appropriate. The Morgan Horse, a family friendly and hardworking horse is another smaller but useful horse.
Besides these there are also the heavy breeds or heavy horses which include the draft horses or the horses that were used in battle at a time. The Percheron is a small and powerful heavy horse which is easier to train while the attractive Clydesdale is the most famous of the draft horses which were bred to work on farms or pull carts and wagons.