American Quarter Horse: Origin, Lifespan, Price & Ownership Guide

quarter horse

The Quarter Horse breed is a type of horse that originated in the United States. It is most known for its amazing speed, power and agility when running short distances. The breed was named after the quarter-mile race that it specialized in winning. The Quarter Horse has been around for centuries, originating in the 1600s when colonists crossed horses from Europe with smaller horses indigenous to North America. In 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) was formed and began keeping records of the breed’s pedigrees, solidifying its place as a recognized breed.

Physical Appearance

The Quarter Horse is a muscular horse known for its short stature and compact build. Its agility and responsiveness coupled with its intelligence and strength make it an ideal choice for a variety of equestrian sports.

Its thick mane and tail are usually darker than its coat color, which can range from chestnut to palomino or even buckskin.

How Long do Quarter Horses Live

On average, Quarter Horses can live up to 25-30 years of age, making them a long-term investment for any horse lover. They are known for their even temperaments and intelligence; these horses are eager to please and easy to train.

Quarter Horse Size

Quarter horses typically stand between 14 and 16 hands (or 56 to 64 inches) tall. They are powerful, muscular horses that weigh anywhere from 900 to 1200 pounds, with the average being around 1000 pounds. Quarter Horses have:

  • deep chest,
  • heavy neck
  • broad back,
  • short head;
  • large nostrils;
  • strong jaw;
  • short, thick legs;
  • well-defined hip.

While they are stocky horses, Quarter Horses possess incredible speed and agility.

Quarter Horse Temperament

Quarter horses are generally easy-going and friendly animals. As working horses, they are willing to please their handlers, making them an ideal mount for both experienced riders and inexperienced ones. They are not overly sensitive, so they can be handled and trained with patience and consistency.

American Quarter Horse Price

In terms of cost, Quarter Horses range in price depending on their pedigree and intended use. Generally, a Quarter Horse will cost anywhere from $3000 to upwards of $100,000. The average price for well-bred hours used for recreational riding is around $5,000-$7,000. Reputable breeders are key when selecting a Quarter Horse and costs can vary significantly depending on where the horse is purchased. It is also important to factor in additional expenses such as feed, hoof care, vet bills, etc. when considering the overall cost of ownership.

Regular Monthly American Quarter Horse Expenses

Like any other horse breed, owning an American Quarter Horse requires some financial planning and commitment. Depending on the horse’s age, size and desired use, a potential owner must be prepared to take into account the following regular monthly expenses:

  • Feeding – Feed for an American Quarter Horse can range from $80-$100 or more per month depending on its quality and quantity. A higher-end feed with additional nutrients may also be needed depending on the horse’s activity level.
  • Training – Every horse requires professional training at least once a month, and American Quarter Horses are no different. Depending on the trainer you choose, training sessions could range from $45-$100 per half hour (from $2 000 to $10 000); however, if your horse needs more frequent or specialized training, costs will naturally be higher.
  • Veterinary Care – American Quarter Horses require regular veterinary check-ups in order to stay healthy. Depending on the services required, the total cost of veterinary care could range from $100-$300 each month. It is important to note that additional costs for emergency veterinary care or treatment of an illness or injury may be required as well.
  • Farrier bi-monthly – The American Quarter Horse typically requires bi-monthly farrier care, which includes trimming hooves, resetting horseshoes, and general foot care. The cost of this service will vary depending on the region in which you live; expect to pay around $40 to $300 for farrier care.
  • Dentistry – Dental care is often overlooked, but it’s an essential part of keeping your horse healthy. Regular dental check-ups from a qualified equine dentist are important to ensure that the horse’s teeth stay strong and healthy. The average cost for this service ranges from $120 – $300 depending on the region and type of work required.
  • Saddle, saddle pad, brushes, bridles, and bits – Quarter Horses need quality tack to perform their best. Good quality saddles, saddle pads and padded girths are essential for optimal comfort when riding. These can be expensive, especially if you opt for custom-made items; expect to pay anywhere from $500 – $2,000.

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