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Steeldust
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Steeldust

     The American Quarter Horse is one of the United States’ most recognized horse breeds. They are most noted for their speed, agility, stockiness, and natural cow-sense. They are often short, stocky and muscular with smaller ears, and a smaller, but broad head. The breed originated during the 1660s when native horses, which were brought over by the Conquistador Cortez to Florida in 1517,  were bred with horses imported from England. The colonies, who enjoyed a good horse race every now and then, prized the horse for it’s speed over the quarter mile thus giving it it’s name the Quarter Horse.

   One famous Quarter Horse is Steeldust. He was born in 1843 in Kentucky. He was a tall horse standing about 16 hands.  Steeldust as well as another famous foundation sire, Shiloh, were brought to Texas in the mid-1840s. He, Steeldust, was noted for being the prototype of the “Bull Dog” or “Billy” type horses. These horses were used for ranching, herding cattle, pulling carts and wagons. They were revered for their muscular bodies, and sense.  Sadly, these genes were almost removed during the 1950s through 60s. Breeders became more interested in the speed of their horses than their muscular build or cow-sense. They began adding more Thoroughbred bloodlines which gave the horse a sleeker and less muscled build. This caused registry to be over one-half or more of Thoroughbred blood than that of Quarter Horse. Thus the coveted cow genes ad stockiness were nearly lost.

   If not for those who wanted to follow the “Steeldust Covenant”, the original characteristics of the Quarter horse may have been lost. But thankfully there have been those who wish to preserve the breed. Through these efforts the American Quarter Horse, as well as it's history, will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/animal/American-Quarter-Horse

http://www.equitrekking.com

http://www.foundationhorses.com/the-steel-dust-covenant

 

 

 

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  1. jst4horses
    For any of you who want the thrill of a ride, go find a real working cattle ranch, and watch, then go home and practice until you can ride your own horse, without tack, just a saddle, you DO need that horn to grab, even with the strongest llegs ever..........and remember never to grab any part of your legs on the horse below the knee. My first bulldogging instructor taught us to see ourselves as with a long strong steel pipe down our spine, and into the horse, with a rocking ball in the middle of the horse.......your behind stayed IN THE saddle, and only your spine moved with that pin..................and then both knees, with a straight steel rod through them and the horse.......and NEVER touch the horse below your knees.........so much for the spurs and kicking, whacking, and thudding up and down on the horses back. You will know when you are one with your horse and it will chase down anything you set it towards, with NO hands, and NO movement from you.......it is the most awesome ride of your life.................the horse knows just where to place you to drop a rope over the cow, or another horse, or your errant kids or husband!!!! Just joking...........we taught our bull dogging horses to play soccer and it was SO great............the horses learn the game, and teach it to one another, and since THEY are balancing themselves (always use leg bandaging and boots just for safety of their tendons and legs) you have a lot less injury, and the BIG soft balls we played soccer with could not hurt rider or horse. If you have a big enough lake or pond, you can also play water polo with a huge plastic ball, and the horses bull dog the ball with riders on and it is a GREAT time. No rocks, and deep enough water they do not get entangled in things, we were lucky enough to play in a pond that was emptied and bulldozed often during the flood seasons so it was completely safe! AND you can ride in deep water with NO tack at all........it does not hurt to fall off, but you do need to watch out for flailing legs.........our horses would just let the rider get back on in the water, and on with the game.
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