August 07, 2008 | | Comments 0

Hackney Horses

Hackney Horses

Finding Speed and Stamina in Hackney Horses

Hackney horses are among those that retain a reputation for speed and stamina. Although there aren’t very many of them, a true horse lover who wishes to experience the thrill of a good, fast ride should think of acquiring a Hackney horse.

Hackney Horse Development

It is believed that the need for Hackney horses was felt centuries before they were bred. It was possibly in the 14th century when Englishmen realized that they needed a sure footed horse that could travel swiftly over undeveloped roads. It was however, only in the 1700s that real effort was exerted to promote the breeding of the Hackney. The breeding program began with influences from the Thoroughbred, Yorkshire Roadster and Norfolk Trotter. Only the Thoroughbred remains a distinct breed today. The two other foundation breeds have their traits retained in the Hackney bloodline.

Although the Hackneys are undeniably beautiful horses, their breeding is credited more to the common populace. The first Hackney horses already exhibited the desirable traits that present Hackneys have. They had a reputation for having refined bodies that were well suited for quick movement. They also grew in popularity because they were able to endure very long and swift rides. The Hackney Stud Book was officially opened in 1883. It has its own society.

Through time though, plain riding horses were no longer in high demand. This led to Hackney horses being used for carriages. Despite the change in function, Hackney horses fit well in their new role. Indeed, their fine shapes suited the need for attractive carriage pullers. The speed of the breed also proved advantageous for carriage owners who prioritized speed over pleasure riding.

A little later after the introduction of the Hackney horse, the pony version was also introduced. Ponies of the Hackney type were bred using full grown Hackney horses and ponies. Strict breeders however clearly put a line in between horses and ponies of the hackney type.

Hackney Horse Traits

Based on their traditional use, once can easily guess how a Hackney horse would look like. As fast riding and harness horses, Hackney horses need to have muscular legs and bodies, sloping shoulders and arched necks. Unlike other riding breeds however, the Hackney has distinctly flexible joints which accounts for their high steps. At 14-16.2 hands, Hackney horses are neither too tall not too short. They can come in chestnut, bay or black. While not exactly peacocks, these horses are considered showy by nature which is why they are desirable for display and competition. Aside from having excellent stamina, Hackney horses are also known for their bravery, soundness and liveliness.

Aside from being used for show and display events, Hackneys also excel on other equestrian activities. The can perform well in driving, eventing, jumping and dressage.

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