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Breeds and Types

Article – General Interest for students

 and for research project in Study Pack 1

Some ‘types’ of horses are often thought of as being a specific breed when in fact they are a ‘type’ and from mixed breeding.

In the same way we see this in the canine world. There are dogs which are a specific breed and others we categorise as a type – which are of mixed breeding – or a mongrel. The terrier type for instance.  There are breeds used for different purposes.  There are Working dogs such as Labradors and Springers are gun dogs used for for picking up birds or flushing them out of the undergrowth, Border Collies for working sheep, there are the different terrier breeds for keeping vermin down, Dalmations were for following carriages (carriage dogs).  In the UK the Kennel Club is the overall governing body of dog breeds.

A cross between a Labrador and a Collie is of mixed breeding and is  ‘cross bred’ rather than a specific breed. If you were attempting to describe it, depending on what it looked like,  you might call it a ‘labrador type’ or collie ‘type’.  If those dogs breed with other dogs their lines are diluted further – the mongrel is a mixture of breeds usually of unkown origin.

Sometimes in the horse world a mixture of breeds is now being accepted by the general public as a breed (the Gypsy Cob for instance) but they are still not accepted as a ‘breed’ until there is a breed society which can trace lineage back for a long long time.

This is similar to the modern mixture of dog breeds we see today.  e.g. the Cockapoo or Labradoodle  which are crosses between Cocker Spaniels/ Poodles and Labradores/Poodles respectively.  Until they can trace blood and breeding lines back for many many many years – the Kennel Club will not accept them as a ‘pure’ breed. However, in the meantime, owners and breeders of a specific type may start their own record and register (Stud Book) of breed lines in an attempt to start a new breed which in many many years time might just possibly be accepted by the Kennel Club.  These animals from a mix of two breeds are unlikely to be called a breed in itself by the Kennel Club until they have that long and full stud book.

It is the same with horses – if they are of mixed breeding they are a type.

Examples of horses which are of mixed breeding which are by some, confused with pure breeds, are the  Cob, Polo Pony, Hunter, Palomino,etc. Some of these terms and descriptions of types are used for competitions in showing classes. Such classification may well have caused subsequent confusion for some.

  • It is important therefore, to know and understand the difference between a ‘Type’ and a ‘Breed’ as described above.

Scroll down for specific breeds and types – and more will be found on the links at the foot of this page.

The Palomino

The Palomino is a colour – not a breed. It is a colour which will be found in many pure bred horses and in crosses too.

The following are extracts from an article by the British Palomino Society: The history of the Palomino horse in this country dates back to 1945. This is when the Golden Horse Society of Great Britain was set up. This society did not have the large following that was hoped for. This then inspired the founders of the British Palomino Horse and Pony Society to gather in 1950. The Society’s main aim is to improve the quality of the Palomino (coloured horse) at the same time maintaining a high colour standard.


Body colour should be gold (ideally two shades lighter or darker than a newly minted gold coin) with dark skin and both eyes dark.
The mane and tail should be white and contain no more than 15% dark hairs.
The eyes should be hazel or dark.
Facial markings are limited to a blaze, snip or a star.
Any white socks must not exceed above the knee and the hock.
Because the golden coat is not the result of a special ‘Palomino Gene’ producing horse and ponies of this colour can be difficult. However we have found four known crosses through our personal breeding:

Palomino > Palomino =



   50% chance of a Palomino foal
   25% chance of a Cremello (Albino) foal
   25% chance of a Chestnut foal
Palomino > Chestnut =


   50% chance of a Palomino foal
   50% chance of a Chestnut foal
(This mixture produces the richest and most desirable colour)
Palomino > Cremello (Albino) =


   50 50% chance of a Palomino foal
   50% chance of a Chestnut foal
Chestnut > Cremello (Albino) =    Palomino 100%
(Most consistent although can produce undesirable colours)

Palominos have appeared in stories and facts from earliest history and are to be seen in paintings of all periods. The Palomino is in a great demand because of good looks, kind nature and ideal use for ridden activities.
Palomino is purely a colour, not a breed, and can be found in many pure breeds and their crosses.
They do not breed true and the colour can come from almost any colour combination, depending on the recessive gene present.
Palomino to Palomino will not, unfortunately, guarantee a golden foal!  Cremello to chestnut however, almost certainly will.

Palominos registered with the Society are inspected after their foal year and, once passed, are eligible to be shown in classes affiliated to the Society. Most of them also compete in many other types of classes also. They can be seen taking part in every sphere of ridden activities.
Do please contact the Society or visit their website for more information.


The Suffolk Punch

History of the Suffolk Punch Horse – a UK Heavy Horse Breed

The Suffolk Punch is one of the oldest heavy horse breeds in the world. The Suffolk Punch was first developed in the 16th century for use as an agricultural draught horse.
All Suffolk Punch horses can be traced back to a single stallion belonging to Thomas Crisp, foaled in 1768. In the 1960s numbers of the Suffolk Punch horses decreased so much that the breed was threatened with extinction, but numbers have risen thanks to new breeders.

The Suffolk Punch Height
The Suffolk Punch Horse stands 16hh to 16.2 hh for mares and 17 hh to 17.2hh for stallions.

The Suffolk Punch Horse may be any shade of chestnut. The breed has a large head and slightly dished face, short neck, compact muscular body and short legs. They are bred to have no feathers to make them easier to maintain on the clay soils of Suffolk.
The Suffolk Punch Horse is known for it docile, gentle temperament.

Uses for the The Suffolk Punch
Used in Agriculture for pulling carts and log extraction. They have smaller feet than some of the other draught horses. The breed along with many others was used as a Warhorse in the First World War. Although broad they also make an excellent weight carrying riding horse.

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