I have a talking horse. Sometimes I wonder if it is really a blessing to have a talking horse! The other day there was shrieking, snorting, whinnying and loud expletives filling the air followed by moments of thundering hooves and…silence. I headed for the stallion corrals on a dead run. As I rounded the corner I could see Commander, my perlino quarter horse stallion, fully engaged in wild verbiage with my Arabian stallion, Timer.
“Your mother was a draft horse!” Hissed Timer from his side of the fence.
“You son-of-a-nag, I hope you’re gelded!” Was the fiery return from Commander, my blue-eyed wonder.
“Don’t you dare give me the hoof! You cold-blooded old plug, you’re just jealous of speed and style!” Timer came back with, snaking his long neck.
“Well, breed you! You hot-blooded air head!” Commander snorted, laying back his ears.
With thundering hooves, they both ran to their designated corners and silently, well except for the occasional grunt, strain and fart…. pooped! A sure sign of a stallion marking their territory. Then it was a fast race around their individual paddocks, a glance at the mare pasture to see if the audience was still there and then back to the fence dividing them.
“Wait! Before you start in again, let me at least explain about hot blooded and cold-blooded horses!” I ventured into the fray, almost reluctant to stop them, as I had never really heard horses cuss before! Fascinating!
Horses are mammals, which are all “warm-blooded” creatures as opposed to reptiles that are cold-blooded. When referring to horses, the terms hot-blooded, cold-blooded and warm-blooded are actually used to describe temperament and to some degree body style, rather than body temperature. For example, the “hot-bloods” such as race horses, exhibit more sensitivity, energy and are leaner built, while the term “cold-bloods” is applied to draft horse breeds that are quieter, calmer and with a heavier body style.
“Cold-blooded” horses are the gentle giants of the horse breeds. They are the muscular, heavy bodied draft horses known for their strength and their calm, patient temperament. Most of these horses are descended from the ancient European breeds used for the heavy work of farming, hauling and carrying heavily armored medieval knights into battle. Some of the smaller stout pony breeds also fall into this category. Cold-blooded horses like the Belgian, Percheron and Shire are still bred and prized today for their willing personalities and their heavy hauling work ethic. And where would Budweiser be without their famous beer hauling Clydesdales?
“Hot-blooded” horses are not necessarily hot tempered but do tend to be more spirited, bold and energetic. They are typically smaller and leaner and tend to have a shorter, thinner coat than cold-bloods. These quick learners are known for their great energy and endurance qualities made possible with their lighter body and muscle conformation. Their muscles cool faster, enabling them to work or run harder and longer than bigger horses and not tire as quickly. Despite their smaller body size, hot-bloods are not necessarily less strong than other horses, but they are considerably more agile. Hot-bloods are the racehorses and endurance horses of the world but can also become the intelligent family companion, ready for any trail and adventure.
Hot-blooded horses descended from the ancient “oriental breeds” of horse from the Middle East. Originally they were the Barb, the Akhal-Teke, the Arabian and the now extinct Turkoman horse. The Arab, bred for speed, strength, conformation and passionate temperament was brought to the European continent in the 16th century and crossed with the English cart horse to create the hot-blooded Thoroughbred. This early Arabian importation revolutionized horse breeding as we know it and many of today’s 300 worldwide horse breeds are descended from the Arab.
“Warm-blooded” horses are the cross of the passionate, speedy, hot-blood stamina horse, mellowed out with the calmer strength of the larger bodied cold-blood. Since the 1970s the term “Warm-blood” has been coined to mean a specific set of sport horse breeds that dominate international competition in dressage and jumping. Prior to that trademark, warm-bloods were known as the cross of the hot and cold bloodlines and make up the largest group of horses in the world.
Warmbloods in general are more refined than the cold-blooded draft horse and tend to be less excitable than hot-blooded horses. This makes them good all-round horses for sport riding and light work. The west was won on the back of the warm-blooded quarter horse, Justin Morgan drove his Morgan warm-blood down eastern roads and the spotted Appaloosa warm-blood climbed steppe and mesas in search of buffalo. Warm-blooded Trakehners, Hanovarians and American Saddlebreds compete for Olympic metals and smaller warm-blood breeds are the steeds for children. Speaking of children…
“You can just go to the glue factory!” Commander abruptly started in again as Timer laid his ears back.
I could see that they just weren’t interested in listening to me, just a female mammal in their eyes and not even a breedable one! I glanced at the mare pasture. The mares, who had been interested in talking to the stallions over the fence, were also disgusted with the hot-blooded, cuss word battle and had retreated to the far pasture to graze quietly. It was the age-old battle of the boys trying to impress the girls, “hot-blooded boy style”, and just driving them away instead.
Ahhhh, I thought, male mammals are male mammals. Cuss words, sexual gestures and marking territory, if only men could lay their ears back it would all be the same.
Jill Smith is a Spokane, WA entrepreneur, international business
owner, artist/potter and cowgirl at heart. She raises Arabian racehorses,
Arabian/Quarter Horses, palominos and Cremellos/Perlinos. Her seasoning mix
food line is Cowgirls Cookin’
High N Command (pen name, Commander) is a smart-talking
AQHA perlino stallion, constantly trolling for mares.
Visit our horse Facebook page at Krisean Performance Horses
and food Facebook page at Cowgirls Cookin’
Web site at https://cowgirlscookin.com/