Jump to: navigation, search

American Indian horse

American Indian Horse
Country of origin: North America
Breed standards
American Indian Horse Registry: Breed standards
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

The American Indian Horse is any horse of Spanish origin that has evolved to adapt to a particular environment within the United States, with or without breeding from humans. The title American Indian Horse does not refer to one specific breed; rather, it applies to any breed that has proved itself capable of withstanding a distinct ecotone, whether it be the high plains of the Midwest or the low swamplands of the South.



The diverse nature of the "American Indian horse" results in a range of historical origins. Its earliest origin is from the Arabian breed that was imported to Spain, then bred with Barb and Andalusian stock to become the Iberian horses which were brought over to the Americas by the conquistadors in the 16th century.

The American Indian Horse Registry, established in 1961, has created five categories in which to group the horse:

  • Class A are those with unknown pedigrees, such as Bureau of Land Management horses
  • Class AA have at least a 50 percent traceable pedigree to distinct American Indian tribe horses
  • Class M horses have modern type breed blood, such as Quarter Horse and Appaloosa.
  • Class O horses are those horses which follow a distinct bloodline that follows back to specific Indian tribes
  • Class P is reserved for ponies of Indian type.

Breed characteristics

There is no single characteristic typical of this type, due to the fact that the American Indian Horse Registry has not just one single breed or stock but is rather a group that has developed over time in the Americas from Spanish stock. At the most general, the American Indian Horse stands between 13 and 15 hands high and comes in any colour from solid to lilac roan or peacock spotted leopard.

It does not have small feet in comparison to the body structure, overly muscled/fat body style of the 'modern' horse breeds or overly straight legs.

See also



Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...