Ponderosa Quarterhorse Stud

Home to the bloodlines of Lynx Little Pep, Jessie's Koolibah & Mr Jessie James

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Evolution of the Quarter Horse

We are heirs to the efforts of past generations. Their desire to have the fastest horse for a short distance brought about the creation of the Quarter Horse.

Pure speed, untempered by a mentality cool enough to handle it, or lacking the conformation strong enough to support it, was of no advantage to the practical pioneer.

His fast horses needed to be useful in so many other ways that disposition and soundness were also (always) of the utmost importance. This traditional combination of speed, durability and co-operative intelligence gave the Quarter Horse the ‘inbuilt’ versatility that enabled him survive more than 300 tumultuous years without the assistance of a stud book.

The Quarter Horse industry has changed so much that speed is no longer a primary consideration for many owners. Notion of speed in the Quarter Horse is even sometimes openly scorned! Recognize that speed remains an essential component of the breed and is a must if the Quarter Horse is to continue as a truly versatile animal. The great performance and show bloodlines of today, with few exceptions, have their foundations in proven speed. Outcrosses of the future will be found among the ranks of the running horses.

Astute breeders with a true understanding of the source of the Quarter Horses’ uniqueness are already casting a watchful eye in this direction. As the Quarter Horse breed approaches its fifth century breeders need to be mindful of his origins and ponder the forces that shaped him. The necessity of maintaining the time honoured balance of speed, durable conformation, disposition and smarts in the breed cannot be overestimated.

A genetic pool, broad and deep, of fundamental qualities from which breeders can replenish those eroded by fashion or specialisation will ensure that the Quarter Horse forges into the future as powerfully as he emerged from the past. Strive to keep the catfooted agility and sharp intelligence, the steady disposition and easy way of going - the power, the style of this horse.

About Quarter Horses

Quarter Horse History

Melville H. Haskell was a racehorse man and breeder from Arizona.

He was a key player in the formation of the American Quarter Horse Association in 1940, and was there when it was all happening. His concise and comprehensive explanation of the development of the Quarter Horse from 1607 when the English settled in Jamestown, Virginia until the formation of the AQHA in 1940 can hardly be improved upon.

The following extract is taken from an article he wrote which appeared in the Quarter Horse Breeder (edited and published by M.H. Lindeman 1959).


The Oldest American Breed

The American Quarter Horse is reputed to be the oldest all-American breed.

The origins of this breed started as early as the 1600s, soon after settlement of the Americas by the British. In order to produce a horse suitable for both work and sport, thoroughbreds and other English types of horses which descended from English, Arabian and Spanish breeds were crossed to American horses of Spanish origin already in America. Read more...