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The American Quarter Horse was the first breed of horse that was native to the Americas, more specifically, what is now the United States. It was a mix of various other breeds of horses that were brought to the English colonies in the Americas during the 17th century. The colonists loved short distance racing, and so the American Quarter Horse evolved into a very muscular and compact breed. They could run faster than any other horse on a straight-a-way, short distance race, the best making the quarter-mile race in under 20-25 seconds. They were also known for their calm and gentle nature.

The name quarter horse came from the quarter-mile races they ran, a standard racing distance. It had many different variations of the name before 1940, when it officially became know as the American Quarter Horse for a registry of the breed.

For a horse to be considered an American Quarter Horse, it must meet certain requirments. First, it must be the offspring of a registered (such as with the American Quarter Horse Association) AQH mare and stallion. It can only have limited white markings on the face and on the legs below the knees. There are also only 13 colors by which the AQH is recognized by:

  • sorrel
  • bay
  • black
  • chestnut
  • buckskin
  • brown
  • dun
  • red dun
  • palomino
  • grullo
  • gray
  • blue roan
  • red roan
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