Hackney Horse Facts

bay Hackney Horse running

The Hackney Horse is a breed that is easy to recognize. Owners like its graceful appearance and high-stepping trot. Hackney Horses are great for both riding and driving. This article reveals interesting facts about the Hackney Horse breed.

What Is a Hackney Horse?

The Hackney Horse is a British horse breed. It was bred to produce quality equines for carriage driving. The Hackney Horse height is 14.2 to 16.2 hands tall. The average weight is 1,000 pounds. The Hackney Horse is ideal for advanced carriage drivers to compete. The breed’s gait is energetic and rhythmic.

post mark with Hackney Horse

Hackney Horse History

The King of England wanted a powerful and good-looking horse to be developed. So they could use the horses for general purposes. Thus, the Hackney Horse was bred in the 14th century. The roads were not to the best quality at that time. Quality riding equines were needed to be ridden under a saddle.

Hackney Horses were also used as war horses. Due to their excellent trot, they were more prevalent than pacers. King Henry VIII ordered to keep refined trotting stallions for breeding in 1542.

The Norfolk Trotter and Arabian were two stallions that influenced the modern Hackney Horse. As a result, Norfolk Roadster was born in 1729. It was described as a horse of heavy-built with great speed and stamina. Norfolk Roadster was primarily used in farm work.

Another notable stallion was Original Shales. It was born in East Anglia in 1755. The pedigree was impressive. Original Shales was by the stallion named Blaze. Blaze was the son of Flying Childers, a Thoroughbred racehorse. The last one was a grandson of Darley Arabian. He was included in the foundation stock of Thoroughbreds. Original Shales had two sons – Scot Shales and Driver. Both of the equines influenced the Norfolk Trotter greatly.

Messenger, a famous Thoroughbred stallion, was a foundation sire of the modern Standardbred Horse breed. Hambletonian 10, an American trotter, shares a common pedigree with Messenger at least three times. Hambletonian 10 was a foundation sire of the American Standardbred.

A Norfolk Trotter stallion named Bellfounder was brought to America in 1820. That was a noble equine that was able to trot 17 miles for one hour. Bellfounder was a descendant from Hambletonian 10. Such horses were used in competitions under a saddle. Soon after, harness racing occurred. Hackney horses were perfect for both riding and driving.

Hackney Pony front view

Robert Ramsdale and his son, Philip, brought Norfolk horses to Yorkshire. They were called Wroot’s Pretender and Phenomenon. These horses covered Yorkshire trotting mares. Phenomenon managed to trot 17 miles for 56 minutes. Her daughter, Phenomena, trotted 17 miles for 53 minutes only.

With the rise of the railway, the Norfolk breed’s popularity came down. It was revived by establishing the Hackney Horse Society in 1883. It was formed in Norwich with its stud book tracing back records to 1755.

The Norfolk Horse and Yorkshire Trotter were bred to capture their distinguishing features. As a result, the modern Hackney Horse breed occurred. Hackney Horses are commonly used in a show ring. The breed is popular in harness, dressage, and show jumping. Owners use the Hackney Horse in farm and trail riding as well.

The American Hackney Horse Society was formed in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1891. Alexander Cassatt was the first man who brought the Hackney Pony to the USA. In Britain, he got 239 Stella and imported her to Philadelphia. Soon after, Cassatt and other breeders decided to form the American Hackney Horse Society.

Hackneys may come in a range of heights. Depending on the equine’s size, it’s defined as a horse or a pony. The Hackney Pony occurred in the 19th century. It was a result of breeding Hackneys with a range of pony breeds. Breeders wanted to create a specific equine of pony shows.

Hackney Horse driving carriage

Hackney Horse Temperament

The Hackney Horse is docile and sensitive. The horse is highly responsive to its owner. Hackney Horses are easy to train and work with. That makes the breed versatile in use. The Hackney Horse is a friendly breed. People can get it as a family pet. But if the horse is treated badly, it can be stubborn and aggressive.

Hackney Horses are hardy animals. They can withstand a heavy workload and still stay sound. Thus, the Hackney Horse is often used in farming and racing.

bay Hackney Horses driving

Hackney Horse Characteristics

The Hackney Horse height is 14.2 to 16.2 hands tall. Equines, that are shorter than 14.2 hands are defined as Hackney Ponies. The Hackney Horse weight is 1,000 pounds on average. The lifespan goes from 20 to 35 years. The same goes for the Colorado Ranger Horse.

The head is well-shaped, the nose is slightly convex. The eyes are expressive and the ears are alert. The neck is crested and massive. The cutthroat and jaw are clean. The chest is wide and well-defined. The ribs are well-sprung. The shoulders are long, powerful, and sloping. The back is of middle size. The croup is muscular. The hindquarters are powerful.

The tail is set high and it’s carried high. The limbs are powerful with broad joints. The forearms are long. The hocks are strong, the patterns are of medium size. The hooves are round and upright.

The Hackney Horse’s trot is expressive. The breed features a high-knee and hock move. There’s a great flexion of the horse’s joints. The gait is straight with a distinct suspension. The front limbs are raised up with straight bent knees. They stretch out forward with a ground covering walk. The Hackney Horse also performs a rhythmic canter and brisk walk.

Hackney Horse grazing outdoor

Hackney Horse Colors

The Hackney Horse can be any solid color. This may be brown, bay, chestnut, and black. Hackneys may also have white markings on their face and legs.

Hackney Horse Price

The Hackney Horse price goes from $2,000 to $5,000 on average. The cost could go up to $10,000 for a well-trained horse. The price depends on a range of factors. They include the horse’s age, gender, health, training level, and more.

Hackney Pony running around

Hackney Horse Temperament and Characteristics Revealed

The Hackney Horse is a docile horse that is speedy and hardy. The breed is a perfect choice for riding and driving. The horse is also used in farming and pleasure riding. Hackneys are good-looking horses that are friendly and outgoing.

You can get a Hackney Horse for $2,000. The price can range depending on the equine’s health and competing experience. The Hackney Horse is a multi-purpose breed. No matter what discipline you’re into, the horse will fit it. Check for a protective helmet and riding boots to make the journey safer.

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David Garcia

David Garcia

David Garcia is a vivid writer and a big fan of equestrian sports. He founded Horsezz – the blog where David shares his knowledge and experience about horses, tack, equestrian riding equipment, taking care of horses, and other useful guidelines.