Quarter Horse Vs. Thoroughbred: What’s The Difference?

A pair of horses in an open field.

Horse breeds have different traits, making them stand out from each other. When you look at it from a general perspective, a thoroughbred and a quarter horse may look similar. However, when you break down the different physical traits of both horses, you may be able to see that there is a significant difference between the two. With that being said, let’s discuss the different traits and characteristics of a quarter horse vs. thoroughbred

Quarter Horse VS Thoroughbred

  • Physical Traits

Generally speaking, thoroughbred horses are taller and leaner than quarter horses. In height, quarter horses usually grow up to 56 to 64 inches, while thoroughbred horses grow up to 62c to 68 inches. The average weight of quarter horses goes to about 1200 lbs, and thoroughbreds go to about 800 to 1200 lbs. Overall, thoroughbreds have a more athletic and lean figure, while quarter horses have shorter heads, a broader chest, and a more muscular shape. 

Both horses come in neutral shades of brown, black, and grey with white marks on their faces and legs. Primarily, thoroughbred horses can live up to 25 to 30 years, and quarter horses can live up to 33. Experts reveal that both types of horses can acquire different respiratory issues, swamp fever, and dental problems. 

  • Speed

Regarding the speed of both thoroughbred and quarter horses, both these horses can be considered great racehorses. Both horses are common breeds that participate in races. However, quarter horses are revealed to have more consistent performance in terms of speed, meaning they have a high chance of winning a race when they start it on a high note. 

Although, the same would go the other way around. If they start slow, there is a slight chance that they can catch up after a while. In other words, quarter horses start a race at the maximum speed that they can go at. On the other hand, thoroughbred horses are the opposite. These horses may start a race off slow, but they will eventually run faster after a while.

A beautiful brown horse.

  • Personality

In terms of personality, thoroughbreds and quarter horses are complete opposites. People consider quarter horses to be more suitable for beginners of horse training. They are mellow and calmer, making them easier to train. Quarter horses are open to new environments, although they may take some time to settle ultimately. Nonetheless, these horses are never aggressive unless you trigger them in any way. Quarter horses are loving companions with an ability to adapt quickly to their surroundings. 

On the other hand, thoroughbreds are the exact opposite. They are far more hot-blooded, and experts recommend that you only ride these horses if you have enough experience and knowledge in the field. Thoroughbreds are not aggressive; they just take some time to get used to new faces and environments. You will have to build a relationship with them before you fully gain their trust. 

  • Origin

Quarter horses are one of the oldest horse breeds that originate from the US, while thoroughbreds originate from England. Quarter horses are the first breeds to be bred in the 1600s and are a result of a cross between Spanish and English horses. 

The English horses that bred quarter horses were thoroughbreds, making quarter horses share the same blood and characteristics as the former. Despite sharing some characteristics and DNA, thoroughbreds still differ from quarter horses. Thoroughbreds breed for speed and agility. Thoroughbreds began appearing more in America right after the colonists took over.

Differentiating quarter horse vs thoroughbred are not always that evident. Some characteristics are not noticeable, while others are easily perceptible. If you are interested in training a horse of your own, you must know the difference between the different breeds first. Understanding the different characteristics and traits of the horse you are interested in will make it easier for you to train them properly. Training horses are not that simple, and they take a lot of effort, but knowing the details of the horse you are planning to train will make your job easier. Getting all the information will also ensure that you are doing the right thing and not getting lost along the way.

Have A Horse In Coconut Creek?

Millpond Stables in Coconut Creek is your number one choice when it comes to horse care. Our horse boarding services are top notch, our all wood stables are maintained by expert staff. Take horse back riding lessons with seasoned professionals and ride your horse on scenic trails near our stables. Get engaged in the community with local horse shows and gatherings. Are your kids interested in horses? We offer an annual summer camp designed to teach kids how to ride and care for horses. Contact us today to sign up.

Krizzia Reyes is an author for Millpond Stables.

About The Author

As a writer at many renowned websites Krizzia Reyes has covered a wide range of topics in many industries. It has been her passion to only deliver the truth and nothing but the truth.