High Point, NC
11.000 x 8.000 inches
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Painting - Watercolor
The horse would look over the top of the dutch door from the paddock. The expressiveness in his eyes captivated me, like he was whispering, "let's hang out together". This work is well suited for display in veterinary offices, as well as other corporate and personal collections where a sense of peace and tranquility is desired.In the 17th century, colonists on the eastern seaboard of what today is the United States began to cross imported English Thoroughbred horses with assorted "native" horses such as the Chickasaw horse, which was a breed developed by Native American people from horses descended from Spain, developed from Iberian, Arabian and Barb stock brought to what is now the Southeastern United States by the Conquistadors.One of the most famous of these early imports was Janus, a Thoroughbred who was the grandson of the Godolphin Arabian. He was foaled in 1746, and imported to colonial Virginia in 1756. The influence of Thoroughbreds like Janus contributed genes crucial to the development of the colonial "Quarter Horse." The breed is sometimes referred to as the "Famous American Quarter Running Horse." The resulting horse was small, hardy, and quick, and was used as a work horse during the week and a race horse on the weekends.As flat racing became popular with the colonists, the Quarter Horse gained even more popularity as a sprinter over courses that, by necessity, were shorter than the classic racecourses of England, and were often no more than a straight stretch of road or flat piece of open land. When matched against a Thoroughbred, local sprinters often won. As the Thoroughbred breed became established in America, many colonial Quarter Horses were included in the original American stud books, starting a long association between the Thoroughbred breed and what would later become officially known as the "Quarter Horse," named after the distance at which it excelled, with some individuals being clocked at up to 55 mph.In the 19th century, pioneers heading West needed a hardy, willing horse. On the Great Plains, settlers encountered horses that descended from the Spanish stock Hern�Cort�and other Conquistadors had introduced into the viceroyalty of New Spain, which today includes the Southwestern United States and Mexico. These horses of the west included herds of feral animals known as Mustangs, as well as horses domesticated by Native Americans, including the Comanche, Shoshoni and Nez Perce tribes. As the colonial Quarter Horse was crossed with these western horses, the pioneers found that the new crossbred had innate "cow sense," a natural instinct for working with cattle, making it popular with cattlemen on ranchesThe main duty of the ranch horse in the American West was working cattle. Even after the invention of the automobile, horses were still irreplaceable for handling livestock on the range. Thus, major Texas cattle ranches, such as the King Ranch, the 6666 (Four Sixes) Ranch, and the Waggoner Ranch played a significant role in the development of the modern Quarter Horse. The skills needed by cowboys and their horses became the foundation of the rodeo, a contest which began with informal competition between cowboys and expanded to become a major competitive event throughout the west. To this day, the Quarter Horse dominates the sport both in speed events and in competition that emphasizes the handling of live cattle.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Quarter_Horse)The principle development of the Quarter Horse was in the southwestern part of the United States in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, eastern Colorado, and Kansas. Some breed historians have maintained that it is the oldest breed of horses in the United States and that the true beginning of the Quarter Horse was in the Carolinas and Virginia. Nye1 has suggested that the Chickasaws secured from the Indians were the true beginning of the Quarter Horse. These were small blocky horses, probably of Spanish extraction, which the planters secured from the Indians, and which were adapted for a variety of uses. The colonists were quite interested in short races, and it was only natural that they should have attempted to increase the speed of their horses; to this end some of the best early Thoroughbreds that were brought to the United States included the horse Janus, brought to the United States before the English Stud Book was established, were instrumental in the improvement of these local running horse. Later Imp. Sir Archy and other Thoroughbred stallions were used.
The early improvement in the Quarter Horse-so called because of its great speed at one quarter of a mile-and the early development of the Thoroughbred in the United States were closely associated. Some sires contributed notably to both breeds. Many short-distance horses were registered in the American Stud Book as Thoroughbreds when the Stud Book was established, even though they did not trace in all lines to imported English stock.
It is more logical to assume that the true establishment of the Quarter Horse took place some time later in the southwest range country, rather than in colonial times. It was in the southwest that the true utility value of these short-distance horses were truly appreciated. The cowman found the Quarter Horse quick to start, easy to handle, and of a temperament suitable for handling cattle under a wide variety of conditions. Even in the Southwest much was unknown of the breeding of many of the horses that were classified and registered in the 1940s as Quarter Horses. It is logical, therefore, to conclude that until the Stud Book was established and the pedigrees were based on fact rather than on memory and assumptions, the Quarter Horse should have been called a type of horse rather than a breed.
The Foundation and Improvement of the Breed
A Blending of Bloodlines. It is difficult to give the exact origin of the present-day Quarter Horse because the blending of bloodlines produce a suitable short-distance horse started in colonial areas prior to the Revolutionary War. This blending of bloodlines and the infusion of Thoroughbred blood was continued in the southwestern range territory as the cow country developed. Cowboys wanted to be well mounted. Ranchers tried to breed the kind of horses on which these men could work cattle and that could also be used in the age-old sport of racing. The Quarter Horse was not raced on carefully prepared tracks but was raced on any suitable open space. Organized races were the exception rather than the rule with many of the races being run as a �match race� after a private wager between owner or riders.
In the Southwest country as in the East, no particular attention was made to keep short-distance horses as a distinct breed. Fast horses whose offspring made good cow ponies were crossed on existing stock of mares. Many times these mares carried Spanish, Arabian, Morgan, or Standardbred breeding, and some have been referred to as �cold blooded� mares.(http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/horses/quarter/)All work in this gallery is the original work of Elizabeth Briggs. It is for sale, copyrighted to � Elizabeth Briggs and, as such, is protected by US and International Copyright laws. No copying, reproduction or use of images is allowed without my written permission. WATERMARKS WILL NOT APPEAR ON PRINTS.
All work in this gallery is the original work of Elizabeth Briggs. It is for sale, copyrighted to � Elizabeth Briggs and, as such, is protected by US and International Copyright laws. No copying, reproduction or use of images is allowed without my written permission.
August 9th, 2012
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