Mixes and Other Equines

When horses are crossed with other breeds and even other species, they produce offspring that have traits from both parents. These unique hybrids can be intentionally bred for specific purposes. A book about horses would be remiss not to discuss these as well as the other members of the equine family.

Mixed Breeds

Some breeds are commonly crossed. Although you can never know for sure until the foal drops to the ground, these crosses have consistently good enough results to have warranted giving them a name and often their own registry.

  • Anglo-Arabian: This horse is a Thoroughbred and an Arabian.

  • Araapaloosa: The Araapaloosa is a cross between an Arabian and an Appaloosa.

  • Morab: This mixed breed is a cross between a Morgan and an Arabian.

  • Moresian: The Moresian is an often stunning mix of Morgan and Fresian.

  • Quarab: Results of the Quarter Horse/Arabian cross are usually petite, with either a Quarter Horse–type body or a tall and lanky more Arabian-type conformation.

  • The Long-Eared Equines

    Asses come in a variety of sizes and colors, with donkeys being the smaller versions and the Mammoth Jack being the largest. The male ass is called a jack, and the female is called a jennet. The terms donkey and burro are interchangeable and refer to essentially the same animal, although the wild types are generally distinguished as burros, and the domestic varieties are donkeys. Most donkeys are dun-colored with a dark stripe running down their back and across their shoulders.

    Mules are hybrid animals, the result of breeding a male ass to a female horse. The offspring of a female ass and male horse is called a hinny. Because of this crossbreeding between two species, they are nearly always sterile, yet they possess normal sexual instincts. Mules make exceptionally sturdy, sure-footed work animals. Because of their crossing with the horse, they come in all horse colors and can even have spots like the Appaloosa.

    Zebra

    Zebras are perhaps one of the best known of all wild African animals, easily recognized by their distinctive black and white stripes. The stripe patterns on each individual zebra are as unique as fingerprints, with no two ever exactly alike. The stripes act as camouflage that helps hide the zebra in tall grass. Likes horses, zebras live in herds, and the collective stripes of several herd members grazing together are believed to make it more confusing for predators such as lions to single out an individual zebra to attack.

    There are several species and subspecies of zebras, with variations in size and striping being the major differences. Unlike the horse, zebras have never been truly domesticated, although many are kept in captivity today, and some have even been tamed enough to ride or pull carriages. Their unpredictable and often disagreeable nature makes them unsuitable for novices to ride or handle.

    Zebroids are hybrid animals created by crossing a zebra with a horse or ass. These breedings have resulted in some interesting-looking animals, such as the Zorse, which looks like a horse with bold zebra striping on the legs, lower body, and neck.

    1. Home
    2. Horses
    3. Horse Breeds
    4. Mixes and Other Equines
    Visit other About.com sites: