A versatile American horse breed that is equally popular in Canada and Australia is the Quarter Horse, an old type used for Quarter Mile racing in the eighteenth century, but was only registered in 1940.
When ousted from racing by more conventional tracks and the Thoroughbred racer, the Quarter Horse pattern was preserved in a slightly modified form in the south-west, principally in Texas where they are now extensively bred.
They are low and compact with great muscular strength, particularly in the thighs and quarters, and possess an intelligent, calm temperament.
They make first-class all-round saddle horses and the finer strains are still raced over short distances, usually the traditional quarter of a mile, a sport that has spread from the States to Canada, and also in Australia.
For working stock the Quarter Horse breed has few equals and his speed, stamina and ability to make lightning turns, combined with an instinctive cattle sense, make him a specialist in the art of competitive Cutting, so popular in all three countries.
This sport, which grew from everyday work on the range, requires the rider to sit still and allow his horse to take over once the marked steer is cut out from the mob.
From then on the Quarter Horse, crouched like a coiled spring on his haunches, watches and counteracts every move of the beast and behaves and works much like a trained sheepdog.