The American Indian Horse is essentially any horse of Spanish origin that has evolved to adapt to a particular environment within the Untied States (with the help of man in many cases.) Hence, the title American Indian Horse does not refer to one specific breed; rather, it applies to any breed that has proved itself capable of withstanding a distinct ecotone, whether it be the high plains of the Midwest or the low swamplands of the South.
Because the American Indian Horse Registry encompasses not a single breed or type of horse, but rather a group of horses that have developed in the Americas from Spanish stock, there is no singular characteristic of the horse. At the most general, the American Indian Horse stands between 13 and 15 hands high and comes in any color.
The history of the American Indian Horse is varied according to which area of the U.S. from which you begin. Its earliest origin is from the Spanish horses brought over to the Americas by the conquistadors. Today, the American Indian Horse Registry, established in 1961, has created five categories in which to group the horse. Class A are those with unknown pedigrees, such as BLM horses. Class AA have at least a fifty percent traceable pedigree to distinct American Indian tribe horses. Class M horses have modern type breed blood, such as Quarter Horse and Appaloosa. Class O horses are those horses which follow a distinct bloodline that follows back to specific Indian tribes. Class P is reserved for ponies of Indian type.
The American Indian Horse has been known by many names and used by many different types of riders. It is also known as a cow pony, a buffalo horse, the Cayuse, the mustang (itself also known as a bronco), and Spanish pony. It has been used by American Indian tribes, prospectors, settlers, cowboys, and many others.
1. Spanish Horses
For more information:
American Indian Horse Registry