The Hackney is a distinctive breed due to its high stepping trot. They are mostly seen in the show ring now, either under saddle or as carriage horses.
The first 'Hackney' horses were riding horses which were known for their comfortable trot. They were used by farmers and monarchs alike! They were also used as light cavalry by the military.
The Hackney was then refined during the 17th and 18th centuries. Developed in East Anglia and in the East Riding of Yorkshire the breed we know now is a cross between the Yorkshire Hackney and the Norfolk Roadster. Ancestors can be traced back to the Darley Arabian (see my Thoroughbred blog). The Hackney became popular in the 19th century because the improved roads meant that faster and lighter carriages were being used and the Hackney was an elegant carriage horse.
In 1883 the Hackney Horse Society was formed. Today the Hackney is still popular for its elevated trot. The breed is now seen in the US, Canada, Australia and throughout Europe.
Height: Average 14.1 - 15.2 hh
Colour: Dark brown, black, bay and chestnut.
Conformation: Small, neat head with an arched, muscular neck. The ears are expressive. The shoulders are powerful as are the hindlegs and the body is compact. A deep chest, short legs and good feet. They have a high set tail which is also naturally carried high.
Temperament: Lively, intelligent and spirited but with a good temperament. They are agile and have great stamina.
Use: Today the Hackney is mostly used for carriage driving and they can trot for great distances.
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