The American Indian Horse is known by many other names too. Spanish pony, Indian pony, cow pony, mustang, cayuse and buffalo horse are the other names that people use while referring to this breed. The Spanish explorers brought this breed to the American soil and from there on the indigenous people took over the breeding of these horses. There are very few horses with that belong to the pure bloodline. Since there has been excessive cross breeding, there are no specific features or characteristics that help us identify this breed easily. The features vary to a great extent depending on the breed with which they have been cross bred. The height of these horses varies between 13-15 hands.
In 1961, the American Indian Horse Registry was established. This organization has classified the horse into 5 distinct groups. The horses whose pedigrees are unknown were classified under Class A. The horses that have 50% traceability to American Indian horses were grouped under Class AA. Horses whose blood related to the blood type of one of the modern breeds like Appaloosa or Quarter Horse were grouped under Class M. Horses that have the unique bloodline that can be traced back to the horses of the Indian tribes are grouped under class O. Finally, the ponies that are descendents from the horses of the Indian tribes fall under class P.
13 -15 hands
The American Indian Horse comes in a variety of colors.
These horses can be used for riding purposes. They are exhibited as show horses in certain events.
The American Indian horses were initially Spanish horses that were brought into the USA by Spanish explorers or the descendants of these Spanish horses. The introduction of these horses to the American soil had a great impact on the Native Americans and changed their lives. When these foreign settlers began moving towards the west coast, they took their horses along with them. When they moved from one place to another, many native Americans raided their camps and stole the horses or the horses just escaped into the wild. This led to the dilution in the bloodline. The Indians cross bred these horses with various draft horse breeds. The horses that escaped managed to cross the Mississippi river and bred with the French horses that were found in that region. Some horses also bred with old style East Friesian horses that were being used by the Americans to pull heavy wagons and artillery. This diluted the bloodline further.
When people in the western part of the United States began settling down and raising cattle, the dry lands of the west could not support the large grazing population. Hence many American Indian horses were shot and killed. The population that was around two million in the early part of the twentieth century was halved in the next 25 years. Currently the population of these American Indian horses is just a meager 30000. Efforts are on the preserve this breed and prevent them from becoming extinct.