Hackney horses have been around for centuries, and they remain a popular choice for carriage drivers today.
They are known for their athleticism and intelligence.
If you’re interested in learning more about these horses, then read on.
Hackney Breed Info
Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Hackney:
|Pony size: up to 14.2 hands high
Horse size: 14.0 – 16.0 hands high
|Bay, chestnut, and shades of black; white markings on legs or face are allowed
|Country of Origin
|Show ring (shown almost exclusively in harness singly, in pairs, or in tandem), but they can also be shown in hand, endurance riding
Hackney Facts & Information (Breed Profile)
The history of trotting animals in England dates back at least to the Middle Ages.
Their lineage is unclear, however some speculate that they descended from Thoroughbreds and Danish coach horses.
Developed in the 18th century as a carriage horse, this elegant breed is currently used largely for showing.
Both the horse and the pony type of the Hackney are developed for their exceptional ability in harness.
The English Hackney Horse Society was founded in 1883 with the purpose of maintaining and promoting the purity of the Hackney horse breed.
The name “Hackney” comes from the French word “hacquenee,” which is derived from the Latin word “equus”, which means ‘horse’.
The Normans introduced the phrase to England in the 11th century, and by 1303 it had been completely integrated into the English language.
Originally referring to a lighter riding horse in contrast to a larger warhorse, the name eventually developed into the shortened form “hack”, which nowadays may refer to either a riding horse or a rented carriage.
Nowadays, Hackneys are rarely ridden because their conformation and movements make them difficult to ride.
However, when Hackneys are crossed with Thoroughbreds they make excellent jumpers.
In 1822, the first Hackney was brought to the United States, and in 1891, the American Hackney Horse Society was established.
The Hackney pony was created by crossing Hackney horses with Welsh, Fell, and other pony breeds in the 1870s.
Although the tendency toward breeding for a pony type started in England, modern British breeders are not as particular about horse size as the Americans.
The ponies are shown in elegant leather harnesses that are decorated with patent leather and brass or chrome hardware.
The four-wheeled single seat buggy that they pull is called a “viceroy”.
It features a single seat for the driver with a little pad in the back, a relic of the footman’s seat on bigger carriages.
If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!
High-strung and nervous, and must be carefully trained making them unsuitable for unexperienced handlers
Hackney is an outstandingly stylish and lively light horse known for his explosive gait, elegant carriage, and spirited personality.
When trotting, the pony’s front foot and rear pastern almost always contact its upper body, giving the impression of a suspended motion.
The gait is executed quickly, pausing briefly at the peak.
The head is well-shaped, sometimes with a slightly convex profile.
The eyes and ears are expressive.
The neck is muscular and arched.
The chest is broad, and the shoulder is strong, long and slightly sloping.
The back is of average length and strong.
The croup is level, and the hindquarters are powerful.
The tail is set high.
The legs are strong, and joints are clean.
Bay, chestnut, and shades of black; white markings on legs or face are allowed
Pony size: up to 14.2 hands high
Horse size: 14.0 – 16.0 hands high
Hackney pony: Average 600 lbs (275 kg)
Hackney horse: 1,000 – 1,200 lbs (450 – 545 kg)
Show ring (shown almost exclusively in harness singly, in pairs, or in tandem), but they can also be shown in hand, endurance riding
Hackneys are tough and are known for staying healthy and sound throughout their driving or competition careers.
The health of the Hackney, however, might be compromised by training.
It’s crucial to encourage a horse’s natural movement since the high-stepping action may lead to arthritis, stiffness, and pain.
High action in both front and back legs
Country of Origin
Norfolk Trotters, Thoroughbred, Danish coach horses (speculated)