Versatile, intelligent, athletic, gentle & agile
These are the hallmarks of a one-of-a-kind horse bred for gentle and willing disposition, athletic conformation and versatility. The Blazer Horse officially became a recognized breed in 1967, but the story of the Blazer began many years before in the rugged mountains of western Wyoming.
F. Neil Hinck (1930 – 2009) was the developer of the Blazer breed. The descendant of Danish horsemen and Mormon pioneers, Hinck grew up on a ranch in Star Valley, Wyoming during the Great Depression and became an accomplished equestrian at an early age. Sturdy usable horses were required for livelihood and financial success in the environment of his youth, and he understood the western culture of communion between man, horse, and the land.
Hinck began working with horses while he was still a boy, and went on to become an accomplished jockey and endurance rider during his teenage years. After serving in the Korean War, he worked as a professional trainer and spent several years crossbreeding different breeds of horses, hoping to develop what he thought to be the ideal western horse. By focusing less on bloodlines, and more on overall conformation, usability and disposition, Hinck was able to develop a unique cross which culminated in 1959 with the birth of a chestnut stallion, Little Blaze. Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Morgan, and Shetland can all be found in Little Blaze’s pedigree and he became the foundation sire of the Blazer breed. Today, all registered Blazers must trace their ancestry to Little Blaze on at least one side.
Blazers are smaller than some other riding breeds, traditionally standing 15 hands or slightly under (although they can be registered as small as 13 hands). Their smaller size is intended to keep them within the bounds of nature, coupling optimal agility with natural sustainability. Other physical characteristics include a refined head, a bold eye, extreme sloping of the shoulder, short backs, long hips, and thick bones for strength and durability. On average, a Blazer horse maintains a cannon bone circumference of seven inches per thousand pounds of body weight. Most solid colors are acceptable for registration, with white marking limited to the face and legs (below the knee/hock).
Among the many quality attributes of Blazer Horses, none is more recognizable than their disposition. Blazers are specifically bred to have a gentle and willing personality. Their quality temperament and ease of usability were fundamental characteristics in the development of the breed, and continue to set Blazers apart today.
Blazers make great mounts for children, as well as adults, and they are ideally suited for both western and English riding. Easy to train and fun to ride, they have a history of success in nearly all equine sports, including gymkhana, endurance racing, barrel racing, and cow penning.
In 2006 the American Blazer Horse Association (ABHA) was founded as a member-owned nonprofit with the goal of recording pedigrees, maintaining quality Blazer Horses, promoting, supporting, encouraging, and celebrating the accomplishments of Blazer Horses and their owners. The ABHA is also charged with maintaining the history of the breed, as well as the registration requirements and proof of lineage. The ABHA is governed by a nine member board, and headquartered at Nampa, Idaho.