Florida Cracker Horse


PetMD Editorial

Updated Aug. 11, 2022

The Florida Cracker Horse, also known as the Seminole, is a rare American breed. Typically, they are riding horses and descendants of Spanish horses. Most commonly known as the cracker horse, this name was derived from the sound of cattle herders’ whips.


Physical Characteristics


The Florida Cracker Horse resembles the Indian pony which is more common nowadays. It weighs about 750-800 pounds. The Cracker horse has a medium-sized body with long, thick hair. Its eyes are clear and intense, and its natural beauty and lively nature is associated to that of the magnificent Spanish breed. It stands 14.2 hands high (56.8 inches, 144.2 centimeters).


Personality and Temperament


The Florida Cracker horse exhibits great endurance in unfavorable environments. This horse exemplifies great patience and strength, as well as the ability to survive in the Rocky Mountains without injury. The Cracker horse can work all day and night, traveling without any additional care requirements.




Today, the Florida Cracker is becoming extinct. There had been dilemmas in raising these horse breeds in high and low altitudes as there is a big difference in the size and other characteristics of ponies living in the two extremes. Horses living on higher ground have a larger and stronger body compared to those living in flat areas. Many breeders in the United States are now aware of the need to preserve the bloodline of this breed. They have established programs that help prevent cross-breeding of cracker horses, maintain its purity and look for ways to increase its number for generations to come.


History and Background


In the 15th and 16th Centuries, the early Spanish travelers arrived in the United States. Aside from their spices and herbs, they also brought with them some of their pure-bred cows and horses. One of the oldest Spanish breeds in America is the Cracker horse. There have been many groups arguing about the authenticity of these breeds. Luckily, they have proven the authenticity of the Florida Cracker horse, which came from the line of Spanish horses like the Andalusian, Peruvian and Alter Real. It has been noted that these horses lived in the vast prairies of east America, grazing together with herds of cows and being utilized by Indian tribes for long-distance riding.

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