There are more than 350 horse breeds at present at the moment in this world. Some of them are used for working, some for pleasure riding, some are used for racing competitions. The versatility and excellent demeanor of some horses make them stand out and stand amongst the best horse breeds in the world.
The horse is one of the most loyal, friendly, human loving, faithful, and intelligent animals. Agility, speed, intuitiveness, and calmness are some of the traits that are thought to be common for most of the horse breeds. However, all the breeds are distinct in their very own special way.
The Thoroughbred Horse
- Hallmark – Agility
- Origin – The Great Britain 17th century
- Height & Weight – 60 to 68 inches, 1000 to 1200 pounds
- Life Span – 25 to 35 years
- Price Range – $1000 to $ 10,000
- Defining Characteristics – Hot-blooded with Athletic body, grace, and agility.
The Thoroughbred horse breed is considered as the most famous horse breed in the world of horse racing. This muscular, athletic, and graceful horse has been existing for more than 500 years and originated from Great Britain in the 17th century.
These medium profile horses with an athletic body were bred especially for their racing qualities. Thoroughbred horses are mainly used for riding, jumping, dressage, and racing. They can run at the speed of 40 miles per hour which is the fastest speed recorded for a racing horse.
Many racing horses have their ancestry attached to the Thoroughbred.
Bay, brown, chestnut, black, and grey are common colors for Thoroughbred with white blazes and markings on the face and legs. Only solid, one color coat is allowed for this breed.
Having a relatively fast metabolism, these horses require more amount of quality nutrition and feeding.
With high intellect and strong work ethics, these hot-blooded horses are too spirited, bold, ad agile and cannot be handled by the beginners or kids.
Weekly grooming and cleaning keep the horse healthy, joyful, and active.
A few health issues bother the Thoroughbred horse breeders like having an abnormally small heart contributing to circulatory ailments, short hooves causing soreness, and some behavioral issues that become a hindrance in training the horses.
The Arabian Horse
- Hallmark – Elegant gait
- Origin – Arabian Peninsula, 4000 years ago
- Height & Weight – 56 to 64 inches, 800 to 1000 pounds
- Life Span – 30 years
- Price Range – $5000 to $20,000
- Defining Characteristics – Intellect, elegance, pride, social, athletic body.
Arabian horse having its origin in the sandy deserts of the Middle East has a distinctive personality that earned its fame and popularity. The pride, elegance, and honor in its gait show that it has an honorable bloodline. They are regarded as warm-blooded horses.
They have a robust build that makes them survive in the harsh weather of Arabian deserts. They have black skin that can have a coat with colors like black, bay, chestnut, brown, and grey. Cremello and similar colors are not acceptable for this breed. Their coat needs regular grooming twice a week to protect it from debris and bacteria.
For their endurance and agility, Arabian horses were used for warfighters in the past and today, they are used for race competition, dressage, pleasure riding, parades, show rings, and also as working horses.
Their high intellect helps them in quick learning but they can also get bored easily and become stubborn at times. They can be handled by an experienced person.
The Arabian foal has to go through some serious health issues like Lavender Foal Syndrome, severe combined Immunodeficiency, and cerebral abiotrophy that can be fatal if not treated on time.
The Clydesdale Horse
- Hallmark – Large hooves covered with feathers
- Origin – Scotland, 18th century
- Height & Weight – 64 to 72 inches, 1800 to 2400 pounds
- Life Span – 20 to 25 years
- Price Range – $2,500 to $ 5000
- Defining Characteristics – Cold-blooded, calm, intelligent, and easy to train.
Clydesdale is one of the famous heavy build horses that are quite tall and heavier as well. They originated from the land of Scotland in the 18th century and reached the USA at the end of the 19th century.
This cold-blooded horse is famous for its calm demeanor. The gentleness has overcome the personality of this huge horse to the extent that it has got famous with the name ‘Gentle Giant’. They have a friendly temperament and remain patient and obedient but they can often become stubborn when they are neglected.
They have a giant muscular body with a flat profile. Their mane and tail hair are silky and long that add to its beauty. The coat of Clydesdale has markings and spots on them. They are found mostly in the bay color. Black, grey, and chestnut colors are also common. They have large hooves with lots of feathers.
The food requirement of Clydesdale is twice than of an ordinary racing horse. Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy is a common health problem of huge horses like Clydesdale.
They are the true companions and become violent when they sense a threatening situation for their owners. They alert their owner with their restlessness.
The Clydesdale horses have a hardworking nature and they have been used in the fields and agriculture for logging, hauling, and pulling the carts.
These beautiful horses are also used in show rings, carriage, drumming, pleasure riding, therapy, exhibition, and fairs.
The Hackney Horse
- Hallmark – Unique Trot
- Origin – England, 17th century
- Height & Weight – 60 to 64 inches, 1000 to 2000 pounds
- Life Span – 20 to 35 years
- Price Range – $ 10,000 and above
- Defining Characteristics – Easy to train, beautiful high -stepping action, solid colors.
The Hackney horse breed originated from Norfolk, England in the mid-17th century that reached the USA in the late 18th century. This horse breed has a refined sleek body and it is famous for its unique trot followed by a beautiful high-stepping action.
The Hackney horse is mainly used for driving a carriage. Their unique trot makes them impressive carriage horses. It is also used for dressage, jumping, and combined driving events. The eye-catching performance of high-stepping action has also been presented in the show rings and has gained more fame for this horse breed. But, this high-stepping action can cause hooves injury, arthritis, joint problems, and muscle stiffness if not taken care of properly.
The Hackney horse has a dark solid-colored coat of black, bay, or chestnut shades. Their food intake is traditional and their diet must include nutrients to maintain their weight and energy required for show rings and dressage.
Hackney horses are very sensitive and responsive. They are quite easy to train. They tend to be very friendly and calm but they can turn wild and stubborn if not well-handled. This can lead to severe behavioral negativity.
For a Hackney horse, the grooming of tail and mane is very crucial and difficult too. Together they need a lot of time for grooming. Detanglers and conditioners can make it way too easy.
The Friesian Horse
- Hallmark – Black Shine
- Origin – Netherlands, 12th century
- Height & Weight – 60 to 64 inches, 1200 to 1400 pounds
- Life Span – 16 years
- Price Range – $25,00 To $30,000
- Defining Characteristics – Warm-blooded, agile, mischievous, muscular body, thick mane, and tail, feathers over the hooves
The Friesian is one of the ancient horse breeds that has its traces in the history of the 12th century. It originated from Friesland, the northern province of the Netherlands.
The Friesian horse is also known as ‘Black Beauty’. It is a warm-blooded horse with a highly friendly, mischievous, and fun-loving nature. It has a calm temperament and mostly behaves well while training. Some get stubborn and make training difficult. They are very sensitive and get frightened by a loud and unusual noise.
This black beauty has a beautiful black body covered with a black shiny coat. The silky, thick, and black tail and mane are also prominent features of a Friesian’s body. The body is strong and muscular with hooves covered by lots of feathers.
The Friesian horse had been used in history by the knights in the battles and as carriage horses. Today, this beautiful horse breed is used for presentation in the show rings, dressage, exhibitions, race competitions, and also for pleasure riding.
The health problems are quite high with Friesian horse breed in comparison to other breeds. These diseases cause the life span of a Friesian horse to be as little as 16 years only.
The lots of feathering, mane, and tail of a Friesian horse need proper cleaning and grooming. Conditioning and tangling can keep the mane and tail clean for a longer time.
The Marwari Horse
- Hallmark – Unique Ears
- Origin – India, 12th century
- Height & Weight – 58 to 64 inches, 750 to 1000 pounds
- Life Span – 25 to 30 years
- Price Range – $3000 to $4000
- Defining Characteristics – Beauty, endurance, agility
This is a unique horse breed that is still rare in the whole world. The Marwari horse originated from Marwar, a region in India in the late 12th century.
These horses have slim bodies full of energy and strength. They have been used in the battles for centuries for this agility and endurance. Their beautiful bodies increase the beauty of parades and ceremonies. Marwari horses are also suitable for dressage and polo.
This horse is acceptable in many colors like grey, palomino, chestnut, skewbald, and bay. White blazes and stockings are also famous in Marwari horses. They are also found in black color but black is considered to be a symbol of bad luck in India.
One of the most prominent features is the uniqueness of its ears. Their ears are curved inward in such a way that the tips of the ears touch each other and look very cute on them. It has an ambling gait that helps to cover a long distance in a short time.
The Appaloosa Horse
- Hallmark – Spotted Coat
- Origin – revived in North America, 16th century
- Height & Weight – 56 to 60 inches, 950 to 1200 pounds
- Life Span – 30 years
- Price Range – $1000 to $10,000
- Defining Characteristics – Eye-catching appearance, friendly, gentle, faithful
The Appaloosa horse breed is one of the most unique horse breeds in the world. This is because of the eye-catching and unique appearance that this horse possesses.
The true origin of Appaloosa is blurred somewhere in the 11th century. This breed was revived by an Indian tribe in North America during the 16th century.
The horse breed is popular due to its unique and colorful coat with spotting. Every horse has a different spot pattern like leopard, blanket, marble, and snowflakes. The coat is available in a variety of colors. Besides the distinctive coat patterns, the mottled skin, hooves with white and dark stripes, and visible white sclera in their eyes are some additional prominent features.
They have a calm temperament loaded with friendly behavior, loyalty, intelligence, and gentleness. They are loving and are eager to please their owners.
This beautiful horse breed is prone to some issues related to eyesight causing night blindness and sometimes permanent blindness.
These horses are used in wars, hunting, transportation, pleasure riding, show rings, and competitions.
The Paint Horse
- Hallmark – colored coat pattern
- Origin – North America, 16th century
- Height & Weight – 56 to 64 inches, 950 to 1200 pounds
- Life Span – 30 years
- Price Range – $1000 to $5000
- Defining Characteristics – friendly, trainable, intelligent, and calm
The Paint Horse is a horse breed very close to the Appaloosa horse breed in appearance and some of the other characteristics. The origin of the Paint horse lies in North America during the 16th century like the Appaloosa horse.
The Paint horse is popular for its versatility, flashy colors, and genial temperament. It is an intelligent and friendly horse breed. It has an athletic strong body and they are used for transportation, barrel racing, combined driving, jumping, equine sports, and trail riding. Their easy go temperament makes them unchallenging and easy to train.
This breed is loved by the riders and breeders for its unique coat color patterns. These patterns are named as Tobiano, Overo, and Tovero. None of the Paint horses have the same color pattern and this is what makes them so popular. The color combination varies with white, grey, bay, palomino, chestnut, and black colors.
The Paint horses are vulnerable to some health issues like lethal white syndrome, a foal ailment with underdeveloped intestines, and hyperkalemic periodic paralysis that causes muscle twitching.
The American Quarter Horse
- Hallmark – Quarter Mile Race
- Origin – Colonial America, 17th century
- Height & Weight – 56 to 64 inches, 950 to 1200 pounds
- Life Span – 25 years
- Price Range – $1000 to $4000
- Defining Characteristics – calm, friendly, gentle, easy to train, speedy, instinctive cow sense
The American Quarter horse is a descendant of the Scottish and English horse breeds that were brought to America in the 17th century. The American Quarter Horse Association is known as the largest breed registry in the world at present.
This horse breed is very popular for having a calm and gentle demeanor, friendliness, and being easy for the trainers. This horse breed got its name from its growing popularity and influence on the quarter-mile race. They run at a very high speed.
They have a straight and flat body profile with a bushy tail and short-footed gait. They usually have a plain solid coat with white markings on the face and legs.
They are compact, agile, and have a special cow sense, an instinctive skill for maneuvering cattle.
The American Quarter horses are used for quarter-mile racing, maneuvering cattle, transportation, hunting, barrel race, dressage, exhibitions, parades, and for pleasure riding as well. They are the best choice for beginners and kids.
The Tennessee Walking Horse
- Hallmark – Unique Gaits
- Origin – Bluegrass region of Tennessee, 19th century
- Height & Weight – 59 to 68 inches, 900 to 1200 pounds
- Life Span – 30 years
- Price Range – $1000 to $4000
- Defining Characteristics – Natural running walk, versatile, gentle, trainable, eager to please
The Tennessee walking horse has gained popularity for its unique, versatile, and interesting gait styles.
This origin of this breed lies in the Bluegrass Region of Tennessee in the late 19th century. The farmers wanted a breed for a smooth ride as well as a good farm working horse. The Tennessee walking horse is a result of cross-breeding distinctive horse breeds.
The horse has a solid appearance, a well-defined body, and can walk with lots of gaits. They have the coat color combinations similar to the Paint horse. Tennessee Walking horse appears in a variety of colors like chestnut, bay, black, grey, dun, roan, white, and many others.
This horse breed is famous for its running walk gait. With this gait, it can cover 10 to 20 miles per hour. With increased speed, the horse changes its gait to a gliding motion which is safe for the rider. The head of the horse also bobs with the gait rhythms.
Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, malignant hyperthermia, and Polysaccharide storage myopathy are some of the well-known diseases that the Tennessee Walking horses are prone to.
The smooth gaits of the Tennessee Walking horse are considered to be helpful for the older riders and the people suffering from spinal issues and back pains.
The World’s 10 Best Horse Breeds
- The Thoroughbred Horse
- The Arabian Horse
- The Clydesdale Horse
- The Hackney Horse
- The Friesian Horse
- The Marwari Horse
- The Appaloosa Horse
- The Paint Horse
- The American Quarter Horse
- The Tennessee Walking Horse