This page is a list of horse
breeds, and also includes terms used to describe types of horses that are not breeds but are commonly mistaken for breeds. A breed
is defined generally as a viable true-breeding population, and its members are called "purebreds
." In most cases, bloodlines are recorded with a breed registry
. However, in horses, the concept is somewhat flexible, as open stud books
are created for fairly new types of horses that are not yet fully true-breeding. There are also a number of "color breed
", sport horse
, and gaited horse
registries for horses with various phenotypes
or other traits, which admit any animal fitting a given set of physical characteristics, even if there is minimal or no evidence of the trait being a true-breeding characteristic.
For additional information, see horse breeding and the individual articles listed below. Additional articles on different breeds may be listed under Horse breeds and Types of horses.
Horses are members of Equus caballus
that generally mature to be 14.2 hands
or taller, but many breed registries do accept animals under this height and classify them as "horses," as horse characteristics include factors other than height. For the purposes of this page, if a breed registry or stud book
classifies the breed as a horse, it is listed here as a horse, even if some representatives are pony-sized or have some pony characteristics.
- Spanish Tarpan, see Sorraia
- Spotted Saddle horse
- Standardbred horse
- Suffolk Punch
- Swedish Ardennes
- Swedish Warmblood
- Swiss Warmblood
- Tchernomor, see Budyonny (horse)
- Tennessee Walking Horse
- Tersk horse
- Tinker horse, see Gypsy Vanner horse
- Tiger Horse
- Tori (horse)
- Trait Du Nord
- Tuigpaard, see Dutch harness horse
- Ukrainian Riding Horse
- Unmol Horse
- Ventasso Horse (Cavallo Del Ventasso)
- Virginia highlander
- Vladimir Heavy Draft
- Waler horse, also known as Waler or Australian Waler
- Warmblood, see "Types of horses" below, or individual warmblood breed articles
- Welsh Cob (Section D), see Welsh pony
- Westphalian (horse)
- Württemberger or Württemberg
- Xilingol horse
- Yili horse
- Yonaguni (horse)
- Žemaitukas, also known as Zemaituka, Zhumd, Zhemaichu, or Zhmudk, see Pony section.
Ponies are usually classified as animals that mature at less than 14.2 hands. However, some pony breeds may occasionally have individuals who mature over 14.2 but retain all other breed characteristics. There are also some breeds that now frequently mature over 14.2 hands due to modern nutrition and management, yet retain the historic classification "pony." For the purposes of this list, if a breed registry classifies the breed as a "pony," it is listed here as such, even if some individuals have horse characteristics.
(Please note: Because of this designation by the preference of a given breed registry, most miniature horse breeds are listed as "horses," not ponies)
There are some registries that accept horses (and sometimes ponies and mules) of almost any breed or type for registration. Color is either the only criterion for registration or the primary criterion. These are called "color breeds
," because unlike "true" horse breeds, there are few other physical requirements, nor is the stud book
limited in any fashion. As a general rule, the color also does not always breed on (in some cases due to genetic impossibility), and offspring without the stated color are usually not eligible for recording with the color breed registry. The best-known color breed registries are for the following colors:
There are breeds that have color that usually breeds "true" as well as distinctive physical characteristics and a limited stud book. These horses are true breeds that have a preferred color, not color breeds, and include the Friesian horse, the Cleveland Bay, the Appaloosa, and the American Paint Horse.
Types of horses
A "type" of horse is not a breed but is simply a term used to describe a group of breeds that are similar in appearance (phenotype
) or use. A type usually has no breed registry, and often encompasses several breeds. Horses of a given type may be registered as one of several different recognized breeds, or a term may include horses that are of no particular pedigree
but meet a certain standard of appearance or use.
- AQPS ("Autre Que Pur-Sang"), French designation for riding horses "other than Thoroughbred," usually referring to the Anglo-Arabian, Selle Francais and other Thoroughbred crosses.
- Baroque horse, includes heavily muscled, powerful, yet agile Classical dressage breeds such as the Lipizzaner, Friesian, Andalusian, and Lusitano.
- Canadian Cutting Horse
- Cob (horse)
- Colonial Spanish Horse, the original Jennet-type horse brought to North America, now with a number of modern descendants with various breed names.
- Draft horse or Draught horse
- Feral horse, a horse living in the wild, but descended from once-domesticated ancestors. Most "wild" horses today are actually feral. The only true wild (never domesticated) horse in the world today is the Przewalski's horse.
- Gaited horse, term used to describe any of a number of breeds with an intermediate speed four-beat ambling gait, including the Tennessee Walker, Paso Fino, and many others.
- German Warmblood or ZfDP, collective term for any of the various warmblood horses of Germany, of which some may be registered with the nation-wide German Horse Breeding Society (ZfDP).
- Grade horse, a term used to describe a horse of unknown or mixed breed parentage.
- Hack, a basic riding horse, particularly in the UK, also includes Show hack horses used in competition.
- Heavy warmblood, heavy carriage and riding horses, predecessors to the modern warmbloods, several old-style breeds still in existence today.
- Hunter, a type of jumping horse, either a show hunter or a field hunter
- Hunter pony, a show hunter or show jumping animal under 14.2 hands, may be actually of a horse or pony breed, height determines category of competition.
- Iberian horse, encompassing horse and pony breeds developed in the Iberian peninsula, including the Andalusian, Alter Real, Lusitano and others.
- Mountain and moorland or "M&M" is a general term which covers several breeds of horse native to the British Isles.
- Oriental horse, referring to the "hot-blooded" breeds descended from the Oriental prototype under the "Four Foundations" theory, below.
- Riding Pony, a term used in the United Kingdom to describe certain types of show ponies.
- Sport horse or Sporthorse, includes any breeds suitable for use in assorted international competitive disciplines governed by the FEI.
- Stock horse, heavily-muscled riding horses of several different breeds, suitable for working cattle. Not to be confused with the breed Australian Stock Horse
- Warmblood, a group of Sport horse breeds developed for modern Dressage and other Olympic disciplines, including the Dutch Warmblood, Hanoverian (horse), Swedish Warmblood, Westphalian (horse), etc.
- Windsor Grey, the gray carriage horses of British Royalty.
Prior to approximately the 13th century
, few pedigrees were written down, and horses were classified by physical type or use. Thus, many terms for Horses in the Middle Ages
did not describe breeds as we know them today, but rather described appearance or purpose. These terms included:
Extinct species and breeds
These horses and ponies either were a recognized, distinct breed of horse that no longer exists as such, or are a species of equus caballus
that has become extinct
at some point since domestication of the horse
. This section does not include any species within evolution of the horse
prior to modern equus caballus
The "Four Foundations" wild prototypes
These are the original wild prototypes from which domesticated
breeds are believed to have developed.
- "Warmblood subspecies" or Forest Horse, also called Diluvial horse (Equus ferus silvaticus)
- "Oriental" subspecies, (Equus agilis), see also "Oriental horse" in "Modern Types," above
- "Draft" subspecies
- Tarpan subspecies
These were human-developed breeds, now no longer in existence
- "Breeds of Livestock: Horse Breeds" Alphabetized list of horse breed articles maintained by the Department of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University. Accessed at: http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/horses/
- "Horse Breeds of the World," web site maintained by the International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park, accessed at: http://www.imh.org/museum/breeds.php?pageid=8
- Pferderassen - Infoportal (ger.)
- "Races de chevaux et d'équidés" Lexique du cheval! (Includes English section). Accessed at: http://www.lexiqueducheval.net/lexique_racesengl.html
- World Horse breeds - UK focus, web site accessed at: http://www.equiworld.org/breeds/