14 Most Popular Horse Breeds in the World

Here are 14 of the most popular breeds in the world.

1. Arabian

Purebred Arabians, with their dished faces and finely chiseled heads, are the most popular breed in the world. They are built with short backs which give them outstanding balance and perfect symmetry, making them very well-suited for a variety of equestrian activities, including endurance riding. They are one of the oldest breeds around, originating in the Arabian Peninsula thousands of years ago.


(Photo Credit: arabianhorses.org)

2. Quarter Horse

Quarter horses are well-known for their sturdiness  and durability. They are very popular, especially in America. They are great ranch-working horses and well-suited for many different activities, including all kinds of English and Western riding disciplines. Quarter horses get their name from being very quick to go from a stand still to running a quarter of a mile.


(Photo from horsemad.com)

3. Thoroughbred

Thoroughbreds are very lean, athletic horses that are mostly known for racing by most people. Because of their lankly build and great endurance, they are also great for English disciplines, especially eventing and jumping.


(Photo credit: americasbestracing.net)

4. Tennessee Walker

This breed of horse is gaited, meaning that they have a running walk that is much smoother than breeds that trot. These horses were first bred in the Southern U.S. for farm use when farmers spent long hours in the saddle. They have very calm personalities so they are great for trail riding and pleasure riding.


(Photo Credit: gettyimages)

5. Morgan

Morgan horses are often used for harness racing. They were also used extensively during the civil war after first being bred in the U.S. This breed is able to learn easily and can be ridden in a variety of disciplines.


(Photo Credit: morganhorseguide.com)

6. Paint

Paints have a very distinctive color that many people love. They are very sturdy horses that are great for working on ranches and have a very calm disposition. This breed can be found in almost every discipline from show jumping to barrel racing.


(Photo Credit: ansi.okstate.edu)

7. Appaloosa

Many love appaloosas for their spotted color. They may be considered to be better suited for those who have horse experience as they can be a little hot tempered. You can find this breed in all disciplines, even dressage, and especially endurance sports.


(Photo Credit: wikipedia)

8. Miniature Horse

Miniatures are very popular because they are tiny horses that are really cute! Not suitable for riding except for maybe by small children, they make really great pets and pasture mates for your larger horses.


(Photo Credit: horsefactsbymarshahubler)

9. Warmblood

These large bodied horses are great for many styles of riding, but perform especially well in dressage and eventing. They are much calmer than some of the other popular breeds, such as Thoroughbreds and Arabians, making them a great option for less experienced riders or for those who want a calmer horse that is easier to manage.


(Photo Credit: horsejournals.com)

10. Andalusian

Andalusians are known as the “Pure Spanish Horse.” Originating from the Iberian Peninsula, this breed has been around for thousands of years. It’s great conformation and majestic look has made this breed one that nobles have prized. These horses are very smart but easy to manage, and they are very athletic.


(Photo Credit: equusline.es)

11. Rocky Mountain Horse

This breed was first bred in Kentucky and is another gaited horse. The main uses of Rocky Mountain Horses are trail riding and for working cattle. They are known for their coats which are often a beautiful chocolate color.


(Photo Credit: equisearch.com)

12. Shetland Pony

Shetland ponies originally came from the Shetland Isles and are a very hardy breed of pony. They can pull carts and plows, but now are often ridden by smaller children. They can be ridden in a variety of disciplines for children and are often the types of ponies that are used for pony rides at local fairs.


(Photo Credit: stabledays)

13. Gypsy Vanner

These majestic horses are a dream horse for many. Originating in the British Isles, these horses are very smart and athletic with a calm temperament. They are suitable for all kinds of riding activities.


(Photo Credit: YouTube)

14. Fresian

Often another dream horse of many horse lovers, this breed is known for their pure-black color. Originating in the Netherlands, Fresians are a form of draft horse. They have been around for thousands of years and have been ridden by warriors throughout the ages. Fresians are very athletic and especially well-suited for Dressage.


(Photo Credit: richardbealblog.com)

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