13 Most Popular Horse Breeds, Images and Types

13 Most Popular Horse Breeds, Images and Types

There are more than 350 different types of horses and ponies, but only a few numbers are regarded as the most popular. Horse lovers all across the world are captivated by five specific breeds and five generic horse categories.

Each horse has unique traits, whether it is used for working or racing pleasure riding, or equestrian sport. These horses usually behave well and possess a variety of skills. Many of them are appropriate for inexperienced horse owners and can be used for both competition and pleasure riding.

Horses have been around for more than 160,000 years, and domestication of the species began in Eurasia some 6,000 years ago. These creatures have been utilized in war and for transportation for a very long time.

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Horses and ponies are the two basic classifications for horses. Ponies are the most common term for horses that are under 56.8 inches tall.

13 Most Popular Horse Breeds, Images and Types

  1. Arabian Horse
  2. American Quarter Horse
  3. Thoroughbred Horse
  4. Warmbloods Horse
  5. Morgan Horse
  6. Appaloosa Horse
  7. Grade Horses
  8. Ponies
  9. Gaited Breeds
  10. Draft Breeds
  11. Tennessee Walker
  12. Andalusian Horse
  13. Paint Horse

1. Arabian Horse

Arabian Horse

The oldest horse breed registry in existence is the Arabian. Its ancestry dates back to 3000 B.C. In reality, the Arabian is the ancestor of every light horse breed, including Appaloosas, Morgans, and Andalusians. Not all novice riders can handle this breed of horse since they can be somewhat energetic. It is, however, typically a loving and devoted horse.

Arabian Horse Breed Characteristics

Height: 14 hands (56 inches) to 16 hands (64 inches)

Weight: 950 to 1,200 pounds

Physical Characteristics: Medium-boned; finely chiseled head; wide forehead; flat profile

Types of Arabian Horses

Within the breed, there are six types of Arabian horses. These include;

  • Shagya
  • Russian
  • Crabbet
  • Polish
  • Spanish
  • Egyptian

2. American Quarter Horse

American Quarter Horse
American Quarter Horse

The American quarter horse is famous for its quickness, docility, and athleticism and is loved by both amateur and expert equestrians worldwide. It has the largest breed registry in the entire globe. It was first created in the 1600s from English and Spanish thoroughbreds mated with regional varieties like the Native American Chickasaw horse. Both in the show ring and on the trail, these horses are brilliant lights.

American Quarter Horse Breed Characteristics

  • Height – between 56 and 64 inches, although some (like the Halter-type) may reach a height of 68 inches.
  • Weight – between 950 and 1,200 pounds.
  • Color – comes in almost any color, with the most common one being sorrel.

Current American quarter horse exhibits a short and stocky stature with heavily build muscles.

Physical Characteristics: These horses are beautiful, have chiseled heads, flat profiles,  wide foreheads, and are medium-boned.

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3. Thoroughbred Horse

13 Most Popular Horse Breeds, Images and Types
Thoroughbred Horse

In North America, thoroughbreds are the most widely used racing breed. This breed is recognized for its agility, speed, and spirit and is referred to as a “hot-blooded” horse. It’s a good all-around horse that frequently competes in equestrian events other than racing, such as dressage, and jumping. Or it could just exist as a pet animal kept for riding pleasure.

Thoroughbred Horse Breed Characteristics

Height: 15 hands (60 inches) to 17 hands (68 inches)

Weight: 1,000 to 1,300 pounds

Physical Features: Deep chest; lean body; long, flat muscles

4. Warmbloods Horse

13 Most Popular Horse Breeds, Images and Types
Warmbloods Horse

The terms “hot-blooded,” “warm-blooded,” and “cold-blooded” are used in the equestrian industry to describe the temperament, build, and origin of a horse. Warmbloods with European ancestry are medium-sized horses like the American quarter horse, Hanoverian, Cleveland bay, and Canadian. They have a mixture of the calm temperament of “cold-blooded” working horses with the temper you get from lithe, “hot-blooded” thoroughbreds or Arabians.

Warmbloods Horse Breed Characteristics

  • Weight- 1,000- 1,200 pounds
  • Height- 15- 17 hands ( 60-68 inches)

Physical Features: These types of horses can be identified by their chiseled head, long neck, deep chest, high withers, long legs, and short backs. And, although they are huge and powerful, they can move with grace and agility.

5. Morgan Horse

13 Most Popular Horse Breeds, Images and Types
Morgan Horse

The Morgan is a well-liked horse breed thanks to its power and elegance. The muscle of the Morgan, which is the state horse of Vermont, was utilized in colonial times for clearing and tilling New England lands. It is a well-liked driving and riding horse today. It is graceful in the show ring and surefooted on rocky terrain.

Morgan Horse Breed Characteristics

Height: 14 hands (56 inches) to 15 hands (60 inches)

Weight: 900 to 1,100 pounds

Physical Features: Small ears; expressive eyes; crested neck

6. Appaloosa Horse

Appaloosa Horse
Appaloosa Horse

The Nez Perce Native Americans developed the colorfully speckled Appaloosa for use in both combat and hunting. It is thought to be a cross between a thoroughbred, an American quarter horse, and an Arabian. This tough, adaptable equine is excellent for trail riding over long distances, pleasure riding, and more.

Appaloosa Horse Breed Characteristics

Height: 14 hands (56 inches) to 15 hands (60 inches)

Weight: 950 to 1,200 pounds

Physical Features: Colorful coat pattern; mottled skin; striped hooves

7. Grade Horses

Horse Breed
Grade Horses

The fancy phrase for the mutts of the horse world is a grade horse or a horse of no specific breeding. They are distinct from crossbreeds since crosses are produced by deliberately mating horses with known pedigrees. Despite not having a notable ancestry, grade horses can be just as dependable and adaptable as any other breed. They typically don’t have many of the hereditary disorders that are passed down through purebreds either.

8. Ponies


Ponies are a different popular breed of horse. A horse that is 14.2 hands (57 inches) or shorter when fully grown is typically referred to as a pony. (The miniature horse and the Icelandic horse are the two exceptions.) Popular pony breeds include the tenacious Shetland and the graceful Welsh. They frequently make great first horses for kids because of their small stature. 13 Most Popular Horse Breeds

Ponies Breed Characteristics

  • Height- less than 14. 2 hands (147cm, 58 inches) at the withers.
  • Weight- 225 to 360kgs

Physical Features

You’ll know it’s a pony because it’s much smaller than a regular horse. They have unique identifiable features, including a stocky body, well-sprung ribs, and dense bone structure. In addition, their short head, small ears, and large eyes make them easy to identify.

Ponies also exhibit strong hooves, as well as a denser hair coat in comparison with other types of horses.

9. Gaited Horse Breeds

Gaited Horse Breeds
Gaited Horse Breeds

Horses that have been selectively bred for a smooth ride or ambling stride are known as gaited horses. These horses typically move in a four-beat pattern at an intermediate speed. For senior riders, people with joint problems, and anybody else seeking a smooth ride, popular breeds include the Tennessee walking horse, Kentucky mountain saddle horse, Icelandic horse, and Paso Fino.

10. Draft Horse Breeds

Draft Horse Breeds
Draft Horse Breeds

Draft horses are large, cold-blooded horses used for pulling big loads. They have historically been employed in combat to support the weight of soldiers who were fully armored. These horses are hardy and able to withstand cold conditions because to their thick manes and coats. These gentle giants include several well-known breeds like the Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire, and Belgian. Additionally, due to their propensity for being kind and docile, crossbred draft horses can make excellent first horses. 13 Most Popular Horse Breeds

Draft Horse Breed Characteristics

  • Height- 16 – 19 hands or ( 64- 76 inches; 163-193 cm) high.
  • Weight- 1,400- 2000lbs or ( 640- 910kgs)

Types of Draft Horses

  • American Cream Draft
  • Ardennes
  • Dole
  • Bretonnoriker
  • Latvian
  • Dutch draft
  • Percheron
  • Italian heavy draft
  • Friesian
  • Haflinger
  • North Swedish horse
  • Murakoz
  • Belgian ( Brabant)

11. Tennessee Walker

Tennessee Walker
Tennessee Walker

Tennessee walker is best known for its even temperament and peculiar running walk. The horse came into being in the 18th century in the Southern USA.  It’s still popular today due to its smooth gait and uneven disposition.

Tennessee walkers were bred to help offer a relatively comfortable way to cover long distances on horseback throughout the day.  Course plantation managers, circuit preachers, and country doctors appreciated their all-day endurance and smooth gait.

Tennessee Walker Breed Characteristics

  • Height- 14.3 – 17 hands ( 59- 68 inches) or 150- 173 cm
  • Weight- 900- 1,200 pounds or  410- 540 kgs

12. Andalusian Horse

Andalusian Horse
Andalusian Horse

The temperament of Andalusian horses is excellent. They are simply wise. They are courageous, perceptive, submissive, and caring.

They have an unrivaled appetite for knowledge and innovation. This breed of horse adapts without much stress to changes and new situations.

Nonetheless, many equestrians recommend handling these breeds only if you have considerable experience working with other horses. This is because they are pretty fast, agile, and heavily built.

Andalusian Horse Breed Characteristics

  • Height – 15.2 hands ( 156cm, 61. 5 inches) to  154 cm,  5 inches   at withers
  • Weight- 1,129lbs, 512kgs to 412kgs ( 908lbs)

Andalusian stallions and geldings average 15.1 12 hands (61.5 inches, 156 cm) at the withers and 512 kilograms (1,129lbs) in weight. Mares average 15 12 hands (60.5 inches, 154 cm) and 412 kilograms (908lbs)

13. Paint Horse

Paint Horse
Paint Horse

Being a versatile breed, paint horses can be seen competing in practically all equine sports. They participate in events including cross-country races, jumping, combined driving, and working cattle.

Although there are just three primary patterns for Paint horses, they come in a variety of colors and markings. The tobiano, tovero, and overo patterns are a few examples.

Paint Horse Breed Characteristics

  • Height – 14-16 hands (56-64 inches)
  • Weight – 950 -1,200 pounds

The horse’s colored patterns are one of its most distinct features, although it offers more than just beauty. Combined with its muscular body and well-balanced stature, these traits make this horse breed one of the most popular types of horses in equestrian sports. 13 Most Popular Horse Breeds

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