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Worlds Most Beautiful Horse Breeds From Around the World

Updated on April 28, 2017
tazzytamar profile image

Anna studied psychology, law, English, and animal welfare in college. She is a mother of two and aspires to become a vet some day.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

...But there are some key things that make someone or something beautiful. When making this list I have considered physical characteristics of horse breeds such as coloration, coat, feathering and body type. However, I have also only included breeds that have a good temperament, are comfortable to ride and would make suitable pets.

The Friesian

The Friesian is always black in colour and can stand anywhere between 14.2-17 hands. They have long, silky manes, tails and feathers on the lover part of their legs and move with remarkable grace - even the largest of this breed are incredibly nimble. They have wonderful personalities and are incredibly docile, and have been used in many films over the years, including "the mask of Zorro". The ancestors of this breed were used to carry knights to battle.

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Tennessee Walking Horses


Tennessee Walking Horses are renowned for their stance; their front legs kept absolutely straight, with their back legs pushed back, away from the body.

Walking horses make for an exceptionally comfortable riding experience and each of the walking horses unique gaits are smooth and even. It is also said to be the most sweet-natured of all horses, so is perfect for a child's first full size horse, and is also the idea size, typically standing between 15 and16 hands.


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Dutch Warmblood

Dutch Warmblood horses are becoming increasingly popular in the United Kingdom and the United States, not only for their incredibly good looks but also for their impressive athleticism and calm, friendly temperament. They are related to thoroughbred horses and are quite tall, measuring around 15.3-16.3 hands.

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Arabian

The Arabian horses are considered by many to be the most beautiful equines in all the world. The head is small and elegant with a concave profile, and they are also unique in several other physical aspects: firstly, they have 17 ribs rather than the usual 18, the neck is well arched and the angle of the mitbah (where the neck joins the body), is seen only in this breed. The tail is well-arched and attached high up on the body. They are the perfect choice for endurance riding given their stamina and although a small breed (14.2-15 hands), they are full of spirit and character.

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Yakutian

Yakutian horses survive the incredibly harsh climates of the Yakutia region, and have some very similar features to the Shetland pony. They are stocky, with dense fur and they have the remarkable ability to locate vegetation - even when it is buried in snow. It is a very small horse, averaging at around 14.2 hands.

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American Quarter Horse

The American Quarter horse was the first horse breed to be developed in America, and has influenced many other breeds since. They are amongst the best and most successful competition horses, and currently hold the world record for show-jumping and is also one of the highest achievers at dressage.

Morgan

The Morgan is so-called after it's first owner, Justin Morgan, who acquired the horse as a debt repayment. This is an American breed and has influenced many others, including the Tennessee Walking horse. They excel in most disciplines of horsemanship and stand between 14.2 and 15.2 hands.

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Holsteiner

Holsteiner horses originate from Germany and stand between 16 and 17 hands tall. They are medium-framed and thought to be the oldest of all Warmblood breeds. They were used as coach and riding horses for their sweet disposition, but they also excel at jumping, due to the strength of their bodies and legs.

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Lusitano Horses

The Lusitano is a breed of horse originating from Portugal. It is closely related to the Andalusian horse, and stands at 15.2-15.3 hands usually. They are known to be powerful, energetic and willing horses, as well as intelligent, which makes training them fairly easy.

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Thoroughbred

Thoroughbred horses are very popular and are used for racing, show-jumping and dressage. They are a tall, elegant breed. They possess incredible stamina, speed and strength, and are well-muscled horses, making them incredibly sought after for sports. They descended from Arabian horses and were developed in Great Britain.

Missouri Fox Trotter

The Missouri Fox Trotter is known for it's unique four-beat, diagonal gait, called the Fox Trot. This breed is sure-footed, calm, friendly and gentle and are great starter-horses. They stand around 14.2-16.2 hands tall and can be found in most horse-colours.

Hanoverian

Hanoverian horses are a breed of Warmblood originating from Germany. They are often seen in the Olympics for their athleticism, wonderful temperament and stunning beauty. The breed was also the outcome of crossing thoroughbreds, warmbloods and Spanish/Andalusian horses to try to attain the best of all these breeds, amongst others.

Akhal Teke

The Akhal Teke - also known as "the golden horse" has become famous for it's short, incredibly glossy coat which has a metallic sheen. This horse originated from Turkmenistan, where it is the national emblem. They are also known as the greyhounds of equines, for their impressive speed and athleticism, especially in show-jumping.

Haflinger

The Haflinger was developed for use in mountainous areas for it's sure-footedness - even on rough terrain. They are always chestnut in colour, with a white or flaxen mane and tail and they have elegant, smooth gaits which make them excellent as riding horses. They are quiet and calm horses and excellent for children who are learning to ride due to their patient nature.

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Russian Don

Russian Don horses were originally utilised by the Cossacks as cavalry horses. They are usually around 15.1-15.3 hands in height and vary in colour. It's amazing endurance, stamina and speed make this breed a great saddle horse, especially when long distances need to be covered.

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The Rocky Mountain Horse

Rocky Mountain horses were developed in Kentucky, America, where it was used for many different purposes such as cattle-driving and herding as well as general riding. The range between 14.2-16 hands and generally have one solid body colour, with a flaxen mane and tail.

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Knabstrupper

The Knabstrupper, sometimes referred to as the 'Knabstrup' is well-known for it's spotted coat, caused by a genetic mechanism called the 'leopard complex'. They are generally 15.2-16 hands in height and are commonly associated with Appaloosa horses, though they are both breeds individually.

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Orlov Trotter

The Orlov Trotter is noted for its unmistakeable trot and also it's ability to reach amazing speed, with stamina to match. In the past they were used by Russian nobility for harness and saddle. They have an excellent temperament and are very beautiful to look at.

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Paso Fino Horses

Paso Fino horses are naturally baited light horses with a slender, elegant look about them and incredible beauty. They are prized for their four beat natural ambling gait, which is smooth and comfortable. It's name literally translates to 'fine step'.

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Andalusian

The Andalusian, also known as the Pure Spanish horse, are well-muscled, strong and elegant horses that stand at around 15.2 hands in height. These horses are often pure white or black, but there are other markings accepted in the breed's standard. Also, this breed does very well in dressage and has a smooth, comfortable gait. They are renowned for being reliable and have good temperaments which make them brilliant horses for riding.

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National Show Horse

National Show Horses have only recently been recognised as a breed in their own right. This breed is the result of a Saddlebred crossed with an Arabian horse, and is bred to excel in harness, side-saddle, saddle-seat, halter and many more show disciplines. They are exceptionally athletic horses with five gaits and stand 15-16 hands tall.

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Percheron

Percheron horses are a breed of draft horse, which originated from Western France. The ideal height for this breed ranges from 15-18 hands and can weigh up to 2600lbs. At the end of the 19th Century, most driving-horses were Percherons, and filled this role perfectly due to their calm and docile temperament as well as their incredible strength.

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Gypsy Vanner

Gypsy Vanners were used by the Romanichal people to pull the vardoes in which they lived and travelled. They are best known for their abundant feathering from the knee down, and also their pinto pattern, which is usually black and White but can also be a number of other colours. Similar in appearance to the Shire horse, but smaller, Gypsy horses stand at around 14.2-15.2 hands.

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Icelandic

Icelandic horses originated from Iceland and are relatively small horses used for agricultural work, showing and racing as well as riding. The breed has two unique gaits: one called the flying pace, which is smooth but fast and the tölt - a four beat and ambling gait. A mare lived for a remarkable 56 years, and they are known for longevity and hardiness. However these horses should not be ridden until they are 4 years old, as they take a long time to mature.


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Vladimir

Vladimir heavy draft horses originated from Russia, and were influenced by a number of other horse breeds including Shire horses. They have strong, feathered legs and well-muscled bodies and are renowned for their incredible strength, but also have gentle, intelligent personalities and are good as riding horses, as well as working horses.

Paint Horse

Paint horses have exceptional beauty - especially about their face, head and neck. This breed combines the conformational bodily features of a Western Stock horse with a pinto pattern that is usually white and dark. These horses were bred in America and are bright, intelligent animals that also are sweet-natured, patient and calm. They are the perfect horse for any new rider and also children.


Let me know your favourite breed

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    • profile image

      christinehi 

      11 months ago

      These are all such beautiful horses. My favorite breed by far though is the Gypsy Vanner horse!

    • norlawrence profile image

      Norma Lawrence 

      2 years ago from California

      Great article. Very good choice of breeds for your article. The pictures where beautiful.

    • profile image

      Khachar 

      2 years ago

      U have not icluded The Kathiawari and Marwari horse breeds. They are very beautiful and they have unique ears which meet at the end and are very agile horses. Please add them too

    • profile image

      marcy 

      2 years ago

      Beautiful pictures of beautiful horses! You might want to check the American Quarter horse photo. Looks like the Rocky Mountain pictured twice.

    • BodyHairRemoval profile image

      BodyHairRemoval 

      4 years ago

      Some beautiful horse breed. Thanks for sharing.

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 

      4 years ago

      I've always found horses to be quite fascinating animals.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 

      4 years ago

      Nice lens! I love all breeds of horses for their own characteristics ....but the Arabian is my favorite and it's the breed of horse I bred for many years.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 

      4 years ago

      I'm challenged to pick one. Horses are magnificent animals.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I like to see Tennessee Walkers walk, but Appaloosas are my favorite.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 

      4 years ago

      Oh gosh.. cannot decide on my fav. Love them all!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      4 years ago

      I don't have a favorite as I don't know enough about the breeds to have an opinion. I just know that I really like the ones with long manes.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 

      4 years ago from Orange County, California

      Gorgeous horses!

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 

      4 years ago

      I love horses! I am not familiar with the different breeds. I just think that they are all so beautiful!!!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      I agree with you that it is a individual taste sort of thing, but they are great looking horses.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 

      4 years ago from Washington KS

      I love horses of all breeds, but I'm especially fond of draft horses -- so big and beautiful.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 

      4 years ago from Washington KS

      I love horses of all breeds, but I'm especially fond of draft horses -- so big and beautiful.

    • profile image

      katiesnow 

      4 years ago

      nice story! I learned a few things too!

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