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The Most Beautiful Horse Breeds Around the World

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Anna has been riding horses since she was 5. It is one of her great passions and horses are one of her favorite animals.

Pretty Horse Breeds

When making this list, I considered the physical characteristics of various 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 lower part of their legs. This breed also moves with remarkable grace; even the largest of this breed are incredibly nimble.

They have wonderful personalities, are incredibly docile, and have been used in many films, including The Mask of Zorro. The ancestors of this breed carried knights to battle.

Tennessee Walking Horses

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

This breed makes for an exceptionally comfortable riding experience, and each of the walking horses' unique gait is smooth and even. They are said to be the most sweet-natured of all horses, perfect for a child's first full-size horse. Additionally, they are also ideal in size, typically standing between 15-16 hands.

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.


Arabian horses are considered by many to be the most beautiful equines in 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. Although they're a small breed (14.2-15 hands), they are full of spirit and character.


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 petite horse, averaging 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. They are also one of the highest achievers at dressage.


The Morgan is so-called after its first owner, Justin Morgan, who acquired the horse as 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 14.2-15.2 hands.


Holsteiner horses originate from Germany and stand between 16-17 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 excelled at jumping due to the strength of their bodies and legs.

Lusitano Horses

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


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 its unique four-beat, diagonal gait, called the Fox Trot. This breed is sure-footed, calm, friendly and gentle and is a great starter horse. They stand around 14.2-16.2 hands tall and can be found in most horse colours.


The Hanoverian is a type of warmblood horse originating from Germany. They are often seen in the Olympics for their athleticism, excellent 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.


Haflingers were developed for use in mountainous areas for their 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, making them excellent for riding. They are quiet and calm horses and ideal for children learning to ride due to their patient nature.

Russian Don

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

The Rocky Mountain Horse

Rocky Mountain horses were created in Kentucky, USA, for many different purposes such as cattle driving and herding and general riding. They range between 14.2-16 hands and generally have one solid body colour, with a flaxen mane and tail.


The Knabstrupper, sometimes referred to as the "Knabstrup," is well-known for its 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.

Orlov Trotter

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

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. Its name literally translates to "fine step."


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 other markings are 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, making them brilliant horses for riding.

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.


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

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 several other colours. Similar in appearance to the Shire horse but smaller, Gypsy horses stand at around 14.2-15.2 hands.



Icelandic horses originated from Iceland and are relatively small horses used for agricultural work, showing, racing and riding. The breed has two unique gaits: one called the flying pace, which is smooth but fast and 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 four years old, as they take a long time to mature.



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

Paint Horse

Paint horses have exceptional beauty, especially in 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

Ahmed from PAKISTAN,SINDH,Taluka & District Ghotki,Mohalla Marfani Adilpur near Altaf Generator on March 10, 2019:

Beautiful Horses I like them

christinehi on November 12, 2017:

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

Norma Lawrence from California on July 02, 2016:

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

Khachar on February 22, 2016:

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

marcy on January 28, 2016:

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

BodyHairRemoval on May 14, 2014:

Some beautiful horse breed. Thanks for sharing.

CoolFool83 on May 13, 2014:

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

Delia on May 12, 2014:

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.

SteveKaye on May 12, 2014:

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

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on May 08, 2014:

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

kathysart on May 07, 2014:

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

WriterJanis2 on April 30, 2014:

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.

Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on April 28, 2014:

Gorgeous horses!

VspaBotanicals on April 26, 2014:

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

Fay Favored from USA on April 21, 2014:

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

Laurel Johnson from Washington KS on April 19, 2014:

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

Laurel Johnson from Washington KS on April 19, 2014:

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

katiesnow on April 18, 2014:

nice story! I learned a few things too!

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