5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

A Guide on Different Horse Breeds

It’s believed that horses started to be domesticated around 6,000 years ago. Since then, these animals have been used for a wide variety of purposes, including sports events, transportation, companionship, and therapy for different mental conditions.

5-Minute Crafts has created this guide with some of the most common horse breeds and their main characteristics.

Pony breeds (100 to 800 pounds):


Fell ponies are known to have a docile and sensible character, making them a great family companion. They are short in height with strong necks and wide chests.

They’re characterized by their feathered legs and shaggy manes and tails. They’re generally black and brown in color. However, they can also be bay and gray.


Also known as “connies,” these ponies are friendly and intelligent. They have short, strong legs with a fine back and neck. Their prominent cheekbones give them a sweet appearance.

Originally from Ireland, connemara ponies are known to be athletic and sure-footed, which make them great for different sports events, as well as perfect to be ridden by adults and children.


Shetland ponies are one of the most popular pony breeds in the world. They originated in the Shetland Islands in Britain, where inhabitants domesticated them for different purposes, including transport and harvesting.

This breed is known for its strength, which can be seen in its short muscular legs. At the same time, it has a prominent tail, forelock, and mane. Shetland ponies are commonly black and dark brown.

Small horse breeds (600 to 800 pounds):

Paso Fino

Paso Fino horses are considered “the smoothest riding horse in the world” due to their rhythmic, straight, and balanced gait. This feature has also encouraged people to train these horses for show and competition.

Moreover, the Paso Fino can be identified by its refined head, strong and supportive neck, well-defined legs, and its long mane and tail.


Icelandic horses are considered a very versatile breed, suitable for racing and therapeutic riding. They can be found in different countries around the world, as they are great at adapting to varying climates.

They’re characterized by their welcoming character. At the same time, they’re friendly, cooperative, and quick to learn.

Norwegian Fjord

These horses are originally from western Norway. They’re considered one of the best horse breeds for children due to their placid character and easiness to adjust to people’s energy. Moreover, they can be a great companion for adults who are willing to ride a smaller mount.

Norwegian Fjord horses can be found in a variety of colors, including pale yellow-brown, cream, and pale silver.

Light horse breeds (900 to 1,300 pounds):


Appaloosa horses are characterized by their spotted coats, strong legs, and compact bodies. They’re very friendly and gentle, which makes them an excellent choice for equestrians.

In the past, these horses were reproduced for transport, battle, and hunting. However, they can now be seen in riding, rodeo events, and as working cattle.


Arabian horses are usually thought to be the first breed domesticated by humans, being more than 5,000 years old. Although they’re originally from the Middle East, they can be found in multiple places across the world.

You may find them in different colors and sizes. However, it’s possible to identify them by their high tail carriage, long necks, and concave faces. They can reach up to 1,000 pounds and 16 hands.


Morgan horses can be recognized by their upright necks and athleticism. At the same time, they’re considered a lovable and affordable breed.

They have prominent eyes, a broad forehead, and large nostrils. They can reach up to 15.2 hands high.

Warmblood breeds (1,300 to 1,700 pounds):


This horse breed originated in northern Germany. They show natural balance, elegance, and a floating trot. They’re considered one of the most important breeds of riding horses across the world.

They’re calm and are able to stay so, even in complex situations. Moreover, they’re characterized by their willingness to be ridden and stamina to adapt to different conditions.


Oldenburg horses are compact in size with fairly short legs. They have a deep chest, a long and strong neck, and large hooves. They’re usually found in black, brown, or gray.

Because of their athletic ability, Oldenburg horses can be trained as show-jumpers. Moreover, the ones that excel at this international sport can be sold for a good amount of money.


The Trakehner breed can reach up to 16.2 hands high. They can be found in different colors — bay, black, and gray being the most common ones. They have muscular legs, a long neck, and large eyes, which give these horses an expressive look.

They’re friendly, calm, and cooperative. Nowadays, they’re usually considered a sport-breed, trained for Olympic competitions, such as eventing, show jumping, and dressage.

Draft breeds (1,600 to 2,200 pounds):


Belgian horses are commonly bay, but they can also be found in black and chestnut. They’re well-muscled and have a broad chest and a high neck.

They can reach up to 17 hands high and weigh up to 2,000 pounds, making them one of the largest horse breeds in the world.


Friesian horses are characterized by their long manes and tails, which can reach the ground. They’re always black in color.

This breed is known to have a great presence, with an active and energetic character, but they’re also considered docile and gentle.


Clydesdale horses havestraight nose, prominent ears, and a noticeable arched long neck. They can be found in a variety of colors, such as bay, brown and black.

They’re docile and easy to control. However, they can have an alert temperament. They’re generally 16.2 hands tall, although some horses can stand even higher than that.

5-Minute Crafts/Animals/A Guide on Different Horse Breeds
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