There are scores of horse breeds treading the surface of the earth. These breeds can be grouped under different types based on similarities in their physical attributes. Let’s take a look at them…
To list all the different types of horses in one article is impossible, simply because it’s an extensive task. There are over hundred different types of horse breeds in America, however, let us try and have a bird’s-eye view of them. To simplify our understanding of how many different types of horses and ponies are present on this earth, we have categorized these animals into different groups on the basis of common traits shared between them. Now, it’s also important to remember that there is a stark difference between a breed and a type. A type encompasses several breeds of horses that share similar physical attributes.
The first category involves horses that have been grouped together because of their unique coat colors and patterns. Palomino is one such example, wherein the horses are characterized by yellow, golden, or tanned bodies, with white or off-white manes, and tails. Palomino refers to the color of the horse and not the breed, thus palominos come in all kinds of breeds. These horses are considered to be multi-purposed horses favored for not only their beauty, but also for their endurance and maneuverability. One can find these gorgeous horses in rodeos, parades, ranches, etc. Then there’s the Appaloosa type, which feature either dark bodies with speckles, light bodies with dark spots or dark spots on white body. Then, there’s also the Pinto type which are horses with coat patterns with large patches of white and any other color.
These are generally swift and agile horses chosen for riding. They can be used for various sport activities and entertainment purposes. Under these light horses come the Arabian horses (also known as Arab). These horses are one of the oldest horse breeds and are known for their beauty and elegance. They are highly treasured for their great speed, endurance, stamina, and strength. Then, there’s the thoroughbred horse breed, which is mainly used for horse racing. Then, we have the Morgan breed, which is valued for its gentleness, soundness, and intelligence. These wonderful driving horses are also great at dressage, jumping, endurance, reining, and cutting competitions. The American Quarter horse and Standardbred breeds also come under this type of light horses, wherein the former is found in cattle ranches carrying out sport activities like roping, reigning, etc., while the latter are used as harness racers.
This type entails large horses specifically bred for working on farms. They are characterized by strong, tall, muscular bodies with extremely gentle personalities. They are used for pulling heavy loads on the farm. Under this type we have breeds like the Belgian horse breed, which is still used on farms due to its strength. However, they are popularly used for trail riding, gaming, and as show horses. Another breed under this type is the Clydesdale breed, which are large horses that possess feathery tufts of hair on their legs, just above the hooves.
Although these horses appear in the show ring, and are used mainly for trail riding, they were traditionally treasured and valued for the comfortable ride they gave their owners. These horses are known for their easy-to-ride, smooth, and comfortable gait. Under this type, comes the most popular riding horse called American Saddlebred, whose smooth style of walking and running has provided comfortable rides to its riders. These horses are not only a pleasure to trail ride, but are also capable of cutting well, jumping, and are also excellent competitors in dressage. The Campolina breed also comes under this type, which are used for leisure riding and driving, however, they are gaining popularity as suitable candidates for dressage. Some other breeds under this type are the Missouri Fox Trotter, Tennessee Walking horse, Mangalarga Marchador, Peruvian Paso, Walkaloosa, etc.
These are small horses with specific bone structure, musculature, and temperament. As compared to the other types of horses, ponies exhibit thicker coat, mane, and tails. Moreover, in terms of appearance, they have shorter heads, shorter legs, wider barrels, and thicker necks. Since they bear semblance to foals, oft people mistake ponies for young horses or foals. Their ability to travel in narrow mine shafts cause them to be used exclusively in coal mines. These intelligent animals can oft become stubborn, which is why they require proper training. The different breeds under this type are Shetland pony, Welsh pony, Connemara pony, Chincoteague pony, Dartmoor pony, Fell pony, etc.
Besides these 5 types, there are several other types of horses such as Windsor Greys, Warmbloods, Iberian horses, Baroque horses, etc. Who knew the world of horses could be so diverse!