Horses have been domesticated animals for a very long time – 6,000 years to be more precise. Over these many years, they have been bred to make iconic horse breeds for different purposes. Some breeds have been used for racing, some for farm work, and some simply as a means of transport.
Now, with all the beautiful horse breeds that exist in the world, people who want a horse as a pet have a big choice to make. And many people specifically put a horse’s beauty onto their list of criteria for choosing one.
We’ve compiled a list (in no particular order) of some of the most beautiful horse breeds on the planet to make your search for a beautiful companion that little bit easier.
1. Akhal-Teke Horse
Akhal-Teke horses have been one of the top choices among horse enthusiasts for a very long time. And that’s not simply because they’re one of the oldest domesticated or rarest horse breeds around.
They originated in Turkmenistan and were initially known for their speed and endurance, making them great racehorses. As their popularity increased, they quickly spread all around the world.
One of the most striking features of this rare breed is the much-loved golden coat known as buckskin or palomino. This particular colour, and the fact that the Akhal-Teke horse’s coat glistens in the sun has earned the breed the nickname “Golden Horses”.
Although the gold colour is a popular one, it isn’t the only colour that this horse breed comes in. You can also find them in black, grey, chestnut, cremello, bay, and perlino.
2. Arabian Horse
Arabian horses are another stunning breed among the many beautiful horse breeds that you can find. It’s also one of the oldest horse breeds around. If you take a look at racehorse genetics, almost all racehorses which exist today can be traced back to these horses.
Renowned for their exceptional endurance, Arabian horses possess an unrivalled ability to cover long distances with ease. Their good temperament is another characteristic that sets them apart, making them a pleasure to handle and interact with.
You will be able to find these horses with coats coloured grey, chestnut, black, bay, and roan. Some may also have white facial markings and “socks” on their legs.
3. Appaloosa Horse
The feature that makes Appaloosa horses one of the most beautiful horse breeds in the world is their coat. They are generally spotted and sometimes even have big white or dark patches that can be seen as snowflake, blanket, leopard, and marble patterns.
They’re great for riders of any level thanks to their gentle and friendly demeanour and are generally low-maintenance too. Other valued traits include their hardiness and their agility.
Overall, Appaloosa horses are a beautiful and versatile breed and can be used for general riding or for competing.
4. Friesian Horse
Friesian horses are a light horse breed that originated in Friesland – a province in the Netherlands. They are usually all-black in colour, but they also come in a chestnut colour.
The Friesian horse breed is tall with a muscular build and a flowing mane and tail. However, while they are known for their powerful builds, they’re also known for their gracefulness. This beautiful horse breed is extremely intelligent and is therefore versatile and easy to train.
Friesian horses are considered an endangered species and actually almost went extinct on a number of occasions. But their increasing popularity has meant that their numbers are slowly growing again.
5. Gypsy Vanner
Gypsy horses, also known as Galineers Cob and Gypsy Vanner, are from Ireland and Great Britain.
Originally bred for pulling Gypsy Vans, these horses are small, yet strong and resilient. This makes them great for labour and horse riding. The Gypsy Vanner has a friendly and engaging temperament, which can be great for training.
This breed can come in a large range of colours, however, it is most commonly known for coats with tobiano (white patches on a dark coat), skewbald (white patches on any coat that isn’t black), and blagdon (a bit of white on the belly with a dark coat).
6. Orlov Trotter Horse
The Orlov Trotter was created in the late 1700s in Russia by Count Alexei Orlov. It’s known for its brilliant stamina and speed and its fast trot – hence the name.
In terms of colour, these horses are most well-known for having grey coats. However, they can commonly be found with black, chestnut, and bay coats too.
Orlov Trotters are extremely versatile horses thanks to their fast-paced trot and stamina and are therefore suitable for racing, farm work, and riding. They also generally have a great temperament, which makes them easy to train.
7. Black Forest Horse
Black Forest horses are a German breed. They generally have a flaxen mane and tail, as well as a contrasting deep chestnut coat. They’re working horses which means you’ll most likely see them pulling carriages and working in farmlands.
The Black Forest horse is one of the rarer horse breeds available, so many horse lovers can’t help but go head over heels when they spot one of these beauties.
But it’s not just their beauty that captivates hearts; it’s their gentle and patient nature that truly makes them shine. They’re an excellent horse breed for riders of a variety of skill levels.
8. Marwari Horse
The Marwari horse is another rare breed that boasts a unique and mesmerising trait that sets it apart from all others – its ears gracefully curl inwards. These horses originated in Marwar, India by combining Arabian horses and ponies, blending the best of both worlds.
Well-known for being very brave and loyal, Marwaris were employed as cavalry horses for centuries. Talk about some trusty steeds! They were also bred to be desert horses, meaning they’re great horses for hot climates and have excellent endurance too.
You can spot these horses in many different colours including grey, chestnut, palomino, skewbald, bay, and piebald. However, the grey-coloured Marwari horses are the most sought-after for their beauty.
9. Clydesdale Horse
If there’s a horse breed that really shines as a majestic and beautiful equine (I may be a little biased), it’s the Clydesdale. Originally bred in Scotland, you’ll recognise the noble Clydesdale horses by the magnificent feathering adorning their legs with a single glance.
They’re a heavy horse breed and are very muscular, which is what makes them excellent for farm work and any tasks that demand a horse of exceptional strength.
Despite their size and strength, Clydesdale horses are known as gentle giants. Their kind demeanour and graceful appearance make them a joy to work with, turning even the most demanding tasks into an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
These horses are most commonly bay in colour, however, they can be found in black, grey, and chestnut too. The white socks on their legs are also very common, but it’s possible to find some without this marking.
10. Percheron Horse
Percheron horses are another group of gentle giants in the horse world. Their kind and loving temperament makes them great for riding no matter your level, even though it may be a bit daunting when you’re standing next to them!
Originating in France, Percheron horses were originally used as war horses and later transitioned into powerful draft horses. Today, they are commonly seen in competitive horse-pull circuits, where their strength and presence captivate audiences.
When it comes to their appearance, Percheron horses display a range of colours. From black and grey to bay, chestnut, sorrel, and roan, this breed looks pretty in any coat.
What is the most beautiful rare horse?
Choosing the most beautiful horse breeds will always ultimately be subjective, however, Akhal-Teke horses have become world-renowned for their beauty. This is mostly due to the golden colour and metallic sheen of their coats.
What is the most colourful horse in the world?
There are a variety of beautifully coloured horse breeds, many of which come with coats that boast a range of colours. Some colourful horses include American Paint horses, Appaloosa horses, Gypsy Vanner horses, and Knabstupper horses.
What is the most expensive horse breed?
The most expensive horse breed is the Thoroughbred horse. Fusaichi Pegasus was a Thoroughbred who was sold for 70 million dollars after he won the 2000 Kentucky Derby.