10 Horse Breeds You Didn't Know Existed

Horses are an incredibly diverse animal species, and their numerous breeds offer plenty of interesting traits and characteristics, from the size of their hooves to the color of their manes and coats. Check out this list of 10 horse breeds you probably didn’t know existed!


The Camargue

The Camargue

This ancient breed has been around since before the Crusades. With its muscular build and speed, it’s a prime choice for equestrians—and its beauty makes it a great choice for anyone who loves to look at horses. Its tall stature and almost impossibly low profile make it appear majestic, even when standing still.


The Garrano

The Garrano Horse


If you’re looking for a quirky horse breed, you might want to consider a Garrano. This rare breed is often used for dressage and as an endurance riding mount. They have unusual markings that include black eyes with an orange iris and white skin on their face and neck.


The Kiger Mustang

Kiger Mustang

There are approximately 2,000 Kiger Mustangs in existence today. Most are located on private property in central Oregon and northeast California. A small number of Kigers live at ranches around in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington state. This very rare horse is a cross between Spanish horses brought over by explorers during colonial times and American mustangs. The result was a resilient breed that was able to thrive despite all kinds of weather conditions, including summer heat and winter snowfall.


The Noriker

Noriker

Popular in northern parts of Europe, including Germany and Austria, a Noriker is a small horse breed with good climbing skills that does well on trails and in hunting. The breed can be traced back to native Polish horses, but was developed for Austrian cavalry starting in 1803. After World War II ended, Norikers were bred from native Polish stock to produce larger horses. The Noriker has been exported around Europe as well as Russia, Canada and South America—hence why you may have never heard of it before!


The Sorraia

Sorraia

A horse breed in Portugal first described by Galen, who knew it as a native of Spain. It was thought to be extinct until 1985 when Dr. Elsa Oliveira found a small herd near Idanha-a-Nova, in northwestern Portugal. The Sorraia is a stocky breed with very dense bone structure, short legs and a heavy head and neck.


The Ulaanbaatar Horse

Ulaanbaatar Horse

Nicknamed after Mongolia’s capital city, these horses are a fairly recent cross between Mongolian and Arabian bloodlines. With a short muzzle and mane, as well as a shorter back than most other breeds, they also have long, feathery hair along their legs. 


The American Miniature Horse

The American Miniature Horse

The miniature horse is a smaller version of its full-sized counterpart. It’s a popular pet due to its small size, good temperament and easy maintenance requirements. To find out more about these gentle giants, read on!


The American Spotted Draft Horse

The American Spotted Draft Horse


Draft horses have been used throughout history for their immense strength, which enabled them to pull carts and plows. Although modern tractors now make plowing unnecessary, these massive horses are still bred to carry loads of up to 2,200 pounds (1 ton) for extended periods of time.


The French Trotter

The French Trotter

Bred specifically for French race tracks in the early 19th century, these horses are a cross between an Arabian and a Standardbred. So named because of their trotting gait, they can reach speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. Unfortunately, they are rare and have largely fallen out of popularity, but there is some hope that they will enjoy new life as carriage horses.


The North Swedish Horse

The North Swedish Horse


When you’re talking about horses, bigger is usually better. Big horses are stronger and more powerful, which makes them great for tasks like plowing fields and hauling heavy loads. But there’s also something to be said for smaller, more compact breeds of horse—especially those bred in Northern Sweden! The following list highlights ten fascinating Swedish horse breeds that are small but mighty.

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