Top 10 Best Horse Breeds

The Top Ten
1 Arabian

Arabians are the Ferrari of the horse breeds. They are fast and sporty. The amazing thing about them is that if you can ride an Arab, you can ride anything, though you probably won't because everything else feels "half dead". They are excellent at matching personalities with their owners and become an extension of your own being rather than just a mount.

They become part of you and who you are because they are so amazingly smart. Also, they have huge hearts and can learn anything. If you can handle the fire in your Arab with respect, they will respect you in return and you'll both be tempered into something better. I wouldn't ride anything else. On top of that, they are gorgeous! They can show, jump, run barrels, do trails. They can do anything and everything. They're perfect in my opinion.

2 Thoroughbred

My 17.2hh flea-bitten Thoroughbred, Liberty, is one of the best horses I have ever ridden. She is capable of so many disciplines. She has done dressage competitions, show jumping 4.5 feet, showing, cross country, etc. I've only had her for about 4 years. Thoroughbreds are such magical creatures.

I also have another Thoroughbred, who is pure black and 16.2hh, named Chip. He has jumped his whole life with me (12 years) and he jumps 4-foot fences with me. I have been riding since I was 1 year old, and I am 33 now. Chip is hands down the hardest horse ever to ride. Every week I ride him, I either fall at least once or nearly fall once.

- An equestrian

3 American Quarter Horse

I have grown up around Quarter Horses. We have six right now. Our oldest Quarter Horse is our chestnut gelding, Sugar. He is the smartest packing horse I have ever known. In fact, he's the only horse I know who can get a saddle off himself, call in an elk (trust me, he has!), and will untie himself and every other horse.

Not only are they smart, but Quarter Horses are also an extremely versatile breed. People mostly use them for western, but I believe they can do both western and English. They are my favorite breed in the whole world!

4 Morgan

I love that they are really friendly and nice to ride. When I ride my horse, I don't feel like I'm going to fall off like I do on Maria. He is much smarter than the others in the barn.

He looks so beautiful when he jumps, canters, trots, and even when walking. He's my prettiest horse: black and white with brown at the bottom of his legs. They come in so many colors.

I have 12 horses: 4 Morgans, 1 Arabian (she's so grumpy), 2 Thelwell ponies, 3 Icelandic horses, and 2 Shetland ponies. I've bought a Thoroughbred now. I love all my horses. (By the way, Firegirl110, my favorite Morgan is actually named Morgan. He's my favorite horse.)

5 Standardbred

Zuri was my horse throughout my early teenage years. We jumped fences 2.5 feet tall. I only had my beautiful dapple grey horse for 2 years (I was 13-15) because when she was 12, she developed a serious case of colic. The vet said there was a 90% chance of death. My mom made the call, and they came to put Zuri to sleep. I miss her even to this day.

- An equestrian

This horse is very, very good for beginners! I'm a beginner myself, and I have a Standardbred Horse. He's black so I named him Night. He's absolutely AMAZING! I love riding and am completely obsessed with Night!

6 American Paint Horse

My 16hh black and white Paint named Jax was my recently passed horse. I've had him since he was born (his mother, Stella, lived at my farm) and he passed only half a year ago, when he was 21. He jumped 4-foot fences with me, mostly cross country. He was awesome.

- An equestrian

Tobiano paint horses were brought to North America in 1535 and are the first real American breed. These horses originally descend from highly trained Spanish war horses and are more versatile than most other breeds.

They excel at western and English pleasure, trail, roping, working cowhorse, and are a mainstay in the reining horse industry with sires like Gunnatrashya, Spooks Gotta Whiz, and the leading sire, Colonels Smoking Gun "Gunner."

7 Dutch Warmblood

I currently lease a Dutch Warmblood, and he is the sweetest horse I have met! Not to mention his amazing movement and talent!

I have a Dutch Warmblood, well, two! And they are perfect! The loves of my life. They are so powerful and great jumpers, but both are so sweet around the barn.

They love what they do and really have fun jumping. Great breed.

They are bred for jumping, and that's what they do! They are huge, beautiful animals, hard to beat in any way.

8 Clydesdale

I am a novice, so to all you experienced horse lovers, I envy you. I always wanted a horse since I was a little girl, but we had no place to put one. If I have a horse one day, I want to see it every day. I love so many breeds my head spins. If I could own one, I'd like the Friesian, Clydesdale, and the gypsy vanner.

Being I don't know how to ride, I would like an older horse. A horse that would let me ride him or her without going fast. If the horse was not rideable, that would be fine too. I just want a horse that would love me as much as I love him. But at this time, I don't live in a place where I could have a horse. But I still dream and I won't stop dreaming of my beautiful, loving horse. Do horses know how or what love is?

9 Appaloosa

An all-around nice horse. Appaloosas are the oldest breed by far, and because of this, they are so tuned into the human persona. They can be used for any discipline because of their marvelous personalities and abilities that they are famed for. They are long-lived, never sick or sorry, and always ready for whatever you throw at them. They are fast, jump for fun, very intelligent, and adored by all. Ask anyone.

Appaloosas are the original all-around horse. They have been around longer than any other breed, which has enabled them to be so tuned into the human persona. They are easy to work with, super intelligent, and adore human contact. They are long-lived, never sick or sorry, and always ready for action. They are fast, jump for fun, and notoriously easy to handle. An all-around nice horse. Ask anyone.

10 Hanoverian

Definitely top ten, well-rounded horses in multiple disciplines, very capable, calm, collected. I have ridden multiple Hanoverians (5-10), and generally, they're lovely, learn easily, incredibly attentive and sweet. Talented both in dressage and show jumping, they are perfect as a hobby and beginner or junior horse. I would even recommend them as a house pet. Very diverse in size and shape, but largely an elegant, proportionate horse with great moves and an all-around sweetness to them. I've ridden them from when I was a child to now, and as all horses, they all have their hangups, but are generally agreeable and soft in the mouth, responsive.

The Contenders
11 Tennessee Walking Horse

I absolutely love this breed! I have ridden quarter horses my whole life, and when I first got on mine, I was so amazed that another breed could be as good or even better than a quarter. They have such smooth gaits and very different personalities.

My horse is kind of spunky, but she is one in a million. It is quite remarkable to get them going in their gait for the first time. It was the most memorable ride of my life. They are very sweet, gentle, and trusting horses. They can become your best friends after just two rides.

12 Friesian

I've been a trainer for over 40 years and have experienced all breeds. But when we came upon the Friesian, I was amazed at this beautiful horse's honesty, presence, and intelligence. They are not only beautiful but gentle and are fabulous in all phases of equestrian sport, from trail to competitive driving and dressage. They are the best animals I have ever encountered.

The Friesian is an ancient and beautiful breed, originally regarded as a powerful all-around utility animal. Throughout history, it has been used as a war horse, having the strength, agility, and sturdy bodies to carry armored knights into battle, and in every sort of farm work and riding purposes.

In the last few hundred years, Friesians have gained a reputation as a fine saddle horse and as an excellent harness horse because of their active trot. They are also intelligent horses. Their predominant color is black.

This is an amazing, gorgeous horse! Vote!

13 Gypsy Vanner

I was shocked at how versatile the Vanner breed is, and yes, they can jump. I have watched them jump a four-foot fence flat-footed (big engines) and know of one who jumps in competitions. Pam Fowler Grace, a 2008 Olympic Contender in Dressage, once said to me, "He is one of the most extraordinary horses of any breed I have ever ridden in my life." Pam was talking about The Gypsy King, one of the first two Vanner stallions to ever enter North America.

I ride gypsy cobs (that's what we call them), and they are the sweetest! They have never left my side, and all of them love cuddles. They are just like big puppy dogs. They work hard to please you, and despite what some say, they can jump very well! Both my pony and I are new to jumping, and she is already quite good at it. I love them. They are all-around amazing!

14 Andalusian

Best horse to ever come out of Europe bar none!

One of the most ancient breeds in the world, possibly even older than the Arab.

Easy to work with and train, learns quickly, affectionate, charismatic, energetic, classy, elegant, proud, strong, and many more adjectives come to mind when describing the PRE. One would need hours upon hours to properly type the perfect description for the PRE!

Most beautiful horse in the world!

Powerful, fast, loving, curious, intelligent, with stunning movements, and ancestor of most of the other breeds in the world, the Andalusian is the best animal you can have. You give it patience and love, and it will repay you with all of its heart, which is enormous.

I worked with my 5-year-old colt, who came from an abused past in Spain, and he gave me everything he's got. It's a unique feeling to have all the trust of an animal that should have none. In three words: Pura Raza EspaƱola.

15 Brumby

Brumbies are fantastic, but I've heard they are really hard to gentle. Still, I love them, and maybe it's their wild, independent nature that makes them great!

I naturally prefer a horse with a wild instinct. They seem more wise and more intelligent than other horse breeds, knowing the basic area around me better. Also, I just love them in general.

I have a palomino one of these. He is my life. He is great to ride, just like a Riding Pony, but loves to show his wild side on bush trails, just like a brumby. He is the perfect pony for riders who want to improve their skills. Oops, that kind of sounded like I was giving him away. You can't have him. He's mine!

16 Warmblood

Beautiful, great quality horses!

17 Shetland Pony

My neighbors have one, and I really want to ride it. Its name is Vegas. I agree with the last comment - Shetlands are very smart.

This pony, Vegas, will come out of his stable and look at you if you call his name. Have you guys ever been to 7-11? Well, if you look across the street, you will see a pale wall. Look over the wall, and you will see a yard with trees and a kid's slide. Then look more, and you will see a pointy black fence. Yell Vegas, and he will either come out of his stable or come to you. Walk into the yard, pet him, and give him carrots. He is the sweetest pony ever.

18 Paso Fino

They come in such wonderful colors and are such smooth-gaited horses. They are great for trail rides, endurance, and pleasure. (Of course, a lot of other things depend on the individual horse, usually.) Paso Finos are also very gentle.

Has a temper, but once you bond and get to know them, they will be the best horse you ever owned!

Best breed in the world. Smooth willing trusting horses you can ride with no saddle!

19 Connemara

Connemaras are amazing horses! I own one, and he is the kindest horse ever. If he ever gets a fright, he doesn't do anything wrong and tries his best to keep me safe.

If I leave him in the paddock, he chooses me over his other horse friends and follows me around every step I take. He is an all-rounder and loves water. Connemaras are especially good children's horses because you know they will keep the child safe and love them unconditionally.

How are Connemara ponies not in the top tens? Seriously, they are amazing! They are calm, gentle, and nice, but they are still really good to ride and safe and great with children. They will love anyone who treats them well! I have seen them at shows. They rock and are amazing to ride. I suggest them now and always will, so get one!

20 Marwari

The Marwari is a purebred horse found in Rajasthan, India. It was bred by the Rajputs of India who took great care in ensuring the breed's quality. It was also used by the British during their rule of India and was regarded by them as a breed on par with any they had seen.

The breed has suffered in the last few decades due to poor management, which has resulted in a drastic fall in its numbers. Additionally, a few genetic bottlenecks have been found in some of the Marwari horses, where none existed as late as 1989.

Marwaris are often crossed with Thoroughbreds to produce a larger horse with more versatility. Despite the fact that the breed is indigenous to the country, cavalry units of the Indian military make little use of the horses.

21 Icelandic Horse

The oldest and purest breed of horse. The Icelandic is a pony in height but actually a horse because of the weight it can carry or pull. The Vikings brought these mighty compact horses over in small ships. The breed is protected and mixing with other breeds is frowned upon. There is only one breed of horse in Iceland and that is the Icelandic horse.

These horses have five gaits and are fantastic all-around horses. They are one of the best breeds of horse and are solid in temperament and not afraid of anything. The fight or flight instinct was not bred into them as there are no predators in Iceland for these horses.

The horses are age 4 when you start riding them because their bones are dense and need time to mature so they don't have problems later in life. They have a long lifespan and can live 30-40 years.

They are also strong swimmers and can swim long distances in cold water. They used to be called "the bridges of Iceland" because the horses used to swim long distances with riders on them before bridges were built. These horses have double coats so they don't get wet or cold to the skin in harsh weather. I love the Icelandic horse and hope to have another again one day.

22 Lusitano

Strong, brave, super smart, gentle, and quick learners, Lusitanos are also very versatile. They have been competing in every Olympic discipline for ages! If you are a dedicated and kind rider, your horse will commit itself 120% to your work.

The only sad thing is that most breeding houses here in Portugal are changing this breed, which has a really incredible amount of history behind it. The Lusitano might as well be as old as, or even older than, the Arabian.

Nowadays, the Lusitanos we see are these medium, strong, archaic horses because of the mixes they have been put through with the PRE. The original Lusitano was a big, still strong, sporty horse. These Portuguese horses used to be known for being the biggest and most agile horses on the battlefields.

My mare is a pure Lusitano, standing at a height of 170cm, and we compete in the 120cm classes of show jumping. However, I rarely see other riders with Lusitanos, and I often receive ugly looks from other contestants who ride fancy French or German horses. The truth is that Lusitanos are much more than bullfighters and working equitation or dressage champions (which is already great). The old lines of Lusitanos make excellent show jumpers and eventers, and I really wish we could introduce them more to those disciplines and make other sport riders stop thinking they are just little show horses.

23 Haflinger

The Haflinger, also known as the Avelignese, is a breed of horse developed in Austria and northern Italy during the late 19th century. Haflinger horses are relatively small, are always chestnut in color, have distinctive gaits described as energetic but smooth, and are well-muscled yet elegant. The breed traces its ancestry to the Middle Ages, and there are several theories for the breed's origin.

Haflingers were developed for use in mountainous terrain, and are known for their hardiness. Their current conformation and appearance are the result of infusions of bloodlines from Arabian and various European breeds into the original native Tyrolean ponies. The foundation sire, 249 Folie, was born in 1874, and by 1904 the first breeders' cooperative was formed. All Haflingers can trace their lineage back to Folie through one of seven bloodlines.

24 Akhal-Teke

Who doesn't love Akhal-Tekes? Their coat has a beautiful metallic sheen that makes you want to build a statue of every one you see. This horse needs to at least be second in the rankings!

A very versatile and beautiful breed, descended from the extinct Turkoman horses. They are hardy, versatile, and very beautiful, and have a range of coat colors and beautiful shiny coats due to their special hair structure.

Truly amazing horse breed. Not only do they have a beautiful distinctive look, often complete with a metallic gold coat, but they excel in any discipline, be it racing, eventing, showing, or just riding. In my eyes, the best horse breed by far.

25 Anglo-Arabian

The Anglo-Arabian or Anglo-Arab is a crossbred horse that now also has its own status as a horse breed. It is a Thoroughbred crossed with an Arabian so two of the oldest and favorite horse breeds ever. The best examples of this breed inherit the refinement, good bone, and endurance of the Arabian, as well as the speed and scope of the Thoroughbred.

They are powerful horses and are good at most things. The breed ideal is for a horse to have conformation that more strongly resembles the Arabian. They have a long neck, prominent withers, a compact and strong body (sturdier than the Thoroughbred), a deep chest, and solid bone. Anglo-Arabians should have small, fine heads, similar to an Arabian, but they should not be overly "dished" in profile. These are amazing animals and have both speed and stamina from the Thoroughbred and have the elegant, graceful, and intelligence from the Arabian.

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