12 of the Most Beautiful Horse Breeds in the World

There’s nothing more majestic than beautiful horses roaming an open field. 

But what are the most beautiful horse breeds in our world? 

I’ve compiled a list of the 12 most beautiful horses on planet Earth. 

So let’s dive right into the first one on our list!

READ MORE: Most Gentle Horse Breeds

#1 Clydesdale 

brown Clydesdale horse with white hairy feet

Clydesdales are one of the more popular breeds within our world.

I’d imagine everyone reading this article has seen them in those Budweiser commercials.

But what really makes them stick out is their beauty and quiet temperaments. As a result, any horse lover will see them as dream-like horses.

Appearance Traits

  • Most often found in a bay color, but chestnut, gray or black are common.
  • Coats can be solid or feature some roan spots/markings.
  • White stockings on their legs is a widespread trait, though solid colors can also occur.
  • Frying pan-sized hooves, weighing about 5 pounds
  • White blazes or facial markings 
  • High-step walk and trot

Size

  • Weight: about 1,600 pounds
  • Height: 16 hands – 18 hands (64 to 72 inches)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PXbCtE2IZI&t=54s

#2 Knabstrupper

KNABSTRUPPER

Originating in Denmark, Knabstruppers has earned a reputation for their beautiful, spotted coloration.

These horses are even often confused with Appaloosas.

More on them later.

But these gorgeous horses are common circus horses and often present in Danish royalty ceremonies. So it’s a breathtaking sight to catch them in action.

Appearance Traits 

  • Same color patterns as the Appaloosa (share the same color genes from prehistoric spotted ponies)
  • Mottled skin around their eyes and on their muzzle
  • Features white sclera and striped hooves
  • Knabstrupper can be any solid color or spotted.
  • Several distinct spotted patterns are found in this horse breed:
    • Leopard Spot: a white horse with evenly distributed colored spots
    • Near Leopard: similar to Leopard Spot, but with colored legs and head
    • Spotted Blanket: primarily colored with a white back, and hindquarters have colored spots.
    • White Blanket: primarily colored with a white back and hindquarters without colored spots.
    • Snowflake: Colored with white spots all over their bodies

Size

  • Weight: 1150 pounds
  • Height: 15.2 hands – 16 hands (60.8 inches to 64 inches)

READ MORE: Baby Horse Called: What is it?

#3 Gypsy Vanner

group of gypsy vanner, one of the most beautiful horses

Gypsy Vanners have been gaining popularity over these last few decades. Their striking appearance makes them a stunning horse to see running around a field. 

Most beginner riders end up loving them as they’ve got patient and calm mindsets. A Gypsy Vanner would be a perfect gift for a newbie horse lover. 

Appearance Traits

  • Heavy feathering on its lower legs
  • Long full mane and tail. 
  • Requires a lot of grooming and care for horse owners
  • Most commonly found in colored coats with:
    • Skewbald: a base coat with white patches
    • Tobiano: dark coat color with white patches.
    • Blagdon: splash of white on their bellies. 
    • Piebald: black base coat with white patches
  • Gypsy Vanners aren’t a color-based breed. Their registry will accept a horse of any coat color or pattern. 

Size

  • Weight: about 1,400 pounds
  • Height: 14 hands – 15.2 hands (56 inches  to 60.8 inches)

CHECK: All Kinds of Horses

#4 Appaloosa

appaloosa beside a river

Every horse owner wants an Appaloosa due to their gentle natures and gorgeous spotted appearances.

It makes them a great breed of horse for riders of any experience level. Honestly, they’re a delight to have on any ranch or farm.

Appearance Traits

  • Base color varies between chestnut, gray, blue roan, bay roan, grulla, dun, buckskin, and much more.
  • Facial patterns and colors include bald, stripe, star, and blaze.
  • Their legs might contain pastern, half-pastern, coronet, ankle, lightning marks, stockings, or half stockings.
  • An Appaloosa’s skin will be mottled with dark pigmentation patches. These patches form distinct patterns with several recognized by the breed’s registry, such as:
    • Marble: Dark and white hairs combine to create a molted appearance
    • Blanket: Their haunches are entirely white or white with dark speckled spots.
    • Snowflake: The body is dark with white dots or spots.

Size

  • Weight: 950 pounds to 1,200 pounds
  • Height: 14.2 hands – 16 hands (58 inches -64 inches)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6B88FOJmTE&t=92s

#5 Friesian

Friesian horse

Horse owners often cite Friesians as the most beautiful horse breed in the world.

So it didn’t feel right not to include this black horse on our list. 

One quick, interesting tidbit is Friesians were used to carry European knights into battle. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be on the other end of a charging Friesian.

Appearance Traits

  • Most Friesian horses are solid black, but pure black coats aren’t part of the official breed standard, but preferred.
  • Rarely found with white, black, or chestnut coat colors and markings. Chestnut tends to be the rarest color among these variants. 
  • Muscular and athletic bodies with a more baroque build than most sport horses
  • Full manes and tails
  • Thick necks
  • Muscular hindquarters 

Size

  • Weight: 1,200 to 1,400 pounds
  • Height: 15.2 hands – 17 hands (58 to 68 inches)

#6 Orlov Trotter

Orlov trotter

Orlov Trotters got their name from their speedy trot. So it shouldn’t be too shocking to learn that they’re known for both their stamina and speed. 

Their history dates back to the late 18th century Russia, started by Count Alexei Orlov. Since their inception, these horses have become the most famous Russian horse breed.

Appearance Traits

  • Most modern Orlov Trotters have gray coats, but bay, black, and chestnut coats are typical.
  • Known for their elegant, robust build.
  • They’ve got clean, square-set legs and well-defined joints.
  • Feature a massive head with expressive eyes.
  • Often taller than most other trotters.
  • Famous for their fast trot, suited for racing and working purposes. 

Size

  • Weight: about 990 pounds
  • Height: 15.2 hands – 17 hands (58 to 68 inches)

#7 Shire

brown Shire horse

Shire Horses are one of the more well-known British draft horse breeds.

They’re known for their massive builds, which make them a shocking sight. 

In fact, Shires once held records of being the tallest and largest horses in the world. But, sadly, this breed is considered at risk as their numbers are shrinking.

Appearance Traits

  • Most Shires are commonly bay, gray, brown, or black
  • Equipped with powerful, muscular builds
  • The Shire’s U.K. breed standard doesn’t allow for chestnut colors. 
  • Contain distinctive feathering on their lower legs.
  • Often have white leg and facial markings.
  • Excessive white markings are not a desired trait for the breed.
  • Like their follow gentle giant, Clydesdales, Shires have massive hooves.

Size

  • Weight: 1,800 to 2,400 pounds
  • Height: 16 hands – 18 hands (64 inches to 72 inches)

#8 Rocky Mountain Horse

rocky mountain horse

Since been bred in the late 19th century, Rocky Mountain Horses haven’t look back for a single second.

They’ve become one of the most sought-after modern horse breeds in the United States.

One main reason for it is riders adore them because of their single-foot, four-beat gait. But a Rocky Mountain Horse’s appearance is as unique as few horses can match its captivating presence.

Appearance Traits

  • Most Rocky Mountain Horses will have a solid-colored coat. 
  • They’re often cited for their chocolate coat color, along with a flaxen tail and mane.
  • Palomino, black, bay, and chestnut are other standard coat colors.
  • These horses will not have any white coloring or markings above the knee.
  • They can’t have excess white on their faces.

Size

  • Weight: 850 to 1,000 pounds
  • Height: 14 hands – 16 hands (56 inches to 64 inches)

#9 Black Forest Horse

black forest horse with flaxen mane and tail

Black Forest Horses get their name from Germany’s Black Forest region.

This breed was developed there, and their studbook was first opened during the late 19th century. 

Moreover, horse owners consider them the “Golden Retriever” of horse breeds. Animals don’t get more friendly than Golden Retrievers, and Black Forest horses certainly live up to the moniker.

Appearance Traits

  • Feature dark chestnut coats combined with flaxen tails and manes. 
  • Some variation does exist within the coat color, even getting as dark as black.
  • Known for their flowing, thick manes.
  • They move elegantly with its long-stride trot deal for driving and riding.
  • Compact, stout build.

Size

  • Weight: 1,250 to 1,400 pounds
  • Height: 14.3 hands – 15.2 hands

#10 Arabian Horse

Arabian horse with white sockings

Very few breeds have a reputation capable of matching the one offered by Arabian Horses.

Their genetics have been spread to almost every racehorse breed in existence. 

But their reputation isn’t all about their endurance and speed. Instead, their majestic beauty and distinctive features are the stuff of legends, making them a perfect fit for our article.

Appearance Traits

  • Recognized coat colors include black, roan, chestnut, gray, and bay.
  • Some Arabian Horses will have white facial markings or socks/stockings on their legs.
  • This breed will ever be palomino, buckskin, cremello, or dun.
  • An Arabian horse’s skin will be black except for some underneath white markings.
  • Known for their high tail carriage and long, arched necks

Size

  • Weight: 800 to 1,000 pounds
  • Height: 14 hands – 16 hands (56 inches to 64 inches)

#11 Haflinger Horse

haflinger horse

Haflinger Horses are a smaller breed native to Austria and northern Italy.

Their small, delightful appearance has made them a popular breed among both adult and children riders.

However, riders should never underestimate their power. Haflingers might be small, but they can pack a powerful kick when riding around the ranch.

Appearance Traits

  • Known for their cream or white-colored mane/tail and golden chestnut coat.
  • Coat color can range from darker chestnut to light gold.
  • Most Halfingers will feature white points on their faces and lower legs.
  • Compact, power build with an immense amount of strength.

Size

  • Weight: 800 to 1,300 pounds
  • Height: 13.2 hands – 15 hands (52.8 inches to 60 inches)

#12 Marwari

Marwari horse eating

Marwari Horses are one of the rarer breeds on our list. This beautiful breed comes from the Marwar region of India, where they’re created by mixing Arabian horses and native ponies.

In past centuries, Marwari Horses were used as cavalry horses. Their uniquely suited for these purposes because of their bravery and loyalty.

Appearance Traits

  • Distinctive inward curved ears
  • They’re bred in various colors, including gray, chestnut, palomino, piebald, and skewbald.
  • Gray variations are considered the most prized among horse owners.
  • Marwaris with white blazes and four white socks are considered lucky.
  • Shoulders are less slanted than other breeds.
  • Slower than other similar horses, such as Arabians and Thoroughbreds.
  • Marwaris have a four-beat gait.

Size

  • Weight: 750 to 1,000 pounds
  • Height: 14 hands – 16 hands (56 inches to 64 inches)

FAQs

WHAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HORSE IN THE WORLD?

It comes down to a matter of preference, but I’d have to go with Frederik the Great. He’s a Friesian stallion “living in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, captivated the internet with his fantastic mane and muscular build.”

WHAT IS THE RAREST HORSE COLOR?

white horse with blue eyes

True or pure white would be the rarest horse color. These horses will have “snow-white hair, pink complexion, and brown eyes.” If the horse has blue eyes, it becomes even rarer.

Conclusion 

I hope our discussions about these beautiful horse breeds provided some insight into them. If you have any more questions, please let me know in our comment section.

I’m always willing to discuss these beautiful horses and anything about them. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you think I missed one, either.

Resources

  • “About Haflinger Horses : Bryan Hill Farm.” Bryanhillfarm.com, bryanhillfarm.com/haflinger-horses/. Accessed 7 July 2021.
  • “About the Breed.” Vanners.org, vanners.org/the-breed/. Accessed 7 July 2021.
  • “AFHA – the Friesian Horse.” Www.afha.ca, www.afha.ca/friesian/index.html. Accessed 7 July 2021.
  • Black Forest Horse Info, Origin, History, Pictures. www.horsebreedspictures.com/black-forest-horse.asp. Accessed 7 July 2021.
  • “Black Forest Horses | History.” Blackforesthorses.ca, blackforesthorses.ca/history/. Accessed 7 July 2021.
  • Chin, Kyle. “Marwari Horse: The Pride of India [Full Profile].” HolistaPet, 12 Feb. 2021, www.holistapet.com/horse-breeds/marwari-horse/. Accessed 7 July 2021.
  • News, A. B. C. “Frederik the Great: Hailed the Most Beautiful Horse in the World.” ABC News, abcnews.go.com/US/frederik-great-hailed-beautiful-horse-world/story?id=39578669. Accessed 7 July 2021.
  • Orlov Horse Info, Origin, History, Pictures. www.horsebreedspictures.com/orlov-trotter.asp.
  • “Orlov Trotter.” International Museum of the Horse, imh.org/exhibits/online/breeds-of-the-world/europe/orlov-trotter/. Accessed 7 July 2021.
  • Rocky Mountain Horse Association | History of the Breed. www.rmhorse.com/breed/history-of-the-breed/. Accessed 7 July 2021.
  • “Shire | Breed of Horse.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 2019, www.britannica.com/animal/Shire-horse.
a very beautiful horse

What breeds are the most beautiful horses for you? Share your pick below!

Ben R.
Ben R.

My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! I have three dogs and one old cat, plus experience with horses. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed. FIND HIM ON: TWITTER.
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