Chapter 4. Horse Breed Examples

Learn About Horse Breeds

Just like ponies, horses are bred over time to have traits that help them to excel at certain jobs.


Learn about some popular horse breeds below.

Arabian Horse

The Arabian horse is the oldest pure breed horse and the foundation breed for the Thoroughbred horse. They are hot-blooded, usually small and high strung with a dished face, short back and high tail carriage. Known for their endurance, the Arabian horse is used today for showing, dressage, pleasure riding, and endurance racing.

  • Breed: Arabian
  • Height: Between 14.1 and 15.1hh
  • Origin: Arabian Peninsula

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Paint or Pinto Horse

The Pinto Horse Association and the American Paint Horse Association both register part-colored horses that have large colored patches and white. They can be classified as stock, hunter, pleasure, and saddle types. The two color patterns are the Tobiano and the Overo. The Tobiano coat is a white base coat with large splashes of solid color over it. The Overo coat appears to be a solid colored horse with large irregular white markings over it.

  • Breed: Paint or Pinto
  • Height: Between 15hh and 16hh
  • Origin: United States

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Quarter Horse

The Quarter Horse originated in colonial America and was bred for all around work including farming, hauling, working cattle, in harness and under saddle. It gets it’s name from the American settlers racing them in quarter mile stretches. They have strong and muscular hindquarters and are usually calm and intelligent. Today they are used for almost every kind of riding including ranch work, pleasure riding, showing, jumping and racing.

  • Breed: Quarter Horse
  • Height: Between 15hh and 16hh
  • Origin: United States

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Warmblood Horse

A group of horse breeds that combines the “hot-blood” of Arabians and Thoroughbreds with the “cold-blood” of draft horses. They are usually athletic and strong, and excel at dressage and jumping. Many are imported from Europe and are used as Olympic team horses.

  • Breed: Warmblood
  • Height: Around 16hh to 17hh
  • Origin: Europe

Learn more about Warmblood Horses

Lipizzan Horse

The Lipizzan horse breed excels at classical dressage and is famous for their “airs above the ground” movements of classical dressage at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria. The breed dates back to the 16th century and was originally used for military purposes. Lipizzan horses are known for their muscular build, roman nose, and wide chest. They are born bay or black and gradually turn gray as they age.

  • Breed: Lipizzan or Lipizzaner
  • Height: Around 14.2hh to 16hh
  • Origin: Slovenia

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Friesian Horse

The Friesian horse is known for its black coat, thick mane and tail, and feathering on the lower legs. It has a powerful, high-stepping gait and excels at dressage, carriage driving and pleasure riding. It is considered a cold-blooded breed and it is known for it’s calm and docile temperament.

  • Breed: Friesian
  • Height: 15hh or higher
  • Origin: Netherlands

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Morgan Horse

The Morgan breed descended from one stallion named Justin Morgan. They are a versatile, powerful and intelligent, and popular for driving and all kinds of riding.

  • Breed: Morgan
  • Height: 14.2 to 15.2hh
  • Origin: United States

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Appaloosa Horse

Appaloosa horses are a spotted breed that originated in the northwestern part of the United States. The breed was developed by the Indians of North America in the 18th century. They are currently used for all kinds of riding including English, western, jumping, endurance, trail and pleasure riding. There are five recognized coat patterns including the blanket, marble, leopard, snowflake and frost.

  • Breed: Appaloosa
  • Height: 14.2 to 15.2hh
  • Origin: United States

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Thoroughbred Horse

The Thoroughbred horse was originally bred for racing, but is now used as hunter, eventing, jumpers and dressage horses. The Arabian horse foundation breed for the Thoroughbred horse. Like Arabian horses, Thoroughbreds are considered a hot-blooded breed. They have long, lean bodies, are sensitive and can be high strung.

  • Breed: Thoroughbred
  • Height: Between 16 and 16.2hh
  • Origin: England

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Clydesdale Horse

The Clydesdale is a breed of draught horse that originated from the farm horses of Clydesdale, Scotland. It is often bay in color, they usually have large white markings. The breed was originally used for agriculture and hauling heavy loads, and is still used for draught purposes today. The Budweiser horses are some of the most famous Clydesdales.

  • Breed: Clydesdale
  • Height: 16hh to 18hh
  • Origin: Scotland

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