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15 Most Beautiful Horse Breeds In The World

One of the first things people think of when it comes to horses is their beauty. These majestic animals are one of the oldest domesticated animals in the world. They were used as transportation and to work on farms, ranches, and sport. It made me wonder, with over 400 different horse breeds, what are the most beautiful horse breeds in the world?

The 15 Most Beautiful Horse Breeds globally

  1. The akhal Teke
  2. The Knabstrupper
  3. The Friesian
  4. The Arabian
  5. The Shire
  6. The Paso Fino
  7. The Andalusian
  8. The Pinto
  9. The Percheron
  10. The Appaloosa
  11. The Marwari
  12. The Clydesdale
  13. The Halflinger
  14. The Black Forest
  15. The Mustang

Most horse breeds are bred to produce particular characteristics or features. In the last century, horse breeders have begun to breed horses to make them unique in appearance to stand out at horse shows and competitions. I wanted to make a list of the 15 most beautiful horses in the world.

What Factors Constitutes Beauty In A Horse

Horses have been domesticated for the last 6000 years. Horses were revered for their magnificent size, temperament, and, yes, their beauty. They were heavily featured in paintings, sculptures, and literature throughout the centuries.

As time went on and horses were used less as transportation or as workhorses and more for leisure and competition purposes, the breeders shifted the desired characteristics to include how beautiful these horses were. Breeders crossbred horses to give life to new, more beautiful breeds that would fare well in competitions and as racehorses, show horses, etc.

This article will look at the traits that make these the most beautiful horses in the world.

These traits include:

  • Coat, mane
  • Hight
  • Weight
  • Body and build
  • Temperament
  • What breed is best suited for

15 Most Beautiful Horse Breed In The World

Here are fifteen of the most beautiful horses in the world:

1. The Akhal Teke

The Akhal Teke is widely considered the oldest domesticated horse breed. The ancestry of these magnificent horses dates back to around 6000 B.C. They were specifically bred for their agility, speed, and endurance. It was because they were used in raids.

Today the Akhal Teke is considered by many equestrians as the most beautiful horse breed globally. It has a metallic-looking coat because the core of the hair shaft isn’t opaque, and the light reflects off of the color and creates a sheen that looks metallic.

Some equestrians don’t like that the Akhal Teke is thinly muscled like a greyhound, but others love how gracious this breed is. The Akhal Teke is a breed best suited for seasoned equestrians. It has a gentle temperament and is considered a devoted and loyal one-person breed.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:Akhal Teke
Coat and mane:Metallic sheen coats can range from light brown, golden, silver to white. Thin mane and tail, often the same sheen as the metallic coat.
Height:14 – 16 hands or 56-inches – 64-inches
Weight:900 – 1000 pounds or 408 – 453 kg
Body and build:Fine-boned, slim flat muscled build, almond-shaped eyes, narrow heads, and long, lean necks
Temperament:Loyal, intelligent, trustworthy, intuitive
Best for:Dressage, Long distance racing, showjumping, leisure riding
Life expectancy19 – 21 years
Country of origin:Turkmenistan

2. The Knabstrupper

The elegant Knabstrupper has a colorful history. The early history of this breed can be traced back to one mare named was Flaebe, and the owner of the Knabstrupgaard manor purchased her. While her origins are unknown, it is thought that she descended from Spanish horses.

She had the now-iconic Knabstrupper coat. All her foals had the same spotted coats, and they would become the first of the Knabstrupper breed. These horses became more popular throughout the years due to their coloring, beauty. It wasn’t until around 1870 that the gene pool for these majestic horses began facing problems due to inbreeding.

As if fate had it in for these beautiful horses, a fire broke out in 1891, killing 22 of the breeding Knabstruppers. It seemed like the breed was doomed to die out, but some breeders fought for this spotted breed, and in 1971 three stunning Appaloosa stallions from the USA were flown to Demark to give new life to the dwindling gene pool of the Knabstrupper.

Despite the new blood running through their veins, there are still only around 600 horses worldwide.

The Knabstrupper breed is used as sport horses and can be used in sporting events like dressage, showjumping, exhibitions, and are used in circuses as performing horses. They have a gentle nature and can be used for leisure riding. The Knabstupper pony breed is a favorite companion and riding horse for children.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Knabstrupper
Coat and mane:Coats vary between white, grey, and brown, with leopard spots all over or partly covering the body. Shorter main can be a solid color or have the spots carry over into the mane and tail.
Height:14.2 – 16 hands or 56.8-inches – 64-inches
Weight:1000 – 1150 pounds or 453 – 521 kg
Body and build:It has a long head with a short back, strong hindquarters, long, lean legs.
Temperament:Kind, gentle nature, loyal, eager to learn with a strong work ethic
Best for:Dressage, competitions, shows, showjumping, leisure, and trail riding
Life expectancy25 – 28 years
Country of origin:Denmark

3. The Friesian

The Friesian breed has been used for crossbreeding since the 19th century. These majestic sport horses were a favorite in the Netherlands and were widely used in the agricultural sector as workhorses because of their temperament and strength. When the need for workhorses started to decline, the breed became popular for their sporting skills.

One of the notable sporting events they excel at is dressage. They are great for most other sporting events and can be seen in competitions and show events. They are a breed suited for families or experienced equestrians. They have a gentle, noble, and loyal nature, making them one of the most popular horse breeds.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Friesian
Coat and mane:Most Friesian horses are usually black; there are variants, and they can be white, grey, and chestnut (the rarest color in this breed). Friesians have long flowing manes and tails. In some cases, the mane and tail have waves and curls.
Height:14.2 – 17 hands or 58-inches – 68-inches
Weight:1200 – 1300 pounds or 544 – 589 kg
Body and build:Heavy and muscled body, high arched neck, solid and sturdy legs
Best for:Showjumping, horse racing, dressage, leisure riding, trail riding, and more
Life expectancy14 – 16 years
Country of origin:Germany and the Netherlands

4. The Arabian

Arabians are widely considered the oldest horse breed globally, and their ancestry can be traced back over 6000 years. They were used as transportation, warhorses, raids, and hauling loads. Due to trade, these horses became popular worldwide, and some famous historical figures were known to have Arabians, like George Washington and Genghis Khan.

Arabians are the perfect horse breed for long-distance or endurance racing and make great competition horses and can run long distances in intense heat. They also make good horses for use in dressage and racing. They are not suited to first-time horse owners but make great horses for seasoned equestrians.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Arabian
Coat and mane:The most common color in Arabians is bay, grey, black, chestnut, and roan. Their skin is black except under white markings to protect them from the sun: beautiful mane and a high elevated tail.
Height:14 – 16 hands or 56-inches – 64-inches
Weight:802 – 1002 pounds or 368 – 452 kg
Body and build:Compact, lith body, with strong leg muscles, small wedge-shaped head, and long elegant and arched neck, high lifted tail
Temperament:Spirited, loyal, even-tempered, intelligent
Best for:Horse racing, endurance riding, trail riding, eventing
Life expectancy24 – 31 years
Country of origin:Arabian Peninsula

5. The Shire

Shires look similar to Clydesdales but are regarded as the biggest horse breed in the world. Shires are gentle giants, and they were widely used as workhorses due to their strength, size, and easy-going nature.

Bred as workhorses, they are still used today by some beer brewers to pull wagons or sightseeing vehicles. The Shire is the perfect horse for farms, families, and people who love leisure riding.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Shire
Coat and mane:Shires usually have a black, grey, brown, or bay. They typically have white legs and facial markings. Shires have long flowing manes and tails.
Height:15 – 18  hands or 68-inches – 72-inches
Weight:1802 – 2402 pounds or 817 – 1089 kg
Body and build: 
Best for:Leisure riding, cart pulling, used on farms as alternative transport and more
Life expectancy24 – 31 years
Country of origin:England

6. The Paso Fino

Paso Finos come from the Dominican Republic and were first bred when Christopher Columbus brought to the country during his explorations over 500 years ago. These horses included breeds like the Andalusian, Spanish Jennet, and the Barb. The breeding mixes between these horses are where the modern-day Paso Fino bloodline comes from.

The Paso Fino is considered one of the most beautiful horses because of its beautiful coat and distinctive lush mane and tail. They come in all colors ranging from white, grey, bay to black and chestnut. All colors can be registered. These horses are suited to competitions and trusted on trails due to their elegant and surefooted four-beat gait.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Paso Fino
Coat and mane:Paso Fino comes in all colors and has distinctive lush manes and tails.
Height:700 – 1000 pounds or 317 – 453 kg
Weight:13.3 – 14.3 hands or 53.2-inches – 57.2-inches
Body and build:A strong, compact, and agile body might be too small for bigger adults.
Temperament:Easy going, gentle enough for riders of all ages, love to compete
Best for:Drill team competitions, endurance racing, mounted shooting, trail riding, parade riding
Life expectancy24 – 26 years
Country of origin:The Dominican Republic

7. The Andalusian

The Andalusian is one of the most beautiful horses globally because of its beautiful coat, robust and elegant gait, and long flowing mane and tail. These strong horses come from Spain and have been around for thousands of years.

Andalusians were favored as military horses and were initially used as warhorses for their speed, endurance, and agility. It’s a versatile breed found in competitions, showjumping, or trail rides. They make great companion horses if you are interested in leisure riding.

They can accommodate first-time riders or seasoned equestrians.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Andalusian
Coat and mane:They are usually grey or bay but have produced black, palomino, dun, and chestnut coloring. They have thick, long manes.
Height:15 – 15.1½ hands or 60-inches – 62.4-inches
Weight:906 – 1126 pounds or 411 – 511 kg
Body and build:Athletic and compact body, long neck with strong gait
Temperament:Gentle, loyal, intelligent, and trusting nature
Best for:Trail riding, showjumping, dressage, leisure riding, events, and more
Life expectancy24 – 26 years
Country of origin:Andalusia Spain

8. The Pinto

The pinto horse is not a true breed, but collective breeds make up these horses. They are renowned for their beautiful coloration and patterns. These horses were originally brought to America from Europe when they lost favor with the nobles and aristocrats. It was decided to send these horses to the new world (later the USA) with settlers to run wild.

As time passed, the Native Americans saw the potential in these beautifully colored horses as their colorations provided camouflage in hunting parties. You can find Pinto horses in almost every breed, and they are usually confused with Paint horses and American Quarter horses.

While all breeds have Pinto color variations, you are more likely to find Pintos in horses known for their patterned coats.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Pinto
Coat and mane:Their colors range from dark to white, and there are five different patterns in all Pintos; Tobiano, Overo, Tovero, Medicine hat, and the very rare Sabino. They have long flowing manes and tails.
Height:11 – 16 hands or 44-inches – 64-inches
Weight:900 – 1000 pounds or 410 – 450 kg
Body and build:Solid build, muscular legs, surefooted gait
Temperament:Easy-going, easy to train, intelligent, and gently nature
Best for:Racing, leisure riding, trail riding
Life expectancy20 – 25 years
Country of origin:Europe and USA

9. The Percheron

The origins of the Percheron are murky, but they were used as cavalry horses by 1900. These beautiful horses later became popular as draft horses. They are a versatile horse breed suited to most working environments or competitions like dressage. They can be used to pull sleighs and do well with riders of all ages that are ok with big horses.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Percheron
Coat and mane:They are born black but turn grey as they age. Percherons can also be sorrel, bay, chestnut, and roan. The breed has a flowing mane and tail.
Height:15 – 19 hands or 60-inches – 76-inches
Weight:1802 – 2602 pounds or 817 – 1180 kg
Body and build:Muscular build with a flat forehead and upright ears
Temperament:Gentile and loyal, intelligent and easy to train
Best for:Horse racing, dressage, leisure riding, showjumping, and more
Life expectancy24 – 31 years
Country of origin:France

10. The Appaloosa

The Nez Perce Native Americans domesticated and bred this breed and used it in everyday hunting and transportation chores. Appaloosas are versatile horses used these days in livestock work, on rances, and endurance racing.

They are suited to riders of all ages and make great first-time horses.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Appaloosa
Coat and mane:They have spotted coats and striped hooves, with colors ranging from red, roan, blue roan, bay roan, palomino, black, brown, chestnut, grey. They have short and sparse manes and tails.
Height:14 – 15 hands or 56-inches – 60-inches
Weight:952- 1202 pounds or 431 – 545 kg
Body and build:Compact and strong
Temperament:Easy-going, gentle, and suited for all ages
Best for:English and Western riding, livestock work, endurance racing, horse raising, leisure riding, and more
Life expectancy29 – 31 years
Country of origin:Nez Perce Native American USA

11. The Marwari

These are considered one of the rarest horses in the world; the Marwari is renowned for their inward curling ears. They are primarily found in India, and not many people see these beautiful horses in person. They are used in sporting events like polo and dressage.

Marwaris are suited to riders of all ages and can be used for first-time horse owners or seasoned equestrians.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Marwari
Coat and mane:Colors range from bay, grey, chestnut, palomino, skewbald and piebald. They have thin sparse manes and tails.
Height:14 – 16 hands or 56-inches – 64-inches
Weight:749 – 1001 pounds or 339 – 454 kg
Body and build:Sleek, slim body, upturned ears
Temperament:Gentle and docile, great for beginners
Best for:Sports events like polo, ceremonial purposes, dressage
Life expectancy24 – 31 years
Country of origin:India

12. The Clydesdale

Originally from Scottland, the Clydesdale horse breed is known for its size and strength. They were widely used on farms, ranches, and as workhorses in the agricultural industry. Today, they are used as companion horses, therapy horses, drum horses, and exhibitions.

This gentle giant breed is suited to beginners and seasoned equestrians alike.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Clydesdale
Coat and mane:They come in varied colors ranging from grey, black, chestnut, bay, and some have roan spots.
Height:16 – 18 hands or 64-inches – 72-inches
Weight:1602 – 2402 pounds or 726 – 1090 kg
Body and build:They have a big, solid build, broad flat head, solid and muscular hindquarters
Temperament:Gentle, intelligent, loyal, and strong work ethic
Best for:Leisure riding, used as drum horses in parades, workhorses, exhibitions, and more
Life expectancy19 -26 years
Country of origin:Scottland

13. The Halflinger

These short horses are beautiful and graceful for their size. They were introduced to America in 1958 and have been popular riding horses ever since. They were bred to accommodate riders and their loads through rough mountain terrain.

These horses have a strong work ethic and love to participate in dressage, trail riding, showjumping, and more. They are well suited to beginner riders and seasoned equestrians.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Halflinger
Coat and mane:They are known to have a golden, dark chestnut, liver chestnut. Halflingers have cream or white lush manes and tails.
Height:13.2 – 15 hands or 54-inches – 60-inches
Weight:800 – 1300 pounds or 362 – 589 kg
Body and build:Short, stocky body, with strong legs and hooves
Temperament:Friendly, loyal, and spirited
Best for:Driving, showjumping, dressage, trail riding
Life expectancy24 – 31 years
Country of origin:Tyrolean Mountains

14. The Black Forest

These beautiful horses were bred to work on farms and drive horses in Germany. As the need for driving gave way to modern vehicles, these horses were in less demand, and are there are currently only 600 of these stunning horses left in the world.

These horses are gentle and are suited for beginners or seasoned equestrians.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Blackforest
Coat and mane:They can have different coat colors that are usually dark with cream or white lush curly mane and tail
Height:16 hands or 59-inches – 64-inches
Weight:1250 – 1400 pounds or 566 – 635 kg
Body and build:Stocky and robust build, muscular legs and hindquarters
Temperament:Gentle and even-tempered, loyal and intelligent
Best for:Driving and riding
Life expectancy24 – 31 years
Country of origin:Germany

15. The Mustang

Mustangs are a great example of the wild west. They were brought over from Spain to America, and some horses escaped. They ran free, and some were domesticated by the Native Americans, who prized the Mustang for its spirited nature.

These horses are used for ranch work and trail riding today. They are stunning to behold in the wild, and their dynamic nature means they are not suited to first-time riders or buyers; they require seasoned equestrians with experience.

The characteristics of this breed:

Horse Breed:The Mustang
Coat and mane:They range in color from bay, grey, chestnut, Palamino, pinto, and roan. Normal to sparse mane and tail.
Height:14 – 15 hands or 56-inches – 60-inches
Weight:800 – 810 pounds or 362 – 367 kg
Body and build:Stong and stocky body
Temperament:Strong-willed and spirited, loyal and trustworthy
Best for:Ranch work, trail riding, dressage, and more
Life expectancy39 – 41 years
Country of origin:USA


Regardless of what kind of horse you are looking for, the most beautiful horses don’t have just beauty going for them. Most are graceful and make a great addition to any family. From the Akhal Teke To the Mustang, humans have favored horses for their skills and beauty for thousands of years.


Anrie Diedericks

I've been around horses since I was 6 years old and started competing at the age of 9. Horses are my greatest passion and I am thrilled to be able to share my 23 (and counting) years of experience and knowledge with you.

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