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6 Horse Breeds You Should Know

6 Horse Breeds You Should Know

Horses have been bred for thousands of years for specific uses. With an amazing diversity of horse breeds, sizes, temperaments, and traits, it can be hard to know exactly what breed of horse to purchase or lease. Some horses are well adapted for specific uses or disciplines, while others are more versatile and are great “all-around horses”. 

Here are some of the most popular breeds you should know about if you are considering purchasing or leasing a horse.

Arabian Horse

Arabian horses are very versatile and are known for their looks and athleticism. The Arabian horse has a long history and is one of the oldest known horse breeds. Arabian bloodlines became popular in Europe, starting with The Godolphin Arabian.

Arabians tend to be smaller, usually between 14.1-15.2 hands tall. They come in various colors, but gray, black, bay and chestnut colors are the most common. Arabians are well known for their intelligence and stamina, making them solid competitors in the endurance world. They are also shown in Dressage, English, Western, and Driving very successfully. 


Most people know Thoroughbreds as racehorses. This breed originated sometime during the 17th and 18th centuries in England.  Thoroughbreds are extremely talented performance horses with natural intelligence and athleticism. Many retired racehorses find careers as jumpers, dressage horses, and eventers. Thoroughbreds range from 15-18 hands tall and have long, muscular legs. They come in black, grey, chestnut, and bay most often.

American Quarter Horse

A wonderful breed known for their versatility, the American Quarter Horse, was originally bred to sprint short distances (quarter-mile) and work cattle. Quarter Horses have a compact, muscular build and well-developed hindquarters. They are usually between 14-16 hands tall and are known for being good-tempered horses who do well in multiple disciplines.

Quarter horses do very well in Western and are excellent for cow work. They are calm, even-tempered, and make great trail mounts. Known as a stock breed, Quarter horses are closely related to the American Paint Horse and Pinto horse.

American Saddlebred

The American Saddlebred is a gaited breed, meaning that in addition to walk, trot, and canter, they can perform a unique four-beat gait. These horses have lots of spirit but are very gentle. Many consider them the horse America's original. The American Saddlebred has the Narragansett, Canadian Pacer, Morgan, and Thoroughbred throughout the early bloodlines.

Saddlebreds are generally between 15-16 hands tall have straight profiles, upright necks, and sloping shoulders. Saddlebreds are commonly shown in Saddleseat but are also talented jumpers!


Morgans are another American-bred horse. This compact breed has strong legs and a beautiful, refined head. Morgan horses were bred for general riding and travel, making them a popular choice for the cavalry. They come in a wide variety of colors, but black, bay, and chestnut are most common. Morgans generally stand between 14.1-15.2 hands tall, though the more modern Morgans can be taller. Morgans are a popular riding choice for younger children with their kind nature and stamina.

Miniature Horse

Miniature horses are one of the smallest horse breeds in the world, standing between 8.5-9.5 hands tall. Miniature horses often make up for their small stature with big personalities and tend to be very fun-loving. While minis are too small to ride, they can be lovely driving horses. Miniature horses can also be shown in-hand jumping, showmanship, or over obstacles. They come in a wide variety of colors.

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