American horse breeds-The most interesting overview!

America is a land like no other, and the land for beautiful horses, Wild, Thoroughbred, and Purebred horses. Yes, there are American horse breeds in the beautiful world of equines! In accordance with the recent estimations, there are about 9.2 million horses in the United States, and 4.6 million people are in the horse trade. There are another 82,000 wild horses roaming the countryside of the Wild West Plains of America.

American horse breeds
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Background of American horse breeds

If you dig up the history, you will realize that there were horses in America a very long time ago but became extinct somewhere around 8,000 to 12,000 years ago.  The animals were re-homed back in America by the Spanish when they set foot on the soils of America.  The Spaniards brought these horses with them, and from then onwards horses were back on American soil for good.

These domesticated horses were introduced to America during the time of the Spanish conquest and some horses escaped and spread throughout the American Plains. When Christopher Columbus came to America on his second voyage, in 1493 he brought with him  Spanish horses representing E.Caballus (meaning horse)  and were brought back to North America, in the Virgin Islands,  They were reintroduced in the continent of Mexico, from there these horses spread all over the countryside.

In later years European settlers brought in lots of horses to America.  At first, they shipped in small horses suited for small types of work, trade, and loading, etc.  In the 19th century, however, larger breeds were imported and brought in and by the 1880s thousands of horses, as well as man and beast had landed in America.  Horse Racing started somewhere around 1665 when a Horse Race Course was opened in Salisbury New York.

Native Americans had a hard time with horse management!

There are many theories and stories as to how or when Native American people obtained horses from the Spanish.   Anyway, Native Americans lacked the skills of riding horses or how to manage them and had to learn the necessary skills and know-how of the horse business before they could claim ownership to them.   The horse trade slowly spread to the North from New Mexico.  After that horses became an integral part of the Native Americans.  The Indian Plains had them and kept them as a source of wealth and income and used them for hunting, travel, and war.

Then in the 19th-century horses were used freely for many jobs.  They were used to herd cattle on the Westside and were ridden by cowboys.  They lived in large ranches on cattle drives.  In towns and cities, horses were used to pull the carriages where people traveled from town to town or to travel to other distant places.

Horses were also used in farming, to haul freight.  Horses in those days were more useful and powerful than machinery.  At times too many horses were used and maltreated, so because of this, in 1866 the ASPCA inaugurated its first establishment for the protection of these animals. In the 19th century, the Standard Bred Breed of Harness Racing Horse was born in the United States where many thoroughbred horse races were established.

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More Details…

At the beginning of the 20th century, the US established the Department of Agriculture to preserve American breed horses and to breed and establish horses for military and agricultural purposes.  After World War I there was more machinery and mechanical transportation resulting in the horses going into the back bender.  Then again in 1960, the horse numbers skyrocketed when horses were used for recreational purposes.

The United States and Russia had the most horses in the world in 1912.  America was the 2nd highest number in horses breeding there were about 20 million horses in 1915 in the US.  However, in 1959 this number dropped to 4.5 million.  It rose again in 1968 to 7 million horses used for riding.  In 2005 it was estimated to be about 9 million horses.

Today there are horses and more horses to be seen everywhere introduced to the Americans by Europeans.  It is believed that horses were there in the Americas long before human beings.

There are about 82,000 wild horses in the United States and other additional horses in other States of the United States.

There are many horse breeds originating from the United States and from Canada.

  • Alberta Wild Horse
  • American Bashkir Curly
  • Appaloosa
  • American Belgian Draft
  • American Cream Draft
  • Appaloosa pony
  • American Crème Horse
  • American Drum Horse
  • Canadian horse
  • American Indian Horse
  • American Miniature Horse
  • Camarillo White Horse
  • American Mustang
  • Canadian pinto
  • American Paint Horse
  • American Quarter Horse
  • Canadian cutting horse
  • American Saddlebred
  • American Shetland Pony
  • Carolina Marsh Tacky
  • American Sorraia Mustang
  • American Sport Pony
  • National Spotted Saddle Horse
  • American Spotted
  • Canadian pacer
  • American Spotted Paso

  • Canadian Rustic Pony
  • American Standard Bred
  • Colonial Spanish horse
  • American Thoroughbred
  • Cerbat mustang
  • American walking pony
  • Cumberland Island horse
  • American Warmblood
  • Canadian Sports horse
  • American White horse
  • Assateague horse
  • Banker horse
  • Blazer Horse
  • Canadian Warmblood
  • Cherokee Horse
  • Chickasaw Horse
  • Chincoteague Pony
  • Choctaw horse
  • Colorado Ranger
  • Conestoga Horse
  • Florida Cracker horse
  • Georgian Grande Horse
  • Kanata Pony
  • Kentucky mountain saddle horse
  • Kiger Mustang
  • LacLa Croix Indian pony
  • Missouri Fox Trotter
  • Morab, Morgan Horse
  • Morocco Spotted
  • mountain Pleasure horse
  • Mustang
  • Narragansett Pacer
  • National Show Horse
  • Nemaiah Valley Horse
  • Newfoundland Pony
  • Nez Perce Horse
  • Nokota Horse
  • Pony of the Americas
  • Pryor Mountain Mustang
  • Quarab
  • Quarterhorse
  • Quarter Pony
  • Racking Horse
  • Rocky Mountain Horse
  • Sable Island Pony
  • Spanish Jennet Horse
  • Spanish Mustang
  • Spotted Saddle Horse
  • Standard Bread
  • Spanish Barb
  • Tennessee Walking Horse
  • Tiger Horse
  • Virginia Highlander
  • Walkaloosa
  • Welara
American horse breeds
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The American Horse Breed Association

The Racking Horse Breeders Association (RHBAA) was founded in April 1971 in the State of Decatur, Alabama.  It was founded by a group of horse-loving people who were interested in promoting the gaited horse.  They wanted this gaited horse to be shown without all the large action devices that were used on other large breed’s horse like the Tennessee walking horse.  In addition; they wanted to get away from soring (some sort of chemical pressure or device used to hurt the horse) and the Horse Protection Act which was passed in 1970.

The Association began with the aim and goal of promoting and preserving the attributes of the Racking horse, as well as to provide all opportunities for amateurs who were training their own horses without any professional help.  The two largest shows are held during spring. And the World Celebration held in September.  Every year these horse shows are shown in Alabama and Tennessee held in late September. ,

The World Celebration is the largest show on earth with over 170 classes and 1000 horses.  These are the final shows for each season.  The RHBAA has programs and shows for amateur, and youth professionals, and female riders and exhibitors. They also hold programs for adult horses that compete in nontraditional competitions such as judged trail rides.

The RHBAA registers’ pedigree full blood type mares and foals.  The second method of registration is for open registration, that is any horse that meets the standards and temperament, gait and confirmation will be registered after evaluation by a licensed commissioner.  Adult horses are evaluated for riding; the younger foals are shown for loose lead rope.  There are about 80,000 horses registered in the RHBAA.

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)

is located in Amarillo, Texas.  This is a dedicated organization determined to improve and preserve the record-keeping and supporting of the American Quarter Horse.  There is a museum of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Museum including a sponsor’s educational program.  This organization was founded in 1940.

American Suffolk Horse Association

The American Suffolk Horse Association is a place where the Suffolk horse is promoted as a horse confirming its temperament for use of all types of work.  It also helps educate and enhance the members of their skills in breeding and training of this horse.  New members are all welcome to the American Suffolk Horse Association.

The American Warmblood Society

This is the only American Warmblood society to nominate horses involved in Olympic Sports, Dressage, Showjumping events, and combined riding.  This Association is founded in supporting and promoting the breeding and enjoyment of the American Warmblood sports horses.  It is the mission to provide beneficial services to its members and preserve the pedigrees of the American Warmblood Registry Sport horses while maintaining the integrity of the breed.

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International Colored Appaloosa Association

The International Colored Appaloosa Association is dedicated to preserving the Native American heritage of the Appaloosa.  This is the first stand-alone Appaloosa Registry created to produce eight generations of purebred Appaloosa horses by the full generational concept, a method recognized by animal scientists and a generation of Appaloosas, which are fast becoming a reality, the Purebred registry will be open with the goal of producing purebred Appaloosa into the future.

Arabian Horse Association

The Arabian Horse Association is dedicated to ensuring the welfare of the Arabian horse and the future of this breed.  It is the only one single breed Association in the United States that registers Arabian horses.  The breed registry was founded in 1908 to meet the breeding needs of the Arabian horse owners.   The AHA holds and organizes community shows for regional and national horse shows and competitions.  The AHA holds 4 separate National competitions which are the US Nationals, Sport Horse Nationals, Youth Nationals, and Canadian Nationals.

American Horse Breeds A-Z

There are so many horse breeds of different shapes and sizes and breeds all over the world.  These horses bear unique characteristics.  Many horse breeds come from different parts of the world and have got used to their surroundings, of the extreme hot and cold weather experienced in all parts of the US.

The horses color, height, age, pace are good indications to note down in their breed or to what breed they belong to.  To get to know a horse it is imperative that you know your horse thoroughly, and getting to know these traits are important in horse breeding. Choose a horse that is temperamental and to your likes, discipline-wise, etc.  A few of them listed below.

Given below is a list of American Horse breeds A-Z

The Akhal-Teke Horse

These horses are beautiful to look at; they are lean in body and look similar to the Arab horse.  They can survive on a little food because they have lived in the Arab deserts and are used to that kind of life.  This is a good horse for speed, stamina, and lots of endurance and is a very popular horse for long-distance travel.  Its origin is from Iran and its height is 15 to 16.2 HH, color is Bay, grey chestnut and black.

The head is small with large eyes and nostrils, the neck is long and lean, shoulders sloping, withers are a good height, Back is fairly long, and Limbs are slender with strong sound hooves.  The mane and tail are sparse; hindquarters are narrow and lean but very strong.  This horse is a very spirited breed.

American Paint horse

This horse is called paint horse because of its white solid color and spotted with brown patches.  There are different terms used for different color to paint horses.


This is white across the back going from withers to the dock.  The head is a base color with white face markings.  The flank is dark in color.  The chest is a dark color that forms a shield-like shape in appearance.  The tail sometimes has two colors.


When considering this horse breed, this is not white between the withers and dock.  The head is white with a few dark patches. Sometimes the horse will have one blue eye.  The Horse’s legs are dark in color.  The white pattern is irregular and scattered all over the body.  The tail remains the same color.


has white markings that have roan edges to them.  There are often spots found on the belly and the legs are white.   Blue eyes on either a dark or white face.  Mouth marked with a dark patch around it.  The chest spot can vary in size not necessarily forming a shield.  The tail is usually in two colors.

These horses were brought to the New World in 1519 by the Spanish explorer.  By 1800 the lands were full with these horses and became prize animals to the American Indians who liked their striking colors.

Arabian horse

The Arabian horse comes from the Middle East.  It is one of the most popular and oldest breeds going back to 4500 years ago. It has an arched neck and high carried tail like a ponytail.  The color of this horse is chestnut, gray and bay.  They have a thick coat to protect them from harsh desert weather.

Its height is about 57 to 61 inches.  They are good horses with their masters but can be wild if treated otherwise.  These horses are found all over the world because of trade and war.  They are good in horse racing because of their strong bones and speed. These horses are found in the US, Brazil, Continental Europe, UK, Canada Australia, and the Middle East.

Ardennes Horse

These horses are about the oldest breeds of the draft horse which originated from France and the Ardennes area of Belgium.  They date back to ancient Roman times.  The horses are muscular with a compact body, short back, and sturdy legs and joints.  The flocks are feathered and come in coats of palomino, grey, chestnut roan, and bay.  They are free moving and easy to keep.  Moreover; they are 1.62 meters in height with the mare standing at about 1.60 meters and weighing between 700 and 1000 kilograms.  Do not forget that they have a straight and slightly convex look with a thick broad face.

Belgian horse

This horse is for heavy work.  It is a draft horse breed coming from the Brabant region from modern-day Belgium. It is a very strong horse breed and stands between 66 and 68 inches. Weighs about 900 kilograms. This American horse is tall with a flaxen mane and a chestnut coat. North American horses are smaller than the ones in European countries. They are used for pulling heavyweights. This breed is prone to an inherited skin disorder called junctional epidermolysis bullosa. Large areas of the skin of newborn foals are lost resulting in the horse being put down.  This breed is domesticated as a working horse, but of recent, it has become popular as a show horse.

Clydesdale horse

This horse is a breed from Scotland.  It was bred from the Flemish stallions imported to Scotland and then cross-bred with local mares.  The first breed of the Clydesdale horse was bred in 1826 and spread throughout Northern England.  The Clydesdale horse is used for agriculture and haulage.  They are 64 and 72 inches tall and weigh 910 kilograms.  They are muscular and strong with an arched neck clopped shoulder and high withers.

Dutch Warmblood

This breed was bred in the Netherlands in the 1960s.  It is said that it is one of the most successful horse breeds bred in post-war Europe.  These Warmbloods have a white marking and come in grey, chestnut, and bay, brown and black coatings.

The Dutch Warmblood has long legs with a smooth topline and expressive head.  They are used for dressage and show jumping.  They are very strong horses and live long, due to the stringent breeding requirements and elite mares.

Exmore pony

This Exmore pony is the oldest from the British pony breeds that are found in England.  They are believed to be descendants of the horses that walked into Britain before it was even called an island.   These ponies have a hooded upper brow to protect them from the harsh wind and rain.  They have a short crop of hair on the upper part of the tail to channel rainwater down the horse’s body.  Their height is 11.3 to 12.3 hands for stallions and 11.2 to 12.2 hands for mares.  They weigh 750 to 850 pounds and they are strong horses.  Their legs are short, rib cage well sprung and brown in color, broad forehead, lager eyes, and small ears.  These ponies are short with well-developed bones and joint support.

Friesian Horse

This horse originated from the Netherlands.    These horses are graceful in look and very quick and nimble.  In ancient times they used to carry the Knight in Armour.  They became extinct but have now grown back in number.  It is a very popular horse.  They have a black coat with a good bone structure.  Long arched necks and well-chiseled Spanish heads with short ears.    Their limbs are short and strong, their mane is silky and long.  You get sports and baroque horses.  Their height is 15.3

Fjord Horse

This horse is from Norway very strong and good for climbing mountains.  They are very nimble and quick in their gait.  They work as farm horses because of their immense strength.  Their hooves are dark in color on a light color which is dun.  The breed is homozygous.  They are now used for riding and therapeutic institutions for disabled children and people in sporting activities.

Gypsy Vanner Horse

This is a skewbald or cob kind of horse breed.  These horses come in many colors. They have a long tail and mane.  Their height is 14 to 15 hands and is a very friendly horse.  They were originally used to pull the gypsy wagon/caravan.  Currently; they are used to pull carriages and are used to ride in a dressage ring.  They are good family horses and good to be used as therapy horses because of their docile nature.

Haflinger horse

The Haflinger horse is found in Northern Italy and Austria.  It is a small breed with a distinctive gait and chestnut color.  They come from a line of breed from the European and Arabian breeds.  They were used for mountain climbing because of their strength.  The color is chestnut and other colors and light gold.  The tail and mane are white while their height is 55 inches.  The back is strong and muscular with flat wide knees.  They are used in harness task and various under-saddle activities, therapeutic and riding dressage and endurance riding.

Icelandic horse

This horse is a descendant of the horses brought to Iceland 11 centuries ago.  This breed was used for transportation and travel.  They are now used as a family horse and sporting horse.  This horse is small but very sturdy; its weight is 330 to 380 kilograms and stands at 14 to 15 hands in height.  They come in colors of black, grey, pinto, roan, palomino and chestnut.  They have wide foreheads the neck is short, but a muscular chest that is broad and deep.  Legs are short and strong.  Its mane and tail are full of coarse hair.  The Icelandic horse is hardy and easy to manage.

Jutland horse

This breed has been around since ancient times.  The body is medium-sized, with a long and strong neck and shoulders with long ears.  Shoulders are muscular and the chest is deep and broad.   They weigh about 650 to 800 kilograms.  While they stand tall at 15 to 16 hands.  They are brown in color or chestnut.  They are docile by nature and used in agriculture and shows.

Knabstrupper Horse

This is a Danish horse.  Measures around 62 to 64 inches.  The color of their coat varies sometimes they come spotted and in various hues, some have solid colors.  It is a good horse for showjumping.  Dressage, circus, carriage, and general riding.  Their coat resembles that of a spotted Dalmatian.

The American Quarter Horse All Breed

This horse is the American Quarter horse all breed is a supersonic horse well known for its high-speed race and sprinting.  It is also a horse well known for its rodeo performance and horse shows.  The American quarter horse is also a ranch horse.  This horse has a compact but powerful body and is well acclimatized intricate and has speedy maneuvers needed in reining, cutting, working cow horses, barrel racing, calf roping, and other western riding events.  It is also very popular for other equestrian and driving activities.  It has the ability to out beat any other horse in sprinting events and can run at speeds to about 55 mph.  This horse is the most popular in the United States.  The American Quarter Horse Association is the largest breed registry in the world with about 3 million Quarter horses registered since 2014.

American horse breeds
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American Paint Horse

The American paint horse is as its name sounds a paint horse!  With a combination of a western and pinto pattern of white and dark coat colors.  Developed and bred from a line of spotted horses with Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred bloodlines.  The American Paint Horse Association is one of the largest horse bred Registries to be found in North America.  The association allows some horses with non-spots to be registered as solid paint bred horses and the American Paint horse is considered to be a horse bred animal with distinct characteristics not just for a color breed.  Because of its combination of color and confirmations, the American Paint Horse Association is the second-largest breed registry in the United States.

What are native American horse breeds

Native Americans love dressing up in a colorful dress and love their horses to be just as colorful so when they acquired these horses they preferred the spotted color and these horses were later bred as their own horses thus coming to names like American paint horse.

Native American horse breeds are as follows:

  • Appaloosa,
  • Nez Perce Horse
  • Nokota horse
  • Spanish Mustang
  • American Indian horse
  • American Paint horse

These are a few of the magnificent horses that one could ever want in a horse for those ardent horse lovers.

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