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Top ten fastest horse breeds in the world – Ride one and be glad!

Once an Australian poet Pam Brown said that the ‘Horses lend us the wings we lack.’ In fact, yes, they do. What could be more beautiful and scarier at the same time than riding a horse through the wild? Horses, the spirit, elegance, beauty, and grace all woven into one single creature. And out of it all, speed is one thing they never lack. There are horse breeds around the world that are popular for their speed. Let us talk about the top ten fastest horse breeds in the world.

Top ten fastest horse breeds

Why does the speed matter for different breeds?

Horses have been a part of many activities such as travel, pleasure, and even war. And each of these activities required horses that are more effective in performance.

Therefore, people crossbred these horses into much more robust and endurance horses through time. Nowadays, horse speed mostly matters in horse racing and long-distance traveling, unlike back then.

And among the best horse breeds, the top ten horse breeds in the world which excel in this field are as follows.  

Top ten fastest horse breeds in the world

If you want to win the race, go on a long-distance trail, or just ride on a horse for a long time, these best horse breeds will get the job done in no time. 

Thoroughbreds – One of the Top ten fastest horse breeds in the world

This horse breed is the fastest middle-distance runner. Horses are for racing. They are the best horse breed known for flat racing. Their origin runs back to the 17th century in England.

They evolved in Britain, where racing horses was a popular sport at the time. And it was King Henry VIII of Britain who founded the royal racing stables.

Therefore, breeding horses for racing became a typical activity in these areas resulting in Thoroughbreds. Godolphin Arabian, the Byerly Turk, and the Darley Arabian are the three pedigree bloodlines that made this horse breed. 

Aren’t they popular!

In the modern-day, around 45% of this best horse breed participates in horse racing. Their speed made them popular with 100000 registered foals per year. These horses have a high work ethic.

Their athletic nature comes with the slim, tall, and extremely powerful muscular built they own. Not only that but also, their height ranges from 15 hands to 17 hands.

Their colors are usually grey and roan. People use these horses to add athletes built in many pony varieties. Anglo-Arabs are the thoroughbred Arabian cross.

Thoroughbreds’ hot-blooded nature makes them extremely suitable for racing. They are famous for their maximum exertion rate, which has caused many accidents and health issues, such as bleeding in the lungs.

Thoroughbreds are also used in hunting, dressage, and jumping. Other than that, this breed participates in horse shows, rodeos, urban mounted police work as well.  

Quarter horses are one of the top ten fastest horse breeds in the world!

They are the oldest breed found in America. The original roots of this breed run to the colonial era. But it is the 1800s westward expansion that truly gave the horse breed its pure color.

During this era, the colonial quarter horses were bred with American mustangs, Spanish horses with a thoroughbred bloodline. The born offspring had an instinct for working with cattle.

When thoroughbreds came in to play, this breed moved towards the west and became cowboys’ companions where they engaged in racing as well. 

Quarter a mile isn’t that bad!

Just like the name says, they excel lasting for quarter-mile distances. Their sprinting speed can rise to 55 miles per hour.

 The American quarter horse is among the popular type of horse breed in the world, making it 300000 foal registrations per year. Their colors vary from chestnut to sorrel. 

These horses are medium-sized with fine heads and broad foreheads. Sturdy legs are present. Their shoulders are muscular and bulky. The horse’s size ranges from 14.3 hands to 15.3 hands.

The weight is about 1200 pounds, and their compact size and muscle built tend to make them famous. They can be found at traditional racing events, horse shows, and rodeo events as well. 


The oldest breed registry owners are the Arabian breed in the world. Their history runs a thousand years back where their origin comes from the Arabian Peninsula.

Back then, these horse breeds were used for trade and war—people shaped and raised them in harsh desert climatic terrains, making them enduring and tough. 

Tough situations built strong people. The same applies to horses as well.

Their distinctive shape with a wedge-shaped head and short backs, make them easily identifiable. They have protruding eyes, broad nostrils, marked withers as well.

The unique feature is that they have only 23 vertebrae where 24 is considered as a usual number for other breeds. Their height ranges from 15 hands to 16 hands. Meanwhile, their weight ranges from 800 to 1000 pounds.

Their speed, refinement, elegance, and endurance are in most of the other light horse breeds. It has very strong legs. They dominate endurance among all the breeds.

They make elegant dressage horses. But their speed makes them more suitable for horse racing. And Arabian horse breed is excellent in participating in any type of horse sports activity.


This is the fastest harness horse in the world. The Standardbred traces its ancestry to the line of Thoroughbreds. They were imported to America in 1788.

The Norfolk Trotter also had a robust influence on the early development of the Standardbred. People used to breed them with other breeds to increase the abilities of newborn kinds.

They have a long body but do not stand very tall. The medium-sized neck bears the refined head, and clean hind legs add to its shape.

They are 15-16 hands in height and they have a close resemblance to thoroughbreds. Moreover, they have color variations of brown, grey, dark brown, and bay.  

Take your time. No hurry

These horses are famous for their patience and good behaviors. But at first, they refuse the idea of having someone on their back. But with a slow and gentle approach, they become better companions.

Their stamina is very high, and this helps them to cover longer distances without putting up much effort. 


Developed in the Pacific Northwest belonging to a Native American tribe, Appaloosas are best popular for their spotted coat – colorful pattern other than their speed.

The Appaloosa has been stealing the hearts of horse fans for years, with its delightful composition, striking looks, and ability to adapt to various situations.

Appearance matters even for horses.

Their dotted appearance consists of Blanket patterns, Leopard patterns, Snowflakes, or Marbleized pattern. This horse breed has no standard body type.

They come in different sizes and ranges. Mottled skin surrounding the eyes, muzzle, anus, and genitalia, striped hooves, and eyes with a white sclera are some features that are popular in them. 

Their height varies from 14.2 hands to 15 hands, weighing about 1000 pounds. Appaloosas’ base colors include black, bay, palomino, chestnut, buckskin, gray, roan, dun, and gruella. 

People use these horses for long-distance trail riding, racing, and rodeo events as well. This is a devoted horse type that exists in good health and better posture with minimum maintenance.


This horse breed is a pure Spanish horse breed. King Felipe II of Spain formally established this breed in the 16th century in the Iberian Peninsula, which remains unchanged through time.

These Andalusian play a prominent role in Spanish history as a Calvary horse and performed well in wars, helping the kingdoms to win battles. At first, they were used in war and later for dressage.

Interesting fact!

This is one of the iconic breeds in the whole world. Because of their rarity, the Spanish government decided to ban the export of these horses to the other parts of the world.

This ban was removed in 1960, making this horse breed exposed to the world. The very first Andalusian stepped on American soil was in 1964.

The strength and the endurance of this horse breed make them used for crossing with other horse types.

Andalusian horses are solidly built and elegant. Heads of medium length heads, with a straight or slightly convex profile, long and broad necks, and massive chests, build them up.

They also have large, expressive eyes, delicate lips, flared nostrils, and chiseled cheeks. About 80% of the breed is grey, and others are either buckskin, pearl, or cream in color. 

They are famous for their running skills. Yeah, they are multi kilometer runners. Of course, they learn difficult moves swiftly, including turns on the haunches, and this is considered the breed’s greatest strength.

Black Forest

Black forest breeding history dates back to 600 years. They were bred as draft horses. Due to industrialization taking over the agricultural work, the breed nearly became extinct.

Their number reduced to 160 in the 1980s. At present, their number is about 1000 approximately.

Dark chestnut color is the most common color among them. The thick coat and the darker coloring maintain their distinctive look.

These horses are friendly and approachable. They have a refined shape with a size ranging between 14.2-16 hands and 1250-1400lbs in weight.

Because of their grace, elegance, and beauty, they are famous as the ‘Pearls of the Black Forest.’

Even though these horses excel at speeds, they do not engage in many horse sport activities. Most of them perform well in dressage. Where strength is required, these horses perform the best.

They have a cold-blooded temperament. 

American Miniature Horse

Their small size, cute faces, and sweet depositions have earned so many fans around the world. American Miniature Horses are a breed between horses and ponies. 

There’s nothing wrong with being small.

Set apart big eyes, a broad forehead, relatively short muzzle, pointed ears with a well-defined muscular body give them the nimbleness and the stronger built.

These horses cannot fight with an Arabian or a Thoroughbred, but they still stand at a higher spot in the speed list. 

They can be kept on small acreages with their ideal sizes, where large horses would not accommodate. They need less maintenance and less care. The amount of food required is also low.

Like most ponies, minis are easier to overfeed than underfeed.


This horse breed looks so stunning in a way that they are recognizable in any horse pack. These horses are native to Turkmenistan, where they also represent the national emblem.

With their elegant built, they are popular as horses from heaven. But they are a threatened species according to Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List (CPL). 

The Akhal Teke breed comes from a country with scarce resources such as water and food. This has made them the best survivors and the best endurance horses.

In 1935, a group of Turkmen riders rode 2500 miles in 84 days. The trip included a three-day, 235 miles, crossing of a desert without water.

They are of golden-brown color hairs with a defined bony structure and thin skin. This breed comes in a range of many colors, from black to bay (brown coat with black legs) to chestnut, coppery and reddish.

Their cream gene creates these stunning coat colors, and their numbers are not much. Approximately 6000 horses are there in the world. The Akhal-Teke typically stands between 14.2 and 16 hands.

They participate in many competitive sports. In racing, rodeo events, and competitive events, these horses stand out from the rest. Their endurance, speed, and intelligence make them one of the best companions to have. 

French trotter

These horses originated from the Normandy region of France around the 19th century. These are famous for their gentle disposition. They are well-disciplined and strongly determined.

Their energy level is high compared to the other light breeds, which makes them suitable for racing. Today, the French Trotter is considered one of the most popular equine breeds in France and is still a powerful horse.

They have a coarse appearance. Their height ranges on average from 15 to 16 hands. Popular coat colors include bay, black, brown, chestnut, and gray, but gray is extremely rare. Wide eyes are set upon a straight head.

A prominent breast bone is a unique feature with a broad chest. Their backs are strong, and they attain great speeds at the trots using their powerful and muscular hindquarters.

French trotters engage in harness racing. Their calm and gentle behaviors make them easier to train and work with.

Top ten fastest horse breeds

Winding up…

So they are the top ten fastest horse breeds in the world. The best horse breeds mentioned above will make your ride more exciting and interesting. So, if you are a horse lover, don’t forget to check them out.

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