A Beginner’s Horse Guide: How Many Horse Breeds are There?

It’s no surprise that horses have been around for centuries, but how many horse breeds are there? It turns out the answer is a lot more than you might think!

There are over 350 distinct horse breeds worldwide, and each of them has its own unique qualities.

From the gentle giants like Clydesdale to the swift Arabian, each breed has its own special traits that make it stand out from the rest.

With such an impressive variety to choose from, there’s a perfect horse breed out there for everyone – so why not explore all the options? You might just find your dream horse!

In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of some of the most popular and beloved horse breeds out there. Read on to find out more about your favorite four-legged friends and how to pick the perfect breed for you!

How Many Horse Breeds Are There in Total?

Horse breeds – how many are there, and what’s the difference between them all? The answer to how many horse breeds exist is vast, but we can break it down into five main categories.

1. Light Riding Horses

The first category of horse breed is the light riding horses.

This includes any breed used for light-riding activities such as showjumping, dressage, eventing, and endurance riding.

Breeds of this category:

  • Thoroughbreds
  • Arabs
  • Trakehners
  • Dutch Warmbloods.

2. Draft Horses

The second category is the draft horses. These are heavy-bodied horses that have been bred to perform hard tasks such as pulling carts or plowing fields.

Breeds of this category:

  • Shires
  • Clydesdales
  • Belgians
  • Percherons.

3. Ponies

The third category is the ponies.

These are small horses that have been bred to be suitable riding mounts for children.

They also make excellent driving horses because of their size, strength, and even temperaments.

Breeds of this category:

  • Shetlands
  • Exmoors
  • Welsh Ponies
  • Connemaras
  • New Forests

4. Gaited Horses

The fourth category is gaited horses which refers to those that can perform special four-beat horse gaits such as the Ambling Pace or Running Walk.

Breeds of this category:

Tennessee Walking Horse

Paso Fino

Icelandic Horse

Missouri Fox Trotter.

5. Wild Horses

Finally, we have wild horses. These animals are not typically classified as a breed, but instead viewed as a type of feral horse that has adapted to living in the wild.

Breeds of this category:

  • Mustangs
  • Brumbies

What Breed of Horse is Good for a Beginner?

There are over 300 recognized horse breeds in the world – how could you choose just one?

If you’re a beginner looking to get into horse riding, it’s important to pick one that can meet your needs while also being easy and safe to handle.

A good option for many beginners is the Quarter Horse. This sturdy breed is known for its calm temperament and smooth ride, making them perfect for first-time riders.

Plus, they have plenty of energy and enthusiasm when asked to perform so you won’t be bored with their pace!

You can also check out the basic horse care tips if you are a new horse owner.

So if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly horse breed, consider the Quarter Horse – they may just be the perfect match!

What is the Rarest Horse Breed?

Since there are many horse breeds in the world, this means that if you’re looking for a unique horse, your chances of finding something special are quite high.

How many rare horse breeds are there? And what’s the rarest of them all?

Well, that would be the Akhal-Teke breed. Native to Turkmenistan, these horses have an ethereal look due to their glossy coats that almost seem to glint in the sunlight.

Their slim figures and strength make them popular amongst equestrians and it’s no wonder they are considered one of the noblest horse breeds out there.

What Horse Breed is Extinct?

A breed of horse that no longer exists is the Quagga.

A member of the zebra family, it was native to South Africa before being hunted to extinction in 1870. Another extinct breed is the Tarpan, which also went extinct due to hunting in 1876.

Although these two breeds are no longer around, their legacy lives on through other breeds such as the Dales Pony or Przewalski’s Horse, both of which are believed to be descended from the Quagga and Tarpan, respectively.


From light-riding horses to wild horses and everything in between, there’s a breed out there for everyone.

So whether you’re looking for a rare breed or something more common, you can be sure to find the perfect match with all the options available today. Happy riding!

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