8 Horses of the World

See where some of the world's unique horse breeds originated.


It’s a big world of horses out there! And while you may be familiar with the origins of certain common American breeds like the Quarter Horse or American Paint, how much do you know about the origins of other breeds? Check out our graphic to learn a little bit about where some various breeds hail from, then get some additional info below.

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Horses of the World


Arabian: While the long-beloved Arabian has existed for thousands of years in the Middle East, the breed wasn’t common in the United States until the 1900s.

Belgian: Derived from horses known as the “Brabant” in its country of origin, the Belgian draft horse was developed in Belgium and possibly descends from medieval “Great Horses” ridden by knights.

Gypsy Vanner/Gypsy Horse: Developed from a variety of breeds in Ireland and Great Britain including the Clydesdale, Friesian. Shire, and pony breeds, the Gypsy Vanner today is very popular in the United States, despite only having been in this country since the 1990s.

Paso Fino: The Paso Fino may have had a lot of influence from Spanish horse breeds like the Andalusian and Spanish Jennet, but this gaited horse was actually developed in Puerto Rico and Columbia.

Appaloosa: The popular Appaloosa is named after the Palouse River of the Pacific Northwest, where the Nez Perce people originally developed these horses.

Haflinger: The Haflinger was developed from Arabians crossed with native pony breeds in the country of Austria.

Welsh Pony: The popular Welsh Pony is from Wales, of course, one of several pony breeds native to the United Kingdom.

Icelandic Horse: The hardy Icelandic horse has been bred in Iceland for almost 1,000 years without any outside blood being imported.


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