As I’ve spent the last few months researching & writing my breeds section I’ve come to care about each & every one of them. Not only for their contribution to life as we know it, but for their continued patience and understanding with us as a species.
Is Your Horse a Rare Breed?
Because each one is so precious to us for their unique contribution, we have to take care of those that carry low numbers. There are a number of breeds that are in very real trouble and each one listed on this page is in critical danger of becoming extinct.
‘Critical’ means these breeds have less than 300 active breeding mares worldwide. Sorry I don’t have images of all of them – they are that rare.
The Whole Critical List
This is the most up-to-date & comprehensive list I could find, but if anyone has any knowledge of more critical breeds (heaven-forbid) or any that have made a recovery I hope you’ll let me know in the comments below.
Their bloodlines are at least 2000 years old and influenced many Iberian breeds. Cleveland Bay
Originally bred (with Barb foundations) as cart horses & principally bred by the church.
Comes from Iberian animals brought to the Americas and bred very pure by several indigenous tribes.
A tiny population of mysterious Barb descendants of unknown origin found on Abaco island in the Bahamas.
Banker Wild Horses
Also believed to be of Spanish descent and found exclusively on the Outer Banks of the Carolinas in the US.
Carolina Marsh Tacky
Another descendant of Spanish animals found in South Carolina & once used as cow horses.
Florida Cracker Horse
Spanish stock that made their home in Florida & carried a high % of Spanish Jennet blood.
Created in the Americas in the 16th & 17th centuries by crossing Iberian animals with Barbs.
We all know their story by now…it’s the American Mustang story.
Created around 160 years ago, this gaited breed association doesn’t encourage showing of their animals.
Small Horse Breeds
One of the most ancient equine bloodlines on the planet, the Caspian is also one of the few miniature horses made 100% by Mother Nature.
Sadly More To Come…
I feel sure that this list is missing animals of Asian & African descent & will be on the lookout for better information. If anyone can tell me where to find it, please speak up in the comments below!