In the world of equines it is understood that there are a wide variety of horse breeds, however within the horse world (and even some breeds) there are a number of types.
A Complete List
Not all of the types listed below are officially recognized & some of them overlap. However they are used within the various industries in the horse world & are a different way of categorizing the equine animal.
Baroque animals tend to be handsome & showy, often with high action & arched necks. Almost all animals considered Baroque in type come from Iberian bloodlines & breeds include Andalusian, Lipizzan, Lusitano & Friesians.
Draft or Coldblooded Horses
Coldblooded animals are larger, draft breeds who possess immense strength & robust size. Draft animals come from ancient European breeds used for agriculture or war mounts & include Clydesdale, Percheron, Belgian Draft & Ardennes.
Gaited animals come in all shapes/ sizes & most likely originated with the Iberian animals. These breeds are known for their smooth, ridable gaits, handsome demeanor & include American Saddlebred, Bashkir, Icelandic Horse & Paso Fino.
The term Hotblooded does not have anything to do with temperament, it is descriptive of smaller, leaner animals with thin coats. These breeds often come from the desert & include Akhal-Teke, Arabian, Barb & Thoroughbreds.
Miniature horses are pony size in stature but retain horse-like characteristics, making them literally miniature horses. In many cases mini’s are man made breeds, like the American Miniature however there are a few naturally occurring small animals with horse features including the Caspian & Falabella.
Pacers occur in several different breeds & are generally used for racing. They are fast & move with a lateral two beat gait. This is a natural gait & many breeds prefer it to trotting, including the Canadian Pacer, Narragansett Pacer, Kathiawari & Standardbred.
Ponies are all small in stature & tend to have rounded bodies, relatively short legs, specialized joints & molars (that’s just a few characteristics). The confirmation of ponies will vary considerably as there are a wide variety of pony breeds including the Anadolu Pony, Connemara Pony, Java Pony & Padang Pony.
Riding horses aren’t a specific type per se, but they deserve a mention nonetheless because this has long been a popular mount. Riding animals are bred specifically for their mild temperament, comfortable ride & include the Russian Riding, Selle Francais, Romanian Saddle Horse & Irish Hobby Horses.
Sport Horses have gained popularity in recent years & are generally used for eventing, competition or showing. These animals tend to be large, athletic, intelligent & include the likes of the Brazilian Sport Horse, Canadian Sport Horse, Irish Sport Horse & Belgian Sport Horse.
Under the same vein as the Sport Horses, the Sport Ponies are mainly used in the show ring & can be found in various disciplines. These breeds generally display more horse-like characteristics & include the Danish Sport Pony, American Sport Pony, British Riding Pony & German Riding Ponies.
Stock Horses serve a specific purpose & are built to show it. They are shorter, stockier animals who often have heavy hindquarters. They are generally used to work cattle & various other ranch or farm tasks, some stock breeds are the Quarter Horse, Australian Stock Horse, Florida Cracker Horse & Canadian Cutting Horses.
Stock Ponies serve much the same purpose as Stock Horses but for smaller cattle & a wider variety of work tasks. Built in a similar manner, these breeds are squat, stocky & built to work. Stock pony breeds include the Quarter Pony, Dulmen Pony, Galiceno & Lac la Croix Ponies.
Most harness racing is run by trotters who are built long/ lean & can trot at high speeds. These tend to be rangy, robust animals & there are are both warm & cold blooded trotting breeds including Dole, Italian Trotter, Russian Trotter & Orlov Trotters.
Warmblood horses are in many cases saddle or riding horses whose development changed as equestrian sporting grew in popularity. These animals tend to be robust, athletic & mild mannered – often registered based on movement, temperament & ability. Warmblood breeds include the Dutch Warmblood, Holsteiner, Hanoverian and Belgian Warmblood Horses.
Are There More?
This is the longest list of horse types we could find, but if anyone has a type to add we’d love to hear it. Be sure to check out the Breeds section to learn more about all horse types.