Sadly there are a wide variety of rare breeds in the modern world of today. Many of them simply outliving their usefulness (poor drafts) and often they were rare to begin with.
With those kinds of numbers loosing even a few breeders becomes a big deal. Here to help educate everyone, I wanted to profile some of the more elusive breeds of the world. The second installment of rare equine breeds, this addition is dedicated to Florida Cracker Horses all the way to the Irish Draught.
Breeds You Don’t See Everyday
Build – Small saddle horses with a refined head, narrow neck, sloping, well muscled shoulders.
Nature – Gaited breed with high spirit and stamina bred solid and agile for cattle work.
Colors – Found in all colors, most common are grey or a solid color.
Origin – Ancestors of the Iberian, Barb, Sorraia and Jennet horses and were brought to Florida from Spain in the 16th century.
More information – Florida Cracker Horse
Build – Athletic and agile bred initially for endurance and speed, now the Appaloosa is a well-proportioned general use horse. Often diluted with Quarter horse blood causing physical similarities.
Nature – Versatile and tough, the Appaloosa is notorious for stubborn tendencies.
Colors – Found in a variety of different base colors, the appaloosa white genes display in several different patterns.
Origin – Foundation Appaloosa horses are at least 75% pure Appaloosa blood. Years of bloodline dilution and small numbers make these pure spotted horses rare.
More information – Foundation Appaloosa Horse Registry
Build – Small head, crested neck, built straight for high knee action but muscular and powerful.
Nature – Flashy and proud, the Friesian is intelligent, willing and possesses a pleasent character.
Colors – Black is the only recognized color, although a dark chestnut, bay and grey can be found.
Origin – From the Friesian providence of the Netherlands and developed during the 16th and 17th centuries by monks. This breed has Arabian and Andalusian blood, and is one of the few breeds that doesn’t carry any Thoroughbred influence.
More information – Friesian
Build – Well proportioned, with a strong jawline and fine muzzle, the neck is the most important element of confirmation and should be long, muscular and well arched.
Nature – Willing and calm, the Georgian is also alert, intelligent and proud.
Colors – Found in a wide variety of equine colors.
Origin – A cross between the Friesian and the Saddlebred blood
More information – Georgian Grande
Build – A small draft horse, built for heavy work but smaller in stature. Its characteristics are a deep, broad chest, muscular build and a strong neck.
Nature – The docile nature of a draft horse with the willingness and brightness of smaller horse breeds.
Colors – Predominately piebald tobiano pintos, however they also come in skewbald, and bay based pintos, Blagdon (either highly or minimally expressed), minimally expressed sabino pinto, silver dapple, grey and palomino, roan and most solid colors.
Origin – Developed in the 20th century as a small, friendly draft breed for pulling Gypsy caravans. They retain the influence and characteristics of Clydesdale, Shire, Friesian and Dales pony blood.
More information – Gypsy Vanner
Build – Refined, alert head, long neck and powerful shoulders. Built straight for high movement.
Nature – Naturally exuberant and high energy
Colors – Black, bay and chestnut
Origin – This breed began in Norfolk England, where Norfolk Trotter bloodlines were improved by foundation Thoroughbred influence. The first Hackney was foaled in 1760 and has developed since.
More information – Hackney Horse
Build – Strong and solid confirmation
Nature – Simple and tough, willing and kind.
Colors – Flaxen chestnut
Origin – Traced back to medieval times in what is present day Austria and northern Italy. However the first official Haflinger horse documented late in the 19th century.
More information – Haflinger
Build – The only place these animals are considered horses is Iceland, and it is an insult to call them ponies there, so I put them on the horse page. They have a muscular build with a heavy head and compact body. Surefooted and agile with an incredible strength.
Nature – A mighty personality in a small package, this animal is a big horse in a little horses body.
Colors – Icelandic ponies come in every color under the sun, all dilution genes, color modifiers and most white patterns.
Origin – Thought to be descendants of the mongolian horse, the ancestors of these animals were brought to Iceland between 874 and 935 AD. Because of the extreme isolation the bloodlines have no outside influence. Even today horses cannot be imported to the island, and those that leave may never return.
More information – Icelandic Horse
Build – Head is large and pleasant, can possess slight roman nose, deep girth and the body is powerful.
Nature – Intelligent, willing and docile with a sound, sensible nature and ingrained jumping ability.
Colors – Solid colors, including grey.
Origin – Developed early in the 20th century to fill the need for a more versatile farm horse.
More information – Irish Draught