Just like people, horses come in all shapes and sizes. Some horses are lean and fast. Some are big and strong. Some are tiny. The things that make horses different from one another are called characteristics.

Horses that share the same characteristics are called breeds. There are over 350 different breeds of horses. That’s a lot of horses!

Jack says:

If you lined up 350 horses nose to tail you’d have to walk half a mile to count them all. 

Breeds are divided into 4 groups:

Light – these are the speedy breeds that take people for rides. Light horses have small bones that make them nimble and quick. Most weigh less than 1,300 pounds. Popular riding breeds include: Thoroughbreds, Morgans, and Arabians.

Draft – these burly breeds are strong and hearty. They have large bones and sturdy legs. Drafts are good at heavy work. Popular Draft breeds include Percherons, Clydesdales and Shires.

Ponies – these horses make people say “Aww.” Most ponies are only 57 inches tall. But don’t let their size fool you. Ponies are hearty and strong. Some pony breeds include Shetland, Hafinger and POA (Pony of the Americas).

Wild - these horses are the tough kids of the horse world. Wild horses don’t live in stables or get ridden. They roam free in groups called bands. Many times these horses had grandparents who escaped from their owners.

Some popular breeds are listed below. Click on each one to find out more:

American Quarter Horse Arabian
Paint Miniature
Thoroughbred Appaloosa
Tennessee Walker Morgan