Horse breeds: Wikis


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Light or saddle horse breeds
Heavy or draft horse breeds

This page is a list of horse and pony breeds, and also includes terms used to describe types of horses that are not breeds but are commonly mistaken for breeds. A breed is defined generally as a viable true-breeding population, and its members are called "purebreds." In most cases, bloodlines are recorded with a breed registry. However, in horses, the concept is somewhat flexible, as open stud books are created for fairly new types of horses that are not yet fully true-breeding. Registries also are considered the authority as to whether a given breed is listed as a "horse" or a "pony." There are also a number of "color breed", sport horse, and gaited horse registries for horses with various phenotypes or other traits, which admit any animal fitting a given set of physical characteristics, even if there is minimal or no evidence of the trait being a true-breeding characteristic. Other recording entities or specialty organizations may recognize horses from multiple breeds, thus, for the purposes of this article, such animals are classified as a "type" rather than a "breed."

For additional information, see horse breed, horse breeding and the individual articles listed below. Additional articles on different breeds may be listed under Category:Horse breeds and Category:Types of horses.


Horse breeds

Horses are members of Equus ferus caballus that generally mature to be 14.2 hands (58 inches (150 cm)) or taller, but many breed registries do accept animals under this height and classify them as "horses," as horse characteristics include factors other than height. For the purposes of this page, if a breed registry or stud book classifies the breed as a horse, it is listed here as a horse, even if some representatives are pony-sized or have some pony characteristics.





Pony breeds

Ponies are usually classified as members of Equus caballus that mature at less than 14.2 hands. However, some pony breeds may occasionally have individuals who mature over 14.2 but retain all other breed characteristics. There are also some breeds that now frequently mature over 14.2 hands due to modern nutrition and management, yet retain the historic classification "pony." For the purposes of this list, if a breed registry classifies the breed as a "pony," it is listed here as such, even if some individuals have horse characteristics.

(Please note: Because of this designation by the preference of a given breed registry, most miniature horse breeds are listed as "horses," not ponies)



Color "breeds"

There are some registries that accept horses (and sometimes ponies and mules) of almost any breed or type for registration. Color is either the only criterion for registration or the primary criterion. These are called "color breeds," because unlike "true" horse breeds, there are few other physical requirements, nor is the stud book limited in any fashion. As a general rule, the color also does not always breed on (in some cases due to genetic impossibility), and offspring without the stated color are usually not eligible for recording with the color breed registry. The best-known color breed registries are for the following colors:

There are breeds that have color that usually breeds "true" as well as distinctive physical characteristics and a limited stud book. These horses are true breeds that have a preferred color, not color breeds, and include the Friesian horse, the Cleveland Bay, the Appaloosa, and the American Paint Horse.

Types of horses

A "type" of horse is not a breed but is simply a term used to describe a group of breeds that are similar in appearance (phenotype) or use. A type usually has no breed registry, and often encompasses several breeds. However, in some nations, particularly in Europe, there is a recording method or means of studbook selection for certain types to allow them to be licensed for breeding. Horses of a given type may be registered as one of several different recognized breeds, or a term may include horses that are of no particular pedigree but meet a certain standard of appearance or use.

Modern types

Archaic types

Prior to approximately the 13th century, few pedigrees were written down, and horses were classified by physical type or use. Thus, many terms for Horses in the Middle Ages did not describe breeds as we know them today, but rather described appearance or purpose. These terms included:

Extinct species and breeds

These horses and ponies either were a recognized, distinct breed of horse that no longer exists as such, or varieties of Equus ferus caballus that have become extinct at some point since domestication of the horse. This section does not include any species within evolution of the horse prior to modern Equus caballus.

The "Four Foundations" wild prototypes

These are the original prototypes from which domesticated breeds are believed to have developed. Scholars debate if these were each wild prototypes within the ancient species Equus ferus or if they were the earliest domesticated landrace breeds.

  • "Warmblood subspecies" or Forest Horse, also called Diluvial horse (Equus ferus silvaticus)
  • "Oriental" subspecies, (Equus agilis), see also "Oriental horse" in "Modern Types," above
  • "Draft" subspecies
  • Tarpan subspecies

Extinct breeds

These were human-developed breeds, now no longer in existence


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