Unique Horse Breeds

A horse is a horse, of course, but check out these unusual breeds of horses and find out what makes them different.


This breed is best known for its’ unusual coloring. There are many spotted patterns, shown is an Appaloosa with blanket pattern, the photo is from Wikimdia. Appaloosas generally also have thin manes and tails, and often have spotted skin around their eyes and on their muzzle. They have a build similar to the Quarter Horse, and are similar in temperament and abilities. They are often used in Rodeos or any of the Western disciplines. The breed originated in North America.


Knabstrups are an older breed than the Appaloosa. This horse is of the preferred “Leopard” coloring, and his photo is from Wikimedia. As you might expect these horses are often used in the circus. They are very versatile and excel in the English disciplines such as Dressage and Jumping.

Bashkir Curly Horse

This is a Bashkir Curly Horse, the photo by is Penella, from Wikimedia. You might have noticed the horse has curly hair, not only on his mane and forelock (the hair that is long on his forehead), but additionally in his ears. The hair that covers the horses body is slightly wavey. Many Curly horses have hair that is more curly in the winter, and shed out relatively smooth in the summer. Some are more curly than others. The breed is supposed to be good for people with allergies as a result of this unusual hair. They are versatile and excel in endurance.


This is an incredibly striking breed of horse. This photo is from Wikimedia and clearly shows what is special of this breed, the metallic coat. While this is an old breed, they are not common. They are often raced and do well in most English disciplines. I have long admired these horses for their amazing color, but have never seen one in person.

Norwegian Fjord

These horses are on this list because they have an appearance that is well recognized. They are always dun, or buckskin in color and have that punk mane, which stands up especially well when trimmed. The mane itself is black in the center and very light on the edges, adding to the horses cute factor, and also making this horse unique. They are smaller in size and could be considered pony height, but are recognized as horses. They are built very solidly on the front end, and are generally calm, working well as saddle horses or as smaller draft animals. This Fjord picture is from Wikimedia.


This picture is from Wikimedia and shows the color the breed is known for. Haflingers are always the same color. Many people mistake this color as Palomino, but palomino is not a color that breeds true. These horses are chestnut, with flaxen manes and tails. Chestnut horses always produce chestnut horses, when bred to a chestnut horse. They do have special gaits, which are smooth, (see other gaited horses on the link listed below), and are often used as children’s mounts, where they are versatile in all disciplines.

New Forest Pony

This might not seem like an odd thing if you are in a third world country, but this is jolly old England, home of tea and crumpets, and all things civilized. The photo is from Wikimedia and shows a couple of equines walking down a city street. The New Forest is a district in England in which horses roam freely. The horses are owned by people who live in the district and may be rounded up for vaccinations from time to time, or kept to be ridden regularly, otherwise they form into herds and live relatively wild. Some learn that the cities have tourists, and tourists have treats. As such some animals may become pests in the towns but traffic and locals must be patient and accept the ponies. They are considered gentle and are often used as children’s mounts.

Miniature Horse

Well, if this is not the cutest breed of horse you have ever seen, I don’t know what is. Miniature horses are horses, not ponies, and there are registries for them as such. This picture is from Wikimedia and shows several minis. They are often kept as pets, or used in therapy programs where they are brought into hospitals for people to touch. Some people have successfully trained them as guide animals for the blind. They also do well pulling carts, but the smaller animals should not be ridden, even by children, and mares often have difficulty delivering foals.

Gaited Horses

You will note some breeds are missing, well of course it is impossible to include every breed on this type of list, but additionally there are some more very unique horse breeds that have unique ways of traveling, these are the “Gaited Horses”. These breeds have their own special link, which you can click here to see the Gaited horses.

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User Comments
  1. Moses Ingram

    On October 3, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Wow! Great article and beautiful pictures.

  2. PR Mace

    On October 3, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Good article. Thanks.

  3. Liane Schmidt

    On October 3, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I’m in love with the Bashkir Curly Horse and the Haflinger, and if I had to choose, I’d choose the Haflinger!

    Such a nice article – I LOVE horses, they are my favorite animal.*



    -Liane Schmidt.

  4. Denny Lyon

    On October 13, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Always loved the Appaloosa and its popular in Louisiana, have to get a “dalmation” horse WOW! first time I’ve seen him, and those miniatures are too cute! :)

  5. sarah

    On February 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    good info but needs to be more sefistec..

  6. Julia Clow

    On April 29, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I love all the horses on earth, and this website is really well made but i would like to point out that none of these breeds are uncommon. They are almost more popular than uncommon. An uncommon breed would be a Zweibrucken Warmblood, or a Caspian Arabian, or even a Kisber Felver. Now those are unusual! Sorry if i’m critisizing, I just think thier not unusual, but by all means they are unique!! Every creature is unique.

  7. Brenda Nelson

    On April 30, 2009 at 9:10 am

    To Julai. The link is called “UNIQUE” breeds – not “UNCOMMON” breeds.

    As far as what is common or uncommon depends highly where a person lives.

  8. Shay

    On May 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    The horse pictures where very buetiful and I luv the article Altho i would put in an Arabian horse though because many people think they are buetiful and unique and it will reming me and my family of my late horse who we have lost last year. But we have moved on with new exciting news of our horse expecting a little foal! But it was a very good article with out the Arabian.

  9. Alina Beck

    On August 1, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Love the curly haired one and the one that looks like a Dalmatian!

  10. Jenny Rice

    On November 13, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Interested in Akhal-Tekes???
    Go to http://www.akhalteke.cc to find out more!!

  11. Frank Jovine

    On May 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Pretty horses, but none look like thoroughbreds.

  12. Halflinger 101

    On May 29, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Hi Brenda Thanks For Posting The Unique Breeds Of Horses Because Of You I Now Have A Halflinger

  13. Halflinger 101

    On May 29, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Who Is A Beast, His Name Is Blze!!!!!!!

    PEACE OUT!!!!!!!!

  14. ta ta

    On February 23, 2012 at 11:14 am

    good. but needs more horses.

  15. Boosie Bad Ass

    On May 4, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Where the hell are the are Marwari’s and Kathiwari’s, they ain’t special enough for you?

  16. Exotic appaloosas | Alatisedesigns

    On August 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    [...] Unique Horse Breeds | The Real Ownerby Brenda Nelson October 3, 2008, in Exotic & Unusual … Appaloosas generally also have thin manes and tails, and often have spotted skin around their eyes … [...]

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