Last Updated on November 6, 2021
Horses are one of the most popular species of animal around the world. But did you know that there are many exotic horses breeds that many people don’t know about? Let’s take a look at some strange and unique exotic horse breeds and find out all about them!
Each or our exotic horse breeds has its own distinctive appearance, with key characteristics and colors. Many people prefer one horse breed over another, but they all have their good and bad points!
Top 3 Exotic Horses
Standing at under 34 inches tall, the Falabella is one of the tiniest horse breeds in the world! This tiny breed was created by careful selective breeding and originates from. Argentina. They look just like a tiny version of a Thoroughbred-Arabian cross!
The tiny size of the Falabella hides some impressive bloodlines. This miniature horse can boast genetic influences from Spanish and other Iberian horses, which gives them their elegant and refined features. The small size was created by using small bloodstock such as Shetland and Welsh native ponies.
The Friesian horse is a beautiful exotic horse breed, with a statuesque and noble appearance. They are a tall breed of horse with a very flashy gait and look simply stunning as they appear to float along the ground! They have a beautiful long and wavy mane and tail, which drifts along elegantly as they move.
Friesian horses are renowned for their fiery and excitable temperament, even though they are similar to a light draft horse in appearance. This is not a suitable horse for a beginner or novice rider!
Lippizan – The Incredible Ballet Horse
The Lippizan is a breed of horse famous for its starring role in the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. This large breed of horse, always white in color, is muscular and statuesque. They are one of the most elegant breeds of horses in the world and are instantly recognizable.
This beautiful equine athlete is famous for its ballet-dancing style of movement. This makes them the first choice of horse breed for classical dressage, an incredibly specialist equestrian discipline. In classical dressage, the horses are trained to carry out incredibly intricate and controlled movements and appear to almost float above the ground.
The Lipizzan horses in the Spanish Riding Schoool are particularly famous for their ability to perform the ‘airs above the ground’. These are incredibly beautiful movements where the horses rear and leap upwards into the air, seeming to almost fly!
Top 3 Strange Horses
Now, we would like to bet that not many people have heard of this strange horse breed! A Zebroid is actually a cross between a zebra and a horse. This hybrid cross will take on characteristics from both the sire and the dam.
A zebra horse will have the same base coloring as the horse parent, but this will be overlaid with zebra stripes. It will have the same large head and long muzzle as a zebra. The body will be more similar to a horse, with long legs and an athletic appearance.
The Akhal Teke is not a widely-known breed of horses, but it is strangely spectacular! Notable for their tall and elegant physique, the most stunning aspect of the Akhal Teke is their unusual coat color and appearance.
This strange horse breed comes in a range of colors, with many of them carrying the gene which gives a cream base color, such as palomino, cremello, and perlino. They often also have blue eyes.
The most spectacular aspect of the coat of the Akhal Teke is that many of them have a metallic sheen to their coat. This gives a silvery or golden glow to the coat color, making them look like they are carved from metal!
Top 2 Unique Horses
Caspian Miniature Horse
The Caspian miniature horse is believed to be one of the oldest horse breeds in the world. This tiny but beautiful horse originates from Iran and was nearly extinct at one point. An intensive breeding program has boosted numbers of this breed, but they are still very rare.
Caspian miniature horses are very small, standing at around 43 inches tall. They have small heads and a proud appearance, making them seem very noble and elegant. They are normally kept as pets but can be used as a riding pony for smaller children.
Percheron Draft Horse
Unlike many other draft horse breeds, the Percheron is an elegant horse with a striking appearance. This is due to the influence of Arabian bloodlines, which have given this equine giant a refined and noble body shape.
The Percheron draft horse is incredibly tall and strong, with muscular legs and a thickset body. However, they do not have the heavy leg feathers normally seen on draft breeds, and their movement is more elegant and proud.
Przewalski’s horses are most famous for being the only wild horses left in the world. Sadly, they became extinct in their native wildlands of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia in the 1960s. Luckily, a breeding program was instigated using captive Przewalski’s horses in zoos, and there are now nearly 2000 of these animals alive today.
This incredible and ancient breed of horse is very different from our modern-day domesticated horses. They are able to withstand huge extremes of temperatures and can survive in very harsh conditions.
In appearance, these strange wild horses are more like a zebra than a horse. They have a short, stocky body, a mane that stands upright, and zebra stripes on the legs. They also have a dark stripe that runs from the base of the mane to the top of the tail.
So, as our exotic horse breeds list has revealed, there are many weird and wonderful breeds of horses around the world. From miniature ponies through to giant draft breeds, horses really do come in all shapes and sizes! This means there is a horse breed out there to suit you, whatever you want to do with it.
We would love to hear about your experiences with exotic horse breeds – have you ever ridden one? Perhaps your favorite breed of horse is quite unusual? Add a comment below this post and we’ll get back to you!
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE