Large Black Horse Breeds – Top 6 Revealed!

Last Updated on January 12, 2023

Horses are one of the most well-loved animals around the world, and black horses, in particular, are hugely popular! However, it can be rare to find a breed of horse that is always black in color. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous large black horse breeds!

Each breed of horse has its own distinctive appearance, and some will be only found in one or two colors. Many people prefer one color of horse over another, with many fans of black horses seeking out these elegant steeds. But which breeds are black and are they good riding horses?

Most Famous Large Black Horse Breeds

  • Friesian Horse

The Friesian horse is one of the most famous and easily recognized large black horse breeds. With a statuesque and noble appearance, this flashy and elegant horse is one of the most beautiful black horse breeds in the world.

Nearly all Friesian horses are jet black in color. To be registered in the Friesian studbook, they can have a small white star on the forehead, but no other white markings are allowed. Very rarely, a Friesian horse will be born which has the red gene, giving it a chestnut coat color.

Large Black Horse Breeds - Friesian

The intense black coat color of the Friesian horse is shiny and polished. They have a long black mane and tail, which floats along elegantly as they move.

When it comes to large black horse breeds, the Friesian truly is king! They have a beautiful arched neck, chiseled facial features, and a highly refined prancing movement. For this reason, Friesian horses are often used for TV and film productions.

  • Murgese

The Murgese is not a well-known breed of horse, but it is one of the most eye-catching black horse breeds in the world. This breed of horse originates from Italy and is descended from Arabian and Barb bloodlines. This gives them an elegant and refined appearance, as well as incredible levels of stamina and agility.

Murgese horses are nearly always black in color. Occasionally a dark roan Murgese horse will occur. They are tall and strong, similar in build to a light draft horse.

This beautiful black breed of horse is popular as a versatile riding horse, often used for cross country riding. They are very hardy and have tough hooves, able to withstand rough and treacherous terrain.

Unlike Friesians, which can be flighty and difficult to handle, the Murgese horse is calm and dependable. Fans of this breed love their impeccable manners and easy-going nature.

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  • Percheron Draft Horse

The Percheron draft horse is one of the most highly regarded draft breeds in the world. Unlike other draft horses, the Percheron is elegant and noble, with a refined body shape. They move in a proud and flashy manner, due to the influence of their Arabian bloodlines.

Percheron horses were originally bred for use as a warhorse but quickly became popular as farm and wagon horses. They are hardworking and resilient, with a kind and forgiving nature.

These gentle giants of the equine world are often black in color. However, some Percherons are grey, and the American breed registry also allows roan, bay, and chestnut Percherons.

When it comes to large black horse breeds, the Percheron certainly takes the crown! These giant equines are amongst the biggest breeds of horses ever, standing up to over 18 hands high.

  • Dales Pony

The Dales pony might not be big in height, but this is one of the strongest horse breeds in the world in relation to its size! The Dales pony is an ancient breed, native to northern England. The word ‘dale’ is an English term used to describe the open valleys of the northern areas of the UK.

The ancestors of the Dales pony have lived in areas of northern England such as the Yorkshire Dales for thousands of years. This tough and rugged pony was often used as a pit pony, pulling heavy loads from deep underground mines.

Large Black Horse Breeds - Dales Pony

The vast majority of Dales ponies are black in color. The breed society will also accept registrations of brown, bay, grey, and roan colors. There are also limits to the number of white markings which can be accepted in a pedigree Dales pony.

  • Mérens Horse

The Mérens horse is from the Ariegeois region, a mountainous area of France. They are very surefooted and have incredible levels of endurance, making them highly sought after for trail riding.

This breed of horse may not be well known, and it faced extinction in the mid-20th century. However, fans of this breed have worked hard to boost the numbers, and it is becoming more popular.

Mérens horses are always black in color. Their foals are sometimes born a lighter grey, but they become darker as they age. By the time the horse reaches adulthood, the coat will be jet black.

  • Fell Pony

The Fell pony is another famous British native breed of horse. They have lived on British moorlands, also known as fells, since ancient times.

This popular breed of pony is almost always black in color. They are sometimes brown, bay or grey. They have a long and flowing mane and tail which is incredibly thick and wavy.

The Fell pony is the smallest of our large black horse breeds, standing at just 13.2 hands high. However, its small stature does not stop it from being endorsed by royalty, with the Fell Pony Society enjoying the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II herself! The Queen of the United Kingdom is such a fan of Fell ponies that she has been seen riding them around her estates.


So, as our large black horse breeds list has revealed, there are black horses in many different shapes and sizes around the world! From tough ponies to elegant riding horses and huge draft breeds, there is a black horse out there to suit anyone!

We would love to hear about your experiences with large black horse breeds – have you ever ridden one? Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of owning a magnificent black horse with a flowing mane and tail? Leave a comment below this post and we’ll get back to you!