17 Jul 2011

Horse Types

In the world of equines it is understood that there are a wide variety of horse breeds, however within the horse world (and even some breeds) there are a number of types.

A Complete List

Although all of the types listed below are not necessarily officially recognized, and some of them overlap. However they are used within the various industries in the horse world & are a different way of categorizing breeds.
In the coming weeks I’ll be exploring each type more in depth and providing examples as well as a list of breeds that fall under each one.
*Thanks to my social media friends I’ll be adding to this list as people alert me to types I’m missing. I’ll add them and provide information for each new member once I’ve gotten a more complete list. 

Baroque Horses

Baroque animals tend to be handsome and showy, often with high action and arched necks. Almost all animals considered Baroque in type come from Iberian bloodlines and breeds include AndalusianLipizzanLusitano & Friesians.

Cob Horses

Draft or Coldblooded Horses

Coldblooded animals are larger, draft breeds who possess immense strength and robust size. Draft animals come from ancient European breeds used for agriculture & war mounts and include ClydesdalePercheronBelgian Draft & Ardennes.

Forest Horses

Gaited Horses

Gaited animals come in all shapes & sizes and most likely originated with the Iberian animals. These breeds are known for their smooth, ridable gaits & handsome demeanor and include American SaddlebredBashkirIcelandic Horse &Paso Fino.

Hotblooded Horses

The term Hotblooded does not have anything to do with temperament, it is descriptive of smaller, leaner animals with thin coats. These breeds often come from the desert and include Akhal-TekeArabianBarb & Thoroughbreds.

Miniature Horses

Miniature horses are pony size in stature but retain horse-like characteristics, making them literally miniature horses. In many cases mini’s are man made breeds, like the American Miniature however there are a few naturally occurring small animals with horse features including the Caspian & Falabella.


Pacers occur in several different breeds and are generally used for racing, they are fast & move with a lateral two beat gait. This is a natural gait and many breeds prefer it to trotting including the Canadian PacerNarragansett PacerKathiawari &Standardbred.


Ponies are all small in stature and tend to have rounded bodies, relatively short legs, specialized joints & molars (that’s just a few characteristics). The confirmation of ponies will vary considerably as there are a wide variety of pony breeds including the Anadolu PonyConnemara PonyJava Pony & Padang Pony.

Riding Horses

Riding horses aren’t a specific type per se, but they deserve a mention nonetheless because this has long been a popular mount. Riding animals are bred specifically for their mild temperament, and comfortable ride and include the Russian Riding,Selle FrancaisRomanian Saddle Horse & Irish Hobby Horses.

Sport Horses

Sport Horses have gained popularity in recent years and are generally used for eventing, competition & showing. These animals tend to be large, athletic and intelligent and include the likes of the Brazilian Sport HorseCanadian Sport Horse,Irish Sport Horse & Belgian Sport Horse.

Sport Ponies

Under the same vein as the Sport Horses, the Sport Ponies are mainly used in the show ring & can be found in various disciplines. These breeds generally display more horse-like characteristics and include the Danish Sport PonyAmerican Sport PonyBritish Riding Pony & German Riding Ponies.

Stock Horses

Stock Horses serve a specific purpose and are built to show it, they are shorter, stockier animals who often have heavy hindquarters. They are generally used to work cattle and various other ranch or farm tasks, some stock breeds are theQuarter HorseAustralian Stock HorseFlorida Cracker Horse & Canadian Cutting Horses.

Stock Ponies

Stock Ponies serve much the same purpose as Stock Horses but for smaller cattle and a wider variety of work tasks. Built in a similar manner, these breeds are squat, stocky & built to work. Stock pony breeds include the Quarter PonyDulmen PonyGaliceno & Lac la Croix Ponies.


Most harness racing is run by trotters who are built long & lean and can trot at high speeds. These tend to be rangy, robust animals and there are are both warm & cold blooded trotting breeds including DoleItalian TrotterRussian Trotter & Orlov Trotters.

Warmblood Horses

Warmblood horses are in many cases saddle or riding horses whose development changed as equestrian sporting grew in popularity. These animals tend to be robust, athletic and mild mannered – often registered based on movement, temperament & ability. Warmblood breeds include the Dutch Warmblood,HolsteinerHanoverian and Belgian Warmblood Horses.

Are There More?

This is the longest list of horse types I could find, but if anyone has a type to add I’d love to hear it. Stay tuned to learn more about each type in more detail in the weeks to come, until then why not check out the Breeds section to learn more about all of them?

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