See If You Can Ace This Horse Breed Identification Quiz
By: Ian Fortey
Image: FEBRUARY / Moment / Getty Images
About This Quiz
Horses have been domesticated for about 6,000 years now, and in that time a lot of stuff has happened. We invented cavalry, cowboys, Mr. Ed and My Little Pony. It's safe to say that the bond between humans and horses is pretty strong at this point. Without horses to serve as pack animals, we may never have conquered the Frontier. Fields would never have been plowed, wars would have been lost and you don't want to even know what would have happened to unicorns. Just be thankful horses have been by our sides for so long.
Given our history with the horse, it's probably no surprise to hear that they have about as much diversity as any other animal. Maybe even more. There are well over 300 breeds of horses throughout the world, from the Clydesdale to the Appaloosa to the Mustang and so many more. It'd be a daunting task to try to get through them all, but if you consider yourself a horse expert then this will be a cake walk. Or a trot. Maybe even a gallop. It's time to put your horse expertise to the test. Take the quiz, prove yourself and ride off into the sunset!
This horse breed was immortalized in the Disney movie Miracle of the White Stallions. What is it?
This breed has been at risk many times over the years, almost being wiped out completely during several wars. Though the breed is well-represented today, all of the current bloodlines can be traced back to eight different stallions from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
This Austrian breed was integral in transporting salt, gold and iron to Italy for years. What is it?
The Noriker has been bred for 2000 years, and before they took up residence in Austria they were actually Greek horses bred for war. When Romans spread out to conquer the land, they brought the Noriker with them.
This breed is one of the smallest horses in the world, but it's not considered a pony. What is it?
The Falabella is a selectively bred horse that is still considered a horse and not a pony, despite the fact that they're under 33 inches in height. Because of their small size and trainability, they tend to make good guide animals.
This horse was bred in an attempt to bring back the extinct Tarpan. What is it?
Kentucky mountain saddle horse
The Heck horse is not a particularly devilish horse in any way. its name comes from Heinz and Lutz Heck, the brothers who attempted to breed the extinct Tarpan horse back to life. The Heck horse isn't exactly the Tarpan, but it's as close as they could get.
This American breed was used for cavalry on both sides of the Civil War. What is it?
The Morgan horse is one of the oldest breeds in America and got its name from Justin Morgan, who bred them. The lineage of this horse is fairly well known, and the first ever Morgan horse was named Figure.
This German horse can be traced back to the 12th Century. What is it?
The Senner or Senne Horse was bred for an aristocratic family in Germany and has never had a large population. A castle fire in 1945 destroyed most of the breed's breeding records and today they're considered critically endangered with only a handful left in the world.
The breed is one of the most closely associated with rodeos and ranches. What is it?
American quarter horse
The American quarter horse doesn't get its name from size or proportions. Instead, the name refers to the breed's ability to put the pedal to the metal over a quarter mile distance, reaching speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour.
This Australian breed is feral and considered a nuisance by many. What is it?
The Brumby horse is descended from the numerous horses that were brought to Australia with its earliest settlers. Many horses escaped or were let go and those that survived the harsh conditions created what is now a very tough breed.
This wagon-pulling Irish breed is sometimes called the Irish Cob or Vanner. What is it?
The Gypsy horse's history is linked with the history of the British Romani people. This breed of horse is most often used to pull wagons in a caravan. They do need specialized training to properly pull the wagons, as a horse that stops on a hill, for instance, might not be able to get the wagon moving again.
U.S. Congress declared this breed "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West." What are they?
Kentucky mountain saddle horse
The Mustang is one of the most famous breeds in the world an a symbol of power. Mustangs are descended from horses brought to America by the Spanish that then went feral. The name comes from the word "mestena," which refers to a group of wild horses.
Though this breed can come in many colors, a chocolate coat with a flaxen tail is preferred. What is it?
Rocky Mountain horse
Ironically, the Rocky Mountain horse does not come from the Rocky Mountains. It's a Kentucky horse from the Appalachian Mountains. The breed did at least get started thanks to a horse that was from the Rocky Mountains.
This breed is famous for its spotted patterns. What is it?
Kerry Bog pony
The Appaloosa is one of the most popular breeds in America. They were once regarded as strictly a color breed, which means for a horse to be recognized as an Appaloosa it only needed to meet certain requirements for its coat, regardless of breed, but that has since changed.
This popular breed's bloodline exists in almost every single horse breed alive today. What is it?
The Arabian breed is thousands of years old and is pretty much the standard for what people think of when they think of a horse. The breed can be found all over the world and has historically been used for war, agriculture, travel, exploring, companionship, sport and everything else a horse can do.
This British horse is famous for horse racing. What is it?
The Thoroughbred is a powerhouse of a horse that has been bred for incredible speed and stamina over the years. The horse has become so popular that there are millions of them around the world. Sometimes people will use the name "thoroughbred" when they're referring to any species of purebred horse, but it is actually its own distinct breed.
These feral horses run wild in North Dakota. What are they?
Nokota horses come from a mixing of Spanish horses and Native American stock. The breed was nearly wiped out in the early 20th century until the Theodore Roosevelt National Park was created, which inadvertently preserved the horses on the land.
This breed has a long history of being a war horse. What is it?
Vladimir Heavy Draft
The Andalusian breed is a Spanish horse that was nearly wiped out as a result of thinning bloodlines and the demands of war. It was thanks to one small herd that was preserved at a Carthusian monastery that the breed was preserved.
This colorful horse is bred specifically for its spot patterns. What is it?
American Paint Horse
The American Paint is one of the most popular in North America and is bred to produce a wide variety of color patterns. There are even some Paints that have no spots called "Solid Paint-Bred" horses that still qualify as Paints if both of their parents were registered as Paints.
This breed was often the victim of "soring," which involved inflicting pain on the horse's front feet to change how it moved. What is it?
The Tennessee Walker or Walking Horse is a favorite for its distinctive gait, which makes it a good show horse. Unfortunately, that means many horses were historically abused to amplify or exaggerate that desired gait. The practice was outlawed in the Horse Protection Act of 1970.
This Indian breed has inward-turning ear tips. What is it?
The Marwari Horse's unusual ears bend in so much that the tips will actually touch each other and in some cases overlap. This is actually considered a feature of the breed and is a sign that they're purebred.
This powerful British horse was bred for pulling heavy wagons. What is it?
The Shire horse is a powerful draught horse. A pair of Shire horses pulled a load that was estimated to weigh 45 tons at an exhibition in 1924. The largest horse in recorded history was a Shire horse named Mammoth who weighed over 3,000 pounds.
This breed is famously associated with Budweiser beer. What is it?
The Clydesdale comes from Scotland, and when they're not pulling around wagons of Budweiser they're often used as show horses with the long hair around their feet fancied up and feathered like they spent the day at the salon.
This Austrian breed is sometimes called the Avelignese. What is it?
The Haflinger is a versatile breed that has been adopted for use in pretty much every way you can use a horse. Unlike many breeds, a Haflinger will always be chestnut in color, though it can range from a lighter to a darker shade.
This ancient breed outnumbers the human population where they live. What is it?
The Mongolian horse is amazingly well adapted for life in an extremely inhospitable terrain. Summers in Mongolia can reach temperatures of nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit while in the winter it can dip to 40 below, all of which these horses handle.
This ancient Iranian breed is very small but is not technically considered a pony. What is it?
The Caspian breed is considered extremely old and may even predate the Arabian breed, potentially being the oldest breed of horse that still exists. That said, it was also lost for a while and only rediscovered in 1965.
This breed is often used for carriage driving. What is it?
The Hackney comes from Great Britain and was adopted as a horse well-suited for transportation. Demand for Hackneys as transportation animals was so high before the advent of trains and cars that wealthy landowners were required to keep Hackneys on hand for breeding purposes.
This Norwegian breed can trace its roots back to the Vikings. What is it?
Vikings bred the fjord horse for both war and agriculture and it's believed that the practice of using horses for agriculture in Europe may have started with the Vikings, who spread it to other cultures.
This feral breed can be found living on islands in North Carolina's Outer Banks. What is it?
Vladimir heavy draft
The Banker horse is likely descended from Spanish and English horses and its population is looked after by the National Park Service. The animals are monitored to prevent overpopulation as well as diseases, but otherwise are mostly left to do what they want.
It's believed this breed is descended from a very old, primitive breed of wild horse. What is it?
The Sorraia horse gets its name from the river basin where it lives. The genetics of this breed have been very closely studied and, oddly, not well understood. In attempting to determine how this breed relates to other breeds, science has mostly determined that it's hard to tell what the closest relative to this horse really is.
Members of this breed receive a brand on their hindquarters. What are they?
Hanoverian horses are often seen competing at high-level sporting events, such as in the Olympics. The breed is kept to a very rigorous standard and those that meet it will be branded with an "H" on their hindquarters and an indication that the horse is a well-bred animal.