Sage has a fondness for all animals, mainly reptiles and horses. She has spent most of her life studying horses, horse care and breeds.
So, just putting it out there now, I love all breeds of horses. They are all beautiful, majestic creatures that deserve love and care. However, these breeds are very unique in their beauty, ranging from coat color to elegant gaits. Two of these breeds are also the oldest existing breeds in the world. Not only do you get to see a picture of them, but you also learn some history behind the breed as well. It's a win-win situation I think.
One of the oldest existing breeds in the world, the Akhal-Teke hails from the country of Turkmenistan and even serves as the nation's symbol. These horses may as well be the definition of beauty, with the distinctive metallic coat and sparse mane and tail. They are also known for their speed, endurance, and intelligence, enabling them to be fantastic sports horses. Teke horses are usually used in dressage, show jumping, racing, and endurance riding. With such a distinctive look, these horses are usually very easy to spot in a crowd.
Also known as the Irish Cob, these beautiful horses were bred in the British Isles. They are small, sturdy-built horses usually coming in piebald or skewbald coloring. Other names for the breed are also Gypsy Cob and Tinker Horse. Some people do mistake the Vanner for the Drum horse, which is a much larger breed yet looks very similar. The one highly valued attribute of the Vanner is the feathering on the lower legs. Feathering is the longer fur that falls around the hooves. The Gypsy Vanner was originally bred by the Roma to pull varodes in which they lived and traveled in, and were usually kept very close to the family setting, causing the Vanner to be one of the most relaxed breeds of horse. They can be used in any equestrian sports, by both amateurs and youths due to their relaxed personality, and have done well in combined driving and dressage.
Originating in the Netherlands, this breed is most well known for the black coat color and long, thick mane and tail, and very rarely has any type of white markings. Despite their size, they are very graceful and nimble and are primarily used under saddle and in harness. Most recently, the breed is being introduced into the field of dressage. Friesians have long, arched necks and feathering on the lower legs. The Friesian is also known for its brisk, high-stepping trot, and is very energetic and active, but also gentle and docile. Due to their color and striking appearance, the Friesian can be seen in many movies and television series, usually historic and fantasy dramas.
A rare breed, hailing from the Marwar region of India, these horses are most well known for their inward-turning ear tips. The Marwari comes in all equine colors, and are primarily used for show, horse safaris, ceremonial and religious purposes, and dressage. They are often crossed with the Thoroughbred to produce a larger horse with more versatility. The exportation of the breed was banned for decades, until 2000 to 2006, when a small number of exports was allowed. Since 2008, temporary visas that allowed the Marwari to travel outside of India have been available in small numbers.
A naturally gaited light horse breed, the Paso originates from Puerto Rico, Colombia, and other Latin American nations. They are mainly prized for their smooth, natural four-beat, lateral ambling gait. These horses can be used in any discipline, but are mainly popular for trail riding. They can also compete in barrel racing, endurance, driving, and gymkhana. The Paso Fino has different body types, from quite small to very large and powerful bodies.
Talk about an elegant looking horse, this breed hails from the Arabian Peninsula. The Arabian has a very distinctive head and high tail carriage, which makes it one of the most easily recognized horse breeds in the world, as well as one of the oldest breeds. These horses are very versatile, and dominate the discipline of endurance riding. Arabians are also one of the top ten most popular breeds in the world, with bloodlines found in almost every modern riding horse. These are considered a "hot-blooded" horse, meaning they are eager to please, learn both good and bad habits very quickly, and do not tolerate inept or abusive training practices. They can be used to compete in saddle seat, Western pleasure, hunt seat, dressage, cutting, reining, endurance, and show jumping. They also make great pleasure riding mounts, and working ranch horses for people who rather not compete.
Yet another easily recognizable breed, the Clydesdale originated in Scotland and is usually bay in color with white markings. These are a very large draft breed, still used today for agriculture, logging and driving. The reason behind it being a very notable breed is thanks to the Budweiser Clydesdales, which have become an international symbol for the brand, as well as the breed. Despite the fact that it's a draft breed, these horses are also kept for pleasure and can be ridden under the saddle.
Sometimes called the Lipizzaner, this breed is mainly associated with the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria. At this school, they are trained to demonstrate high school movements of classical dressage, including highly controlled, stylized jumps and other movements, known as "airs above the ground". The Lipizzan has been endangered numerous times due to warfare that spread across Europe. The rescues of the Lipizzans during World War 2 by American troops were made famous by the Disney film Miracle of the White Stallions. The coloring of the Lippizan is primarily gray, though they are born dark-colored. As they get older, the dark coloring fades into the gray coloring that you usually see for these horses.
Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on April 18, 2017:
I love this hub. My cousin trained Paso Finos and I had the privilege of riding one. The smoothness of the gate is amazing and the horse was so gentle. It's an unforgettable experience every rider should have.
All these breeds are gorgeous.