If you picture a horse, your mind probably calls up an image of an animal of a certain size with typical features like a flowing mane and perky ears. Although most horses conform to these standards, a few have wacky characteristics that make them stand out from the herd.
Join us as we explore unusual horse breeds. You may not find these types of horses at the ranch, but it’s always fascinating to learn about the diversity within the horse species, and this knowledge deepens your appreciation for these noble animals.
American Bashkir Curly
As its name suggests, this breed has distinctive curly hair. Some of these horses only have a curly mane and tail, while others display curls on their whole body. These friendly, patient horses are also notable for being hypoallergenic, making them an excellent option for people who are allergic to horses.
Akhal Teke Horse
The national horse of Turkmenistan is famous for having hair with a metallic gleam, perhaps serving as a form of camouflage. It’s a strong, fast horse with long endurance, in addition to possessing delicate features. Its roots stretch back about 3000 years, but, today, this breed is endangered.
The unusual feature of the Marwari horse is that its ears curve inward, even meeting at the tips. This equine has been bred in India since the 12th century. Besides its ears that point toward each other, it’s known for its speed, stamina, and hardiness.
What strikes the eye immediately about the Gypsy Vanner is the feathering from its knees down to its hooves. These calm, friendly, strong horses have straight manes, tails, and feathers. Romanichal people in the United Kingdom have used them to pull their vardoes, or wagons.
This dun horse from Norway has an erect cream-coloured mane with a dark stripe down the middle. Owners normally keep the mane short to emphasize the contrast between the 2 colours. Fjord horses belong to one of the oldest horse breeds on the planet and are typically used on farms.
This miniature horse is one of the smallest breeds, only reaching up to about 80 centimetres at its withers. This long-lived breed started in Argentina in the mid-1800s. These horses are strong despite their size and are used to pull carts and give rides to tiny children, besides competing in shows and acting as guide animals.
This amazing breed, of Danish origin, has spots like a Dalmatian or leopard. In fact, its genes give it what is known as a leopard complex, which mainly affects its coat pattern. These horses vary in size, being sometimes as small as a pony, and in function, being suitable for dressage, show jumping, and general riding.
Did any of these unusual horse breeds surprise you? Let us know in the comments!
Hello, My name is Shelby Gatti, and I am the owner of Shelby Ranch. I love being able to share my passion for animals with you and your family. At Shelby Ranch you can expect a ton of family adventure from horseback riding to mechanical bull riding & axe throwing.