See If You Can Ace This Horse Breed Identification Quiz

By: Ian Fortey

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.

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.

The Lusitano is one of the oldest breeds of horse in the world. In fact, it's believed their bloodline likely came from horses that roamed the Iberian Peninsula more than 20,000 years ago.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Jeju horses come from Jeju Island in Korea, and the lineage of the horses dates all the way back to 1276. That was the year Kublai Khan brought 160 horses to the island as a gift for King Chungnyeoul.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Friesian horse comes from the Netherlands and is traditionally all black. Horses of other colors such as chestnut brown do exist, but they often won't be registered as Friesians if that happens.

The standard part of the Standardbred name refers to a breed standard. A Standardbred had to be able to trot a mile in under two and a half minutes. Today, most Standardbreds are much faster, though.

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.

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.

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.

The Akhal-Teke is prized for its endurance and were often used as fast-moving war mounts. To prove their stamina, a team of 15 horses traveled 1,800 miles in 84 days back in 1935.

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.

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.

The Missouri fox trotter gets its name from the way it walks. The "fox trot" describes the horse's smooth gait and also a dance that maybe your grandparents have heard of before.

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.

Also called the Little Poland horse, the Malopolski is most often used for riding and also for show jumping, though they also do well with light draft work.

The Knabstrupper horse gets its name from Knabstrupgaard, which was a Danish manor. The owner of the house purchased a Spanish horse from a butcher, and that horse was the start of the bloodline.

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.

Paso Fino means "fine step," and these horses have been praised for their gait which isn't a step that can be taught to horses, it just comes through genetics.

Percheron horses are a very old breed of horse that have been used for war as well as raft work. Before the First World War, thousands of Percheron came to the United States.

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.

The Curly is also known as the American Bashkir and is most easily distinguished by the curly hair that gives it its name. If the horse has strong curly genes, even its eyelashes will be curly.

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.

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.

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.

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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!

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