This article is a list of horse and ponybreeds with articles on Wikipedia, and also includes terms for types of horse that are not necessarily standardized breeds but are often labeled as breeds. While there is no scientifically accepted definition of the term "breed", a breed is generally defined as having distinct true-breeding characteristics over a number of generations. Its members may be called "purebred". In most cases, bloodlines of horse breeds are recorded with a breed registry. The concept is somewhat flexible in horses, as open stud books are created for recording pedigrees of horse breeds that are not yet fully true-breeding.
Registries also are considered the authority as to whether a given breed is listed as a "horse" or a "pony". There are also a number of "color breed", sport horse, and gaited horse registries for horses with various phenotypes or other traits, which admit any animal fitting a given set of physical characteristics, even if there is little or no evidence of the trait being a true-breeding characteristic. Other recording entities or specialty organizations may recognize horses from multiple breeds, thus, for the purposes of this article, such animals are classified as a "type" rather than a "breed".
For additional information, see horse breed, horse breeding, and the individual articles listed below. Additional articles may be listed under Category:Horse breeds and Category:Types of horse.
In some cultures and for some competition-sanctioning organizations, a horse that normally matures less than about 145 cm (14.1 hands) when fully grown may be classified as a "pony". Unless the principal breed registry or breed standard describes the breed as a pony, it is listed in this section, even if some or all representatives are small or have some pony characteristics. Ponies are listed in the § Pony breeds section below.
Žemaitukas, also known as Zemaituka, Zhumd, Zhemaichu, or Zhmudka
If a breed is described as a "pony" by the breed standard or principal breed registry, it is listed in this section, even if some individuals have horse characteristics. All other breeds are listed in the § Horse breeds section above.
(Because of this designation by the preference of a given breed registry, most miniature horse breeds are listed as "horses," not ponies.)
There are some registries that accept horses (and sometimes ponies and mules) of almost any breed or type for registration. Color is either the only criterion for registration or the primary criterion. These are called "color breeds," because unlike "true" horse breeds, there are few other physical requirements, nor is the stud book limited in any fashion. As a general rule, the color also does not always breed on (in some cases due to genetic impossibility), and offspring without the stated color are usually not eligible for recording with the color breed registry. There are breeds that have color that usually breeds "true" as well as distinctive physical characteristics and a limited stud book. These horses are true breeds that have a preferred color, not color breeds, and include the Friesian horse, the Cleveland Bay, the Appaloosa, and the American Paint Horse.
The best-known "color breed" registries that accept horses from many different breeds are for the following colors:
A "type" of horse is not a breed but is used here to categorize groups of horses or horse breeds that are similar in appearance (phenotype) or use. A type usually has no breed registry, and often encompasses several breeds. However, in some nations, particularly in Europe, there is a recording method or means of studbook selection for certain types to allow them to be licensed for breeding. Horses of a given type may be registered as one of several different recognized breeds, or a grouping may include horses that are of no particular pedigree but meet a certain standard of appearance or use.
AQPS ("Autre Que Pur-Sang"), French designation for riding horses "other than Thoroughbred," usually referring to the Anglo-Arabian, Selle Français and other Thoroughbred crosses. There is a registry for AQPS horses in France.
Feral horse, a horse living in the wild, but descended from once-domesticated ancestors. Most "wild" horses today are actually feral. The only true wild (never domesticated) horse in the world today is the Przewalski's horse.
Riding horse or saddle horse; interchangeable terms for a wide variety of horses bred primarily for suitability as riding animals as opposed to draft or harness work.
Riding Pony, a term of art used in the United Kingdom for specific types of show ponies.
Sport horse or Sporthorse, includes any breeds suitable for use in assorted international competitive disciplines governed by the FEI.
Stock horse, agile, heavily muscled riding horses of several different breeds, suitable for working cattle. Not to be confused with the breed Australian Stock Horse. Some representatives colloquially called "cow horse" or "cow pony" in the western United States.
Prior to approximately the 13th century, few pedigrees were written down, and horses were classified by physical type or use. Thus, many terms for Horses in the Middle Ages did not refer to breeds as we know them today, but rather described appearance or purpose. These terms included:
These members of equus ferus either were a recognized, distinct breed of horse that no longer exists as such, or subspecies that have become extinct at some point since domestication of the horse. This section does not include any species within evolution of the horse prior to modern Equus ferus caballus.
Before the availability of DNA techniques to resolve the questions related to the domestication of the horse, various hypotheses were proposed. One classification was based on body types and conformation, suggesting the presence of four basic prototypes, labeled the "Tarpan", "Forest horse", Draft and "Oriental", each of which was hypothesized to have adapted to their environment prior to domestication. However, more recent studies suggest that all domesticated horses originated from a single wild species and that the different body types of horses were entirely a result of selective breeding after domestication, or possibly landrace adaptation.
These were human-developed breeds which no longer exist.