10 Prettiest Horses in the World

Written by Lisha Pace
Updated: September 20, 2022
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Key Points:

  • There are more than 260 equine breeds in the world.
  • Black horses can carry a gene that produces a foal with a silver dappling.
  • The Golden Akhal Teke has a metallic golden coat and light blue eyes.
  • An image found on a cave wall of an Andalusian horse is believed to be 20,000 years old.

With more than 260 equine breeds in the world, it can be a challenge to narrow the list down to ten of the prettiest horses. After all, every breed of horse has its own appealing qualities.

This list of prettiest horses in the world contains equine from well-known places as well as places you may never have heard of. Some are rare horses while others are commonly seen in many countries. These were chosen for the color and/or pattern of their coat. In addition, some made the list due to an interesting feature that makes them a little bit different from other horses.

#10 The Knabstrupper

The Knabstrupper has the same color genes as the Appaloosa.

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The Knabstrupper has a unique name to go along with its unique qualities. This is a Danish horse with a spotted white coat. Its spots can be black, brown, or gray. Many people compare the appearance of this horse with the Dalmatian! The spotted patterns of this horse’s coat make it one of the prettiest horses the world over.

The Knabstrupper would also be at home on a list of rare horses. It’s estimated there are only 600 of them throughout the world. Compare the Knabstrupper horse’s population to another breed like the Shetland pony. There are over 100,000 Shetland ponies worldwide. The owners of Knabstrupper horses appreciate them for their intelligence, graceful movements, and, of course, their beautiful coat!

#9 The Chocolate Silver Dapple

The chocolate silver dapple coat is caused by a dilution in the coat.

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What an elegant name for one of the prettiest horses on the planet! The Silver in this horse’s name actually describes a gene that occurs in black horses. A horse with this gene passes it along to its foal. Instead of having a black coat, the foal ends up with a dark coat featuring silver dappling. This coloration is not particular to any specific breed of horse; almost any horse can have it. So, Chocolate Silver Dapple horses are found in many places.

#8 The Sorraia Mustang

Sorraia Mustangs are sometimes compared to horses because of the black stripe down their backs.

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Sorraia mustangs are native to Portugal. These are rare horses as well as beautiful ones. They have a dun or light brown-gray coat. In addition, they have the unique feature of a black stripe down their back that goes all the way to their ears. This is the reason why some people compare these horses to zebras. The dark brown or black mane and tail of this horse is a lovely sight to see as it blows in the breeze. It’s easy to picture a Sorraia mustang running free across fields and pastures with the rest of its herd.

#7 The Golden Akhal Teke

The metallic-looking coat is the most distinctive feature of a Golden Akhal-Teke.

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In the eyes of many horse enthusiasts, the Golden Akhal Teke is the most beautiful horse breed. This horse is native to Turkmenistan. It earns the name Golden horse due to its shining yellowish-gold coat. In the sunshine, its golden coat has a metallic look to it. Another thing that makes this one of the prettiest horses in the world is its eyes. While most horses have brown eyes that are round in shape, a Golden Akhal Teke has almond-shaped eyes in a light blue. In fact, the color of its eyes gives this horse a mysterious air you don’t find in many breeds of horses.

#6 The Marwari

The inwardly-curved ears of the Marwari are its most distinctive feature.

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The Marwari is on this most beautiful horse breed list for a couple of reasons. Marwari horses have slender legs and bodies. They can have a black, black, and white, dark brown, bay, or palomino coat. One of their most charming features makes these horses even more attractive. A Marwari horse has the traditional pointed ears, but their ears curve inward at the top. So, you may even see the tips of a Marwari horse’s ears touch above its head. Now that’s a rare quality in even the prettiest horses!

The history of the Marwari starts in India and goes all the way back to the 12th century. They served as horses in the cavalry partly because of this equine’s great sense of direction. They were able to find their way back home to the stable. Furthermore, they are believed to be descendants of Arabian horses. Arabian horses are known for their majestic beauty, so it’s not surprising that the Marwari is on this list.

#5 The Appaloosa

The Appaloosa is the state horse of Idaho.

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These are American horses bred by the Nez Perce people. The Appaloosa is one of the prettiest horses in the world because of its notable markings. Appaloosas are immediately recognizable for the spots and splashes of color on their coat. For instance, you may see a dark brown Appaloosa with white on its hindquarters covered in brown spots. Another Appaloosa may have a silver coat with dark spots scattered all over it.

Though Appaloosa’s have a variety of patterns it’s their spots and splashes of color that give them a place on a most beautiful horse breed list.

#4 The Friesian

Friesian horses have feathers around their hooves.

©iStock.com/Zuzule

One of the prettiest horses in the world is also one of the biggest. Friesian horses are tall with a large bone structure. Most Friesian horses have a black coat but can appear to be dark brown when they are going through a shedding period. Their flowing dark mane and tail add to the engaging picture of this horse breed.

Friesian horses are from the Netherlands and are believed to date all the way back to 1000 B.C.

#3 The Arabian

Arabian horses have large and flexible horses that allow them to breathe better while running.

©iStock.com/Jessidi

The Arabian is a common choice for the most beautiful horse breed. Why? Because of its regal, arched neck, and fine bone structure. When you think of a desert horse, you may even picture an Arabian horse trotting over the sand with its head held high. An Arabian horse can be gray, white, black, chestnut, or bay. They are known for their flowing mane and tail.

These high-spirited, healthy horses go back thousands of years in history. They originated on the Arabian Peninsula. George Washington and Alexander the Great are among the famous figures who owned Arabian horses.

#2 The Haflinger

Haflinger’s ancestors were medieval ponies.

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The Haflinger horse breed is from Austria and dates back to the 19th century. This horse has a small yet sturdy build. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s they were used as pack horses hauling along heavy loads. The Haflinger is one of the prettiest horses in the world due to its soft, flaxen-like mane and tail. It has a solid coat in a warm shade of chestnut. Oh, and don’t forget this horse’s sweet brown eyes.

#1 The Andalusian

The Andalusian was once used in battle.

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Along with being the most beautiful horse breed on this list, the Andalusian has a long history. In fact, an image of an Andalusian horse (or one that looks very similar to the breed) was discovered on the wall of a cave. The image is estimated to be at least 20,000 years old! Andalusian horses originated on the Iberian Peninsula. They are named for the Province of Andalusia.

While most Andalusian horses have a coat that’s a mixture of gray and white, there are Andalusians in other colors including black, bay, and dark brown. These intelligent horses have a thick mane and tail that adds to the elegance of their appearance. They are popular with people who like to participate in dressage and jumping competitions because of their light step and grace.

Most Desirable Horse Color

The most desirable horse color is bay – which can range from dull red to yellow to brown. A dark bay with no white and a black tail, mane, and legs from the knees and hocks down is generally considered as the most beautiful color in horses. Of course, most people have never seen a Golden Akhal Teke!

Summary: Top 10 Prettiest Horses

  • #1. Andalusian – one of the oldest breeds and the most beautiful
  • #2. Haflinger – soft flaxen mane and beautiful eyes
  • #3. Arabian – regal arched back and long neck
  • #4. Friesian – one of the largest breeds with long dark flowing mane and tail
  • #5. Appaloosa – bred by the Nez Perce, these horses are known for their distinctive spots
  • #6. Marwari – known for beautiful inward facing, pointed ears
  • #7. Golden Akhal Teke – golden metallic coat and light blue eyes make this horse a beauty
  • #8. Sorraia Mustangs – feature a black stripe that goes down their back from tail to ears
  • #9. Chocolate Silver Dapple – a gene in some black horses produces a lovely silver dapple
  • #10. Knabstrupper – spotted coat is compared to a dalmation

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The Featured Image

beautiful black Friesian
beautiful black Friesian
© iStock.com/dotana

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About the Author

After a career of working to provide opportunities for local communities to experience and create art, I am enjoying having time to write about two of my favorite things - nature and animals. Half of my life is spent outdoors, usually with my husband and sweet little fourteen year old dog. We love to take walks by the lake and take photos of the animals we meet including: otters, ospreys, Canadian geese, ducks and nesting bald eagles. I also enjoy reading, discovering books to add to my library, collecting and playing vinyl, and listening to my son's music.

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