Dumbest Horses

Two mini horses Falabella playing on meadow in summer, bay and white.
Fiery Phoenix/Shutterstock.com

Written by Sarah Psaradelis

Published: October 31, 2022

Share on:


Even though your average horse is viewed as smart and majestic, there are horses that don’t live up to those standards. Horses have a great memory and can be trained, form bonds with their keepers, and even show the ability to problem-solve. Yet, some horses can be downright dramatic or even dumb.

It can be surprising to know that horses could ever be considered dumb, but this was true for some horses who have strange features or adaptations that sound quite stupid, but probably make sense for the horse.

Bashkir Curly

A Bashkir Curly Horse in a field

Bashkir curly horses can have any coat color, but their curly coat makes them unique.

One of the strangest-looking horse breeds must be the Bashkir Curly. Although many admire the look of the horse, there are some that agree that it simply looks dumb and weird.

The Bashkir Curly has fur in the form of ringlets and waves that comes in many different common horse colors and patterns. Even though their appearance looks dumb, the Bashkir Curly is known for being smart and a hardy horse breed. They have an excellent temperament that is desirable for many horse keepers, however, their coat is still regarded as unusual, and looks quite like a poodle dog.


Smallest horses - Falabella horse

Falabella are one of the smallest horses.

The Falabella is an Argentine breed of a small horse, known as a pony. They have the appearance of a horse, but they only reach 30 inches in size. Even though the Falabella can look dumb at first, they are also very cute ponies with small legs and a long, flowing mane.

Some Falabella can look quite attractive, but others can look disproportionate and slightly odd. They descended from horses that were brought into the western hemisphere and some were geographically isolated in the southern part of South America.

The Falabella isn’t the fastest horse, and they are mainly used as show horses, but they can also be ridden by small children or even pull a small cart.

Przewalski’s Horse

Przewalski's horses stand in the middle of the steppe.

Przewalski’s horses have a stripe that runs the length of their spine.

The Przewalski horse is a rare and endangered horse that is native to the steppes of Central Asia. However, they look like a donkey. Not only does the Przewalski have a short mane like a donkey and a stocky body, but they are smaller than your average domesticated horse.

The stripe along their backbone is another physical characteristic that makes the Przewalski horse look more like a donkey than a domesticated horse. While the average horse only has 64 chromosomes, the Przewalski horse has 66 chromosomes, because they came from a common ancestor 500,000 years ago. Even though this horse is considered strange, it is quite a smart and rare horse if you can overlook its appearance.

Friesian Horse

Most Expensive Horses - Friesian

Friesians’ manes are so long that they can’t see unless they’re styled in a precise manner.

Did you know that some horses have such long manes that they cannot see properly unless it is styled in a specific way? This is true for some long-haired horses like the Friesian who has a very long mane and is an ancient breed that originated from the Netherlands. The horse is completely black in color, and some have feathers on their lower legs. And their tails are often so long that they touch the ground.

If you are planning to ride a Friesian horse, you would need to braid their manes because it can get in the way. In some cases, their manes can get so long that it will interfere with their vision and become uncomfortable, so the horse relies on its owner to keep up with its hair maintenance.

The Zebroids

A zorse resembles both of its parents.

If you have ever wondered if a zebra and a horse can procreate, the answer would be yes. The result is a zorse or hebra, depending on the species of its stallion and mare parents. The offspring of this combination ended with a creature that has a horse-like appearance and patches of zebra stripes.

The zorse can look odd at first and even dumb, and to make matters worse, the crossbreeds are sterile. However, some female zebroids can remain fertile, but it is quite rare.

We are not sure if they are black with white stripes or white with black stripes as the age-old question, but we do know that the zebroid is a hardy and sturdy horse that can live up to 30 years. They are even resistant to certain diseases that donkeys and horses are affected by.

Are Horses Smart or Dumb? Final Thoughts

Horses are generally considered to be intelligent animals. Horses are able to learn commands, recognize familiar people, and even tell the difference between a human’s negative and positive facial expressions according to data results from a study.

Horses have shown humans how smart they can be, and they are not usually described as dumb animals, even if they aren’t the smartest animal in the world. Although horses can have strange physical characteristics that are strange and dumb, a horse’s emotional intelligence is high which is why they are sentient beings with good cognitive abilities.

Up Next

Share this post on:
About the Author

Sarah is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering aquatic pets, rodents, arachnids, and reptiles. Sarah has over 3 years of experience in writing and researching various animal topics. She is currently working towards furthering her studies in the animal field. A resident of South Africa, Sarah enjoys writing alongside her pets and almost always has her rats perched on her shoulders.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.