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9 Most Colorful Horse Breeds

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When most people think of horses, the first things that come to their minds are speed and strength. But beyond being fast and strong, horses are also beautiful and colorful.

Their manes and tails surround them with an air of grace and color. So, when you are not looking to see horses run in their usual powerful way, you could just marvel at their beauty.

Horses come in various colors. But then, you will find that some are more colorful than others. Below, we compile a list of 9 of the most colorful horse breeds. Read to the end and behold the spectacle of each breed.

American Paint Horse

American Paint horse running gallop across winter snowy field  ee220329

The American Paint horse is a well-known breed thanks to its unique coloring. It comes in various coat patterns, including tobiano, tovero, overo, solid, and almost-solid.

Tobiano, overo, and tovero are the primary color patterns of the American Paint horse. They share the characteristic of having white alongside another color. The other color could be black, bay, chestnut, or palomino.

American Paint horses with the tobiano pattern have colored flanks (one or both), colored heads, and white patches around their tail and withers. Their head can have markings like blazes, stars, and stripes. Sometimes, tobiano American Paint horses have bicolored tails and manes.

Tovero Paint horses are predominantly white. However, their chest, upper head, and flank regions have color. In some cases, tovero Paint horses have blue eyes.

Overo American Paint horses have solid-colored backs. They also have colored legs, which may sometimes have white stockings. However, their faces are primarily white, and they have irregular white patches all over their body.

On average, American Paint horses weigh around 950 to 1200 pounds. They grow as tall as 14 to 16 hands and live as long as 30 years.

Beyond their colorful coats, people love American Paint horses for their calmness, athleticism, friendliness, and intelligence. Unsurprisingly, riders of all levels can work with them.

Traditionally, people used American Paint horses for transportation and work. But these days, you will find them in various equine sports.


Black mustang running on a snow field   ee220329

The Mustang is an American breed popular for its surefootedness, hardiness, versatility, and intelligence. But apart from these, they are great riding partners.

While most Mustang horses come in chestnut and bay, other colors exist. Some are black, pinto, palomino, grey, and roan.

The average Mustang horse weighs about 800 pounds while standing at around 14-15 hands at the withers. They can live as long as 40 years and are perfect for ranch work and trail riding.

American Quarter Horse

Horse on nature. Portrait of a horse, brown horse. ee220329

American Quarter horse also goes by the name Quarter horse. It is a North American breed that has been around for a long time.

Quarter horses are pretty popular, thanks to their versatility, gentleness, speed, loyalty, agility, and beauty. This horse breed comes in various solid colors, including roan, gray, palomino, dun, grullo, and buckskin. However, of all the colors of the American Quarter horse, the brownish-red sorrel is the most common.

Quarter horses can have white markings on their legs and faces. In fact, you may also come across individuals with spotted patterns. But then, the American Quarter Horse Association only registers spotted Quarter horses from registered parent horses.

The average Quarter horse weighs around 950 to 1200 pounds. They stand at 14 to 16 hands and can live as long as 25 years.

Quarter horses have muscular bodies, small heads, and wide foreheads. They can serve as family horses, workhorses, or show horses.

Rocky Mountain Horse

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For many people, the ambling gait of Rocky Mountain horses is what makes them special. But their colors are also marvelous.

Rocky Mountain horses typically have solid-colored chocolate coats alongside a flaxen tail and mane. However, their coats may also be black, palomino, bay, and chestnut.

If you intend to register your Rocky Mountain horse, it must have minimal or no white marking on its face. Your horse should also have no white above its knee.

Rocky Mountain horses weigh around 850 to 1000 pounds on average. They span about 16 hands in height and live as long as 35 years.

Rocky Mountain horses are easy to train and gentle. They serve various purposes, including pleasure riding and trail riding.

Gypsy Vanner

Gypsy horse galloping across summer green field.  ee220329

The Gypsy Vanner breed has many other names, including Galineer Cob and Gypsy Horse. Some people even call it the people-sized draft horse.

Gypsy Vanners are a cob-type breed with Irish and British origins. People admire their strength, sturdy build, calm nature, friendliness, and funny mustaches. But beyond those features, Gypsy Vanners are pretty colorful. Their coats are similar to those of Pinto horses: piebald or skewbald.

Gypsy Vanners are usually black and white or brown and white. However, they may come in white alongside any other solid color.

On average, Gypsy Vanners weigh between 1100 and 1700 pounds. They stand at around 14-15 hands at the withers and are broad-shouldered.

Traditionally, Gypsy Vanners are draft animals. But these days, people also use them for pleasure riding, driving competitions, and shows.

Appaloosa Horse

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Thanks to their unique coat pattern, Appaloosa horses are easy to recognize. The Appaloosa is native to North America. At first, they called it Palouse horse. But later on, the name changed to Appaloosa.

Appaloosa horses are generally spotted or mottled. Their coat has white and dark patches all over, creating a splotch-like pattern. This coloring comes in several patterns:

  • Blanket Appaloosa horses are either white with dark, speckled spots or all-white.
  • Marble Appaloosa horses have white and dark hairs mottled together.
  • Snowflake Appaloosa horses are dark with white flecks/spots, particularly around the haunches.
  • Leopard Appaloosa horses are white with dark flecks/spots.

The base color of an Appaloosa could be one of many colors, including roan, chestnut, palomino, dun, black, brown, bay, grulla, cremello, and dark bay. The face could have a star, stripe, blaze, snip, or bald pattern.

On the legs, you may find markings such as eel, ankle, coronet, pastern, half-pastern, lightning, stocking, and half-stocking.

Appaloosa horses typically weigh around 950 to 1200 pounds. They grow as tall as 14 -15 hands and live as long as 30 years.

Apart from its colorful appearance, hippophiles fancy the Appaloosa horse breed for its gentleness, loyalty, agility, and hardiness.

Knabstrupper Horse

The Knabstrupper is a Danish breed that is sometimes confused with the Appaloosa. It is to be expected for people to mix these breeds up since they both have a spotted appearance. Both breeds share the same color genes (the Leopard Complex), hence, the similarity.

Intriguingly, Knabstruppers and Appaloosas have no connection. In fact, the Knabstrupper did not come into America until 2002.

Knabstrupper horses are typically spotted. Like the Appaloosas, they can be blanket, marble, snowflake, or leopard. Not all Knabstruppers have spots; some have solid colors.

The average Knabstrupper weighs around 1150 pounds with a height of 15-16 hands. However, this breed also comes in pony sizes, so you may find some Knabstrupper horses standing below 14.2 hands.

Knabstruppers are friendly, gentle, trainable, agile, and intelligent. You can use them for various purposes, including pleasure riding, equine sports, exhibitions, and much more.

Norwegian Fjord Horse

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The Norwegian Fjord Horse is not only colorful but also a beauty to behold. This breed from the mountains of Norway is one of the oldest horse breeds. Horse enthusiasts know them for their gentleness, trainability, and willingness to work.

All Norwegian Fjord horses come in one of the following dun shades: red dun, grey, yellow dun, brown dun, and white dun. This makes their coats look anywhere from light chestnut to grey, cream, and reddish-brown.

Norwegian Fjord Horses have stripes running along the back of their front legs and their back. Their manes are short and erect with a dark (brown and black) center and brightly-colored exteriors, which create the striped pattern that runs along their back.

The belly and muzzle hair of Fjord horses have bright colors. But their tails have dark brown and black colors.

On average, a Norwegian Fjord horse is 13.2 to 14.2 hands tall while weighing 900 to 1000 pounds. Fjord horses can live for up to 30 years, and you can use them for riding and driving.

Black Forest Horse

The Black Forest horse breed gets its name from its origin – the Black Forest region of Germany. Best known for their patience and gentle temperament, horses of this breed are often called the Golden Retriever of horses.

Beyond their temperament, Black Forest horses have a color combination that makes them stand out. They have chestnut coats–which can be of various shades–alongside flaxen tails and manes. The manes and tails are flowing, creating an air of elegance around them.

Black Forest horses can live for 25-30 years. They weigh 1250-1400 pounds with an average height of 14.3-16 hands.

In the past, humans used Black Forest horses for agriculture and forestry. But these days, people use them for riding and driving.