A black horse has a really dramatic quality. They frequently show up in folklore and marketing activities. Black horse breeds also come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
We’ll look at 13 black horse breeds to indulge our passion for the mythical dark horse. They all have something special, whether they are strong draft animals or elegant racehorses.
So take this step to learn more about these magnificent and stunning animals.
The jet black coat of the Friesian is one of its distinctive features. On rare occasions, you could come across bay or chestnut horses, and some Friesians have faint white markings. However, the vast majority of these magnificent horses are completely black.
They are a type of draft animal that have been used for both farming and fighting since before the Middle Ages. They have powerful bodies, arched necks, and short ears. They normally stand at 15.2 hands. Their long, wavy tails and manes add to their striking appearance.
Friesians are still in use today for both driving and riding. They are also a popular choice for roles in dramas on both film and television thanks to their striking beautiful looks. Their acting credits include the Game of Thrones, Snow White and the Huntsman, Interview with the Vampire, and Zorro movies.
Northern England is the home of the Dales Pony. A few horses still roam free in the Pennine hills today. Although the breed is largely inherited from working horses used in the lead mining industry, it is not genuinely wild.
Black is by far the most typical color for a Dales pony. There are more coat colors available though. Brown, gray, bay, and roan are all acceptable colors for registration. They all have stocky bodies, strong legs, long, silky manes, tails, and feathers, and stand around 14.2 hands tall.
They are sociable and well-mannered animals who are excellent for both driving and taking on young riders. They are widely used as trekking ponies because they have great stamina. Sadly, there are only about 5,000 Dales Ponies registered today, making them a rare breed.
Another breed that originated in northern England are Fell Ponies. Today, they are predominantly found in the county of Cumbria.
Fell Ponies often have black coats, although they can also have brown, gray, or bay ones. There are also skewbalds, piebalds, and chestnuts, though they have their own area in the breed registration.
Fell Ponies have grown taller over time, just like most breeds. Native British ponies once measured about 12 hands in length. That number had grown to almost 13 hands by the time of the Roman conquest. Moreover, Fell Ponies of today often stand little shorter than 14 hands.
Because of their exceptional endurance, fell ponies are frequently used in competitive driving, a now-thriving activity. They make great trekking horses due to their steady demeanor.
The resilient Murgese originate from the Apulia region of Italy and are named after the town of Murge. The breed is believed to be a hybrid of local native horses and imported Barbs and Arabians.
The Murgese stand between 14.3 and 16.2 hands tall, with a coat that is either black or dark roan. It features a thick neck, prominent withers, a well-proportioned chest, and powerful legs.
Its hooves are what make it stand out the most. These are incredibly hard, making this a horse that does well in difficult terrain.
In the past, Murgese horses were most often seen performing light draft work and working on farms. These days, cross-country biking and trekking make extensive use of them.
The Percheron, another draft horse, originated in the Perche district of Western France. Though a few horses are chestnut, bay, or roan, the majority of Percherons are either black or gray.
The First World War saw considerable use of these animals, which were initially bred for the battlefield. Their steadiness made them ideal for use with artillery and advanced units.
Percherons were previously popular in both Europe and the USA, but after World War II, their numbers decreased. However, the horses are still useful for pulling heavy loads, and the population has subsequently begun to revive. Around 2,500 Percherons were being registered annually in the US only as of 2009.
You may occasionally hear the Mérens referred to by its previous name, the Ariégeois. It originated in the southern French mountain ranges of the Pyrenees and Ariégeois.
The breed is believed to have existed in prehistoric times. Some believe the horses are of Iberian ancestry, while others believe they are of Oriental. However, the Mérens always have a black coat, regardless of their origins.
Today, Mérens are frequently used for riding, despite their traditional use for farm and draft work. Additionally, particular horses have achieved success when competing in carriage driving.
They are a great example of how endangered breeds can be preserved via prompt intervention.
In the latter half of the 20th century, the Mérens faced extinction. There were just 40 registered horses at one time in the 1970s. Despite the fact that the population is still modest, since then, numbers have increased dramatically thanks to focused breeding programs.
Among black horse breeds, the American Quarter Horse is well-known for its speed. Its capability to outrun other breeds across distances of up to a quarter of a mile gives it its name.
American Quarters can be practically any color, including black, although sorrel is the most popular. Even while horses used in Halter events can be taller, the majority stand between 14 and 16 hands.
The hunter – usually referred to as the racing type – and the stock type are the two primary varieties of American Quarter. Leaner and with longer legs, the former are better sprinters.
American Quarter horses are frequently seen in rodeos and are also used for ranch work, riding, and as show horses. Their very own Hall of Fame and Museum in Amarillo, Texas contains records of their glorious history.
Although frequently mistaken for wild horses, mustangs are actually better categorized as feral. They are descendants of escaped domestic horses that the Spanish Conquistadors introduced to the Americans in the 16th century.
Even though they are distinctive, black mustangs can actually come in any color. They have a wide range of different body types and a diverse gene pool.
They do, however, share a toughness and endurance. They are typically between 14 and 15 hands tall and don’t often reach 16 hands, making them quite tiny horses.
At the beginning of the 20th century, thousands of Mustangs were taken from the wild and employed for combat. As a result, by 1920, they were less in number.
In an effort to protect the breed, the Spanish Mustang Registry was created. Since then, a number of legislation have been passed to address cruel horse-capture practices. Today, there are tens of thousands of Mustangs in the USA, with over half the country’s population in Nevada.
A close relative of the Andalusian horse, the Lusitano originated from Portugal. Although its beginnings are lost in time, the Lusitano was renowned for its speed even in Roman times. This was attributed to the West Wind, which was thought to be capable of impregnating mares.
There are Lusitano horses with coats in every color, even black. However, chestnut, bay, and gray are the most typical ones. While some can be over 16 hands tall, they normally stand at a height of about 15.3 hands.
They were formerly used for bullfighting, dressage, and even driving. They continue to be successful dressage competitors, and are still involve in bullfighting (a form where the bulls are not killed).
However, they are currently best known for dominating the sport of competitive driving. Both the World Equestrian Games in 2006 and the 1996 World Championships were won by a Lusitanian four-in-hand driving team.
One of the most beautiful black horse breeds, the Andalusian horse originates from the Iberian Peninsula. Since the 15th century, thanks to its long history, it has been recognized as a breed.
Andalusian horses were traditionally revered for their strength and grace as military horses. Even the Spanish government utilized them for diplomacy, giving favored persons access to horses and the authority to export them.
Black Andalusians are uncommon, yet it is possible to find them. In this breed, the color gray makes up 80% of their total population. 15% are bays. The remaining 5% are split between black, palomino, dun, or chestnut.
They compete successfully in dressage and are also engaged in show jumping and other equestrian competitions. They have appeared in both movies and television shows thanks to their stunning appearances, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Centuries of deliberate breeding in Peru have produced the Peruvian Paso. Horses imported to the nation from Spain, Panama, Jamaica, and other regions of Central America were the breed’s ancestors.
In addition to black, bay, chestnut, brown, and gray, Peruvian Pasos can also be palomino, buckskin, roan, or dun. The most valuable horses are those with consistent coat colors. Some horses have thick, plush manes and white patterns on their faces and legs.
The gait of this breed is among its most notable features. Long rides are made comfortable because of how smooth it is. Because of this, Peruvian Pasos can travel for long distances without feeling tired for either the horse or the rider.
There are currently more than 25,000 Peruvian Pasos in existence worldwide, and the breed is still very well-liked in Peru. They are utilized for recreational and endurance riding, as well as in parades and shows.
One of the oldest American horse breeds, the Morgan may be traced back to the 19th century. It was well-known for pulling and riding in carriages. And during the American Civil War, both sides relied heavily on horses for their cavalry units.
Along with bay and chestnut, black is one of the more popular colors for Morgan horses. Horses that are dun, gray, silver dapple, palomino, and buckskin are also found.
They typically have a compact physique, powerful legs, and an upright, arched neck. They stand between 14.1 and 15.2 hands tall on average. Their name is a tribute to Justin Morgan, who received a stallion named Figure as payment for a loan. Figure is the ancestor of all Morgans.
Many different equestrian disciplines employ the famous versatility of Morgan horses. They are effective for handling livestock as well as for show jumping and dressage. Additionally, they make ideal therapy horses due to their calm demeanor and steady gaits.
Tennessee Walking Horse
Late in the 18th century, a unique breed of horse known as the Tennessee Walking Horse, or Tennessee Walker, came to the scene. Spanish Mustangs with Canadian and Narrangansett Pacers were crossed to create it.
Along with bay and chestnut, black is a typical color for Tennessee Walking Horses. Likewise, they come in champagne, dun, cream, and silver dapple and pinto patterns.
Its unusual running-walk makes this black horse breeds well-known. This four-beat pace is quicker than a typical walk but similar to it. The average flat-walking horse will move between 4 and 8 miles per hour. The walking pace of a Tennessee Walking Horse ranges from 10 to 20 miles per hour.
But they have endured mistreatment because of their unusual stride. The abhorrent practice of “soring” involves employing chemicals or mechanical tools to inflict pain on a horse’s legs when they contact the ground. It is intended to cause an exaggerated gait.
Despite being forbidden, the practice continues. The Humane Society of the United States is a good place to learn more about it and to contribute to efforts to put an end to it.
Charming Black Horse Breeds
Whether they are at work, in the show ring, or on the track, these majestic animals are a joy to see. They have also become celebrities on both large and small screens thanks to their remarkable features.
Some breeds simply have black coats, but many others have black coats together with a variety of other colors and patterns. We sincerely hope you have enjoyed learning more about each of them!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are pure black horses called?
The Friesian, Percheron, Fell Pony, Murgese, and Mérens horse breeds are the most prevalent black horse breeds. Bucephalus, the mount of Alexander the Great, is the most well-known black horse in historical records. It's interesting to note that really black horses are uncommon.
How rare is a black horse?
Although not quite uncommon, black horses are thought to be rare among breeds. The color of fading black horses changes from black to brown as they are exposed to natural sunshine.
Are Friesian horses only black?
A Friesian with studbook registration only comes in one shade of black, which can range from very dark brown or black-bay to full black. When their coats are shedding or when they have become sun- or sweat-bleached, many Friesians take on a black bay appearance.