Rarest Horse Breeds

With so many horse breeds, have you ever wondered which ones are common and which ones are rare? Well, then it’s time to introduce you to the 8 rarest horse breeds! From their origins, to their personalities and population, here are some fun facts about those breeds. 


Canadian HorseOrigin: Coming from Canada,  they descended from draft/light riding horses in the late 1600s.

Height and Weight: They range from 14 to 16 hands and weigh anywhere between 1,000 and 1,400 pounds. 

Coloring: They are usually black but also may be brown, bay and chestnut. 

Temperament: Energetic and spirited, yet calm and not easily nervous, Canadian horses are usually strong and willing to work. 

Uses: Today they are mainly used for riding and driving. They are known for their jumping abilities, and were previously used for farm work as well as transportation. 

Population: There are about 6,000 + registered horses worldwide, joined with 121 new registrations in 2019. 


Akhal-TekeOrigin: Descendant of the ancient turkmene horse, they originated from Asia and were used by tribes as war horses. 

Height and Weight: Range from 14.2 to 16 hands and about 900 to 1,000 pounds.

Coloring: Bay, black, chestnut, grey, palomino, cremello, or dun with black points. They also often have white markings on legs and face. 

Temperament: Intelligent and quick to learn, very sensitive, gentle, and often develop a strong bond becoming a “one rider” horse. Can be spirited, stubborn and bold. 

Uses: Mainly used as general riding horses, they also make great competition horses.

Population: estimated population globally is less than 5,000.

Suffolk Punch

Suffolk PunchOrigin: Date back to the 1500s in Suffolk and Norfolk in eastern England. 

Height and Weight: Standing at 16.1 to 17.2 hands and weighing between 1980 to 2200 pounds. 

Coloring: Chestnut ranging from light golden to dark liver with white markings, no other color is considered a suffolk punch.

Temperament: Strong work ethic, sweet and loving nature as well as calm and gentle. 

Uses: Originally were used farming to plow heavy clay soil. Today they are used for commercial forestry operations, for other draught work, and in advertising. 

Population: Listed critical in 2001. There are between 800 and 1,200 horses in the US and 150 in England.

Shire Horse

Shire HorseOrigin: Formed in 1878 in England and is a breed of draught horse.

Height and Weight: Stand about 17 hands and weigh up to 2,000 pounds.

Coloring: Usually black, bay, gray and chestnut or sorrel.

Temperament: They are among the most docile breeds, very kind and gentle.  

Uses: Were used extensively to pull carts and wagons as well as working in agricultural fields, today are used for pulling vehicles such as sightseeing wagons, and many enjoy riding the gentle breed for pleasure. 

Population: As of May 2016 there were fewer than 1500 left worldwide


NewfoundlandOrigin: Arriving to Newfoundland from the British Isles and were brought by settlers between 1611 and the 1900s. 

Height and Weight: Stand around 11 to 14.2 hands tall and 400 to 800 pounds. 

Coloring: Usually black, bay or brown

Temperament: Well-tempered, docile and easy to work with 

Uses: Originally were used for plowing, hauling and transporting goods and people, but now are generally used for leisurely riding. 

Population: There are currently less than 400 horses worldwide.


HackneyOrigin: developed in the 18th century by crossing thoroughbreds and Norfolk trotters in about 1760. 

Height and Weight: 15 to 16 hands tall and weigh about 1,000 pounds.

Coloring: Any solid color such as bay, brown, chestnut, and black. They also often have white marks. 

Usage: Ideal for carriage driving and competing. 

Temperament: Often playful, spirited, and young at heart. 

Population: Global population is about 3,000 worldwide.

Cleveland Bay

Cleveland BayOrigin: Hailing from England in the 17th century, this horse descended from native horses with hints of Galloway, Andalusian and possibly Arabian blood as well.   

Height and Weight: Stand at 16.2 hands tall and weigh between 1,200 to 1,500 pounds.

Coloring: Always bay in color, ranging from ordinary, dark and light. 

Temperament: Very intelligent and sensible as well as bold and honest.

Population: Worldwide population is approximately 900 purebreds spread throughout North America, Australia, Europe, Japan, and Pakistan. 


CaspianOrigin: Believed to be one of the oldest horse breeds in the world. Originated in Northern Iran and descended from small Mesopotamian equines.

Height and Weight: Usually about 10-12 hands tall and weigh about 1,050 pounds.

Coloring: Range from black to chestnut to gray and bay. 

Temperament: Gentle and quiet as well as very easy to train. 

Population: As of 2017 the population includes 817 registered horses scattered throughout the world. 

Now that you’ve met all the rarest horse breeds, check out more of our blogs for equestrian fun facts as well as some tips & tricks to care for your own horse! Click HERE to check them out now and don't forget to comment below and tell us about your horses breed!