unique horse breeds cowgirl magazine
Photo courtesy of wildhorsesandmustangs.com.……

Horses have been around for what seems like forever, and have been used by humans for many different purposes. Over 600 breeds have since been developed. While some breeds have gained prominence in the Western world, many breeds remain unknown outside of their native regions. Check out these five breeds from around the world that you’ve likely never heard of!

Kaimanawa Horse

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Kaimanawa horses are a population of feral horses in New Zealand that are descended from domestic horses released in the 19th and 20th centuries. They are known for their hardiness and quiet temperament. The New Zealand government strictly controls the population to protect the habitat in which they live, which includes several endangered species of plants. The varying heritage gives the breed a wide range of heights, body patterns, and colors. They are usually well-muscled, sure-footed and tough.


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The Aegidienberger is a modern German breed of riding horse. It is named for the borough of Aegidienberg in the Rheinland, where it was bred in the latter part of the twentieth century. It is a cross of two foreign breeds, the Peruvian Paso and the Icelandic and was bred to be a comfortable riding horse with the a fast ambling gait of the Icelandic, but rather larger and with better adaptation to warmer climates.

Balikun Horse

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The Balikun comes from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China, and descends from Kazakh and Mongolian horses. In selective breeding for over 200 years, the Balikun became a special breed. This pony is very tough and well adapted to its habitat, which is frequently harsh. It is used extensively in the area for transport, but is also used as a light riding and draft pony. The Balikun can easily carry a pack weighing 220 pounds up to fifty miles in a day.

Hequ Horse

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The Hequ horse, previously called the Nanfan, is a horse breed native to the northwestern Tibetan plateau. Its ancestry traces to the Tang Dynasty, influenced by the Tibetan Pony, the Ferghana and the Mongolian horse. It was given its present name in 1954, from the Chinese word for its native region on the first loop of the Yellow River.


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The Mallorquín is a rare breed of horse indigenous to the island of Mallorca in the Balearic Islands, from which it takes its name. The origins of the breed are obscure. According to a genetic study of “Spanish Celtic horse breeds”, the Mallorquín is connected to the now extinct Catalan horse. The Mallorquín may only be black, in all its variations; horses of any other color can not be registered. Limited white facial markings are permitted, white leg markings are not.