Few animals have more of an air of mystique and romance than horses. Even more so, black horses are associated with a sense of mystery and nostalgia. From Black Beauty to Alexander the Great’s famous black stallion, Bucephalus, black horses are among the rarest and most beautiful types of horses in the world.
Here are six common black horse breeds to inspire your romantic, whimsical side.
The Friesian is a breed that originates from Friesland, in the Netherlands, known for their jet-black coats and high-stepping gait. They are also known as “Belgian Blacks,” horses of impressive height and power.
According to Equine Now, the midnight color of their coats has made Friesians increasingly popular as riding horses and in the show ring. Not all Friesians are black, however, and some breeders purposely focus on cultivating various-colored coats.
The Friesian is the breed closest to the Black Beauty archetype; breeders prefer horses of this breed to have no white markings, unless it’s an inspiring white star on the forehead.
Horsey Hooves reports that fell ponies have lived in the British moorlands since ancient times. Perhaps the horse that inspired legends of kelpies, black carnivorous horses of folklore, fell ponies have long flowing manes and silk-black coats.
In Viking ages, fell ponies were pack horses. Used for agriculture and travel, they are a durable working breed. They are closely related to the dales pony, with a common ancestor in the now-extinct Galloway.
Also known for its strength and stamina, the dales pony is an intelligent breed native to the mountain regions of England. It is roughly the same size as its relative, the fell pony, though it can be slightly taller.
These horses have a mellow, kind temperament and are ideal for children or new riders. They are reportedly one of the rarest breeds in the world.
More closely related to Arab breeds, the Murgese is a tall, elegant horse, known for hardiness and versatility. It is a light draft horse, and even stallions tend to be unusually well mannered.
Originating from Italy, the Murgese breed has been refined in modern times. They are often considered best for cross-country riding, but in some areas of Italy, they are still used as farm work horses.
This French breed is native to Ariégeois. Mérens horses are sure footed and make excellent trail riders.
Averaging taller than the fell and dales ponies, but shorter than the Murgese, Mérens have had versatile uses throughout history. They worked on farms, as pack horses, and even in the French cavalry.
The breed has faced near-extinction, and breeders and enthusiasts have worked hard to preserve its bloodline.
Another French breed, the Percheron is a draft horse known for its enormous height. This elegant and agile horse was commonly used as a heavy draft horse or for riding into battle.
After WWII, the breed saw a heavy decline but has since recovered and has seen increasing popularity in the United States and France. Their versatile uses range from farm and forestry work to riding, competitions, and even police mounts.
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