Black horses are considered symbols of beauty, elegance, and royalty. If you want to prepare a list of black horse breeds, it might be endless. However, there are a few breeds that have remained popular throughout history for their black coat.
One of the famous black horses is Bucephalus, the horse of Alexander the Great. But that is not the only one. Many historical figures have chosen for themselves black horses on many occasions—going to war, receiving a dignitary, or paying a person of high stature a visit.
Thanks to their majestic and alluring outlooks, many breeders try—and have tried—to get a pure black horse. But, interestingly, getting a pure black horse is not an easy task. Sometimes a “false black”—brown and dark bay color—is mistakenly considered, but it will show its “true colors” when the light hits the horse at a particular angle.
Even though they are rare, if you are looking for famous black horse breeds, below is the list of the top 6 famous black horse breeds, along with some interesting information you may like to know.
Black Horse Breeds
For its style and charisma, black color is famous in equines. It is considered one of their dominant alleles.
There are many breeds of horses in which a black coat is possible, but in some, it is the predominant color. You can find many black horses with different body conformations, strengths, and history. Given below is a list of 6 breeds of horses with sleek and predominant black coats.
|1||Friesian Horse||All black|
|2||Dales Pony||Black predominate but is also available in other colors|
|3||The Mérens Horse||Black|
|4||Mustang Horse||Black predominate but is also available in other colors|
|5||Percheron Horse||Black and Grey|
|6||Murgese Horse||All black|
1. Friesian Horse
First on the list of black horse breeds is Friesian Horse. Also known as Belgian Black, Friesian horses originated in Friesland Netherland. Their coat is black like a moonless night, some of them developing a white star on their forehead.
Friesian belongs to the cold-blooded horse category—horses primarily used for heavy and slow work—and rarely come in any other color. Friesian horses are famous for their elegant knee-action and strong muscles. Their dark black and 144 cm long tail with beautifully feathered legs further enhance their beauty.
Their history dates back to the Middle Ages, where they were popular for warfare and pulling carriages throughout Europe.
|152.4 – 162.56 cm||544 – 635 kg|
Friesian horses are often expensive. Because of their striking beauty and outstanding power, they frequently get featured in movies and games.
2. Dales Pony
Dales Pony is on the list of the rarest horse breeds in the world (breed with less than 5000 registration worldwide).
They lived in the mountains of Northern England. They are strong, muscular, and intelligent horses and were mainly used for lead mining in the Yorkshire Dale region. Dales pony lineage includes Darley Arabian and Scottish Galloway Pony, both native British breeds.
These warm-blooded horses are usually found in a black coat. However, grey, brown, and bay ponies are also registered. As of markings, a white star and/or snip on the head and white fetlocks to the hind legs only are accepted by the Dales Pony Society.
|132 – 142.24 cm||454 kg|
These cultured and elegant black horses are famous for their stamina, strength, and intelligence. They have excellent conformation, powerful loins, short back, strong quarters, and legs. A long flowing tail with a silky feather on heels makes them stand out among other horse breeds.
Saddle or harness, Dales perform well in both. Their kind nature and calm temperament make them the best breed for novice riders, and especially children.
3. The Mérens Horse
These French mountain horses are native to the Ariegeois region. Mérens Horse origin is obscure, but their roots are traced back to prehistoric times—they come either from Iberian or Oriental horses.
|145 – 155 cm||400 – 500 kg|
Their foals are born with a lighter shade, but over the years, their coat matures into black. Therefore, they are often known as all-black horses. Mérens Horses are further divided into two types:
|Shorter Mountain Horse Type||142 cm|
|Taller Sport Horse Type||154 cm|
They are all-black horses, but sometimes their coats take rusty sheen and dapples.
Mérens horses served in farms and light cavalry. Now their role is limited only to tourism and recreation; some taller sport horse types also serve in therapeutic riding centers and mountain police.
They are found in the Western US (United States), and are considered a symbol of the American West. The Mustang breed was brought to America by the Spanish conquistadors during the 16th century. They fall in the category of warmblood horses—horses primarily used for their high speed and endurance.
Mustang came from two Spanish words mestengo and mostrenco, meaning “having no master.”
They are independent horses, preferring to roam free, and often is considered a wild horses. But Mustang is feral horses, having descended from domestic horses.
|145 – 155 cm||317 – 363 kg|
Mustang comes in different coat colors, but black is the most popular of all. Like Mérens Horse, they also came in different sizes, some of them being draft horses (large and heavy horses). They are tall and light yet have a muscular build with good hooves and a low set tail.
Mustang horses are famous for their calm temperament; they are great with people even on the first encounter. On the country, with other horses, they are incredibly dominant because of the alpha herd mentality.
They are used as riding horses for trail and leisure riding. Mustang is the most suitable horse for ranches.
5. Percheron Horse
Next on the list of popular black horse breeds is Percheron Horse. This French draft horse breed is complimented by all and sundry for its agility and elegance. Percheron horses get their name from their place of origin, Perche, a province in Western France.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, they were crossbred with Arabian lineage to give them extra endurance and refinement.
Percheron horses belong to the cold-blooded horse category.
Their numbers declined after World War II. Fortunately, this breed has multiplied its numbers and is now popular across France and the US.
Percheron Horses often have a black coat but also comes in a grey color. They are large horses with solid muscles and low maintenance needs.
|154 – 182 cm||816 – 1179 kg|
Along with riding, they are still used in forests and agricultural work. Their strong structure and muscles make them excellent mounted police horses.
6. Murgese Horse
Murgese horses are descendants of the Arabian, Neapolitan, and Barb lineage. In the early 20th century in Italy, they were bred to get a refined version of the Murgese with superlative qualities.
These light draft horses are famous for their versatility and hardiness, especially in riding.
Murgese is all-black horses but also have dark roans. They are tall horses with incredibly hard hooves and characteristic outlines.
|142 – 152 cm||350 – 400 kg|
They are well known for their manners and calm temper, and even their stallion horses are easy to handle.
In some areas of Italy, they still work on farms as light draft horses, but their primary use is in equestrian sports like cross country riding and jumping.
The above list is, of course, not exhaustive. Black horse breeds include a huge list of equines with different abilities and historical backgrounds. Black is considered a color of class and valor, giving them beauty beyond description. Many horse breeds come in black color along with other coats, but few of them predominate black.