Black and white horse breeds are just too beautiful for words. The eye-catching, monochromatic coloration on one of the world’s favorite animals makes us want to see more of these beauties. But which horse breeds come with black and white coloration? Not all of them, that’s certain.
In some breeds, a horse’s piebald (black and white) coloration is natural, but through selective breeding, some breeders have managed to incorporate piebald coloration in other horse breeds.
Horse Breeds That Commonly Sport Black And White Coloration:
- American Saddlebred Horses
- Appaloosa Horses
- Gypsy Vanner Horses
- Icelandic Horses
- Knabstrupper Horses
- Miniature Horses
- Morgan Horses
- Mustang Horses
- Paint Horses
- Percheron Horses
- Pony Of The Americas
- And More …
1. American Saddlebred Horses
As a breed, American Saddlebred horses were established in America and are often referred to as the “Horse America Made“. Many American Saddlebred foals are born with black and white coloring. American Saddlebreds are descended from riding horses and offer a comfortable and smooth ride. They have an upright posture and appear to enjoy being admired for their beauty.
American Saddlebreds are considered a gaited breed, meaning they have stamina and endurance. The five-gaited Saddlebreds are shown with a full tail and mane. These horses can be used for jumping, driving, and hunting but are often enjoyed as pleasure horses.
2. Appaloosa Horses
Appaloosa horses are another American breed known for their colorful and spotted coats, including black and white combinations. These horses have a smallish stature and a thin mane and tail that require little trimming. They can be easily trained and ridden by someone with experience but are not recommended for beginner riders or children as they can be quite fierce.
It is thought that the Appaloosa breed has its genetic origins in Spain, but the Nez Percé Tribe, through selective breeding, was instrumental in developing the Appaloosa horse breed. Appaloosa horses are called Nez Percé horses and are intelligent, independent, and courageous. Their numbers declined after the 1877 Nez Percé war, but Appaloosas are increasing in number again.
3. Gypsy Vanner Horses
Gypsy Vanners can be any color, but Tobiano and Blagdon patterning are of the more common patterns found on these draft horses. A black and white Gypsy Vanner with tobiano patterning will have white patterning across its spine, while Blagdon patterning on a black and white Gypsy Vanner would mean the horse is predominantly black but has a bit of white splashed on the belly.
Gypsy Vanner horses originated in Great Britain and were used by Irish gypsies to pull their caravans. They were selectively bred for their strength and laid-back temperaments. Their popularity is increasing due to their relaxed nature, trainability, and gentleness, which makes them good horses for beginner riders, children, and equine therapy.
4. Icelandic Horses
Icelandic horses are small – almost pony-sized – but are considered horses nevertheless. With forty officially listed colors and over a hundred color combinations, you will likely come across a black and white Icelandic horse. These horses have thick coats to endure the harsh conditions in Iceland, plus they can traverse different terrains with their five gaits.
Icelandic horses are known to be approachable, stout, and hard-working horses. They are adored by Icelandic folk for their gentle yet spirited temperaments. These strong, little horses were used by Vikings and are of the purest horse breeds in the world. Their genetics are protected by law over a thousand years old, inhibiting importing new horses to Iceland.
5. Knabstrupper Horses
Knabstruppers are a rare Danish breed of horses that look like they could be the equine cousins of Dalmatians. Their coats can be solid or full leopard-spotted, or anything in between. These horses are comfortable enough to ride bareback as they are slender and have long bodies. Knabstruppers are used for dressage, riding, show-jumping, circus acts, and cart-pulling.
Despite being bred in Europe, Knabstruppers are quite rare. In 2002, the first Knabstruppers were imported to North America, and their prevalence is still small. According to the American Knabstrupper Association, their most common coloration pattern is the white coat with black spots, which could be attributed to the fact that they have similar genes to the Appaloosa.
6. Miniature Horses
Miniature horses come in all colors, including black and white. Their black and white markings can be in pinto patterning or as spots. These little horses are not made for working or carrying riders; they are more suited as companion animals or for show purposes.
Miniature horses are more likely to have health issues due to being overbred, but despite having little bodies, Miniature horses have big personalities.
7. Morgan Horses
Morgan horses are born in all equine colors, but the most common color of a Morgan horse is bay, chestnut, or black. Some breeders specialize in breeding Morgan horses with pinto coloration. Morgan horses have contributed to the bloodlines of a few different breeds, one being the Tennessee Walking Horse.
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Morgan horses originated in America; the father of Morgan horses was called Figure, owned by Justin Morgan. Morgan horses served a lot in America’s history, from being cavalry horses in the American Civil War to being coach horses. As such, they are appreciated as state icons in some states. There is even a Disney movie based on Marguerite Henry’s book, Justin Morgan Had A Horse.
8. Mustang Horses
Mustangs are wild horses initially brought to the U.S. by settlers in the 1500s. They originate from Spain and occasionally sport a pinto coloration that looks amazing in black and white. Mustangs are protected and managed by The Bureau of Land Management, which covers an area of 26.9 million acres of public lands across 10 Western states.
Mustangs are labeled as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” by the Bureau of Land Management. They manage the herd sizes by capturing some Mustangs annually, which are then sold by auction.
9. Paint Horses
A piebald American Paint horse is a prime example of a black and white horse breed. The American Paint Horse Association registers quarter-horse type purebred Paint horses with markings of any shape or size situated anywhere on the body.
American Paint horses have two types of pinto coloration: overo and tobiano. A piebald overo Paint horse will have predominant black patches and no white patterning across the spine. A tobiano Paint horse will have white coloration across its spine.
10. Percheron Horses
Percheron horses have their origins in France. They are large draft horses that are mildly mannered, intelligent, and easy to work with. Percheron horses sport various colors but can be black and white, although too much white patterning is frowned upon by Percheron purists. Before World War I, they started being imported to the U.S. and are still widely used as draft horses.
Percheron horses are rugged and strong in appearance. The weight of an American Percheron averages 1900 lbs. Their average height is between 16.2 and 17.3 hands.
11. Pony Of The Americas
The Pony of the Americas (POA) is a horse breed that originated in Iowa. It is a breed derived from the Shetland, Arabian, and Appaloosa horse breeds. The Pony of the Americas has a vivid coat and sports an athletic physique with a distinguished head. To register with the Pony of the Americas club, they need “loud” appaloosa coloring, visible from 40 ft.
Some Pony of the Americas have predominantly white coats, with a few small black markings. This coloration pattern is called the “few-leopard spot”. These athletic ponies are amiable and easy-going personalities, making them a good family breed. Given their size, they are easier to mount for young riders.
12. Shetland Ponies
Shetland ponies are intelligent, friendly, and easy to work with – and they come in black and white pinto! These little ponies are stronger than Miniature horses, and children can ride them. Shetland ponies have robust little legs and are good at pulling carts or plows for small garden plots.
13. Shire Horses
Shire horses are British draught horses that are impressively big and look utterly gorgeous in black and white. Their patterning can be leopard-spotted or pinto. These magnificent creatures hold many records for their size and strong capabilities, but their numbers are steadily declining since they are not used as much for pulling heavy machinery and equipment.
Shire horses along with their French draft horse cousins, Percherons, are now becoming rare horse breeds considered endangered in some countries.
14. Spotted Saddle Horses
Spotted Saddle horses are always pinto in coloration and are often seen in black and white. This breed originated from interbreeding Spanish-American-type gaited ponies with larger, gaited horse breeds, like the Tennessee Walking horse.
Spotted Saddle horses are generally regarded as good for trail riding due to their gait and can also be spotted in the show ring.
15. Tennessee Walking Horses
Tennessee Walking horses are famous for their flashy movement and interesting running-walk gait, where their head nods in rhythm to their stepping. These horses are descended from Morgan horses and come in various pinto coloration patterns, including overo, sabino, and tobiano. They are solidly built but remain elegant and refined.
Tennessee Walking horses are considered a naturally well-tempered breed and are easy and comfortable to ride. There are prohibitions in place at certain events to protect these show horses, as in the past, they were abused in various ways to accentuate their already unique stepping motion. You can watch a video of a prize-winning black and white Tennessee Walking mare here.
Numerous horse breeds sport black and white coloration. Appaloosas, Icelandic horses, Gypsy Vanners, Knabstruppers, Paint horses, Tennessee Walking horses, and Spotted Saddle horses are some of the few breeds commonly exhibiting this beautiful coloration. The piebald coloration appears indifferent, accepted patterns according to the various horse breeds.