Top 10 Reader-Favorite Horse & Donkey Breeds

Morgan
Morgan

Everyone loves horses!

Our readers are no exception. Here are some of the top breeds from our Horse & Donkey Breeds guide.

10. Thoroughbred

Many people enjoy giving a home to a retired racehorse. Adoption is a good deed, but it takes a dedicated owner, some retraining, and generally a great deal of veterinary intervention. However, there is nothing the large-hearted Thoroughbred craves more than the approval of the person he has bonded with, and the project can be extremely rewarding.

9. Morgan

Versatile, healthy, eager to please, comfortable to ride—no wonder the Morgan is a favorite! Few horses can match the ability of the Morgan as an all-around horse for the small farm. He can work cattle, pack loads, and even do some lighter plowing. And at the end of the day, the Morgan is a delightful family horse, too.

8. Friesian

With his flowing jet-black mane and high-stepping gait, the Friesian practically begs to be the center of attention. However, he is also a calm, gentle horse that can make himself useful in harness or under saddle, despite his extensive health needs. In particular, the Friesian’s steady nature makes him trustworthy with children.

7. Clydesdale

Always a public favorite, the Clydesdale has certainly merited a place on this list. Not only is he attractive, he is also sound, trustworthy, and fairly versatile. The Clydesdale is found not only in parades, but on working farms and ranches across the country, pulling everything from logs to hay with a willing spirit.

6. Percheron

The Percheron is one of America’s most popular draft horses today, and with good reason. Not only is he a trainable and willing worker, he is also easier to care for than many draft breeds due to his sparse feathering and moderate appetite. As an added bonus, the Percheron is athletic enough to double as a saddle horse for a taller rider.

5. Quarter Horse

Quarter Horse

America’s favorite horse is among our readers’ favorites, as well. Unequaled in the mysterious instinct known as cow sense, the Quarter Horse is the epitome of everything the Western horse should be. However, with his sterling disposition and widespread availability, this breed is a popular choice for beginning pleasure riders, as well.

4. Appaloosa

The Appaloosa is popular for many reasons, not the least of which is his distinctive appearance. However, the Appaloosa has more to offer than good looks. He has a keen mind and likes to use it, which makes him suitable for just about any purpose, from pleasure riding to Western competitions to light harness work. Just keep him busy!

3. Belgian

The Belgian is the most common breed of draft horse in the United States today. And no wonder, with so much going for him. He has an exceedingly stable personality, he is very low-maintenance, and he combines strength with endurance. If you need an all-around heavy workhorse for your farm, you can’t go wrong with a Belgian.

2. Miniature Donkey

If you’re looking for a smaller equine as a children’s pet, consider the miniature donkey. This charming little fellow loves nothing better than to be adored. Give him the affection he deserves, and you will find yourself amply repaid. But lest you think the miniature donkey can’t pull his weight, he is a surprisingly strong draft animal for his size and can haul homestead-sized loads to earn his keep.

1. Mustang

Mustang

And our readers’ favorite horse breed is the mustang! This icon of the American West is a tough little animal with very low maintenance requirements. All he requires to thrive is a roomy pasture for exercise and forage (not too much feed, please) and an experienced owner who can earn his trust and respect. The result is a loyal horse that will be a pleasure to ride on the trail or in the arena.

Draft Animals

By hsotr

Pulling from nearly 20 years of experience, Michelle Lindsey started Homestead on the Range to help Kansans and others around flyover country achieve an abundant country lifestyle. Michelle is the author of four country living books. She is also a serious student of history, specializing in Kansas, agriculture, and the American West. When not gardening or pursuing hobbies ranging from music to cooking to birdwatching, she can usually be found researching or writing about her many interests.