Which Horse Breed Is The Smartest?

It’s very difficult to determine which horse breed is the smartest. Smartness is relative depending on the context in which it is used. Different horse breeds exhibit unique characteristics ranging from unbeatable speed and intelligence to a retentive memory. Some breeds have amazing capabilities to run very fast while others demonstrate their speed in learning and problem-solving abilities.

Equine curiosity and smartness make them perform excellently as racehorses. Wild horses have stable mental alertness when it comes to facing adaptive challenges as opposed to their domestic counterparts that are not sensitive to natural conditions due to the training they obtain in artificial environments.




Horses are endothermic or warm-blooded animals termed as “hot-bloods” which can be ascribed to their nature as fast racehorses that exhibit tremendous energy. Those that are not designed as racehorses are referred to as “cold-bloods” or poikilothermic because of their calm and quiet nature.

I have done in-depth research and have been able to come up with several horse breeds that show tactfulness in combination with exceptional I.Q either on the race track or in the stable depending on what purpose they are built for.

An intelligent horse with a high I.Q can nod a yes or shake his head, play catch and fetch, hide and seek, wave, spell five letter words and count up to five, identify shapes and kiss his owner (1).

Countdown Of The 10 Smartest Horse Breeds In The World:

  1. Andalusian

These horses are quite generous with the nature of wanting to give beyond their capabilities. They are very loyal to their riders and very good looking with a wide back. Their name originates from the Andalucía region in Spain where they perform during the horse-riding holiday period.

Noted to be among the ancient breeds, they have been in existence before the Arabian horses. They are interesting to deal with, fast in learning, strong, and elegant.

  1.   Gypsy
See also  Hind Leg Problems in Horses

Existing since the 20th century, they are a mark of British romance with very few of them left making them a treasure to their owners. They love to be touched and are loyal, friendly, and bond easily with humans. They are known for their beauty and peculiar hairy features with a touch of elegance in their strides. (2)

  1.   Hanoverian

This breed is known for its great talent, smartness, and attentiveness. They are fast learners and serve as dressage or show jumpers. Great horse for a beginner and very compassionate. It can be used for a cross country race because of how safe it can be though it isn’t as fast as a thoroughbred or an Arabian horse.

Veteran riders choose this breed because of how willing they are to please their owners by responding fast to any training given to them.


  1. Clydesdale

You may want to consider getting a Clydesdale as your first horse. They are extremely smart, gentle, and affectionate horses. They adapt to their master’s attributes whether calm or super excited. Usually, they don’t serve as barrel racers but it all depends on the equestrian’s choice if he is ready to train his horse to become suitable for any purpose.

There are a great number of this breed that will not slip off the ground nor hit a barrel while racing. They are responsible and can take care of themselves in the absence of their owner. They also serve as haulage animals for carrying or moving a heavy load.

  1. Appaloosa

Developed in North America, the Appaloosa is a saddle horse with a lot of dots like leopard, marble, or snowflakes skin. They are never sick and are quite extraordinary and amazing in any discipline they are used for.

Appaloosas are great jumpers and very intelligent horses which are ideal for new riders or inexperienced equestrians. In the United States, they are among the most popular breeds on earth.

  1. Morgan
See also  Can a Horse Get Drunk?

It is known for its multipurpose use either commercially or for personal reasons existing for the past 200 years precisely in the 1700s. It showcases a special talent in competing on the race track during sports. It also serves its purpose either as a riding companion or for its beauty and gait.

Its smartness is classed as a natural ability and outweighs other breeds in I.Q. They have a long lifespan of about 40 years compared with that of other horse breeds which have a 15 year less lifespan.

  1. Friesian

Dating back in history, Friesian breeds have been known to be war horses and also noted as a beautiful specie among others. Armored knights have used them to fight battles and have enjoyed their sturdiness and agility. They are farmers’ choices because of how strong they are and they are mostly black.

They are carts and carriage horses that can survive any condition or terrain they may be exposed to. They are super smart and intelligent and rank among the most intelligent breeds in the world.

In the 1900s, only three horses of this breed were in existence but with the intervention of the Netherlands Friesian breed centers, they are currently in multiple numbers on the planet. They are commonly used at the circus and in movies.

  1. American Quarter Horse

These breeds can do both western and English races because of how smart they are in nature. They are multi-talented and adaptable to any condition they find themselves in. They can take their saddle off themselves and even help other horses take off theirs too.

They are brilliant at jumping and racing with a calm spirit making them quite safe to ride. They are very popular and featured in horse shows, rodeos and used by the police in urban areas.

  1. Thoroughbred

When it comes to speed, thoroughbreds are the fastest horses to be reckoned with. They are noted for racing in sports and are excellent show jumpers. They served as battle horses in the past to their English masters and require patience to be taught exclusive skills that they master within a short period.

See also  Name for Baby Horse

They are agile and athletic with super stamina to take flight during any race. They are apt in decision making especially in a situation where their rider cannot decide on the route or jump to cover. They are leaders of all breeds when it comes to speed and endurance and therefore not suitable for beginners.

  1.   Arabian

The Arabian horse breed is the smartest among the entire lot and the fastest in the universe. They don’t need to be taught a trick twice before they pick it up. They have strong feet and are very healthy with the capacity to learn any discipline in riding.

They are very quick in learning skills from their owner to the extent of outsmarting their master. The Arabian is a loyal horse, quite caring and loving to his rider, they sleep in their owner’s tent while riding through a desert to protect and display absolute submission by giving support.

Arabian horses are very good-looking with their dished faces and high tails. They are very intelligent and fun to be with. This is a breed recommended for beginners due to their small weight of about 900 pounds which also makes them perform well in sports.

Choosing Your Favorite Breed

 Have you read through the above selections? Then you must have had an idea of the individual traits of the smartest breed according to your requirements in your dream horse. You may need a loyal companion or sturdy species depending on your personality so choose wisely by taking note of their respective characteristics.

Arabians and thoroughbreds are known for their amazing speed and stamina while the gypsy‘s breath-taking beauty cannot be compromised. Decide on your favorite breed and train it according to your needs.


  1. Bloodhorse – link
  2. Equestrian Escapes – link