While many horses are capable of growing lengthy manes and tails, there are some breeds that are particularly well-known for long majestic hair. A horse’s mane and tail may shield him from the weather while also adding to his appeal.
Owners often spend hours combing, braiding, or otherwise manipulating their horse’s hair to keep him looking his best, which is particularly important for a breed famed for its long, luxuriant tresses.
Here are 11 horse breeds that are well-known for their long manes and tails. You may be surprised by the list!
These vibrant horses are known for their brilliant coats, beautiful gaits, and, yes, magnificent manes and tails.
The enigmatic Gypsy Vanner (also known as a Gypsy horse or an Irish Cob) originates in the British Isles. They were originally bred to pull the caravans for the Romani people as they traveled across the countryside.
Due to its exquisite excellent looks and mild personalities, the Gypsy Vanner is a magnificent breed in America that excels in many disciplines.
A Gypsy Vanner’s long hair and profuse feathering are the result of draft horse breeding in their pedigrees, despite the fact that they are smaller than a standard draft horse.
Several breed exhibitions require horses to have a thick and fluffy mane and tail. Some Gypsy Vanners have extraordinary hair growth – it can take hours to wash, dry, and comb out the hair of these stunning horses. (source)
These black beauties resemble medieval warhorses ready to transport knights into battle, complete with flowing manes and tails to emphasize their regal demeanor.
The Friesian horse originated in the Netherlands, where it was bred to be hefty enough to carry a fully-dressed knight while being nimble and graceful.
Hundreds of years of breeding different draft and riding horses led in the Friesian’s long mane, tail, and fluffy feathering that we see today.
Breeding standards are strict for Friesian horses, and good example of breed type includes an “abundance of hair in the form of mane, tail, and feathers.” Their hair is thick and wavy, and must be regularly maintained in order to keep it in good condition. (source)
Pure Spanish Horses (Andalusian and Lusitano)
Iberian (pura raza Espaola or P.R.E) horses were imported from Spain in the 16th century and are recognized for their classic excellent looks, beautiful movements, and flowing manes and tails. .
Their hair is wavy and thick, and is often intricately braided at shows, depending on the chosen discipline. The breed standard calls for “abundant, long, and often wavy hair.” (source)
The flow of Spanish horses to the Americas and other nations throughout the world led in the development of various breeds with genes for beautiful hair.
This is why wild Mustangs with thick, wavy hair are common, particularly in groups with documented Spanish horse heritage.
Ponies’ manes and tails are sometimes longer than those of full-sized horses. Miniature horses, on the other hand, are made to seem like little replicas of their larger counterparts.
These miniature horses receive their shaggy hair from their Shetland and Welsh pony ancestors, who may frequently sport massive manes and stories.
Many miniatures have traditional fluffy manes and tails that owners often keep long and flowing. The hair on a mini can rival that of many taller breeds, despite their small size.
Icelandic horses are small and resilient, with manes and tails that float behind them when they execute their distinctive tölt and soaring speed. .
Hundreds of years of selective breeding has resulted in manes and tails that are “full, with coarse hair,” and they also sport a thick seasonal double coat. (source)
A horse’s mane can keep him cozy during the harsh winter, and a long tail can swat the flies during a sweaty summer. The typical temperature in Iceland during the winter is from 14 – 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but it may occasionally drop below -22 – no surprise the Icelandic horse has such a magnificent mane!
Like the Icelandic horse, During the severe winters of the Austrian Alps, the Haflinger’s big mane keeps him warm. . These hardworking little horses are always a shade of chestnut, with a signature cream colored or flaxen fluffy mane and tail.
One of the most significant characteristics of a purebred Haflinger is his gentleness and personability. They were originally kept as important members of the family, living under the warn farmhouse to endure the bitter cold.
Hafflingers are regarded an excellent family horse since they are small enough for children to handle. A Haflinger with long hair must tolerate the long grooming sessions needed to keep him looking his best.
The American Saddlebred is recognized for its high-stepping trot, explosive pace, and unusually long tail.
A Saddlebred has an erect tail carriage and will carry his tail behind him like a flag as he walks. Trotting breeds like the American Saddlebred, Morgan, Arabian, and other flamboyant movers will benefit from a long tail.
At Saddlebred horse shows, riders in the park or 5-gaited classes will often add a tail extension or “tail switch” to their horse’s natural tails. (source)
These faux tail extensions are composed of actual horsehair and may be modified to match the color of the horse’s natural tail. Many other breeds may utilize tail switches, but dramatically long tails are usually unnecessary for the average show class.
These adaptable horses are small, muscular, and move gracefully. Like the American Saddlebred, a Show Morgan often competes with a long flowing mane and tail.
Morgan horses proudly display their high-set tails in the same banner-like manner, and a tail switch may be added for completeness.
Even if a Morgan isn’t being shown, he may still grow an impressive mane and tail. He has a thick mane that highlights his lofty neck and polished head.
The tall Shire horse was developed for hard agricultural labour, cargo hauling, and barge towing. Like most heavy draft horses, they have thick feathering on the feet and legs, which can protect them from the elements.
Many draft horses will have short “bobbed” tails and braided manes to keep them out of the way and away from equipment. This is also true for the Shire, albeit if permitted, it may develop a lengthy mane and tail.
Paso Fino is a Latin American gaited horse with the same beautiful mane and tail as its Spanish forebears. .
The Paso Fino, like its Andalusian and Lusitano relatives, is sometimes shown with a thick and long mane and tail, emphasizing its distinctive movements.
These unique horses can perform several gaits outside of the standard walk/trot/canter, including the paso fino, paso corto, and paso largo. (source)
The hair should be “long, full, and as luscious as nature can offer,” according to the breed standard. In the show ring, the horse’s hair is often left long and full, rather than braided or clipped. (source)
The Arabian horse is one of the oldest and most graceful breeds, with a well-arched neck and a high-set tail that is typically complemented by an abundance of flowing hair.
When he gallops about his pasture, a lively Arabian proudly waves his tail like a flag, and his mane may float behind him.
While a longer mane might provide some protection from summer flies, many Arabian owners choose to keep it long. Horses’ manes and tails may be wavy or straight, depending on their history, but a long mane and tail need maintenance to be in excellent shape.
Arabians competing in saddleseat or in-hand events sometimes display with their tails left long and flowing to emphasize their dazzling motions.
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What is the thickest horse breed?
The Shire is a British draught horse breed. It is often black, bay, or grey in color. Shires are a tall breed, and they have held world records for both the biggest horse and the tallest horse at different periods.
Traits Distinguishing features large size draught conformation feathered legs Breed standards
What horse breed has a high set tail?
The Arabian or Arab horse (Arabic: الحصان العربي [ ħisˤaːn ʕarabiː], DMG ḥiṣān ʿarabī) is a breed of horse that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. The Arabian is one of the most immediately recognized horse breeds in the world, with its unique head form and high tail carriage.
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1) Shire Horse
The average weight ranges from 850kg to 1100kg. The largest horse recorded in history is the shire ‘Mammoth’, he was 219cm tall (21.2hh). Discover the key difference between Clydesdales and Shire Horses HERE.
What horse has the prettiest mane?
It’s no secret that the Friesian has one of the most attractive and distinct manes of any horse breed. Because of their beautiful mane, coat color, and tale, a Friesian running at full speed is truly a sight to see.