Four Popular Horse Breeds in the UK

The UK is a nation of horse lovers, and horses can be found everywhere – from helping those with mental health problems to represented in beautiful works of art like these bronze horse sculptures

There are many different types of horses in the UK and many of them have been selectively bred over generations in order to help with various jobs such as farming. Nowadays of course we have machines that do much of this type of work for us, but many of the original breeds are still kept by horse lovers. Here are some that you are likely to come across…

Shire Horse – These are the largest of the horse breeds and were bred to do much of the heavy work on farms. They are immensely strong and powerful horses but are gentle giants and are one of the easiest horses to care for and ride because of this. Built for power and strength rather than speed, you won’t find a shire horse winning any races, but their gentle natures and love of human company has made them remain one of the most popular breeds of horse in the country.

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Thoroughbred – These horses are found all over the world and are mostly used for horse racing. Thoroughbred horses go back to the 1600s, and over the years have been bred to be able to race. Thoroughbred horses are certainly not horses for beginners, as they can be high spirited and stubborn in the hands of someone who is not experienced when it comes to training horses.

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Suffolk Punch – These are another type of horse that was originally used by farmers and they are strong powerful horses. Their chestnut colour is one of their defining features, as well as their large size. They are still used today for some jobs that machines can’t do, mostly forestry work across the UK.


Shetland Pony  – The smallest of the native ponies in the UK, these endearing little creatures have always been popular. Despite their small size, they are incredibly hardy and their stamina and size made them ideal for helping with work at the coal mines in the Victorian Era. Nowadays, they are a popular choice of horse for small children, and they make excellent companions.