What Is The Smartest Horse Breed

Horses are among the animals considered to be innately intelligent. Unlike other animals or pets, horses tend to learn more quickly, they have the best problem-solving abilities, and they remember things for a long time.

While intelligence may vary from one horse to another, some breeds stand out when it comes to their level of intelligence. Here we will discuss which breed is considered to be the smartest horse when it comes to their combined special set of skills, capabilities, and emotional intelligence.

What Is The Smartest Horse Breed

Based on studies done on equines, the Arabian horse is undoubtedly the smartest horse breed in the world. They are also one of the oldest breeds, which are known to have contributed their spirit and intelligence to almost every light horse breed in the world.

Experts say that Arabian horses originated in the vicinity of the Arabian Peninsula. Given the climate and terrain the peninsula has, this explains why this certain breed is born to thrive and conquer even in the toughest environments. Before they arrived in the United States in the 1700s, Arabian horses are said to be used for transportation, hauling loads, and war mounts back in time. (Read Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ladybugs)

Smartest Horse Breed

Now, the modern-day Arabian horse is bred for endurance and athletics which makes them the ideal breed for every horse sport that exists.

Here are some of the most common characteristics of Arabian horses:

  • They weigh around 800 to 1,000 pounds
  • They stand tall at around 14 hands (56 inches) to 16 hands (64 inches)
  • Their speed could go as fast as 40 miles per hour
  • They have lithe, compact bodies with wedge-shaped heads and dished facial profile
  • They have long, arched necks and high-tail carriage
  • They come in various colors such as gray, bay, chestnut, roan, and black
  • Their life expectancy is about 25 to 30 years

What Makes Arabian Horses Special

So, what notable qualities of Arabian horses make them smart? Here are just some:

They have finely developed mental functions

Arabian horses’ mental functions are sharper than the other breeds when it comes to their memory, fortitude, and docility, making them intelligent horses. Their very responsive nature also makes it easier for owners to train them to respond quickly to their aids.

They are quick learners

As mentioned, Arabian horses are breeds that learn quickly. It makes it easy for them to practice good habits in a short period. Since they tend to pick things up quickly, it also makes them prone to learning bad habits and even bad experiences. So, make sure they’re always in good hands to avoid bad experiences being etched in their memory.

They are composed and gentle

One would think that horses would easily lash out, but not the Arabian breed. With their calm nature and good temperament levels, you’re sure that Arabian horses can be trusted around anyone, including children. This makes them the perfect family pets since you wouldn’t have to worry whether your family’s safety would be at risk.

They can easily understand and take instruction

Not only do Arabian horses easily adapt, but they also easily understand and take instructions from their owners. This obedient characteristic of them makes it easier for them to train and live with their owner, knowing they wouldn’t have a hard time teaching them instructions.

They can sense their owners and surroundings

Arabian horses can be pretty sensitive but in a good way. They can easily tell if something is going on with their owners or the person who is riding them. Once they sensed something was wrong, they would act accordingly to what they felt. They can also feel the same when it comes to their environment if something is not good.

Arabian Horses

Other Notable Traits of Arabian Horses

Apart from being an extremely intelligent horse, this breed also boasts in other areas that’s why they are one of the most sought-after horses:

They have great endurance

Arabian horses are usually the top pick when it comes to long-distance trail competitions. Since they are used to hot weather, they can endure long distances and challenging terrains even in intense heat. It also helps that they have compact bodies that give them the perfect balance and strength when it comes to athletics. (Read Can Pigs Eat Fish)

They have superior stamina

Did you know? Arabian horses make an indispensable asset during wars back in time. This is because they have superior stamina that makes them last when traveling long distances. Although they might not be as fast as other breeds, their endurance and stamina make them for it.

They make wonderful show horses

Not only Arabian horses are the smartest, but they are also regarded as the most beautiful of all the breeds. This breed is often used to compete in beauty contests for horses because of its stunning features, especially its elegant floating trot.

Cons of Having Arabian Horses

While Arabian horses can be considered one of the best breeds, there are also downsides to taking care of them. Here are some:

They are prone to genetic disorders

This breed specifically is prone to genetic disorders that may range from curable to more fatal ones. This includes:

  • Severe combined immunodeficiency. This disorder happens when a foal is born without an immune system. This means they can die quickly once they’ve been infected by any kind of disease.
  • Lavender foal syndrome. This syndrome happens when a foal has neurological issues that can lead to fatality.
  • Cerebellar abiotrophy. A yet another fatal disease, this affects the balance and coordination of foals that can lead to death.

They need a standard equine grooming

Unlike other breeds that do not require high maintenance, Arabian horses can be pretty hard to maintain since they need standard grooming. This means regular brushing and using a detangler to keep their mane and tail smooth and healthy. It also helps to clean their hooves daily to let them be in their best condition.

They need experienced trainers for starters

Yes, Arabian horses can be good for beginners as long as they’ve been already trained by someone experienced. Since they are more intelligent than other breeds, they also need advanced handling and
training not just by anyone, but someone with equine experience.

Other Smart Breeds of Horses

Arabian horses are just one of the many smart horse breeds in the world. If you’re wondering what other breeds also possess the same intelligent characteristics, here are some of their traits and strengths:

Morgan Horses


Morgans are America’s first official breed of horse. They are also known for being the breed that “chooses you” because of their incredibly friendly nature. But more than these traits, Morgans are also quick learners, who are always curious about their surroundings.


Like Morgan, Saddlebred is also a horse America made which originated in Kentucky. They are best known to be the stars of the show ring since they are very beautiful to watch in motion. Saddlebreds also boast intelligence in terms of being alert and curious, which makes them learn anything quickly at a given time. (Read Can Dogs Eat Airheads)


Friesian may be one of the oldest breeds in existence, but they are also one of the smartest. This certain breed can be highly trainable since they are very intelligent and diligent to learn, as long as they are in cooperative nature.


Famous for their incredible speed, thoroughbred offers more than just being a racehorse. They are also known for their smart and sensitive characteristics that make them ideal for a variety of equine disciplines. Because they are fast-moving horses, they also recover more quickly than other breeds once they get into accidents.

Quarter horses

The most popular breed in America, the quarter horse has the perfect balance of good temperament, beauty, speed, agility, and loyalty. Not to mention that they are highly trainable too and have a natural sensitivity that makes them sharp horses.


Being calm is also an important aspect of intelligence, and this is what the Clydesdale breed is known for. They might be big, but they are one of the friendliest horse breeds one could have. Their large, muscular builds make them the perfect draft horse that can carry and pull heavy loads.

Final Thoughts

All horses are smart and their intelligence varies in the fields they excel. It only depends whether what skills or capabilities you’re after when it comes to picking the best breed for your needs.

So, the next time you’re planning to get one, make sure you take note of their traits, strengths, as well as their disadvantages to getting the maximum benefits from your equines.

What Is The Smartest Horse Breed

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