What Are the Smartest Horse Breeds in the World?

Last Updated on March 2, 2022 by Allison Price

Although all horses are intelligent, some breeds are more intelligent than others.

Horses are intelligent and curious animals. They’re eager to discover new things and learn new tricks. Horses are curious by nature but also very cautious. They rely on their alertness to survive in the wild. It is not easy to find the most intelligent domestic horse breed. There are some horse breeds that excel at particular activities better than others. It all boils down to the build of the horses and their personalities.

What is the best way to define smartest horse breeds? Is it the ones who learn the most quickly or those that retain their training the best? We’ll need to look at a combination of both. Although horses can all be trained to some degree, certain horse breeds are more well-known for their intelligence and ability to adapt. These horses include the Arabian, Morgan, Thoroughbred and Thoroughbred.

Smartest Horse Breeds

There are three types of horses: warm-blooded (cold-blooded), and hot-blooded (hot-blooded). Each horse has its own personality and each type comes with its own set of skills. This extensive guide will help you learn more about each type.

Horses with high I.Q.’s are reported to be able to shake their heads, play fetch, hide and seek, show affection and even count to some degree. This topic intrigued me so I did some research. This comprehensive list contains the smartest horses in the world, as compiled from historical data and information from horse owners.


Friesians, also known as the Frizian horse or Frizian horse are graceful, agile, and intelligent horses. Their heritage and history date back to the Middle Ages. The Friesian horse is one of the oldest horses breeds. It is known for its ability to adapt and work ethic. This horse’s origins can be traced back to the Netherlands.

This horse breed is distinguished by its stunning black coat. It is often accompanied with a long, well-combed hair. The Friesian is a popular breed for recreational riding because of its smartness. These horses were once ridden by knights during battle. They would also work on the fields when they weren’t fighting.


The Andalusian is my favorite horse breed. It’s beautiful and intelligent. The Andalusian is a medium-sized horse with an average height of 15.1 hands. It impresses with its compact, strong build and thick tail.

The Andalusian horse is well-known for its athletic ability. These horses are frequently trained for endurance racing or obstacle jumping. They are eager to learn, and have an insatiable curiosity about learning new things. They have strong bonds with their trainers and are well-suited to classical dressage.

This elegant breed is not something you will see on a farm, but there are still many reasons to admire a draft horse.


You know very little about horses other than the Thoroughbred. They are fast and can endure for a long time. Several of the most famous racehorses in the world were Thoroughbreds including SecretariatSeabiscuit.

It is not an exaggeration to say thoroughbreds can be smart. They are intelligent, but they have an unrivaled ability to achieve their goals, and the ability to bounce back from any kind of injury. Thoroughbreds are only comparable to Quarter Horses in terms of speed and agility. Quarter Horses are generally faster at the start line, but Thoroughbreds are more able to sustain endurance racing and have better stamina.

These horses are very hot-blooded. They require experienced trainers and strict routines to live happy and fulfilling lives.


If you ask me, the Morgan horse breed is a little understated. This horse breed is an old one, and was among the first to be developed in the United States. The remarkable versatility of the morgan horse is what makes it stand out. These horses were used as a coach, in harness racing and on the battlefield during the American Civil War.

The Morgan horse can be used in many different disciplines. It is capable of performing in many Western and English disciplines ( read more about the differences between these riding styles here). I believe adaptability is a sign of intelligence. Morgans are often seen at driving competitions. However, their calm demeanors and steady movements make them a popular choice for therapeutic riding programs.


The Arabian horse is the main attraction in horse racing, beauty contests and dressage. The Arabian horse is one of the most desirable and sought-after horses in all of Arabia. They are also among the smartest horses. No horse breed with average intelligence could adapt to so many disciplines.

Although they were born in the Arabian Peninsula, Arabian horses have spread throughout the world. They are found in the United States, Canada, Australia and Brazil. This beautiful breed’s genetic strength allowed it to influence nearly every modern light horse breed, including Appaloosa, Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred.

Although it excels in many areas, the Arabian is most well-known for its endurance racing prowess.


Draft horses are intelligent and well-mannered, so I included them in the list. The Clydesdale was the first thing that came to my mind. This is a Scottish horse breed, which hails from the Clydesdale valley or river Clyde. Clydesdales are now primarily used to pull logs or work the fields, and were originally used as heavy draft horses for coal hauling.

These smart horses are also used to pull carriages and take part in parades. Because of their distinctive appearance, which includes their white feathery feet, they are often preferred in parades. Although not the norm, Clydesdales can be ridden and some even show under saddle. Because of their calm nature, they are easy to train.

Clydesdales are sometimes kept by owners for pleasure riding. Clydesdales are a joy to be around.

Gypsy Vanner.

The Gypsy Vanner, also known as the Irish Cob is one of most intelligent horse breeds. This horse breed is a British Isles heirloom. In 1996, the Gypsy Vanner was introduced to the United States. These horses are most often used in traditional European horse fairs.

They can participate in many equestrian sports in the United States, particularly for amateurs and youth. The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society was accepted as an affiliate member by the United States Dressage Federation in 2004. These beautiful horses were now able to compete in dressage events and other dressage-related events.

The Gypsy Vanner’s appearance is mainly a result of its white spots and pigmented background. The Irish Cob Society doesn’t require specific colors to meet the breed standard. You’ll see Irish Cobs most often in black or white.


These horses are among the most intelligent in the world, as far as my knowledge. You can let me know if you are aware of other intelligent horse breeds you’d like to see in this list.

As I have said, horse intelligence can be measured by how quick a horse can learn new tricks and recognize patterns. It can also measure how long it can retain its training. Smart horses can come from any breed and all parts of the world. The most intelligent horses are usually the ones with the highest level of refinement.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!