Why Do Some Horses Have Mustaches?

Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price

What is the first thing you think of when you think about a mustache? Maybe an old western movie where two cowboys are about to go on a shootout and must make sure to twist their mustache at the handlebars before they get their guns. Maybe a milk mustache, or a puppy with natural milk mustache. Although we find mustaches odd, they are funny and have neat characteristics. What about horses with mustaches too? There are no natural milk mustaches. Only real mustaches like the old west cowboys.

The Horsetache

Horses with mustaches can be real and should not be confused with horses with whiskers. These are more common in horses that have lots of hair, such as Clydesdales and Shires. The Gypsy Vanner is the most popular breed to get the stache. What are the common traits of all these breeds? They are all stocky and have large hooves. However, they have tons of hair. Their long, luscious tails and manes are complemented by feathers on the lower legs that cover their hooves. Horsestache is the result of their hairy tresses.

Why all this hair?

This is due to their genetic makeup, particularly the hair gene. This gene is cumulative. This means that horses with more of the hair gene will have more hair. Gypsy Vanners are descendants of horse breeds such as the Shire and Clydesdale, and both of these breeds have a lot of hair. It is not surprising that the Gypsy Vanner also has a lot of hair. Females and males are not affected by the hair gene, so it is possible for mares to grow mustaches.

Horses Have Mustaches

Why bother with horsestache?

The reason the mustache grows is due to horse genetics. It can also serve another purpose than making us laugh every time we see it. Like tentacles on an Octopus, the mustache can guide horses through the grass when they are fed. 

What to do with your mustache?

A flavor savor is fine, as long as it’s natural and serves a purpose. It can also get in the way, just as human facial hair. Horse owners who have horses with mustaches often trim it. For horses that are working, it can be irritating. It shouldn’t interfere with the horse’s daily life. Keep it, and let it grow. A mustache on a horse is a great way to take a selfie.

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!