most expensive horse breeds

What are the Most Expensive Horse Breeds?

It’s no secret that horse ownership doesn’t come cheap. Whichever horse breed your beautiful equine friend is, he or she no doubt doesn’t go easy on your purse strings. That said, some horse breeds are more expensive for a number of reasons. In this post, we’re going to introduce you to some of the most expensive horse breeds in the world. 

Most Expensive Horse Breeds: Why are Some Horse Breeds More Expensive? 

Some horse breeds are more expensive because of their bloodlines, rarity or certain desirable traits. For example, a breed famous for its performance on the racetracks or a breed known for its gentle temperament are likely to come at a higher price. In some cases, the reason is purely aesthetic. 

Horses are beautiful animals regardless of breed. However, some people just love breeds with distinctive, rarer features. A good example of this is the Appaloosa. Its gorgeous, spotted, dalmatian-like coat really makes it stand out. Therefore, horses with unique aesthetic characteristics or distinguishing features are also more likely to fetch a higher price. 

In addition to simply having aesthetic preferences, some people enjoy the “luxury” factor of owning an expensive horse breed. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the world’s priciest horse breeds. 

What Are the Most Expensive Horse Breeds? 

Bear in mind that the horse breeds below are in no particular order in terms of expensiveness or otherwise. This is also far from an exhaustive list. The average prices listed are just estimates based on research. It doesn’t mean that every horse within that breed will cost the same.

You can sometimes find horses within the breeds cheaper than the average or as expensive as $200,000 for top show horses. It really depends on a lot of different factors. 

Expensive Horse Breed #1: Appaloosa 

Average Price: Between $3,000 – $10,000 

You can spot the stunning Appaloosa strutting its stuff from a mile away. Its greatest distinguishing feature is its spotted coat. The coat patterns and colours can vary. Some common spotting patterns are leopard, snowflake and chestnut blanket. 

The Appaloosa stands at between 14.2 – 16 hands on average, which equates to 144 – 163 centimeters. Appaloosas are a very intelligent breed, which has bought them a bit of a reputation for stubbornness and bossiness. However, they are also very loyal, curious and can be just as gentle and easygoing as any breed. 

The Appaloosa is historically linked to the Nez Perce tribe and were bred from Spanish “spotted” horses. The breed was very valuable to the Nez Perce tribe, which appreciated its hard work and intelligence. 

Expensive Horse Breed #2: Arabian

Average Price: Between $5,000 and $30,000

The Arabian is an elegant, astonishingly beautiful and unique breed. The first thing you notice about the Arabian horse is its carved features, particularly its “pinched” facial features. It has a long neck, short back and slender build. 

Despite being a hot-blooded breed, the Arabian is usually gentle and mild-mannered. It is also incredibly loyal to the right people and can be a wonderful friend to any horse owner, including children. The small body makes for a good beginner horse breed. 

Arabian horses have their origins on the Arabian peninsula. That said, historians find it difficult to agree on exactly where they come from. Some argue that the Arabian horse originates from Northern Syria, Turkey and possibly the Piedmont regions. The Bedouin nomadic people of the Arabian desert are responsible for breeding the Arabian we know today. 

Expensive Horse Breed #3: Hanoverian 

Average Price: Between $4,000 and $20,000

As its name gives away, the Hanoverian originated in Germany. The Hanoverian is a hot-blooded breed. Its robust stature meant that it was often used as a farm and carriage horse. The Hanoverian as we know it today is altogether an excellent show horse, a strong showjumper and a great companion horse. 

The Hanoverian is so expensive because of its athleticism and potential as a high performer in dressage and showjumping. It is also an unmistakable beautiful horse, some of its prominent features being its straight head, muscular neck and shiny coat. 

Hanoverians are often highly trainable, confident and intelligent. They are also loving and loyal companion horses to equally loving and kind people. 

Expensive Horse Breed #4: Thoroughbred

Average Price: Between $2,000 and $300,000

It is difficult to estimate the average price of a Thoroughbred. This is because you can buy them for as little as $2,000, but thoroughbreds for racing or show can cost more than $100,000. Thoroughbreds can reach these prices due to their reputations as excellent racehorses. They are one of the fastest horse breeds out there today. 

This breed originated from breeding stallions imported from the Mediterranian Middle-East with English mares in the seventeenth century. Thoroughbreds were bred specifically for racing, which is what they are well-known for today. 

With a well-proportioned slender body, large eyes and a long, elegant stride, it’s no wonder the thoroughbred is held in such high esteem. In terms of personality, Thoroughbreds tend to be energetic, smart and full of character. 

Expensive Horse Breed #5: Friesian

Average Price: Between $3,000 and $30,000

Friesians have a very regal, majestic presence. They are a muscular, powerful breed with gorgeous shiny coats that are usually black, but can come in chestnut and grey. Freisians are also pretty rare, which is why they’re so expensive. 

Friesians originated in The Netherlands – in Friesland to be precise. It’s an old horse breed with origins that possibly back to Roman times. It is mostly, however, connected with the middle ages.  They were used as cavalry horses in the middle ages due to their intelligence, endurance and athletic physiques. 

The Friesian stands at between 14.2 and 17 hands. Their lower legs are feathered, they have long, thick, often wavy manes and their ebony coloring is one of their most defining  physical characteristics. 

Expensive Horse Breed #6: Andalusian 

Average Price: Between $10,000 and $60,000

Andalusians are remarkable beauties that come in a variety of colors and patterns. They are usually grey, but also come in bay, dun, chestnut and palomino less frequently. Their color patterns/markings include blanket, leopard and varnish roan. 

The Andalusian is one of the most multitalented and diverse horse breeds. It is a quick learner and therefore suitable for dressage, showjumping and eventing. Their average height is around 15 hands and they are also known for their strength and smoothness of movement. 

This breed is also known as the “Purebred Spanish” horse and is a relation of Iberian and Barb horses. Its name comes from – you guessed it – the region of Andalusia in Spain. 

Expensive Horse Breed #7: Gypsy Vanner

Average price: Between $10,000 and $40,000

Sharing ancestry with large horse breeds like the Clydesdale and the Shire horse is the famous Gypsy Vanner. This breed was bred by traveler families and was used to pull vardoes. Their strength and hard-working natures meant that they were the perfect carriage horse for traveling families, able to pull large loads for long distances. 

The Gypsy Vanner is also beloved for its gentle, laid-back nature and distinctive appearance. If you look at pictures of Gypsy Vanners, you’d be forgiven for thinking they are pretty large. In real life, they’re small-average-sized horses, standing at around 15 hands on average. 

Sadly, this beautiful breed is quite rare. Its rareness, history and iconic status are what contributes to it being such an expensive horse breed. 

The Most Expensive Horse Breeds: Sum-up

  • Many horse breeds are expensive. The world’s most expensive horse is likely the Thoroughbred. 
  • Other expensive horse breeds include the Appaloosa, Andalusian, Hanoverian, Friesian, Gypsy Vanner and the Arabian horse. 
  • Expensive horse breeds not mentioned on this list include the Akhal-Teke, the Selle Français, the Dutch Warmblood and the Oldenburg. 
  • Not all typically expensive horse breeds are always expensive. You can find expensive horse breed prices in the lower thousands region, too. Some are retired show horses or simply need to be rehomed. Check out rehoming sites or rescue horse sites if you are interested in one of the above breeds but don’t have the finances. 
  • The most expensive horses are usually high-potential racers, jumpers, or eventers. Horses bred for dressage are also incredibly pricey. 
  • A horse’s bloodline is often one of the most important factors when it comes to price. Additionally, horses that are typically rare, distinctive or unique in appearance tend to come with higher price tags. 

Most Expensive Horse Breeds: Final Thoughts 

There are so many factors to consider when it comes to determining why certain horse breeds are more expensive than others. Here at Simple Horse Life, we’re all about the bonds and the love between human and horse, which is far more priceless. 

Regardless of breed, horses are simply awesome, big price tag or no big price tag! So don’t forget to ride with pride and most of all, always go with your instincts when choosing the horse you will spend a huge chunk of your life with.