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Home > Horses > 9 South American Horse Breeds (With Pictures)

9 South American Horse Breeds (With Pictures)

campolina stallion

If you are a fan of horses, you know that there are quite a few horse breeds, and it can often be helpful to sort them into different categories to organize them better. Sometimes it’s easier to sort them by height or speed, but this time we’ll be sorting them by region. if you haven’t looked at South American horses yet, you’re in for a treat. As we go over each breed, we’ll show you a picture of what it looks like along with some detailed information so you can learn a little more about it to see if it would be right for your stable.


The 9 South American Horse Breeds

1. Brazilian Sport Horse

The Brazilian Sport Horse is a relatively new breed that breeders created in the 1970s. Despite its youth, it’s already competed in the Olympic games. It’s a high endurance horse, known for its agility and strength. It stands about 16 hands tall (one hand = 4 inches), so it’s taller than many other breeds. It’s a lively, calm, and willing breed that many owners review favorably. About 50 of these horses are exported to the United States each year.

2. Campeiro Horse

The Campeiro Horse may be the offspring of Santa Catarina Island’s lost horses and may also be descendants of Spanish horses they brought during expeditions. It’s a smaller-sized horse standing about 14 hands tall and weighing about 950 pounds. The island inhabitants let these horses become feral and their population grew to large numbers. Today, it’s a recognized breed available in grey, chestnut, and bay.

3. Campolina Horse

The Campolina is a riding horse from Brazil. It dates back to the late 1800s and is available in several colors. It extends about 15 hands high and has a smooth four-beat ambling gait. This gait causes the horse to have a smooth ride without the bouncing you might experience in another breed.

4. Chilean Horse

The Chilean horse is another descendant of the horses brought to America from Spain. It’s the oldest horse in the South American registry, and owners usually use it for ranching, though they also used it as a military horse due to its courage on the battlefield. It’s a hardy horse that is resistant to disease and heals quickly. It usually stands between 13 and 14 hands tall and is available in several colors.

5. Criollo Horse

The Criollo horse is the native horse of the Pampas, an area near Brazil in South America. It’s popular due to its intelligence and willingness to work hard. It stands between 14 and 15 hands high, and owners frequently comment on its hardiness. It can handle extremely hot and cold temperatures.

6. Falabella Horse

Falabella pony galloping
Image Credit: horsemen, Shutterstock

The Falabella is another horse that is a descendant of Spanish horses. It’s small and rarely exceeds 10 hands high, so many people might refer to it as a pony. It has a long thick mane and an easy-going temperament that makes them perfect for teaching children to ride. Owners often enter them into exhibitions where they can win awards for the long mane.

7. Mangalarga Marchador Horse

Mangalarga Marchador Horse
Mangalarga Marchador Horse (Image Credit: Fábio Vidigal, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.5)

The Mangalarga Marchador is a Brazilian riding horse popular because it has four separate gates, walk, cantor, and two different ambling gates that provide riders with a comfortable and versatile experience. It is a medium-sized breed that often stands a little more than 14 hands tall. It has a silky coat and a triangular head with a crest on its neck.

8. Northeastern Horse

Nordestino (Image Credit: Euzeli Cipriano dos Santos Junior, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Northeastern horse also has other names, including Nordestino. It is similar to the Criollo horse but is from a different region of South America. It is available in bay, grey, and brown colors, and it stands about 15 hands high. Owners primarily use it for riding, but it can also pull carts or work as a ranch horse.

9. Pampa Horse

The Pampa Horse combines the sturdy bone structure of Brazilian horses with the Pinto horse’s unique color pattern. This horse stands about 15 hands tall, and most owners use it for riding or pulling carts. It can be several colors, but the pinto spotting pattern will always be present.

new horse shoe divider


Any one of these horses would make a fine addition to your stable. Most of the horses provide the rider with a smooth ride, perfect for older or sick people who may have difficulty riding other horses that tend to bounce more as they walk and run. If you have a child, the Falabella horse is one of the best breeds to use as a training tool that will get your children riding the big horses faster and with less risk of injury.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this list and found a few breeds you have not heard of before. If we have helped you pick your next riding companion, please share these nine South American Horse Breeds on Facebook and Twitter.

Looking for more interesting horse breeds? Check these out:

Featured Image Credit by Nicole Ciscato, Shutterstock

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