Last Updated: April 6, 2021
Few creatures are as stunning and majestic as an all-white horse. Seeing one of these beautiful creatures in action makes it easy to understand where the idea of unicorns comes from. After all, these animals surely seem magical with their flowing white manes and breathtaking white bodies.
Not all breeds can produce truly white horses. Moreover, most white horses are not truly white. In actuality, most white horses started off grey but turned white over time. There are also color-breeds, which aren’t true breeds, but specific color patterns. We’ve gathered a total of 12 breeds that produce white horses. While you might know some of these breeds, it’s likely there’s at least one breed on this list that you’ve never heard of before!
Thoroughbreds are a popular breed that is often used for racing. These horses can come in a variety of colors, but none look as unique and awe-inspiring as an all-white specimen. While these are somewhat rare, there’s an entire farm devoted to breeding these white Thoroughbreds, called Megson Farms at Kentucky Lake.
2. Camarillo White Horses
Camarillo White Horses are quite rare. So rare, in fact, that there might be less than 20 pure specimens remaining. The breed is also rather new, having been created less than 100 years ago by Adolfo Camarillo. Unlike most white horses, Camarillo White Horses are born white and remain the same color for their entire lives. They have dark eyes with pink skin beneath their white coats.
Standing at just 13.1–14.1 hands in height, Camargue horses are quite compact. They’re also very hardy and agile. The breed is native to France, originating in the Camargue region, where they’ve existed since prehistoric times. These horses are known for their incredible intelligence and endurance, and entire herds can be seen roaming the marshlands of Southern France.
These elegant riding horses are most known for their performances in the dressage shows held by the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria, though they’re also adept carriage drivers. Foals are born black, though they lighten up as they age. Most become gray, though some become fully white.
Cremello isn’t a true horse breed. Rather, it’s a color-breed; a specific color that’s caused by the cream gene. Cremello horses can come in a variety of breeds, though all are white from head to tail. Some may have a bit of a pinkish tint.
Appaloosas have white on them, though they’re not considered white horses. However, the Few-Spot Appaloosa is almost entirely white, with just a few flecks of coloring thrown in. There’s even a sub-breed known as the FewSpot Leopard, which is practically an all-white horse.
7. American Cream Draft
American Cream Draft horses are cream-colored, though they appear white. They’re a chestnut base color, though the champagne gene dilution provides their creamy, off-white coloration. These muscular horses are known for their gentle personalities, and they’re the only breed of draft horse that originated in the United States.
8. Shagya Arabian
High endurance horses that make excellent athletes, the Shagya Arabian isn’t a true Arabian horse. They’re taller than the average Arabian at 15–16 hands tall, though they look like standard Arabians. They can be black, bay, chestnut, or grey. It’s the grey Shagya Arabians that often appear white after their grey fades with age.
9. Orlov Trotter
Standing 15.5–16 hands tall on average, the Orlov Trotter is a rather sizable horse. They’re muscular and fast, with legs and tendons that are strong and well-built for racing. The breed can be traced back to a grey Arabian stallion named Smetanka from the 1700s. These horses are predominantly grey and are known for their elegance and majesty. Nearly extinct at one point, the breed is undergoing preservation efforts in Russia and Ukraine today.
Percheron horses are some of the most well-known of all French draft breeds. They’re gigantic, standing as tall as 19 hands. They were originally used in battle as war horses, though they were still found to be useful for draft work and pulling coaches after heavy cavalry was no longer in use. While the official colors of the breed are grey and black, specimens are sometimes almost all-white, with only markings of gray left behind as patches or patterns.
11. Connemara Pony
These ponies are actually grey, though they appear to be almost completely white with black spots around the legs and feet. They’re quite short, standing 12–15 hands on average. Their ancestors are thought to be the ponies that Vikings used. Today, they’re popular for pony sports due to their intelligence and versatility.
Robust animals with an elegant appearance, Boulonnais horses have been used to help create many modern draft breeds, including the Ardennes and the Italian Heavy Draft horse. They were once used by the French army to pull artillery and supply wagons in both World Wars, though their numbers declined sharply after WWII and have never recovered.
We’ve listed 12 breeds that produce horses that appear to be white. These animals can be stunning and majestic, but there’s only one truly white horse breed, which is the Camarillo White Horse. Still, you’d never know that some of these other horses aren’t truly white, as they do appear to be. So, let’s call them what they are. Even if they’re grey genetically, in appearance, these horses are white.
Featured Image: AB Photographie, Shutterstock
An avid outdoorsman, Dean spends much of his time adventuring through the diverse terrain of the southwest United States with his closest companion, his dog, Gohan. He gains experience on a full-time journey of exploration. For Dean, few passions lie closer to his heart than learning. An apt researcher and reader, he loves to investigate interesting topics such as history, economics, relationships, pets, politics, and more.