Updated On: November 03, 2023 by   Salma Ihab   Salma Ihab  

Horses are swift creatures that provide an instant sense of calm and peace. These majestic creatures have been man’s companions since the dawn of civilisation, and this relationship continues to thrive even today. Purchasing and caring for an expensive horse breed, which is commonly associated with a luxury lifestyle, will most likely cost you a fortune.

When it comes to horse breeds, particularly expensive horse breeds, there are a few well-known breeds that most people keep an eye out for if they enjoy horses or intend to purchase one. There are no two horse breeds that are alike. Have you ever wondered why some horse breeds command such high prices while others are more affordable?

Let us break it to you: there is a distinguishing feature or two that distinguishes an ordinary horse from an expensive one. Horse lovers and equestrians alike value these characteristics for their rarity, uniqueness, performance, and rider compatibility.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most expensive horse breeds and how their value is determined.

8 Most Expensive Horse Breeds

Thoroughbred

Thoroughbred horses are among the most expensive horses. They originated in the United Kingdom. These hot-blooded equines dominate every equestrian competition in the world. Thoroughbreds excel in racing, dressage, and showjumping. Because of their unrivalled speed, they are a crowd favourite in the horse racing world and in the breeding of sports horses.

A Thoroughbred’s racing career is frequently brief, emphasising the importance of investing in one during its prime years. This breed will cost you a lot of money not only to buy but also to keep. Trainer fees, cleaners, food, stables and transportation are all part of the maintenance costs, but you can be confident that your money is being invested wisely.

Thoroughbreds spend the majority of their time in human-related habitats such as fields and farmlands; they make excellent backyard animals. If you can’t afford one of these, don’t worry; you can find an off-the-track Thoroughbred for $30,000 or less. These are horses who have either retired or never raced. After retiring from racing, a Thoroughbred can still be used in dressage and jumping rings.

  • Practice Compatibility: Racing, Jumping, Dressage, Riding, Driving
  • Weight: Around 1,000 to 1,300LBS
  • Height: 15 Hands (60-in) To 17 Hands (68 in)
  • Body Type: Lean and Athletic Build, Long Neck, Deep Chest, Powerful Hindquarters
  • Life Expectancy: 25 to 35 Years

Andalusian

Expensive Horse Breed

Andalusian horses, an Iberian Peninsula breed, are a true Spanish jewel adored by people all over the world. Andalusian horses were originally bred for wars and battlefields, but thankfully the breed has evolved and is now used for trail riding, jumping, and dressage. 

The “grandfather” of most modern horse breeds is considered an expensive horse breed for a variety of reasons, including their magnificently long flowing mane and glorious tail. The second reason is that the Andalusian is known for having a high level of energy, as well as athleticism and stamina, which makes them ideal for long-distance running events.

So, how much does an Andalusian horse cost? Crosses of Andalusian horses are worth up to $3,000. However, importing a high-end breed from Spain can cost between $15,000 and $50,000. But have you ever considered how many Andalusian horses there are? Not so high, with an estimated global population of 200,000.

  • Practice Compatibility: Trail, Dressage, Jumping
  • Weight: 908 to 1,129LBS
  • Height: Around 15 ½ Hands (60.5-in)
  • Body Type: Short-Coupled Torso, Muscular Hindquarters, Large, Sculpted Head
  • Life Expectancy: 25 Years

Oldenburg

The Oldenburg is an expensive horse breed that was originally Friesian. So, how did the name come about? Count Johann XVI von Oldenburg, an important member of the House of Oldenburg in the 16th century, was the inspiration for the name.

Oldenburg horses were originally used as carriage and pleasure riding horses due to their sophistication and stature. The Count, on the other hand, began breeding them and giving them away as war horses. The Oldenburg is now suitable for the average rider or those wishing to master the dressage and show jumping arenas. 

So, how much does an Oldenburg horse cost? The Oldenburg is expected to cost between $4,000 and $100,000.

  • Practice Compatibility: Jumping, Dressage, Riding
  • Weight: 1,700LBS
  • Height: 16-18 Hands (64 to 72-in)
  • Body Type: Compact Build, Short Legs, Deep Chest, Strong Neck, Large Head
  • Life Expectancy: 30 Years

Hanoverian

Expensive Horse Breed

The expensive horse breed, Hanoverian, is a dream in the dressage arena. They are German warm-blood horses known for their incredible flexibility and rhythmic canter.

The intelligent, sweet nature and trainability of the lightweight and adaptable breed go hand in hand with being a successful dressage and trail competitor. Hanoverian horses are known for being excellent jumpers due to their Thoroughbred ancestry. Hanoverian breeds have one of the best records when compared to other breeds.

Let’s look at one of the most expensive horse breeds: the Hanoverian. The average Hanoverian can cost between $4,000 and $7,500, but top competitive bloodlines can cost well over $15,000.

  • Practice Compatibility: Show Jumping, Dressage, Riding
  • Weight:1,400LBS
  • Height:5.3–17.1 Hands (Around 67-in)
  • Body Type: Sturdy Build, Long Neck, Medium Head, Strong Hindquarters
  • Life Expectancy:25-35 Years

Friesian

Expensive Horse Breed

The beautiful Fresian horses are the next expensive horse breed we are going to talk about because they are so rare that they almost went extinct. The Friesian horse is one of Europe’s oldest breeds, having originated in the Netherlands.

The Friesian horse is well-known for its striking long flowing mane, glowing black coat, and elegant gait, making it appealing to any horse enthusiast. Because of these characteristics, this breed is popular for dressage and circus performances. They are known for being friendly and calm, and they deserve to live on a small peaceful farm. 

Breeders are willing to pay the highest prices for animals that are thought to have high-end and valuable qualities. So, how much does this elegant breed cost? The typical Friesian cost is around $5,000. A good pedigree can cost up to $100,000 and more.

  • Practice Compatibility: Carriage, Riding, Dressage, Trail
  • Weight: Around 1,300LBS
  • Height: Around 16 Hands (67-in)
  • Body Type: Sturdy, Muscular Build, Thick Mane and Tail, Arched and Thick Neck
  • Life Expectancy: 16 Years

Arabian

Expensive Horse Breed

The Arabian horse is an expensive exotic horse breed. They are thought to be the world’s oldest horse. Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have ridden an Arabian horse named Marengo, while George Washington rode a half-Arabian horse named Blueskin.

It originated in the Arabian Peninsula and is known for its strength and unique facial structure. They are one of the most expensive horse breeds due to their speed and endurance, but they are ideal for equestrian sports. The Arabian horse breed is popular in the United States, Canada, and Qatar.

Arabian horses are well-known for their toughness, which makes them ideal for use in desert environments. Their graceful features, as well as the breed’s love for their human companions, may contribute to their ability to adapt to long-distance activities and work well with a human companion. Many horse breeds, including light horse breeds, Thoroughbreds, and Quarter Horses, have Arabian blood in them because the Arabian is one of the most popular horse breeds due to their intelligence and demeanour.

The elegance of Arabian horses attracts wealthy buyers. The average Arabian can cost between $5,000 and $20,000, with higher bloodlines costing between $25,000 and $300,000. Their features and characteristics make it a popular choice for breeding other varieties, significantly increasing its market value. 

  • Practice Compatibility: Long-Distance Trail, Dressage, Racing, and Riding Sports
  • Weight: 800LBS to 1,000LBS
  • Height: 14 Hands (56 in) To 16 Hands (64 in)
  • Body Type: Small Build, High Tail Carriage, Long and Arched Neck, Concave Head
  • Life Expectancy: 30 Years

Akhal-Teke

Expensive Horse Breed

The metallic gleaming expensive horse breed with the mythical unicorn’s beauty, the Akhal-Teke horse. The Akhal-Teke horse breed is one of the most unusual and ancient horse breeds, valued for its incredible endurance and stunning coat colours. 

The Akhal-Teke horse is a rare breed that is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful horses. Turkmenistan and Russia are the countries of origin. Akhal-Tekes are extremely rare outside of Turkmenistan and Russia, and you will most likely have difficulty finding one for sale. In fact, there are only about 8,000 Akhal-Teke horses left in the world. They are one of the most expensive horse breeds due to their scarcity and uniqueness.

In America, Akhal-Teke horses typically cost between $7,000 and $40,000, but they can fetch much more on the international market. Highly trained show horses and stallions can range in price from $50,000 to $100,000 and up. Training, bloodlines, show record, colour, shape, and age are all variables that can influence the price of an Akhal-Teke.

  • Practice Compatibility: Showjumping, Dressage, Long-Distance Racing
  • Weight: Around 1,000LBS
  • Height: 14 Hands (56 in) To 16 Hands (64 in)
  • Body Type: Flat-Muscled, Slim Build, Long Narrow Neck and Head
  • Life Expectancy: 20 Years

Dutch Warmblood

Expensive Horse Breed

The Dutch Warmblood is the most expensive horse breed we’ll look at today. This breed, which originated in the Netherlands, is highly regarded as a superior competition horse. In terms of racehorse breeds, the Dutch Warmblood is ranked second only to the Thoroughbred. It is particularly good at dressage, pleasure riding and jumping.

Warmbloods have a large global population thanks to combined breeding. The number of crossbreeds grows over time. The current population is estimated to be around 840,000. This breed is primarily kept for competition and dressage purposes. As a result of having to be trained, they enjoy human companionship. Warmbloods can be found in European countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands.

A Dutch Warmblood can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $75,000. Here’s an interesting story. The same year, a Dutch Warmblood horse named Moorlands Totilas, who won three gold medals at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, was sold for a rumoured $13 million.

  • Practice Compatibility: Dressage, Jumping, Driving, Carriage Driving, Hunter
  • Weight:1,430LBS
  • Height:15 Hands (60-in) To 17 Hands (68-in)
  • Body Type: Well-Proportioned Built, Muscular Neck, Deep Chest, Powerful Legs
  • Life Expectancy: 20 Years

4 Frequently Asked Horse-Related Questions

You might have horse-related questions, or you might have always wondered if horses like apples, as we used to see in cartoons when we were kids. The answer is yes. And if you have any other questions, we will answer them all. Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked horse-related questions.

What Are Horses Called at Different Ages?

Its simple horses go by a variety of names depending on their age and gender. The following is a list of the most common.

  • A male horse under the age of 4 is a colt.
  • A female horse under the age of 4 is a filly.
  • An adult male horse, more than 4 years old, is a stallion.
  • An adult female horse, more than 4 years old, is a mare.
  • A castrated male horse of any age is referred to as a gelding.

How Long Do Horses Stay Pregnant?

Typically, mares are pregnant for 320 to 380 days. In general, 330 days 11 months is the most commonly cited pregnancy length.

What are the three basic body types of horses?

Ponies

Ponies are typically small in size. Their body depth is usually equal to their leg length. Ponies are horses under 14.2 hands tall (58 inches or 147 centimetres). Ponies can weigh between 200 and 1,500 pounds (91 and 680 kilogrammes).

Light Breeds

Light horses are bred for riding, racing, jumping, and herding. Their long, thin legs are built for speed. Long, flexible necks help them maintain balance while running and manoeuvring. Light horses with well-defined withers can be easily saddled. Light breeds typically weigh 800 to 1,500 pounds (363 to 680 kilogrammes).

Heavy Breeds

Heavy breeds are large, massive horses, also known as draught horses. They are created to pull waggons and carry heavy loads. Their relatively short, powerful legs give them more pulling leverage. Their powerful hindquarters and short, muscular backs allow them to pull heavy loads.

 A heavy breed weighs between 1,400 and 2,700 pounds (635 to 1,225 kilogrammes).

What Is the Difference Between Show Jumping and Dressage?

Dressage

This is a sport in which a trained horse performs precise movements in response to barely discernible signals from its rider. Dressage translates to “training” in French. 

The animal’s pace and bearing are especially important when performing walks, trots, canters, and more specialised manoeuvres.

Show Jumping

Show jumping is a horse competition in which the horse and rider must jump a series of obstacles designed for a specific show, usually within a time limit. The horse is warmed up for at least half an hour before entering the arena by walking and trotting.

Last Words on the Most Expensive Horse Breeds

We can now call you a horse expert because you know everything there is to know about horses. After learning about their high prices, you may be wondering why anyone would want to spend so much money on a horse. Simply put, some of these expensive horses are all about preference and status, much like car collectors. Some people prefer Dutch Warmbloods because they are large and muscular, while others prefer Arabians because they are elegant. It is entirely up to you which type you prefer. The question is if you had a choice, which horse breed would you choose?

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