Horses are a big part of America’s history. Some states have a strong connection to a certain breed and have declared it as the official state horse breed.
Vermont was the first in 1961 to declare the Morgan as their state horse after the foundation sire of the breed, Figure. Currently, over a dozen other states (15 to be exact) have official state horses.
The most recent addition is Oklahoma which just named the American Quarter Horse as their state horse – but many are unhappy about it. Several people commented that the bill was originally for the Colonial Spanish Horse (which includes the Choctaw horse) to be the state horse but was switched at the last minute to the most popular breed in the United States.
One person wrote, “Wow like Quarter Horses don’t get enough publicity? This bill was supposed to be for the Choctaw horse, a breed on the verge of EXTINCTION. There are more quarter horses born in a year than there are Choctaws alive.”
Just like state flowers, some states have the same horse breed. The heritage and history of the state usually influence which horse breed is chosen.
North Carolina chose the Colonial Spanish Mustang in honor of the wild horses who live on the Outer Banks. It may come as no surprise that Kentucky’s state horse is the Thoroughbred, but it is also the state horse of Maryland.
Four of the states have horse breeds that have the state’s name in them since they were founded there, like the Tennessee Walking Horse.
However, New Jersey listed their state animal as the “horse” with no specific breed listed.
See all the state horse breeds below:
- Alabama – Racking Horse
- Florida – Florida Cracker Horse
- Idaho – Appaloosa
- Kentucky – Thoroughbred
- Maryland – Thoroughbred
- Massachusetts – Morgan (Stallion Figure was born in West Springfield.)
- Missouri – Missouri Fox Trotter
- New Jersey – Horse (State Animal)
- North Carolina – Colonial Spanish Mustang
- North Dakota – Nokota (honorary breed to honor band of horses in badlands)
- Oklahoma- American Quarter Horse
- South Carolina – Carolina Marsh Tacky
- Tennessee – Tennessee Walking Horse
- Texas – American Quarter Horse
- Vermont- Morgan
Arizona and Oregon have proposals to add a horse breed, but nothing has been decided yet.