Abyssinian Horse Facts And Information – Breed Profile

There are some rare horse breeds on our planet, and the Abyssinian horse is one such breed.

The Abyssinian horses wandered along the mountainous, as well as, in other parts of Ethiopia, Africa for hundreds of decades. They were subsequently taken to America and Great Britain.

There was a time when these African horses were mainly used for war purposes by the army as they were regarded as extremely tough horses. Another name for the Abyssinian horse is Gala, Ethiopian, or an Oromo horse.

This breed or type of horse is found mainly in the northern region of Ethiopia. They are spotted in the Amhara Region, in Gondar, and also in the Semien Mountains. The breed is heavy in its belly, sway-backed, and poorly conformed. It is also regarded as one of the oldest horse breeds in the world.

Check out our guide to know about this unique horse.


These horses are believed to have originated in Ethiopia’s dry regions and then spread along the coast of the Red Sea. The horse breed was exported to England in 1861. It became quite a popular horse breed in England thereafter. Slowly, these horses started gaining popularity in other parts of the United Kingdom. 

There is also a popular myth linked to this horse breed. Many people claim that the ruler of Ethiopia called King Cyrtacus once attacked Egypt with a team of Abyssinian horses in the army. As mentioned earlier, these horses are considered to be one of the most ancient breeds around. 


This horse falls within the category of a light horse breed. It is imperative to point out that the horse breed is today diluted with different other breeds. It is for this particular reason that you will find these horses in a variety of colors. Although the horse is of a smaller size, it is bred for its incredible strength. It is a valuable trait in these horses to work and live in hilly areas.

The horse’s tail and mane are sparse. The coat of this horse is unique and features a rosette pattern. Its coat expands in swirls and points in various directions. As such, it is not an easy task to keep it clean, groomed, and brushed properly.

Several breeders in the United Kingdom have tried to improve this uncommon pattern. These horses are also renowned for a tuft of hair or mustache around their noses.


Like many other horses, the horses love to eat quality hay, fresh grass, veggies, some fruits, and grains.

Breeding And Uses

As we mentioned before, the horse breed has spread from the African country of Ethiopia along the Red Sea’s coastline. Today, you can find them in all areas around the Red Sea. Although its bloodline has been diluted with various other horse breeds, they still continue to have certain Abyssinian traits. 

This breed of horse is an animal that can easily live and work in hot weather. These horses are also comfortable working in mountainous areas. They are used for different types of activities, which we will cover in a later section.


The Abyssinian Horse is a round and small horse breed. It has a height of around 13.5 hands (140 cm). 

What Breeds Make Up The Abyssinian Horse? 

Also referred to as Gala and Oromo horses, the bloodlines of the Abyssinian have been diluted. The reason is that they are cross-bred with various types of breeds. Interestingly though, they still manage to retain several original characteristics.


You will find these horses in different types of colors. In fact, the horse breed exists in almost all hues. Some common colors of this horse include white, grey, chestnut, and brown.

What Do They Look Like?

The coat of this horse is usually harsh and short. It is unique as there is a display of ridges and rosettes. Typically, these horses have a mustache too. Also, green eyes are extremely common in an Abyssinian because of their rare genes.

What Are They Used For?

As these horses originated in mountainous regions of Ethiopia, they are extremely sturdy. These horses can also work with great ease even when the weather is incredibly warm. An Abyssinian is used for different types of activities.

In ancient times, these horses were used on battlegrounds by the army. You will also find these horses being used for all kinds of work such as riding, hauling, and farming. Their small size is not a deterrent for them for being used in tough work in difficult environments.

Today, these horses are being used in different fields. These include pleasure riding and show jumping among others. The beauty of these horses is that they are equipped to work for longer durations and even with minimum food.

These horses are known to have a very strong and calm mindset for working. It is their willingness to slog for longer durations that make them truly unique.

Where Do They Live?

These horses were taken to Great Britain from Africa as early as 1861. From Britain, the Abyssinian promptly made their way to America.

Today these horses can be spotted in some coastal regions of the Red Sea, in certain areas of the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. The horse breed is also bred and found in Sudan.

Are They Good For Beginners?

Abyssinians are known to exhibit several beautiful traits such as willingness to work hard, agility, endurance, and strength. As such, they are regarded as good horses even for beginners.

Conclusion / Summary 

While there are innumerable horse breeds available in different parts of the world, some of them are extremely rare. Information related to these horse breeds is even more uncommon. One such rare horse breed is the Abyssinian. However, we have made the best possible efforts to collect as many details as possible.

These horses are also known by different other names. The horse breed belongs to the pony category of horses, which are short in height. However, their endurance and strength make them lovable and usable by human beings.

There’s a whole world of horse breeds out there to explore! Discover and find out more information by checking out our horse breed guides.