Are zebras bigger than horses?

Are zebras bigger than horses? The short answer to this question is “No.” Generally, horses are bigger than zebras. To discuss this mystery in detail, we’ll explore the physical characteristics of both zebra & horses. From the black and white stripes of zebras to the different breeds of horses, this article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of their sizes, the factors that influence them, and the fascinating stories that surround these magnificent creatures.

Are zebras bigger than horses?

Are zebras bigger than horses?

Zebras and horses belong to the same equine family, but there are notable differences in their body sizes. In general, horses are larger than zebras, both in terms of height and weight.

Horse’s Height:

A horse’s height typically measures in hand. The average height of a horse is around 13 to 18 hands, which is equal to 1.3 to 1.8 meters, including various breeds that often exceed that of zebras. Arabian horses typically measure around 1.4 to 1.6 meters, while Hanoverian horses can grow up to 1.6 to 1.7 meters.

Zebra’s Height:

Zebras, on the other hand, are known for their compact size, with shorter legs in comparison to horses. Generally, zebra size also depends on zebra species like Grevy’s zebra which is the tallest zebra breed in the world and can grow up to 1.2 to 1.5 meters which is equal to 4 to 5 feet.

So, it is safe to say that horses are bigger than zebras because the tallest zebra breed is 1.5m while the tallest breed of horse is Shires & these types of horses can grow up to 21 hands (2.1 meters).

Horse’s Weight:

In addition to being taller, horses also have heavier weights than zebras. Horses typically weigh between 1500 to 2200 pounds (700 to 1000 kg) & the smallest horse in the world stood at just 17 inches tall and weighed a mere 26 kg. However, the biggest horse in the world was 21.2 hands tall and weighed around 1500 kg.

Zebra’s Weight:

A zebra weighs up to 200 to 450 kg. Zebra weight varies by species: like mountain zebras weigh 280 kg, Grevy’s zebras weigh 350-450 kg, and plains zebras weigh 400 kg.

Speed Comparison: Zebra vs. Horse

Horses and zebra are known for exceptional speed. Both zebra and horses navigate their environments swiftly, whether it be escaping predators or covering long distances in search of food and water.

There are some notable differences in their running capabilities.


  • Horses are famous for their exceptional speed and have been selectively bred for racing purposes through centuries. Thoroughbred horses are renowned for their incredible speed on racetracks, reaching top speeds of over 71 km/h. However, the fastest horse is the American Quarterhorse, with a 55 mph running speed.


  • Zebras, particularly the Plains Zebra, can run as fast as some horse breeds at around 35 to 40 miles per hour. Plain zebras are the fastest of all zebra species. They are found in East and Southern Africa.

Do zebras kick harder than horses?

Are zebras bigger than horses?

Kicking Strength: Zebras vs. Horses

Kicking is a vital defense mechanism for both zebras and horses. It serves as a defense tool against predators and establishes dominance within their social structures. While there are similarities in the kicking behavior of zebras and horses, the strength and style of their kicks are different. In short, the zebra’s kick is more dangerous than the horse’s kick.

Zebra’s Kick:

Zebras are known for their powerful kicks, even than horses, especially when threatened. It is interesting to note that zebras are smaller than horses, but their kick strength is higher than horses. Generally, a zebra can deliver a kick of 3000 psi.

Their hind legs have strong muscles and sturdy hooves, allowing for precise and forceful kicks. A zebra’s kick is powerful & enough to kill a lion.

Horse’s Kick:

Horses can deliver powerful kicks of up to 2000 psi with their hind legs and hooves. Domesticated horses may exhibit various kicking behaviors than wild horses. While horses may use kicking as a warning or means of communication, some may kick with more powerful force than others.

Horse and zebra similarities:

Equine Family:

Both horses and zebras belong to the same biological family, Equidae. This family also includes donkeys and other equids.

Mammalian Characteristics:

As mammals, horses and zebras share fundamental characteristics such as warm-bloodedness, giving birth, nursing their young with milk, and having a four-chambered heart.

Herbivorous Diet:

Both species are herbivores, primarily grazing on grasses and other vegetation. Their digestive systems extract nutrients from plant materials through hindgut fermentation.


Horses and some species of zebras, like the Plains Zebra, are native to Africa. Their natural environments often involve open spaces where they graze and move freely.

Social Structure:

Horses and zebras are social animals that form herds. Typically, these herds are led by a dominant male, known as a stallion in the case of horses, and a harem in the case of zebras.

Communication Methods:

Both horses & zebra use a combination of vocalizations, body language, and facial expressions to communicate within their herds. Neighs, whinnies, and snorts are some examples of vocalizations by horses & zebras.


Horses and zebras have hooves which they use for running on grassy terrain. A horse’s hooves are typically 2 to 4 inches long at the toe, while zebra hooves are larger and more strong than a horse’s hooves. That’s why they deliver a higher kick.


The question of whether zebras are bigger than horses is explained, with variations among species and breeds. It’s clear that both creatures, each with its own charm, contribute to our natural world. Whether racing across the African savannah or trotting through human history, zebras and horses remain awe-inspiring symbols of strength and grace with their kicking behavior.


Zebra VS Horse Size – How Different Are They?



Are all zebras larger than horses?

No, the size of zebras varies among species, and horses come in various breeds. Comparing their sizes requires a more nuanced understanding, as both zebras and horses have different dimensions.

How does size impact the behavior of zebras and horses?

Size can impact behavior in both species, affecting social dynamics, mating behaviors, and interactions within an ecosystem.

Are Zebra Good For Domestication?

Zebras are not commonly used for domestication. Their wild nature makes it challenging to train and handle in domestic settings.

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