Difference Between Zebra and Horse


Main Difference

The main difference between Zebra and Horse is that Zebra has a black and white striped coat, whereas Horse has one- color coat.

Zebra vs. Horse

Zebras are smaller mammals, whereas horses are bigger than zebras. Zebra tends to range from 10 to 13 hands high in height. On the other hand, a horse typically ranges from 15 to 17 hands high in height. The average weight of a zebra is about 550 to 990 pounds. Conversely, the average weight of a horse is about 900 to 1100 pounds.

Zebras are domesticated or tamed with much difficulty. On the flip side, horses can be tamed comparatively easier. Zebras can be ridden, but are not advised to be ridden as they have flatbacks. Conversely, horses can be ridden easily with their curved backs.


Zebras can carry only a small rider, whereas horses can carry a rider of any size. Zebras have an unhealthy temperament, which makes them unpredictable. Conversely, horses have a healthy temperament, and they are predictable as well. Zebras do not do what they are told, but horses might do what they are ordered.

Zebras show their striping almost all the time, whereas horses show their primitive strips on their upper legs. Zebras have hairs only at the ends of their tails, where the majority of the tail is being covered in a striped hair coat. In contrast, horses have their tails fully covered in hair.

The mane of zebras is stiff and much shorter. On the contrary, the mane of the horse is longer and less stiff. Zebra’s mane stands upright on the neck, whereas the mane of horses layover on the neck.


Comparison Chart

An animal that belongs to the family of horses and is scientifically known as Equidae is called zebra.The oldest member of the family of Equidae is called a horse.
Black and white strips all over the bodyOne-color coat
Legs length equal to its body heightLegs longer than its body height
Stiff, short, and upstandingLong and flowing
Whinny, bray, snort, snuffle, barkWhinny, bray, snort, snuffle
1.2 to 1.5 meters1.8 meters
Tail Hair
Originate from distal half of the tailOriginate from the base of the tail
Color of Muzzle
Always blackPink, brown, or black
Grass, brush, shrubsGrass
Back Shape
Aggressive and ill-temperedTame

What is Zebra?

Zebra belongs to the family of equines. The most distinguishing feature of zebra is its appearance. Zebra is entirely stripped by black and white bands. These strips vary differently in size and shape.

The eyes of zebras are located on the sides of the head. Therefore, they can have a broad view of the surroundings at any time. Moreover, the eyesight of zebras is also very marvelous. Despite eyesight, they are also blessed with the best hearing abilities.

The width of the shoulders of zebras lies between 47-51 inches. Zebras have a black muzzle and black and white coat. The body of zebra is about 6.6 to 8 feet in length. The weight of an average zebra is about 350 kg, which is 770 lbs.

Zebra has a stockier and shorter body as compared to horses. Its body shape resembles the body shape of a donkey. Zebra has ears that are more round as compared to the horse’s ears. The tail of a zebra is more solid and tuft-like. Its tail hair starts from the distal end of the tail.

A zebra has legs, which are nearly equal to its body size. Due to the short length of its legs, zebra’s speed is less than horses but is potent enough to quickly escape from the predators by running in a zig-zag manner, i.e., a maximum speed of a zebra is 40 miles per hour. A zebra has small and more oval hooves that are much harder than a horse’s hooves.

What is Horse?

Horses are referred to as the oldest creatures. They are thought to be evolved about 45 to 55 million years ago. Horses are also the member of family Equidae just like zebras. The most distinguishing feature of horses is their speed and strength.

Horses have long legs as compared to their body height. This property makes them faster as compared to zebras. Horses are used for riding purposes as well as gambling in horse races. They are also used to carry loads and human beings from one place to another.

Horses respond very quickly and are overwhelmingly swift. These abilities make them run faster and escape from the very eyes of the predator, i.e., the maximum speed of an average horse is 54.7 miles per hour.

One of the captivating ability of horses is that they are capable of sleeping in standing as well as lying position. Horses have different types. They are categorized as hot blood, cold blood, and warmblood horses. The first category of Hot blood horses includes horses with high speed and endurance.

The second category of cold blood horses includes horses having slow speed but capable enough to carry the heavy loads. The third category of warmblood horses includes horses that are a mixture of both hot and cold blood horses. These horses have abilities of both hot blood and cold blood horses in them.

Domestication of horses was initiated about 4000 years ago in South-East Europe. Horses are tame animals having a good temperament.

Key Differences

  1. Zebras have black muzzle always, whereas horses may have a black, brown, or pink muzzle.
  2. Zebras have a black and white coat only. On the other hand, horses are always one-color coated, which may be a black, brown, white, grey, or multi-colored coat.
  3. Zebra does not have spots or blotches on its skin. Conversely, horses have their skin mostly covered by spots and blotches of different sizes and colors.
  4. Zebra has larger and more round ears, whereas horse has smaller and less round ears as compared to zebra.
  5. Zebra has its tail hair starting from the distal end of the tail. On the contrary, the tail hair of the horse starts from the base of the tail.
  6. Zebra has a short and stiff mane, while the horse has long a long flowing mane.
  7. The legs of zebra are shorter than their body height. In contrast, the legs of zebra are longer than their body height.
  8. The maximum speed of zebra is 40 miles per hour, whereas the maximum speed of the horse is 54.7 miles per hour.
  9. Zebras cannot be domesticated. Conversely, the domestication of horses started about 4000 years ago and is much easier.
  10. Zebras are aggressive and ill-tempered. On the contrary, horses are tame animals having a perfect temperament.
  11. Zebra’s back is flat, so riding on zebra is not favored. Conversely, the horse’s back is curved in a way saddle can be fitted quickly, so riding on a horse is favored a lot.
  12. Zebra’s diet is mainly grass, whereas horses can eat grass as well as bushes and shrubs.
  13. Zebras produce barking sound beside whining, snorting, and snuffling. In contrast, horses just whine, snort, and snuffle.


Zebra is distinguished from the horse by its black and white appearance, whereas the horse has just a one-color coating. Zebras are lighter, and horses are faster.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson