What Is The Difference Between A Zebra and A Horse?

If you have been to the zoo or turned on the discovery channel for awhile you have seen zebras and more then likely seen horses. Anybody can see the similarities of how they look and how they move. But just how similar are they really?

What are the differences between a zebra and horse? The main differences include color where zebra is two colors black and white the horse comes in many colors. Zebras are much smaller than horses and the zebra also happens to be much slower than a horse. 

Other Differences Between Horses and Zebras

  • Horses have longer legs then zebras where horses are longer then their bodies are high the zebras are about the same.
  • Horses hooves are larger and softer than that of a zebra.
  • Manes are different where manes on horses grow very long they stay relatively short on zebras. The tail on horse is also different where it is all hair start at the base while on a zebra it is tufted and hair on the end.
  • Zebras make different sounds one of them being similar to barking where horses and donkeys are unable too
  • Horses where they are easy to domesticate and “break” zebras are next to impossible. Zebras with their temperent is just very unpredictable. They are constantly nervous and it is hard to train out of. There are a few people in history that have used them to pull carriages however.
  • Horses ears are relatively shorter than that of a zebra where zebras look more like a donkeys.
  • Horses can withstand a variety of temperatures including sub-zero temperatures. Where zebras can withstand some cold temperatures but their coats don’t grow long like that of a horse. So a zebra would need shelter much soon than a horse.

Zebra VS Horse Size

Zebras are around 1.2-1.5 meters in height where a horse can grow to 1.8 meters. Horses are also much bulkier then zebras especially a Quarter Horse when compared to a zebra.

Zebra VS Horse Speed

Zebras max out at 40mph but can be more agile then horses.

Horses max out at 55mph but aren’t all as nimble as zebras.

Horses can also run a much longer distance than a zebra. Zebras are built to outmaneuver their predators and do so by running in a zig-zag pattern.

Zebra vs Horse Race

Horses blow the zebra out of the water because of their max speed fo 55 mph and being able to reach that speed very quickly. Even long distance horses would outlast the zebra if both were in the same shape. As they would have a longer stride taking less calories to go further.

Difference Between Zebra And Donkey

The plains and mountain zebra are more like horses to the eye where Grevy zebras look more like donkeys.

Color – zebras are black and white striped donkeys can have many variations of colors

Location – Zebras are located exclusively in Africa where donkeys can be found all over the world

Size – Zebras are larger then donkey

Nose – Zebras always have a black nose where donkeys noses can vary

Age – Zebras don’t live even close to as long in the wild as donkeys do, but in captivity zebras live to late 30’s where donkeys live up to 50 years

Species – only 3 total species of zebra and many different kinds of donkeys

Other Related Questions

Is A Zebra Faster Than A Horse?

A zebra is not faster than a horse. Horses come clocked in at around 55 mph max versus zebras that max out at around 40 mph. That’s not to say a zebra can be more agile since it is smaller which is how they stay away from their predators by zigzagging.

Can You Breed A Horse and A Zebra?

Horses and zebras can breed and have. This doesn’t happen naturally so it requires human help in the matter. The results are either what is called a zorse or hebra based on the charatistics it more closely follows with the zebra and horse. They can also be domesticated and trained just like any other horse or donkey.

Are Horses Bigger Than Zebras?

Horses on average are bigger than zebras. Zebras range from about 4 to 5 feet in height where horses can get up to around six feet in height. Horses a bulkier and have longer legs.

Are Zebras More Like Horses Or Donkeys?

The answer is both because it depends on which species of zebra it is and there happens to be three in total. The plains and mountain zebra are more like a horse where the Grevy’s species of zebra is more like a donkey. All three do belong to the horse family Equidae, but in terms of the eye test the above is true.

Can A Zebra Outrun A Horse?

A horse is much faster than a zebra clocking in at a max of just about 55 miles per hour where zebras max out at 40 miles per hour. So a horse will outrun a zebra if it is in good enough shape.

Horse VS Zebra Fight?

This is not a question that can be answered since there is no reference to this happening and hopefully it never happens. However more then likely a horse would win since the average horse is much bigger and more powerful than a zebra.



As you can see there are some similarities but that is only when they really are side by side. Zebras cannot be domesticated unless they are crossbred with a horse. Both zorses and hebra’s are what happens after breeding a horse with a zebra.

They are both equines, but that is where most similarities end. Another name a crossbred goes by is zebroid. If you haven’t heard zebras look it up on youtube it is amazing the sound they make when they bark and will surprise you compared to the sound a horse makes.

Basically zebras and horse split into two species some 4 to 5 million years ago. To this day some horses will still have a much less noticeable strip pattern.



I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

Recent Posts