From mushroom Pokemon to rabbit Pokemon – the team at GameFreak takes inspiration for their Pokemon games wherever they can get it. With this in mind, and bearing in mind that there are now over a thousand Pokemon are now in the franchise, it’s honestly a surprise that there are only eleven Pokemon based on horses.
Despite this lack of numbers, some of the most classic and memorable Pokemon are based on horses, as well as some forgotten friends that are rarely brought back for newer games. Perhaps Gen 10 or the Pokemon Scarlet & Violet DLC will bring even more Pokemon inspired by horses.
9 Ponyta – Fire Horse/Unique Horn Pokemon
The first horse Pokemon that players will have encountered in the 90s is Ponyta, the fire horse Pokemon. A Gen 1 classic, Ponyta is a Fire-type horse with hooves that are ten times harder than diamonds, according to its first Pokedex entry. It’s also, very specifically, capable of jumping over the Eiffel Tower.
In Pokemon Sword & Shield, Ponyta’s Galarian form was introduced as a Psychic/Fairy-type with incredible intuition. According to its Shield Pokedex entry, the Pokemon will look trainers in the eyes and read the contents of their hearts. If it finds evil, it will promptly run away and hide.
8 Rapidash – Fire Horse/Unique Horse Pokemon
Rapidash is the evolved form of Ponyta, evolving at Level 40. As its name suggests, Rapidash is an incredibly fast Pokemon, with a running speed of up to 150mph. This speedy Pokemon races anything that moves with the hopes of outpacing it. It is also said to enhance its surroundings with its beautiful, fiery mane.
Like Ponyta, Rapidash also received a regional form in Pokemon Sword & Shield, with similar healing properties. In the anime, it actually gets healed by a younger version of itself (Ponyta), when it is found injured in the woods by Chloe.
7 Blitzle – Electrified Pokemon
Blitzle is an Electric-type zebra Pokemon introduced in Pokemon Black & White‘s Gen 5. Its name is potentially a combination of Blitz, the German word for lightning, and little, which would certainly line up with the Pokemon’s appearance.
It makes a few appearances in the anime but hasn’t appeared in a main series game since Gen 6, thus making it one of twenty-five Pokemon currently trapped in Pokemon Home. Hopefully, some DLC will see the release of these Pokemon, but as of right now, the latest games that Blitzle can be transferred into are Pokemon Sun & Moon.
6 Zebstrika – Thunderbolt Pokemon
Zebstrika is the evolved form of Blitzle, starting at Level 27. It’s possible that Zebstrika (and Blitzle) are based on the Ancient Greek god Helios’ steeds, Bronte and Sterope, which are Greek for thunder and lightning. It’s also the only Pokemon with a base stat of 497.
Zebstrika makes a major appearance in the Black & White anime as Stephen’s Pokemon, taking part in numerous battles throughout the series. It eventually loses to Ash’s Palpitoad, however, following a string of ties and victories.
5 Keldeo – Colt Pokemon
Keldeo is a Gen 5 Water/Fighting-type Mythical Pokemon with a tragic backstory. It’s the only known Pokemon capable of learning the move Secret Sword, which transforms it into its Resolute form.
Keldeo was tragically separated from its parents in a fire that started as a result of a war among humans. It was then taken in by three Pokemon, Colbalion, Terrakion, and Virizion, who raised it and taught it knowledge and moves for survival. Together, they make up the Swords of Justice: a team that protects other Pokemon from human interference.
4 Mudbray – Donkey Pokemon
Mudbray is a Ground-type Donkey Pokemon that was introduced in Gen 7. Its name is a combination of mud (referring to its Ground typing) and bray (the cry of a Donkey, the animal that it is partly based on).
This cute little horse Pokemon makes an appearance in the Pokemon anime, in fact, many of them do. As Pokemon living on Paniola Ranch, the Mudbray appear multiple times and even spit mud in Ash and his classmates’ faces. This is referenced in the Pokemon’s anime Pokedex entry, which states that a Mudbray’s daily routine involves eating dirt and frolicking in the mud that they kick up.
3 Mudsdale – Draft Horse Pokemon
Based on draft horses called Clydesdales, Mudsdale is the evolution of Mudbray starting at Level 30. Mudsdale, like its pre-evolution, has been in every Pokemon game since its introduction in Gen 7.
Beyond its value as a labor source, Mudsdale is also prized for its ability to create super-hard mud that was used to line the walls of old houses. Like its real-life counterpart, Mudsdale is also incredibly strong, with the ability to carry over 10 tons across the entire Galar region without rest or sleep.
2 Glastrier – Wild Horse Pokemon
One of two options available to players in the Gen 8 DLC The Crown Tundra, Glastrier is a wild horse Pokemon with an icy mane similar to Ponyta and Rapidash’s fiery one. It has a really striking design, making it one of the best horse Pokemon in the series.
Like its counterpart, Glastrier fuses with Calyrex using the ‘Reins of Unity’ to become Ice Rider Calyrex. Glastrier’s name is likely a combination of glacier and destrier, the latter of which was a type of medieval war horse. It also resembles a unicorn, Scotland’s national animal, which is in line with its introduction in The Crown Tundra (a region that is largely based on Scotland).
1 Spectrier – Swift Horse Pokemon
Spectrier was also introduced in The Crown Tundra DLC along with Glastrier. Interestingly, its Attack and Special Attack stats are directly switched with Glastrier’s, making the choice between the two a tactical one as well as an aesthetic one.
Spectrier is also the only known pure Ghost Pokemon to have no evolutionary relative. It may be based on one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, likely the black horse of Famine, as it has the ability to absorb life force from living creatures.