When not editing Atlas Obscura’s collection of wondrous places around the world, I’ve made it my mission to explore all things equine—from investigating England’s infatuation with horse geoglyphs to actually taking a class on horseback falconry. For me, a global tour of places related to horses would be the trip of a lifetime, and the perfect chance to meet a wealth of fantastic beasts, some only found in specific pockets of the world.
There are lots and lots of places in the Atlas that have to do with horses, from statues to graves, but for this list I’m focusing on unusual and amazing living horse populations around the world. There are the stout and stalwart Sable Island horses, who for centuries have thrived on an isolated Canadian island surrounded by cold water speckled with shipwrecks and sharks. And there are India’s Marwari Horses, a rare, ancient breed of warhorse with delightfully curved ears. From a lavish equine palace in China to a mysterious Sardinian festival, here are 13 places where you can see these exquisite animals in action.