From time to time we are asked if we can test for breed to help an owner determine the breed of their horse. Unfortunately, because most horse breeds are genetically diverse, each breed as a whole will overlap with others so it is not really possible to test for breeds.
The Texas A&M University does offer some Horse Ancestral testing based on the 50 most common breeds in the USA; results are based on probabilities rather than percentages. It can show if a horse is a purebred (if it is one of those 50 breeds, and if the horse is genetically similar to the USA horse population) and to a degree the ancestral parents of a partbred from two breeds (again from the list of 50), but problems can arise when testing breeds within a breed type group – eg heavy drafts or ponies or sport type horses – as they are genetically very similar so some purebreds might show up as being of mixed breeding.
Keep in mind these tests are great for satisfying your curiosity or having a bit of fun but no registries will accept the results as proof of breed.
You can read more about Equine Ancestral testing on the Texas A&M University site.
Equus Magazine also has a good piece on what these type of genetic tests can and can’t tell you. Check it out here