Equestria is primarily a country of ponies, but the world is wide and there are many other sentient races abroad in it. Members of many of these races are resident in Equestria, as it has long been Princess Celestia's policy to accept any who would live in peace and work towards the common good.
Ponies are an intelligent and lively race of brightly colored equines. Standing roughly four to five feet in height, they are much sturdier than they appear, and maintain a large and peaceful society. Equestrian ponies almost universally sport a Cutie Mark, a magically produced marking on their flank that reflects some defining aspect of their personality or talents, and the gaining of which is considered something of a right of passage into young adulthood. Once made up of three tribes, pony society solidified into a cohesive whole over a thousand years ago.
Tenders of the land who often share its strength, earth ponies are the most common ponies in Ponyville. They tend to be physically stronger, on the whole, than other types of pony, and many show innate talents in crafts or farming.
Magical and erudite, unicorn ponies sport a short, fluted horn on their forehead, and are inherently capable of manipulating magical energy. Simple telekinesis is almost universal, allowing unicorns to manipulate fine objects much more easily than other ponies, and those who study magic often know at least a few spells which allow them to produce reliable effects magically. The stronger and more studied among unicorn kind have demonstrated even more advanced magic, such as personal teleportation and the creation of magical devices that anypony can use. Their talents are often creative, with magic, study, and music all being common.
Lords of the skies and managers of the weather, pegasi sport wings whose feathers match their coat color, and are capable of both flight and the manipulation of clouds and weather. Many chose to live off the ground, in houses constructed of stabilized cloudstuff which other ponies are unable to walk upon without magical assistance. Their talents are often weather and speed related.
Crystal ponies are the natives of the Crystal Empire. They are much the same as regular ponies, however long exposure to the peculiar magic of their homeland has left them with a sparking, almost crystalline sheen to their coats and manes.
Alicorns are tall, graceful equines, standing head and shoulders above any pony. They bear both the wings of a pegasus and horn of a unicorn, and are exceptionally powerful magic users who evidence the talents common to all three breeds of pony as well as several more which are unique to each alicorn.
There are three known Alicorns. Princesses Celestia and Luna of Equestria, and Princess Mi Amore Cadenza of the Crystal Empire. Two others exist, but are by their nature unknown to Equestria: the twin Princesses of Ostfriesen, Mary and Sue.
Zebra are striped black and white equines orignally from a hot, dry land of grassland and savannah far from Equestria's borders. Winged zebra (Izulu) and horned zebra (Abada) exist, and are similar to their pony counterparts, but are much more rare even among the already elusive zebra.
Proud and regal, Gryphons are flying predators with the body of a lion, and the front claws, head, and wings of a eagle. There are many different types of gryphon with a great variety of appearance and demeanor. Their lands lie in the rocky foothills on the far side of the Swayback Mountains on Equestria's border, however many have come to live in Equestria in recent years. The greatest population is in Cloudsdale, but gryphons can be found in many places owing to their natural curiosity and bravery.
Rarer still, hippogryphs are pony/gryphon hybrids whose front half is that of a gryphon, but with the flanks and hooves of a pony in the rear. They looked down upon by traditionalists in gryphon society who do not approve of marrying outside the flock, but find much greater acceptance in Equestria, so the majority of them can be found here.
A race of insect-like equine creatures, Changelings have black carapaces, webbed manes and tails, fangs, bent horns, and holes in their legs. Changelings feed off of emotion, the more powerful the emotion, the more sustenence and strength they gain from it. They are capable of magically transforming their appearance to mimic others in order to more easily prey upon them.