With its measures between 1.24 m and 1.44 m the Przewalski horse is almost as big as a sturdy pony. The low withers together with the slightly sloping croup give it a compact side-view. The pony-like head is proportionally big compared with the rest of the body.
The black-rimmed ears tip inward. Muzzle and the rings that encircle the high implanted dark but bright eyes, have a mealy colour. Nostrils and lips are dark gray.
The coat comes in variations from light brown to sandy and even reddish bay (fox); the belly is somewhat lighter. A very characteristic feature is the dark dorsal band, which runs from the erect manes into the ass-like tail. The short light-coloured bristly hairs are placed above the long black hairs of the tail. The legs are black or dark brown and often have zebra stripes. Like all other members of the horse family the Przewalski horse has oval horny chestnuts on the inside of each hind leg below the hock, as well as above the knee on each foreleg.
The main moult is in the autumn when the short summer coat is replaced for longer hairs. By winter a thick beard has appeared on cheeks and throat, fetlocks grow long tufts of hair, and dock hairs form a fan that, when the animal turns tail to the wind, protects it against wintry cold and blast of driving snow.