Horseback riding is an enjoyable and rewarding activity for beginners of all ages. However, it can also be intimidating if you don’t know what to look for when selecting a horse breed. There are many factors to consider before deciding which breed is best suited for your needs and level of experience.
When choosing a horse for beginners, it is important to consider the temperament and behavior of the breed. Horses come in a variety of temperaments, ranging from docile and calm to hot-blooded and energetic. Knowing the right type of behaviors can help make your horse selection process easier by eliminating breeds that may present too much challenge for a beginner.
Best Horse Breeds For Beginners
When there are so many excellent horse breeds to choose from, it’s important to consider which ones may be the best choice for a beginner. Here are some of the best horse breeds for beginners:
American Quarter Horse
The American Quarter Horse is known for its short, stocky build and powerful hindquarters. It is a popular breed for western disciplines such as reining, cutting, ranch work, and more. This breed is typically calm and docile, making it an ideal choice for beginners.
Thoroughbreds are popular for their speed, endurance, and intelligence. This breed is best suited for more advanced riders due to its athleticism and sensitive nature. However, some Thoroughbreds can be suitable for beginner riders if they are properly trained.
The American Paint horse is a great choice for the beginner rider. It is known for its good nature and calm disposition. This breed also has considerable stamina, which makes it ideal for longer rides or more strenuous activities like jumping and trail riding. These horses are fairly easy to train as they have an eagerness to please their rider.
Morgan horses are a good choice for beginners due to their friendly nature and willingness to please. They have an easygoing temperament and are incredibly responsive to training. They make excellent show horses, with strong conformation and flashy gaits. Morgan horses also have an even disposition, making them suitable for novice riders. Although they may not be the fastest or most agile breeds, they are versatile and can excel in a variety of disciplines. In addition, their size makes them well-suited for smaller riders.
Missouri Fox Trotter Horse
The Missouri Fox Trotter Horse is a popular choice for beginning riders. This breed has an easygoing disposition and is known for its steady gait, making them ideal for trail riding. They are also surefooted over rough terrain and can easily handle long rides without tiring. Their kind nature makes them great family horses, as they are easy to handle and usually quite gentle. However, they may require more training than some other breeds due to their curiosity and intelligence.
Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse
The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is a versatile breed that can be used for both riding and driving. They are small to medium-sized horses with comfortable gaits, making them suitable for smaller riders. They are also very intelligent, so they require consistent training in order to stay compliant. Additionally, these horses are quite easygoing and friendly, which makes them great for beginners. However, they are prone to spooking and may require an experienced rider to handle them safely.
The Clydesdale is a majestic breed known for its beauty and strength. These horses are larger than average, but they are surprisingly gentle in temperament. They have an even temperament and good manners, making them suitable for novice riders. However, due to their size, beginners may need some help when it comes to mounting and dismounting.
The Friesian is a popular horse breed that is known for its beautiful, long mane and tail and black coat. This docile breed has an excellent work ethic and loves to please its rider. Friesians are good-natured and willing to learn, making them an ideal choice for beginners. They may require more grooming than some other breeds, but their soothing presence makes them worth the extra effort.
The Connemara pony is a strong, intelligent breed that loves to work. This adaptable and versatile horse can be trusted to respond well in new situations, making it an excellent choice for beginner riders. The Connemara has great stamina and is known for its jumping ability.
Tennessee Walking Horse
The Tennessee walking horse is a great breed for beginner riders. This smooth-gaited breed has an even temperament and makes for a comfortable ride. They are highly trainable and eager to please their owners, making them easy to handle for all levels of riders.
Worst Horse Breeds for Beginners
When it comes to horse breeds, there are some that may not be suitable for beginner riders due to their temperament or physical characteristics. Here are a few of the worst horse breeds for beginners:
What do beginners need to know about horses?
Beginners should take the time to research different breeds and determine which is best suited for their experience level. It is important to understand that each breed comes with its own unique traits and characteristics, so it’s important to consider these before investing in a new horse. Additionally, it is also important to learn about horse behavior and safety basics when beginning your journey.
What age horse is good for a beginner?
When it comes to selecting an age for a horse suitable for a beginner, the ideal age range is typically between 10-15 years old. At this age, horses are generally more mature and have had some basic training which can make them easier to handle.
How do you bond with a new horse?
Take the time to get to know them and let them trust you. Spend time grooming and talking to your horse, practicing groundwork exercises, or even just hanging out in the pasture with them. These simple activities will help build trust between you and your horse so that they feel comfortable around you. You can also try giving them treats to further encourage a bond of friendship.
How many times a week should a horse be ridden?
It is generally recommended that a horse should be ridden at least twice a week, however, this can vary depending on the breed and level of training. If you are just beginning to ride horses, it’s best to start with shorter rides in order to build up your skill and strength. You can then gradually increase the length and intensity of each session as your confidence and experience grow.