New to horses? We all started exactly where you are now. The thrill of going to the barn, tacking up, and taking a ride. I know the feeling of finding my passion and knowing that horses would now be a permanent fixture in my life. The thought of owning my own horse brought such joy to my heart.
If you are reading this article, chances are you are searching for the perfect beginner horse. I know first hand that finding your first horse can be an exciting prospect, but it can also be intimidating.
Don’t panic, don’t stew…you have come to the right place, we are here to help you with this task! Today we are going to discuss the best horse breeds for beginners.
Beginner Basics-What You Must Know
As a true horse lover and supporter of my fellow equestrians, I am compelled to give you the full truth. While there are several breeds that are better suited for beginners…there are good horses in every breed.
As you choose a beginner horse there are many factors to take into consideration. Before listing our top breed choices, I am going to provide you with some practical advice. Straight from one horse lover to another.
- Choosing a more mature horse is the best choice for the beginner rider. A horse that ranges from 12-18 years old, is typically going to be a better fit for a beginner rider.
- Find a horse with experience in the discipline and style of riding you want to do. This reminds me much of the saying practice makes perfect. A horse that is trained and has miles in the discipline you want to ride on will be a much better horse for the beginning rider.
- Choose a horse with good ground manners. You can tell a lot about how a horse will behave from their ground manners. Does the horse stand quietly while they are being saddled? How do they pick up their hooves? Can you easily handle walking them around? These are important considerations.
- Healthy Horse, Happy Horse- Be sure to have a vet check done on your horse. A healthy horse is a happy horse, and happy horses make for happy riders.
- Take an experienced trainer or rider with you to purchase a horse. One of the best things you can do is take an experienced rider or trainer with you. They will know exactly what to look for, and they can help you make the best possible decision when purchasing a beginner horse.
Without further ado, we will discuss the best horse breeds for beginners. We are so excited to be a part of your horse journey! Giddy up!
Top 5 Horse Breeds For Beginners
1. American Quarter Horse
The American Quarter Horse is a classic choice for the beginner rider. These horses are extremely versatile and even make excellent working cow horses. While temperament can vary, they are typically level-headed horses.
This breed excels in many disciplines including western pleasure, roping, cutting, and many can even be seen in the English disciplines.
These horses were renowned for the ability to sprint in a quarter-mile race. They can much be likened to America’s sweetheart. While they can pick up speed, they are known for having a level head.
They are typically not spooky or flighty horses and can handle many situations. If you are looking for a good all-around horse this may be the breed for you!
2. American Paint Horse
The American Paint Horse is another great all-around horse! Much like their Quarter Horse counterparts, these horses are known for a steady temperament and level head.
They were a favorite of the Native Americans. When you picture the Paint horse, imagine them running across the western plains. In order to be Native American steeds, they had to be level headed and able to get the job done. The same qualities that made them a favorite of the Native American tribes are the same characteristics that make them a great choice for beginners.
These horses are flashy and have lots of chrome. They can be seen in many disciplines of riding. These disciplines include Western pleasure, cutting, roping, hunter under saddle, and even jumping.
There are almost a million registered paint horses worldwide! This is a sure sign that the breed has many outstanding qualities.
These are great horses whether on the trail or in the show ring. As with all breeds, it is crucial to make sure the horse is a good fit for you and your experience level.
3. Gypsy Vanner
The Gypsy Vanner is a unique and outstanding breed of horse. These horses originated from the wilds of Ireland. They can often be referred to as the beloved treasures of the Gypsy people.
While they are limited in number in the United States, the breed is growing in the country. Many horses are now being imported from Ireland, and there are several quality breeding programs.
These horses are known to be true kids horses. They were bred to be good with kids, and this can easily be seen in their temperament.
In many ways, these horses can have more whoa than go. Gypsy Vanners are left brain in nature, which can often be a great characteristic for the beginning rider. This is not the horse to spook at a (monster) plastic bag, but rather give it a calm look in the eye and walk on past.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that these horses are beautiful. They a shorter in stature, with very stocky bodies, and a loud black and white coat pattern. They are real stunners!
They often have a higher price tag but are well worth the investment.
The Kentucky Derby may come to mind when thinking of the Thoroughbred. This breed of horse is known for its speed and racing past. I am here to tell you first hand that there is much more to Thoroughbreds than speed.
If you are looking for a Thoroughbred as a beginner horse it is important to choose one that is right for your level of riding and experience. Many people love fresh off the track Thoroughbreds, and while they can turn into great horses they may not be the perfect first horse. There are many Thoroughbreds that make excellent beginner horses after they have had the proper training.
Many Thoroughbreds have a level head, and with the proper training be excellent English horses. They often excel in the hunter jumper, dressage, and jumper ring.
I was personally the proud owner of an OTTB, and he was an amazing horse. I can attest first hand to their good nature, and the ability to be excellent riding horses.
If you are looking for a tried and true English horse, this just might be the choice for you.
Morgans are a beautiful breed! They are very animated and also known for their loyalty. They are not spooky horses and yet they still have a spark that can be seen just by watching them in the ring.
There are many good Morgans and their owners attest to their dedicated nature. One look at the Morgan in action, and it is easy to see why so many people love this breed.
Morgans can be seen in many disciplines including western pleasure, hunter under saddle, saddle seat, and they even make great harness horses! Morgans are such versatile horses!
This breed has a proud head carriage and a beautifully formed body. Morgans are extremely intelligent, and they are very easy keepers.
The Morgan horse can be an excellent choice for the beginner rider.
Beautiful Beginnings- The Perfect Beginner Horse
One thing is for certain, there are so many wonderful horses it is hard to narrow it down to just one. It is kind of like potato chips…you can’t have just one.
It is important to always remember that the perfect beginner horse is the one that you feel confident about and enjoy riding. There is no right or wrong breed when it comes to finding the perfect first horse.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about the top 5 breeds for beginning riders. We would love to hear from you in the comments below!
If you are looking for a horse, what breeds are you considering? If you have owned horses, what breed was your first horse?
As always, we wish you the very best…from one stable to another.