Best Horse Breeds for First Time Owners & Beginners

Follow our simple guide to find the best horse breeds for beginners and people who have never owned a horse before.

If you’re just starting to learn how to ride or want to buy your first horse, you might be wondering which breed is best for you. There are many different types and breeds of horses all over the world, and they all have very different traits.

It can be hard to decide, so how do you know which breed is right for you? The good news is that different breeds of horses have different personalities, so there is a horse out there for every beginner or first-time horse owner.

Clearly, each horse is unique and has its own personality and habits. But some breeds are known for being calm and good for people who have never ridden or owned a horse before.

What’s The Best Breed For A First Horse?

When you’re looking for your first horse, it’s best to stay away from ones that are called “hot,” “hot-blooded,” or “have a lot of blood.” These words are used to describe horses like Arabian horses, Thoroughbreds, and a few others that are fiery and excited.

These well-built, active, and flighty horses are good for competitive activities like racing and showing. They are best handled by riders and trainers with a lot of experience.

Draft horses are made to carry a lot of weight. They tend to be calm and quiet, and people call them “cold-bloods.” These horses are big and stocky, and they aren’t as quick as “hot-bloods.” Most of the time, you don’t ride purebred draft horses.

Warmbloods like the Hanoverian, Holsteiner, and Trakehner are the result of careful breeding between draft breeds and hot-blooded breeds. Even though they are calmer than hot-bloods, experienced riders who want to show and compete are better suited for them.

A “cob,” which is a type of horse, is a good choice for someone who has never owned a horse before. This is a list of the best horse breeds for beginners, which includes the following:

  • Paints
  • Morgans
  • Haflingers
  • Appaloosas
  • Gypsy Vanners
  • Quarter Horses
  • Welsh Ponies
  • Pony of the Americas (POA)

All of these horses tend to be well-balanced and pretty quiet, making them good for beginners but also fun and interesting for more experienced riders.

All of these types are sturdy, not very tall, and can be driven or ridden. Most of the time, these horses are calmer and can get along better with their handlers.

Cob-types are crosses between draft horses like the Belgian, Percheron, Irish Draught, Suffolk Punch, Clydesdale, or the Shire. Most of the time, this type of cross has a calm and even temper.

Still, keep in mind that each horse is unique and that breeding is only one small part of what makes a horse’s personality.

If you just want to ride for fun, any person whose personality fits yours will do. Don’t overlook the idea of getting a nice saddle mule as your first animal. Most of the time, mules are calmer and stronger than horses. A good saddle mule can be a lot of fun to ride, and mules are usually much healthier and live much longer than horses.

What type of horse is best for a beginner rider?

When learning to ride, it is important for new riders to choose a horse that is right for them. Most of the time, “cold-blooded” horses are chosen by riding instructors to teach people how to ride for the first time.

Some horses, like draft breeds, cobs, and native ponies, don’t have warm blood. These horses are great for beginners because they are usually calm and quiet and not too active. They are also more forgiving than other types of horses when a rider makes a mistake.

Some warm-blooded and hot-blooded horse breeds, like Arabians and Thoroughbreds, can be good for people who are just starting out. But in general, these breeds have traits that don’t make them good for beginning riders. They can be unpredictable and lively, and if a new rider makes a mistake, they may act in a way that is hard to predict.

What type of horse is best for a beginner rider

You may also like: Are Horses dumb? Why are Horses smarter than you think?

What kind of horse is best for someone who has never owned a horse before?

Getting a horse is a big step, no matter how long you’ve been riding or how new you are. When riding and taking care of your horse, it is important to choose a breed of horse that has the right traits for you.

Your riding instructor is a good person to talk to about this because they know your skill level and can help you find a good breed. Think about what you might want to do in the future with your horse. Does your favorite horse breed have the skills to do the equestrian sports you’ve always wanted to try?

Most cold-blooded horse breeds are easier to take care of and do well in places where other breeds would have trouble. In cold weather, warm-blooded and hot-blooded horse breeds may need more shelter, rugs, and food.

Cold-blooded horse breeds are also good because they don’t get too wild if they don’t get enough exercise. As a new horse owner, it can be hard to find time to ride regularly and get into a routine. Warm-blooded and hot-blooded horse breeds can get bored and over-excited quickly if they don’t get enough exercise.

Questions to ask before buying a Horse

When looking for the best horse for a beginner, you need to answer some important questions. The answers to these questions will help you decide whether to buy the horse or not. Here are some simple questions to ask:

  1. Is the horse on a list? If so, you should ask to see the horse’s papers. The registration will show how old the horse is, where it came from, and who has owned it in the past.
  2. What is the history of the horse’s health? What is the name of the vet or clinic where the horse was taken care of? What does he call the person who does the horse’s shoes?
  3. How long has he had the horse? How long has it been broken? What kind of training does it have?
  4. Does the horse have any bad habits? For example, does it crib, back up, or kick?
  5. Why is the horse’s owner selling it?
  6. Can the horse get into a trailer?
  7. Has the horse been in a race? If so, where, when, and in what field? Is it the horse’s best performance at a show?
  8. Has the horse’s Coggins test been done recently?

Take your time and ask questions. If a seller seems evasive, remember that there are always other horses available, and don’t shop based on color.

Questions to ask before buying a Horse

You may also like: Are Horses Smart? The truth about horse intelligence

Best Horse Breeds for First-Time Owners

Tennessee Walking Horse

Tennessee Walking Horse
By Just chaos – originally posted to Flickr as Tennessee Walking Horse, CC BY 2.0

The last horse on our list comes from Tennessee, also known as the “Volunteer State.” The state is also home to a world-famous music scene and some beautiful horses.

The Tennessee Walking horse is taller than most light horses, but it has a smooth saddle seat that is comfortable. In the past, these horses worked on plantations, but Miles Henry says in an article about the breed that they are “an excellent choice for beginning riders.”

The Tennessee Walking horse is a great farm animal, but because they are friendly and calm, they are also great for people who are just learning to ride.

Friesian

 Friesian
By B0rder, CC BY-SA 3.0

If you want to build your confidence as a hairstylist and a horse rider at the same time,this breed of Horse from the Netherlands is the way to go.

You will spend a lot of time grooming your Friesian friend when you aren’t riding or training him, but the fact that he is both calm and playful is a beautiful trait in a horse.

Friesian horses are also known for being loyal, and horse lover Ashton Kirkeide says that they get along well with kids.

If you are just starting out, you will want a horse that is gentle, honest, and kind enough to let you make mistakes. The Friesian breed has all of these qualities.

 American Quarter Horse

 American Quarter Horse
By Quarter_Horse(REFON) CC BY 2.5

This IHeartHorses article says that the American Quarter horse is calm and works hard. This breed of horse is so good at following orders that it even makes it to Hollywood.

The American Quarter horse is versatile enough to do well in any setting, whether you want to ride around the ranch or on an exciting trail.

The American Quarter horse is a great choice for a beginner because it is usually calm and mild-mannered and has a body that makes it easy to saddle.

Morgan Horse

Morgan Horse
By Laura Behning. – Emma Brunberg, Leif Andersson, Gus Cothran, Kaj Sandberg, Sofia Mikko und Gabriella Lindgren

A Fédération Équestre Internationale article says that Morgan horses will “work hard to figure out what their rider wants them to do.

The ability of these horses to learn quickly also helps the horse trainer a lot.

The Morgan horse is not only eager to please its owner, but it also listens well and responds quickly to commands. As a beginner, you’ll be glad to know that this breed is also forgiving of a rider’s mistakes and is a family favorite known for being kind and gentle.

 American Paint

 American Paint
CC BY 2.5

As a lighter-weight horse, the American Paint pedigree is known for its intelligence by the equestrian community. In addition, these beautiful horses are usually easy to train and are exceptionally loyal to their owners.

American Paint horses come in various colors and patterns, which give them an impressive reputation. Still, Honi Roberts reports that these beautiful horses have an “easygoing temperament,” which is what you should be looking for as a beginner.

Clydesdale

Clydesdale
By Bonnie U. Gruenberg – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

This Scottish draft horse is probably the most popular horse in the United States of its size and type. In the past, these big animals were used to pull things and do work. Their beautiful leg feathering makes them easy to spot.

Even though the Clydesdale is shorter than other draft horses, it can pull up to 8,000 pounds of weight by itself. Katherine Blocksdorf, an equine expert, says that even though the Clydesdale breed is very strong, it has a calm personality and is usually “forgiving of a beginner’s mistakes.”

At first, you might have trouble getting on the horse because of its size, but once you’re on, you can be sure to have a nice, smooth ride.

 Icelandic Horse

 Icelandic Horse
By Dagur Brynjólfsson – originally posted to Flickr as 043 Sævar frá Stangarholti, CC BY-SA 2.0

Many beginning riders are afraid to ride horses that are too big, so the Icelandic horse, which is related to the Shetland pony, is a good middle ground.

This small breed is usually between 13 and 14 hands tall, which makes them a good choice for riders who are nervous or are shorter. They might also work well for riders who like to go on hacks because their height makes it easier to get in and out of the saddle without a mounting block.

Because of the weather and terrain where they come from, Icelandic horses are good at handling bad weather and have sure feet. One of the best things about Icelandic dogs is their “tolt” walk, which is a very fast walk that is very smooth.

Welsh Pony and Cob

Welsh Pony and Cob
By Hanna V – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Welsh Cob is from Great Britain. It came about when the Welsh Mountain Pony was crossed with bigger breeds like the Thoroughbred and the Arabian.

The average height of a Welsh Cob is just over 13 hands. It is often chosen by young riders, but don’t be fooled by its size.

This horse was used in battle and is still a strong farm animal.

The Welsh Cob is known for being smart and friendly. It can do a lot of different things and is often seen in riding schools in Europe.

This horse loves to pull a cart, too. Welsh Cobs are hardy and can walk well on uneven ground, but this one shouldn’t be overfed because it was meant to live on little food.

FAQs:

 Which horse breed is the easiest to ride?
The most comfortable horse to ride is usually a gaited horse with a smooth, easy “fox-trot.” Here are some examples of gaited horses:

  • Tennessee Walking Horse
  • Rocky Mountain Horse
  • American Saddlebred
  • Missouri Fox Trot
  • Peruvian Paso
  • Horse Racking
  • Walkaloosa
  • Paso Fino
  • Morgan

Even if an older, well-trained horse is no longer good for hard riding, it may still be fine for pleasure riding. Most of the time, an older, calmer horse of any breed is easier to ride than a young, fiery one.

What kind of horse costs the least?

Horses that are going to be slaughtered are often very cheap and contrary to popular belief, they are not always horsing with problems or that are sick. Here are some examples of deals you can get from breeders, auctions, or classified ads in the newspaper.

1. Quarter horses are common because they are popular and have been bred too much. Culls can be bought for a reasonable price from breeders or auctions. Some very young, healthy horses are left to waste away in kill pens, where they are slated to be killed.

2. Not on track Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds are racehorses that are no longer racing. They can often be bought for very little money, which could save them from being killed.

3. American mustangs can be bought cheaply from the Bureau of Land Management, and there is a program to help new owners give these wild horses the space they need.

Some big ranchers recently took advantage of this program by buying up a lot of these horses, keeping them for the required amount of time, and then sending them to slaughter. These horses are only good for people who know how to ride them.

4. All kinds of older family horses. In these hard economic times, many people can’t afford to keep and feed their horses, which they love like family. Some are given to animal control and shelters, and others are sold cheaply or given away for free to good homes.

If you want to get a horse from a rescue, you’ll have to show that you can keep and care for it properly and pay an adoption fee.

If you want to find a cheap or free-to-good-home horse, you’ll have to check the ads often and move quickly. Kill-buyers are looking for these horses and will lie to get them, then send them to slaughter.

Are Arabian horses good for people just starting out?

Arabians are usually not very big, so they are a good choice for young riders and riders who are just starting out. They are very smart, and once they trust someone, they become very close to them. To gain a horse’s trust, you need to be cool and collected and act in a predictable, reliable, and skilled way. If you are just starting out and can do this, an Arabian might be a good horse for you.

Do Friesian horses make good first horses?

Friesians are also smart, loyal, and friendly, making them a good match for a calm, skilled person. A Friesian horse is bigger and stronger than an Arabian horse, so it might be a better choice for a bigger beginner rider.

Conclusion

The Icelandic Horse is the best horse breed for people who are just starting out. In addition to being beautiful to look at, these horses are easy to control and do what their owners say.

They just need more love and care from their owners, as all breeds do. They have a lot of benefits, which makes them a great breed for people who have never had a dog before.

On the other hand, if you are just starting out, you should stay away from Akhal Teke and Andalusian horses because they are hard to train. So, if you want to use them as an everyday horse, you might need a lot of time and effort.