Maybe you have grown up in the country and have friends or family with a horse, or perhaps you are a city dweller with a refined taste for the country, nature, and horses.
In either case, you are interested in acquiring your first horse, but let me tell you, picking your first horse is a critical step into the world of equestrianism.
This article will help you understand the things you need to look for when purchasing your first horse and list the 6 Best Horse Breeds for Beginners.
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Getting Into Equestrianism
Classicly, when someone says equestrianism, you are likely to think of horseback riding. Though riding is a fundamental aspect of the culture, people reign their horses to perform in various disciplines.
Typically, a rider is on the horse’s back in the equestrian world, or the horse may pull a horse-drawn vehicle. Yet, since the dawn of domesticated horses, these magnificent creatures have been integral parts of industrious and recreational activity worldwide.
If you have the itch to purchase a horse, I would advise that you consider seeking out a local equestrian club first to gain some experience in the field.
Owning a horse is no small commitment, and it would benefit you to see all that is involved with daily training, exercising, feeding, grooming, and other relational activities.
Training is not just for the horse. A horse owner/rider also becomes a student all over again. If you want a responsive horse that looks up to you as its leader, then it is up to you to put in the work to create a loving and trusting atmosphere for your horse.
We all have days that we are more emotional than others. In the horse world, a dynamic change could signal a temperamental fluctuation, perhaps due to some specific change such as a move, or it could be an indicator of some health issue.
When looking for your first horse, you should do some homework on the various breeds that interest you. Then, if you ask to volunteer or involve yourself in some way at local equestrian clubs, you will have the opportunity to see how various horse breeds respond.
Furthermore, you should seek out the pedigree information of the horse you are interested in. After gaining this genetic perspective, you can begin to have a better idea of the disposition of the particular breed.
What To Look Out For In A First Horse
Just like no two used cars are the same, various environmental factors throughout a horse’s lifetime will affect its temperament one way or the other.
That is why a horse’s temperament is the most critical aspect to look at when considering buying a horse. If you are unsure or do not have the resources for a full-time commitment, several leasing options are available as you look for the most suitable horse for your experience level.
If you are entirely new to the horse world, I strongly suggest that you ask an instructor or other equine professional for their assistance and guidance in the selection of an excellent first horse.
If you are particularly interested in purchasing a horse, there are some red flags that you should be aware of:
- Pregnant mares (in foal): As a beginner, you have a big learning curve ahead of you. I suggest taking it in strides and becoming familiar with all things equestrian before taking on a project necessitating care for a foal.
- Experienced Riders Only: If the horse ad mentions professional riding experience or the owner suggests that you have previous experience, take their word for it.
- Serviceable Horses: Some horses may have a specific health issue or have something notated in their medical history. Medical care is expensive and tedious in the equestrian world, so please make sure that a trusted veterinarian gives you the green light on a horse’s bill of health.
- Still-in-Training: If a horse is still in training, whether because of age or some other circumstance, you should not proceed with considering this as your first horse.
- Stallion: Typically, you do not want a stallion for your first horse. The heightened energy levels may not be a good fit as patience and calmness are vital components for beginners.
Then, What Should You Look For
Remember, as a beginner, try to find a horse that has already proven its composure and ability to follow directions. Also, you are looking for a horse that does not have any special needs as this could become quite complicated and demanding for a beginner.
As a beginner, you will want to look for specific characteristics in a potential first horse, including:
- Well-trained: Not to say that training is over once you find a well-trained horse, but you will have a horse with experience around various riders and handlers.
- Good temperament: A good prospective horse should have a history of being calm and docile. It should not be overly skittish or easily excitable.
Some breeds are better known for being excellent companions for beginners, so that I will share this list with you.
6 Best Horse Breeds for Beginners
Another piece of advice is to look for a mature, well-mannered, and well-trained horse. Experience and age can be indicators of what to expect, but only time and dedication will prove worthy of the relationship goals set for the exact horse for you.
You should expect some ups and downs in your riding experience; however, you want to follow some essential riding tips with any breed horse you eventually connect with.
This Scottish-bred draft horse is perhaps the most popular of its size and type in the United States. Traditionally used for pulling and working, these large animals are noticeable by their beautiful leg feathering.
Although shorter than other draft horses, the Clydesdalehas the capability of pulling up to 8,000 pounds of weight single-handedly. Regardless of its superior strength, the Clydesdale breed has a calm demeanor and is typically “forgiving of a beginner’s mistakes,” according to equine expert Katherine Blocksdorf.
You may have some trouble mounting the horse in the beginning just because of its size, but once mounted, you can be sure to enjoy a pleasantly smooth ride.
#2 American Paint
As a lighter-weight horse, the American Paint pedigree are known for their 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 their 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.
#3 Morgan Horse
According to a Fédération Équestre Internationale article, the Morgan horse breed will “work hard to try to figure out what their rider is asking of them.
In addition, the aptitude of these horses to learn quickly proves wonders for the horse trainer.
Besides their willingness to please their owners, the Morgan horse is attentive and quick to follow commands. As a beginner, you will be happy to know that this breed is also forgiving of a rider’s mistakes and is a family favorite, known for kindness and gentleness.
#4 American Quarter Horse
The American Quarter horse is calm and hard-working, according to this IHeartHorses article. These horses take command so well that the breed even makes the cut in Hollywood.
Whether you want to ride around the ranch or go out on an exciting trail, the versatility of the American Quarter horse will do fine in any environment.
With a build perfect for saddling, the American Quarter horse’s generally calm and mild temperament makes this breed a fantastic choice for you as a beginner.
If you want to build your self-confidence as a hair technician and horseback rider simultaneously, look no further than this breed originally from the Netherlands.
While not riding or training, you will undoubtedly spend a lot of time grooming your Friesian friend, but its calm yet playful personality is such a beautiful combination to have in a horse.
The Friesian horse breed is also well-known for its loyalty, and horse enthusiast Ashton Kirkeide notes how well these horses get along with children.
As a beginner, you will want a horse that is gentle, honest, and sweet enough to forgive your mistakes, and with the Friesian breed, you get all of that.
#6 Tennessee Walking Horse
The last horse on our list comes from the “Volunteer State,” or as we know it, Tennessee. Besides being home to a world-famous music scene, the state has some lovely horses.
The Tennessee Walking horse stands taller than normal lightweight horses, but they offer a comfortable and smooth saddle seat. Historically, these horses were plantation workers, but Miles Henry assures us in a breed-specific article that these horses are “an excellent choice for novice riders.”
The Tennessee Walking horse is a great farm animal, but the breed’s affectionate and calm temperament makes them a win for beginners on horseback.
A Few Closing Remarks
I know you are excited to follow your horseback riding dreams, and you are so close to achieving them. However, remember not to make an emotional decision when selecting a horse.
Instead, look for a calm-tempered and well-trained horse, as I have suggested in this article, as you choose one off the list of the 6 Best Horse Breeds For Beginners.
Please remember to leave any questions or concerns you may have regarding the best horse breeds in the comment section below.