These horses are typically attentive, social, and have a strong desire to please their caretakers. These horses are generally easy to care for, and health issues are rare.
Physical Characteristics: Smooth lines; small ears; expressive eyes; crested neck Kentucky mountain horses are a gained breed, which means they have a four-beat hoof movement for a smoother ride.
Physical Characteristics: Muscular, compact body; flat facial profile; arched neck; deep chest; well-sloped shoulders The Missouri fox trotter horse is another gained breed for a comfortable ride.
With its head down and tail up, the horse steps deliberately with one always foot in contact with the ground. This horse has a friendly, gentle disposition and is a great choice for families.
Physical Characteristics: Straight facial profile; pointy ears; muscular body; short back; sloped shoulders Justus de Cuveland/Getty Images Icelandic horses are sure-footed, long-lived, and resistant to harsh conditions.
They descend from Shetland ponies, and their small stature makes them feel less imposing to new riders. Their special step is called a “told,” which is a sped-up walk that offers a level ride even over rocky terrain.
Australian Scenic/Getty Images Clydesdale's often have a quiet demeanor that beginners enjoy. These horses tend to be forgiving of a beginner’s mistakes and are generally calm and steady.
In general, beginners should avoid untrained and highly spirited horses, as they can be difficult for even veteran equestrians. Similarly, the athleticism of Andalusian horses can make them difficult to manage for beginners.
A novice rider needs to gain proper balance, requiring a horse that gives them confidence in the saddle and forgives their mistakes. The United Kingdom and Ireland might be small countries, but they have an incredible diversity of native horse and pony breeds, many of which are perfect for novices.
Morgans stand an average of between 14.1 and 15.2 hands high and easily recognized by their small stature, graceful, upright necks, and well-muscled bodies. The Morgan horse can do it all being favored in both English and western disciplines, trail riding, and carriage driving.
Gypsy Manner horses resemble a draft type animal with an average height ranging between 14 and 15.2 hands high. Initially, the Gypsy Manner lived as a member of the family, coping with the hazards of everyday life on the road.
Perhaps the main reason why Gypsy Manners are ideal for first-time horse owners if the fact they are a very hardy breed. The Connemara pony is native to an area in western Ireland where they were the backbone to many Irish farming families.
The Connemara pony has a gentle disposition and loves human interaction, making them easy to handle and train. Safe, sensible, intelligent, and patient, this hardy breed is a superb mount for both beginner adult and children horse riders alike.
Connemara's ponies are incredibly athletic and versatile with a natural jumping ability and seen competing in all disciplines as well as trekking and hacking. They evolved from the Section A Welsh Mountain pony, crossbred with larger breeds like Arabians, Hackneys and Thoroughbreds to create a sturdy animal.
This hardy breed is intelligent and friendly that is gentle enough for children and beginner adults to ride, but with the ability to compete in different disciplines with a more experienced rider. Because of their varied size range and calm nature, the Welsh Cob is found in many riding schools, being useful for different types of clients.
Bred for its strength and size, these gentle giants performed in battle, as farm horses and for pulling carts. The Shire horse is renowned for their kind, easy-going nature and is not easily spooked and rarely buck or rear.
However, its exact origins are uncertain but thought that the bloodlines include European draft and warm blood breeds crossed with lighter framed Spanish horses like Andalusian's. They became all-around horses carrying out farm work, pulling the cart to take the family to Sunday Mass as well as the owner’s mount in the hunting field.
Compared to other draft breeds, the Irish Draft is smaller standing between 15.1 and 16.3 hands with a lighter frame. However, they are incredibly versatile with an impressive jumping ability and compete in all equestrian disciplines as well as for use in the mounted police.
Strong and sturdy, Norwegian farmers used Fjord horse to pull heavy loads on their hilly farms. The Fjord horse is possibly the oldest and purest breed in the world, originating from Norway more than 4000 years ago.
The Harbinger horse originated in Italy and Austria during the late 19th century, developed for transportation and farm work. Temperament is a significant part of the Harbinger breeding programs, and horses should have a kind and quiet nature.
America’s favorite horse breed comes in three categories of Bulldog, Thoroughbred and Progressive, standing between 14 and 16 hands high. Hot breeds such as Arabians and Thoroughbreds are generally too highly strung for an inexperienced rider to handle although there are exceptions.
Geldings make the best beginner riding horses as they are far calmer and reliable than a stallion or mare. In fact, some breeds were designed to have exactly this kind of hard-working, dependable, willing nature.
Look for a well-trained, calm, and experienced horse for a beginner, even if it’s not one of the breeds on our list. Beginner riders need reliable, predictable horses in order to gain confidence in the saddle.
It takes time to develop balance, and a good beginner horse will go at a steady pace and focus on the job at hand. Stocky and muscular, Quarter Horses are a perfect size for both kids and adults.
Quarter Horses have a diverse range of coat colors, from buckskin or palomino to sorrel or jet black. The American Quarter Horse Association has plenty of showing opportunities to network and earn points and prizes.
Quarter Horses are typically “easy keepers,” which means you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg feeding them to keep them at a healthy weight. Hold Your Horses: If you really have your heart set on a certain discipline, especially ranch riding or showmanship, be sure to look for a Quarter Horse bred for this type of activity.
Paints have a stocky, short-legged body type and are traditionally used as working ranch horses. That said, the willingness of Paints to please their riders, combined with their athleticism, makes them suitable for virtually any discipline.
There will never be two Paint horses who look exactly alike, and this definitely comes in handy when you want to stand out in the show ring. Paint horses have the confidence and physical ability to try virtually any discipline.
Whether you want to try working cattle or just go for trail rides, a Paint is ready for the adventure. Paints tend to be quiet, dependable horses that you can trust to behave whether out on the open trail or in the show ring.
When other breeds are crossed with Paints to produce colorful varieties, they are known as Pintos. Also, the white areas on a Paint’s body are prone to sunburn.
You’ll need to be sure to provide them with protection during the summer, or turn them out at night and bring them into the barn during the day. With its foundation stallion Figure born in the late 1700s in Massachusetts, the Morgan is described as America’s first breed.
These muscular yet refined horses gained popularity due to their courage, kindness, and calm attitude. Although versatile in their own right, the other horses on this list aren’t designed for driving and Saddle Seat arenas.
A Morgan has the high-trotting action for Saddle Seat, as well as the disposition for driving. You’ll also see them in the hunter ring, dressage arena, in western pleasure classes, and even at gaming events.
Morgans can grow some incredibly long, drag-the-ground tails, and their manes can easily pass their shoulders. Although Morgans are frequently solid-colored horses, their high head carriage, perky ears, bright eyes, and long manes and tails make them strikingly eye-catching in their own right.
Hold Your Horses: If you want to show or focus on a particular discipline, don’t buy just any Morgan. You need a horse that can help you plow fields, work cattle, take the kids into town, and handle rocky terrain with sure-footedness.
And ideally, all of this happens on a smooth horse whose gaits won’t leave you sore after hours in the saddle. That’s exactly what people wanted during America’s period of westward expansion, and they found it all in the Missouri Fox Trotter.
Trotting can be bouncy and takes an effort to ride, even on a slow horse. A Missouri Fox Trotter, on the other hand, does not have a traditional trotting gait.
Their “Fox Trot” is much smoother to ride and feels like gliding. Although Missouri Fox Trotters can certainly be shown, they truly excel spending long hours on the trail.
Their kind and calm dispositions and sure-footed gaits make Missouri Fox Trotters ideal for all ages and skill levels. Hold Your Horses: Missouri Fox Trotters are gained, which means that if you hope to enter competitions where traditional trotting is required (such as hunter under saddle or dressage), you will have to enter special gained classes, if available.
Breeds developed for spending long hours on the trail, ranch, or field tend to have steady personalities. Look for patient and forgiving older horses from the breeds on our list above.
In sales ads, 0 indicates that a horse is not likely to startle at anything (“bombproof” is another term for this). On the other hand, a 10 refers to a horse who likely quakes in his hooves when he sees his own shadow.
Some breeds are broadly known for their friendliness and suitability for beginners, such as the Quarter Horse mentioned in this spotlight. Breed aside, all horses become easier to ride as you gain more knowledge and experience.
Even within a breed, there can be significant variety in personality, training, physique, and health. As you begin your search for your first horse, engage an experienced trainer, rider, or vet to help ensure you ask the right questions and find the best match for you.