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.
Yet, despite the stiff and extensive competition, a number of breeds have become consistent favorites among equestrian circles, such as the Gypsy Manner and the Arabian. Hailing from the Arabian Peninsula, this breed is easy to spot with its distinctive head shape and high, proud tail carriage.
Arabians are used today in many disciplines, including western, saddle seat, and even dressage. They make excellent sport horses, and are used as hunters and jumpers, and as mounts for dressage, polo and fox hunting.
Flickr/Joe Haunt The Tennessee Walker is a gained breed of horse that was developed in the Southern United States during the 18th century for use on farms and plantations. Its smooth gaits, such as the four-beat “running walk,” make it comfortable for riding long distances, so it was the mount of choice for many Civil War generals.
In fact, it is believed that Robert E. Lee's mount, Traveler, was part Tennessee Walking Horse. One of the oldest breeds developed in the United States, all Morgans trace back to the foundation sire, Figure.
Developed by the New Peace Native American tribe in the Pacific Northwest, Appaloosa horses are best known for their colorful spotted coat pattern. They are tough, independent, hardy and sure-footed, with big bodies and sparse manes and tails.
The breed's two registries have different height requirements, but the horses must fall under 34-38 inches, measured from the last hairs of the mane. Warm bloods are characterized by open studbook policies and are known for their prowess as sport horses, excelling in jumping as well as dressage.
With long, thick manes and tails, the Andalusian is strong, compact and elegant. Hackney horses and ponies are prized show, riding, and driving equines.
According to the National Hackney Horse Association, Hackney horses have actually been on the endangered species list recently, but increased interest in carriage driving has resulted in increased demand for this unique breed. Today, Hackneys are accepted in brown, black, bay, and chestnut colors.
In addition to pulling disciplines like plowing, carriage driving, and drawing sleighs, Belgians are increasingly used for riding, too. According to Oklahoma State University, the Shetland Pony is one of the oldest horse breeds to exist in Britain.
These islands are barren and harsh, and the breed grew hardy to cope with this challenging environment. Standing between 14 and 15 hands tall on average, Gypsy Manners have the broad body of a draft horse but come at a more manageable size.
According to the Frisian Horse Association of North America, these horses were originally bred to encompass both bay and gray coat colors, but today black is the only coat color that is officially accepted. Frisians can be driven, ridden English and Western, jumped, schooled in dressage, and more.
There are less than 5,000 Clydesdale's in the United States today, meaning this remarkable breed is considered to be threatened. According to the Equine Journal, every Standard bred today can trace its existence back to a single horse named Hamiltonian 10.
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Quick, athletic, and equipped with incredible stamina, the Pass Fine is becoming a highly popular breed in America. Written by Katherine Blockader Reviewed by Anna O'Brien, DVD Children often dream of having a horse or pony.
In general, a small horse or pony works well because its size isn’t as intimidating as its larger counterparts. Pick one that's docile, attentive, sure-footed, and familiar with riders of varying levels.
Shetland ponies are popular for children because of their diminutive size, durability, and fun personalities. Plus, some Shetlands are notoriously stubborn and might ignore commands from young riders.
Physical Characteristics: Compact body; broad head; short legs; lush mane and tail Welsh ponies of all sizes can make good mounts for children.
Physical Characteristics: Small head; short back; high-set tail The pony of the Americas has the distinction of being a North American breed developed specifically for young riders.
But a mini can be great for children to learn how to ride and take care of a horse. Minis also participate in competitions similar to dog agility courses.
Physical Characteristics: Small, muscular build; many have similar proportions to larger horses They aren't massive horses, averaging around 5 feet in height, which can work for an older child.
Physical Characteristics: Muscular body; deep chest; small head with flat profile They also are notoriously friendly and loyal horses, which makes for a devoted family companion.
Physical Characteristics: Colorful coat patterns with mottled skin; striped hooves They're also highly social, intelligent horses, which makes them easy to train.
Physical Characteristics: Muscular build; deep chest; distinctive coat patterns They are known for being highly cooperative and eager to please, and they generally love to socialize with their human family members.
Physical Characteristics: Compact build; short neck and back; long head The term “grade” in horse circles means the same as “mutt” in the dog world.
And because pedigree doesn't guarantee a quality animal, a trustworthy grade pony with a fun personality is always a great option for children.