Breeds of Horses for Beginners

Beginner riders need a horse that will help build their confidence as they learn the basics of how to move around these large animals. Because of this, a quiet-minded horse, with a gentle personality is the best choice for a beginner’s riding horse. Here are a few breeds of horses and their qualities that make them good choices for a beginner.

Draft breeds and Draft Crosses
Clydesdales, Belgians, Shires, and other drafts and draft mixes make good choices for beginners. Those these horses tend to be large, they are, on average, very quiet, not inclined to buck or bolt, and can bond very closely to their handlers. Draft horses are gentle-minded, solid, and lower energy than the average horse, though they can carry a heavier rider and work hard all day. A mix-breed of a draft with a horse, such as a quarter horse, can create a solid, athletic, and quiet horse. These are ideal for riders from beginner to the upper levels of riding. More and more Draft crosses are making appearances in the international riding world in such sports as dressage and cross country.

Belgians are the most readily available draft horses on the market, for the most part. They are willing, athletic, have a good range in height, not being as tall as some other draft breeds, and are very feed-efficient. Draft horses, in general, require less feed than their hot-blooded counterparts. In most areas of the country, Draft horses can remain barefoot, requiring regular trimming, but no shoes.

There is the added benefit, for the young, romantic, beginner, that draft horses are very beautiful, with the thick, heavy manes out of the stories. They enjoy being fussed over, and will allow a young rider to play with them and groom them for hours on end.

Quarter Horses
There’s a lot to be said for a good Quarter Horse. Intelligent, athletic, and quiet-minded as a whole, these horses, particularly ranch-trained ones, are great for a beginner rider to handle. Quarter horses are known for being level-headed, and make a great choice for sports that require more speed than a Draft can provide, such as barrel-racing.

Quarter Horses are personable and steady. They are readily available, whether pure-bred or grade. Especially older animals make can make a great companion for a young or beginning rider.

On average, a draft-cross would make the ideal mount for a beginner rider. They make great lesson horses, and they can be found at auction or for sale for very affordable prices. Drafts and draft crosses are easy to train, and take well to learning new tricks. They can, however, create bad habits in young riders, as they may require more ‘encouragement’ and stronger aids to move out.