Which is the Best Horse Breed for Beginner Riders?

horseback riding lessons

If you’re new to horseback riding lessons, you may not be aware that horses vary in temperament as much as humans do, which means not all of them are well-suited to the beginner rider.

Here are some popular beginner riders’ horse breeds to consider.

Basic Blood Types

The three basic types of horse are: hot, cold or warm-blooded. The Arab is an example of the hot-blood, originally from desert regions. The cold-blood is typified by the Shire horse which came from Northern Europe.

The warm-blood is a combination of these two types, examples being the Hanoverian from Germany and the Irish Draft horse, which is not a heavy farm animal as its name suggests.

This is the best blood type for beginner riders as a rule.

Suggested Breeds for Beginner Riders

The following breeds are a useful starting point. If you obtain horseback riding books such as encyclopedias of horses and ponies, you’ll discover there are around 200 breeds of horse and pony in the world! So there are many other breeds besides this list for you to research, but here are the more popular ones.

Quarter Horse

The height of this horse, originally bred for quarter mile racing, ranges from 14.3 to 16 h.h. and it’s known for calmness of temperament and great intelligence.

German Warm-blood

There are many warm-blood breeds in Germany, since each state has at least one breed of its own. But perhaps the best known are the Hanoverian, standing at 16.2 h.h., the Oldenburg, which is taller at between 16.2 and 17.2 h.h. and the Holsteiner, which stands between 16 and 17 hands.

They all have excellent temperaments and are very versatile riding horses.

Irish Horse

This animal is a cross between the Thoroughbred and Irish Draft horse, and becoming increasingly popular. It stands between 15.3 and 17 hands high.

Registered as Irish Sport Horses, these equines have a wonderful temperament and are very calm. But they also have energy when required. These make great horses for beginner riders.

Cleveland Bay

Originally bred – and still used – as a carriage horse, this is one of the oldest British breeds and always bay in color. It stands at 16.2 h.h. has a calm, sensible temperament and makes a good riding horse.  Cleveland Bays are also good prospects for the heavier rider.

If you’re embarking on horseback riding lessons and looking for a good breed for beginner riders, the above list is a useful starting point for your research.

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