10 of the Best Horse Breeds for Beginners

American Quarter Horse

The American quarter horse, America’s most popular horse breed, is popular with both English and Western riders. Because of their even temperament, quarter horses are excellent starter horses.

Some people, on the other hand, have a lot of energy. Aside from their vivacious attitude, their flexibility, dexterity, and dependability make them an excellent first horse.


Arabians have a reputation for being hot-headed or hot-blooded. They were noted for their speed, endurance, and strength as warhorses.

Many Arabians are quiet and reliable. A quiet horse with a calm demeanor is less prone to spook in unexpected situations.

In general, geldings (castrated adult males) are the calmest Arabians and, depending on the individual horse’s temperament, may make a fine starter horse.


A thoroughbred, which is primarily bred for racing, may be more horse than most novices can handle. Pass on a retired racehorse that has been trained to bolt at the sound of a starter pistol.

Non-racing thoroughbreds, on the other hand, can be quiet and reliable and make excellent first horses.

American Paint

Paint horses have a significant ancestry of American quarter horses. They are gregarious animals with a calm, placid nature.

They can create profound ties with their chosen person and work effectively with children. They are a smart breed that is simple to train.


The adaptable Morgan makes an ideal family horse. These horses are often alert, gregarious, and eager to please their owners.

They are fairly forgiving for inexperienced riders. And expert riders respond quickly to commands. These horses are generally easy to care for and have few health difficulties.

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse

Kentucky mountain horses are a gaited breed, which means their hooves move in four beats for a smoother ride. The ride is practically effortless, and you barely move on the saddle.

These horses are preferred by the elderly or those suffering from back or joint difficulties. This breed has a calm temperament and is required for breed registry examiners.

Missouri Fox Trotter Horse

Another gaited breed for a nice ride is the Missouri fox trotter horse. Its distinctive ambling motion is known as a foxtrot.

The horse walks methodically, head down and tail high, with one foot always in contact with the ground. This horse is docile and kind, making it a good choice for families.

Icelandic Horse

Icelandic horses are hardy, long-lived, and resistant to harsh weather. Some can live up to 40 years, and they mature later than other horses, frequently not being fit for riding until the age of four.

They are descended from Shetland ponies, and their smaller stature helps them appear less intimidating to novice riders. Icelandics are a gaited breed as well.


Clydesdales have a placid demeanor that novices appreciate. These horses are often calm and steady, and are forgiving of a beginner’s mistakes. Their major disadvantage is their size.

Draft Crossbreeds

A draft crossbreed is a good alternative to a full-blooded draft breed. Draft horse breeds Clydesdales, Shires, and Percherons.

6 thoughts on “10 of the Best Horse Breeds for Beginners”

  1. What about Standardbreds? They make fantastic equine partners. They are very easy to transition to riding and they are very smart, so teaching them leg ques is a breeze.

    • Absolutely, standarbreds should be on top of the list. There isn’t a better breed to be your partner. They love people, they love to work and do anything to please you. They are also a very forgiving breed, your mistakes don’t effect t their lives one way or the other.

  2. I’ve been an equestrian professional for 50+ years and aside from the quarter horse, I cannot see the logic behind recommending these other breeds. I grew up breezing thoroughbreds on the track and as a 30+ year owner of a boarding and training facility, could not in good conscience recommend any of the other breeds except the Morgan horse. Where do you get these writers and opinions? Someone could get badly hurt following these recommendations.

    • Yay! I was going to write the same thing! I agree with you 100 percent. I dont believe whoever wrote this has any idea, none. Most of these breeds are definitely NOT for a beginner.

  3. I’ve have over 50 horses in my life time. I’m 5’1″ weight 97. Never had one HORSE to hurt me. I have one mare Morgan Mare she loved me and She showed it. Arabian Paint AQH APPALOOSA you name it I had it. Horses aren’t Born with Bad things in heart MEN put BAD THINGS IN HORSES HEART. Some people has told me I’m part HORSE THAT’S WHY HORSES TRUST ME SO MUCH.

    • I’ve been told I’m half cat. I think the concept of special bonds with any animal is ur capacity to love and respect them. Some people just have that type if bond with animals. We are lucky and I would love to try a horse one day, in my 60’s I know I could do it. Btw, the animals know who we are on the inside that’s why they like us, they have better instinct than we do.


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