If you are starting as a horse rider, then getting the right equine partner can make all the difference in the world for you.
For beginners, a horse with a mild temperament is easy to train, peaceful to ride on, and perfect for picking as a first horse. On the other hand, a stubborn horse with hot temperament and high maintenance is something all novice horse riders should avoid.
In this article, we are going to discuss 7 breeds of horses that are the worst for beginners. We will also discuss what to look for in a horse as a beginner so that you can get the right first horse.
Worst Breeds of Horses for Beginners
Now, if you think getting the right horse is a difficult task, then relax, we are here to help you. Getting your first horse is a big milestone, and just like all the firsts, you will always remember the first ride with your equine partner.
Here are the 7 worst horse breeds for first-time owners and riders.
1. The Shire
Starting off our list with the world’s tallest horse breed — The Shire. As a beginner, you should try to stay away from getting a Shire horse because their height and looks can be very intimidating, and the last thing you want is to be scared of your horse.
Other than that, a Shire horse is usually quite calm. In fact, because of this trait, they were used centuries ago in battles. They are some of the most gentle horses out there, and their striking beauty is eye-catching.
They were also used to pull loads and carriages because of their strength. They rarely lose their calm, and they are quite hard to spook. These qualities make them the best horse for a beginner, but their sheer size makes them a no-go.
2. The Faroese
The Faroese are not only one of the worst horse breeds to get as a beginner but quite impossible to get as well. They have always been known to have a very stubborn personality, and unfortunately, the Faroese are among the most endangered horse breeds in the world. So, even if you look past their stubborn nature, it is still quite difficult to get one.
Centuries ago, the Faroese were a great breed to ride in the hills, and despite being stubborn, they worked great on farms.
There have been many efforts to save them from extinction. Exporting a Faroese is banned, and many organizations are working together to take measures to bring up their numbers.
3. Australian Brumbies
The Australian Brumbies is one of the worst breeds of horses for beginners. They possess several wild traits, so it becomes difficult to predict their behavior. Every horse is different, and the upbringing of a horse affects its personality more than its breed. But getting a typical shy Australian Brumbies breed as a first horse is nothing short of a mistake.
The last thing a novice horse rider wants is a shy horse, that is difficult to understand and ride. So if you plan on getting the Australian Brumbies, make sure the horse you are selecting is not very shy, as sometimes shyness can be dangerous.
Another breed of horse that beginners should stay away from is the Percheron. Among all the French draft breeds, the Percheron is the most famous. They have been used over centuries for diverse work. For instance, by the end of the 19th century, they were mostly used as driving horses in Paris.
Many beginners are attracted to getting the Percheron. Their giant looks make them cool to ride. However, that is exactly why beginners should stay away from them. Even though most Percherons are quite gentle, they are still quite powerful as compared to humans. If they are not trained properly from a young age, then controlling them will be quite troublesome.
One fun fact about the Percheron breed of horses is that they make up 30% of the horses in Disneyland. They are used in the park to pull trams on the main street. They are the biggest team of working Percheron horses in Europe.
Only experienced riders should use these virtually bombproof horses. Once they have braced their necks, then no matter how much you tug, pull, or cajole, nothing can change their minds.
5. The Akhal-Teke
All the way from Turkmenistan, the Akhal-Teke makes our list of the worst horse breeds for beginners. They are a rare breed in the United States of America, and you may have never heard of them.
The Akhal-Teke has been used throughout history by nomads to cross deserts. Their ability to adapt to harsh climates and durability made them the perfect horse breed for the job. However, when it comes to getting them as a first horse, it may not be the best idea. Because you want a calm and peaceful horse.
Another reason to avoid getting the Akhal-Teke for beginners is their nature to bond with a single rider. As a beginner, you will probably be experimenting with different horses and so, getting a loyal horse may not be one of your priorities.
The Akhal-Teke horse breed is known to bite or kick people who get close to their riders. They do not work well with families and getting them as training horses will probably be a mistake.
Known for their gorgeously lavish movement, the dressage-bred Hanoverian horse breed is one of the worst horse breeds for beginners. Most experienced dressage riders spend a lot of time in the gym to develop the core muscles and strength necessary to control these magnificent giants.
These experienced riders have spent years perfecting the art of riding, and they make it look very easy to ride this breed. It is hard to expect such dedication, fitness, balance, and muscle control from a novice rider. The Hanoverian is an elite dressage breed of horse, and they are the opposite of what beginners need to learn how to ride. A novice rider can even fall off just because they can’t stay on the big moving horse.
The last entry on the list of horse breeds to avoid as beginners is the Trakehner — phenomenal in elite dressage and eventing. They have high percentages of Thoroughbred and Arab blood, which, combined with their superior athleticism, has made them highly sensitive, reactive, and sharp.
The Trakehner breed possesses beautiful lines, an elegant appearance, and exudes nobility. They are extremely attractive, with a refined head that features large and expressive eyes. Their muscular legs have broad, clean joints, and they end in solid hooves. You can easily distinguish a Trakehner by their large eyes, evocative head, sculpted muscles, and well-shaped neck.
They are famously used all over the world as sports horses. They are bred to compete in Olympic disciplines like Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing. They have higher maintenance and are not suitable for novice riders.
So on the topic of horse breeds that are suitable for beginners, the question has to be asked, what should beginners look for in a horse?
What to Look For in a Horse as a Beginner
As a beginner, your priority should be your safety. You don’t want a horse that is too hot-tempered and hard to control. What you want is a peaceful and steady horse of a mild temperament that is easy to train and bond with.
You also don’t want to spend too much on maintaining your first horse, so getting a show horse is not the right choice either. Your first horse should be one that pretty much anyone can get on and ride. It should not be easily spooked, nor should it look too intimidating.
Our preferred horse breed for beginners is The American Quarter Horse. They are the most popular horse breed, and they are known all over the world for their calm nature. You can easily train them and begin your riding experience.
People Also Asked
What qualities should a first-time owner or rider look for in a horse?
Before getting your first horse, you should make sure the horse has a calm, kind, gentle and quiet nature. It should never bite or kick anyone, and it should be friendly with family and strangers. You should also look for a horse that is easy to train, so you don’t spend hours working on a stubborn horse.
What age horse is best for a beginner?
A first-time owner should prefer older horses, preferably one somewhere between ten to fifteen years old. If you search hard enough, you may even find a strong horse in its twenties. Getting an older horse is preferred for beginners because they have more training and riding experience. You can easily predict their behavior and make them comfortable for novice riders.
Should a beginner horse rider buy a Stallion, Mare, or Gelding?
Stallions are not recommended for beginner horse riders. They have an extremely aggressive nature, which makes them unpredictable and temperamental. They can be difficult to train and do undesirable things like mounting, biting, and rearing.
Mares are also not the best horse breed to get as a novice rider. They can be quite moody during their heat cycles. However, it isn’t impossible to find a sweet-natured mare.
The gelding is the best horse to get for beginners. They are far more steady and calm as compared to Stallions and Mares.
What’s the best breed of horse overall?
There is no best breed of horse overall because all horse breeds are good in one way or another. However, for beginners, The American Quarter Horse is the highly recommended breed. That is why they are the most popular horse in the world. Their steady nature and ability to train easily makes them the preferred breed for novice riders.
What is the hardest horse breed to ride?
Depending on the rider, any horse breed can become the hardest or the easiest to ride. However, generally, hot-blooded horses are considered harder to ride as compared to cold-blooded horses. These horse breeds have hot temperaments, which makes them unreliable. One example of such a horse breed is the Akhal-Teke.
So far, we have talked about 7 breeds of horses that novice riders should stay away from. These horse breeds are generally harder to ride and difficult to control. An experienced rider can make it look easy to ride them, but in reality, they can be quite challenging.
But at the end of the day, you should always analyze the particular horse you are planning to get, irrespective of the breed. Because every horse is different, maybe you can find a horse of a hot-blooded breed that bonds well with you.
Feel free to share this guide with your friends and family, and continue galloping!