Which is the Calmest Horse Breed for Beginners?

Last Updated on December 4, 2021

For those who are just getting into horseback riding, it can take some time to feel confident with your equine partner. Being a beginner equestrian can be scary at times, but having the right mount can help boost your confidence. Lets talk about the calmest horse breeds.

And even though many people assume ponies are the safest mount for children who are beginners, given that they are small,  however, many ponies have attitudes and can be difficult for those learning to ride. Nevertheless, ponies that do have even temperaments can make great beginner mounts.

Given that certain breeds of horses tend to have calmer dispositions than others, finding the right horse for a beginner rider is key to creating a safe and comfortable environment for both horse and rider.

And before setting out on your horse riding expedition, you’d need to ask yourself some questions like: Is this horse experienced? Will I feel safe on this horse? Does the horse have a calm disposition?

Which is the Calmest Horse Breeds for Beginners?

Though every horse has its own unique personality, some horse breeds are known for their calm disposition. These breeds are ideal for beginner riders. Thus, the following breeds are some of the best options for beginners;

The Morgan Horse

The Morgan Horse is America’s first official breed of horses, which are known for their even temperament, kindness, intelligence, loyalty, beauty, and versatility. Morgan’s stand generally between 14.1-16 hands tall, with an upright neck carriage, expressive head, and a compact body.

Morgans are popular family horses, and excellent show horses, who excel in saddle seat, hunt seat, dressage, western, and driving divisions. They also make great trail horses and are eager to please.


Their even temperament, reliability, and willingness to please, make them great matches for beginners. In addition, Morgan’s have been known for being extra careful when having children or beginners on board because they know when they need to step up for the show ring or bring it down for a beginner.

Lastly, Morgan’s makes a fantastic first-time show horse as they take care of their riders. They are elegant, gentle natured, and make an excellent companion.

The Quarter Horse

Quarter horses are one of the most popular breeds of horses. They stand out in western divisions along with english divisions, thus making them great working horses. Also, they are known for their easy-going temperament, well-muscled body, and gentle nature.

Which is the Calmest Horse Breeds for Beginners?

They are generally calm horses, which makes them ideal for beginners. Not only are they a great family horse, but quarter horses are also wonderful for taking out on trails or to shows. They generally stand between 14.2-16 hands tall.  

Quarter horses are often used in lesson programs and trail programs as they allow riders to feel comfortable while still learning to ride. Lastly, they are great partners for people of all ages and experiences.

Types of Calmest Horse Breeds

The Appaloosa Horse 

Appaloosa horses are known for their striking coats and easy-going personalities. They are kind and gentle, allowing them to be ideal horses for beginners. They succeed in both western and english divisions.

Types of Calmest Horse Breeds

Appaloosas normally range from 14.2-15 hands tall. They have a stocky build and with a variety of different coat patterns. They are a hardy breed, great in trail adventures, as a result making them a great working horse for all ages.

 Their gentle-natured disposition makes them a popular horse for many people.

Tennessee Walking Horse

The Tennessee Walking Horse is a gaited breed that is known for its friendly personality because they excel in the show ring and out on the trails. They are popular in saddle seat, western pleasure divisions, and are hospitable to people of all ages.

Also, they are known for their beauty and elegance in the way they move. They generally stand between 14.3-17 hands tall. Furthermore, they have an expressive head and are popular for their sloping shoulders and hips.

Tennessee Walking Horse

Tennessee Walking Horses are also known for their smooth gaits, which are easier for many beginners to ride on, both on flat foot walks and the running ones. Their smooth gait and docile temperament make them a popular choice for many people, including beginners. 

Why Do You Need to Consider Riding The Calmest Horse Breeds If You Are a Beginner?

Morgans, Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, and Tennessee Walking Horses make great horses for beginners because of their calm personalities, reliability, and gentleness. These breeds are popular choices for amateur riders and owners because they excel at their jobs and are great horses to own.

Though Morgans, Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, and Tennessee Walking Horses are all great horses for beginners, each horse is unique and needs to be individual assessed if they are right for each beginner. There are also many other breeds that make awesome beginner horses, but the bottom line is, a beginner’s horse should always be calm and experienced.

Beginning to Ride

Many barns that give lessons have seasoned lesson horses that are calm and safe for beginners. Thus, for beginners, it is important that the horse they are riding on is well trained, with lots of working experiences. 

There are many resources available from the breed associations of the horses listed above, to help you find more out about them. It is best to take riding lessons first before deciding to purchase your own horse. Many barns have great programs to help match you with the right lesson horse, and then help you find the perfect horse if you decide to become a horse owner.

Why Do You Need to Consider Riding The Calmest Horse Breeds If You Are a Beginner?

To help boost your confidence when learning to ride, riding a calm horse makes a big difference because riding a calmer breed of horse is safer and more reliable. However, it is important to keep in mind that even the safest of horses can still spook and act out.

So, if you are looking to get into riding, it’s best to research barns nearby your location to see what lesson options are available. You can also research Morgan, Quarter Horse, Appaloosa, and Tennessee Walking Horse’s barns to take lessons or purchase a horse.

If you have any questions regarding the calmest horse breeds for beginners, please leave a comment!


What age horse should a beginner buy?

In general, it is advisable to buy a horse that is no younger than 4 years old and no older than 15 for a beginner.
A horse that is 4 years old or younger may be too inexperienced and not yet fully trained and therefore not safe to be ridden by a beginner. A horse that is older than 15 years will have slower reaction times and may be set in his or her ways of learning and performing different skills which can make him difficult to manage. At this age, various health problems can start appearing as well.
Between the ages of 4 and 15, a horse will have developed a good foundation of training and be more versatile, making it a good choice for a beginner. Additionally, the horse will be physically mature enough to handle the demands of beginner riding.
Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule and it is important to take into account the horse's personality and abilities when making a purchase.

What size horse is the best for a beginner?

Smaller horses are generally better because they are easier to control. Larger horses may be more difficult to handle, especially for a beginner who is still learning how to ride. Additionally, a horse that is too large may intimidate a beginner and make riding uncomfortable or even dangerous.
Ideally, a horse should be no taller than 15 hands high (approximately 60 inches/152 cm from the ground to the withers, the highest point on the horse's back). This size horse is small enough for a beginner to easily manage yet is still large enough for the horse to carry a rider without being too heavy. There are many horse breeds that fall within this height range, such as the Welsh Pony, Morgan Horse, and Quarter Horse.

What is an interesting fact about Morgan horses?

One interesting fact about Morgan horses is that they are considered to be the oldest American breed of riding horse.
Their history can be traced back over 300 years when settlers brought small horses with them from Europe. The Morgans were also used for farming and other utilitarian purposes during this time period.
Today Morgans are primarily ridden for pleasure and are known for their gentle, willing dispositions. They are also considered to be good all-around horses, meaning that they are versatile enough to perform well in a variety of disciplines such as trail riding, show jumping, and dressage.

Are Morgan horses or Quarter horses better for a beginner?

The morgan horse is generally better for a beginner because it is known for its gentle temperament. The Morgan will be easier to train and manage compared to other breeds. Additionally, Morgans are versatile horses that can be ridden in many different disciplines.
However, the Quarter horse may also make a good choice especially if you are interested in trail riding or show jumping. Quarter horses are also known for their gentle dispositions.
Neither Morgan nor Quarter horses require extensive training to begin riding which makes them good choices for beginners who do not have much experience. Either breed can be a great all-around horse for riders of all levels.