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10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Horse: A Beginner’s Guide

Choosing the Right Horse: Tips for Beginners

Are you eager to start horseback riding but unsure of how to choose the right horse? Whether you’re buying your first horse or looking to add a new companion to your stable, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you choose the perfect match.

In this article, we’ll provide you with ten tips for choosing the right horse, covering everything from size and breed selection to personality and temperament.

Choose the Right Size

One of the most important factors when it comes to choosing the right horse is size. Horses come in various sizes, from ponies that stand around 14-14.2 hands to draft horses that can be over 16 hands tall.

The ideal horse size for you will depend on your height, weight, and riding goals. 1.

Choose the Right Height

When choosing the right height for your horse, the general rule of thumb is that the top of the horse’s withers should be around the level of your hipbone. This ensures that you can easily mount and dismount the horse without putting too much physical stress on your body.

To measure a horse’s height, you can use a measuring stick or take the measurement in “hands,” with one hand being equivalent to four inches. 2.

Choose the Right Weight

The weight of a horse is also an essential factor to consider. If you’re taller or heavier, you’ll need a horse with more substantial bone structure and more weight capacity.

A horse’s weight capacity will depend on its age, breed, and build, with some horses being able to carry more weight than others.

Choose the Right Breed

The breed of a horse can also play a significant role in your riding experience. There are many different horse breeds, each with its unique characteristics and strengths.

Here are some of the most popular horse breeds to consider:


Quarter Horse


Quarter Horse is a versatile breed that excels in western riding disciplines such as cutting, reining, and barrel racing.

They are known for their agility, speed, and calm temperament. 4.



Arabian is a highly recognizable breed that is often used in endurance riding and horse shows. They have a fiery spirit and incredible stamina, making them an excellent choice for experienced riders.




Thoroughbred is a breed that is best known for being used in horse racing.

They are athletic and powerful, with a sleek build that lends itself well to racing. 6.



Morgan is a versatile breed that is often used in dressage and driving events. They are intelligent and easy to train, with a natural elegance and athleticism that makes them a popular choice for many riders.


Tennessee Walker


Tennessee Walker is known for their smooth gait, making them a popular choice for pleasure riding and trail riding.

They are also often used in endurance events due to their stamina. 8.

Draft Breeds

Draft breeds, such as the Clydesdale and the Shire, are large, powerful horses that are often used for work such as pulling carts or plows. They can also be ridden and are popular in parades and horse shows due to their impressive size.

Choose a Horse that Suits Your Personality

The personality and temperament of a horse can play a significant role in your riding experience. Here are some tips for finding a horse that matches your personality:


Matching Horse and Rider

It’s essential to find a horse with a temperament that matches your own. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to find a calm, docile horse that is easy to ride.

More experienced riders may enjoy working with horses that have more energy and spirit.

Choose a Horse that Matches Your Experience Level

10. Horse Experience Level

It’s important to choose a horse that matches your experience level.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to look for a horse that is well trained and easy to ride. If you’re more experienced, you may want a horse with more advanced training that can help you improve your riding skills.

Bring Someone More Experienced with You

It’s a good idea to bring someone more experienced with you when looking for a horse. They can help you evaluate the horse’s temperament, training, and overall condition.

Prepare Questions in Advance

Before you go to look at a horse, it’s a good idea to prepare a list of questions to ask the current owner. Some of the questions you may want to ask include:

– What is the horse’s medical history?

– What is the horse’s temperament like? – What type of training has the horse had?

– Does the horse have any registration or paperwork?

Take a Test Ride

After you’ve identified a horse that you’re interested in, take a test ride. This will give you a chance to see how the horse feels under saddle and determine if it’s a good match for you.

Have the Horse Inspected By a Veterinarian

Before you make a purchase, have the horse inspected by a veterinarian. A pre-purchase exam can help identify any health issues that may not be immediately apparent.

Take Your Time Making a Decision

Choosing the right horse is an important decision, so take your time to evaluate your options and make a decision that you feel confident about. Remember that owning a horse is a long-term commitment, so it’s essential to choose a horse that you’ll be happy with for years to come.


In conclusion, choosing the right horse takes time, research, and careful consideration. By taking the time to evaluate your options and find a horse that matches your personality, experience level, and riding goals, you can ensure that you choose a companion that you’ll enjoy riding for years to come.

Use the tips provided in this article to help guide your search for the perfect horse, and remember to take your time and make a decision that you feel confident about.

Choosing the Right Horse Breed

Choosing the right breed of horse is an essential factor when it comes to finding the perfect equine companion. Each breed has its unique characteristics that make them suitable for different types of riding and handling.

Knowing what each breed has to offer can help you choose the right horse breed that matches your riding goals and personality.

Quarter Horse


Quarter Horse is the most popular horse breed in the United States and is known for its versatility. This breed is recognized by the American

Quarter Horse Association and is predominantly used in western riding.

Its speed, agility, and calm temperament make the

Quarter Horse an excellent choice for reining, cutting, and barrel racing. However, the breed’s versatility also makes it a great choice for English disciplines, dressage, and even trail riding.


Arabian horses are one of the oldest breeds, with a history that dates back thousands of years. These horses are known for their endurance, speed, and beauty.


Arabian Horse Association recognizes this breed, which is used primarily in endurance racing and horse shows. They have a spirited personality that requires a confident and skilled rider.

However, with the right training and handling, they can excel in many disciplines, including racing, jumping, and dressage.


Thoroughbred horses are best known for racing. However, their elegant build and athleticism also make them a popular choice for English disciplines such as jumping and dressage.

These horses require a skilled rider that can handle their energy and spirit. They are fast, agile, and thrive in competition settings.


Thoroughbreds can also be excellent trail horses with adequate training.



Morgan horse is a versatile breed that excels in both English and Western disciplines, including dressage and pleasure riding. They have a mild temperament and are easy to train, indicating their versatility suitable for riders of all skill levels.

Known for their ability to bond with their riders,

Morgans are generally friendly, intelligent and have a willingness to please. They are also suitable trail riding partners, making an excellent choice for riders who prefer versatility.

Tennessee Walker

As their name suggests, Tennessee Walking horses are best known for their unique, comfortable gait, allowing them to cover long distances and make them well-suited for endurance and trail riding. Their relaxed disposition makes them easy to handle and ride, while their endurance and calm temperament make them ideal for beginners.

Whether youre riding for pleasure or in competition,

Tennessee Walkers offer both worlds.

Draft Breeds

Draft breeds such as the Clydesdale, Percheron, Belgian, and Shire Horse are magnificent horses with gentle dispositions. They have incredible strength, making them useful for work that demands a lot of pulling and lifting power.

These breeds have risen in popularity and are now used in various horse disciplines, including dressage, eventing, and jumping, showing versatility and adaptability of horses.

Choose a Horse that Suits Your Personality

The personality of the horse is a crucial factor to consider when looking for an equine partner. No two horses are alike, and some breeds may have more predictable temperaments than others.

To ensure that you find a horse that matches your personality, here are key points that can guide you:

Horse Personality Variations

Depending on their breed and individual temperament, horses can vary significantly in their personality and mannerisms. Some horses may be more laid back, while others may be more spirited, and it’s important to find a horse that matches your personality and riding style.

This is where spending time with the horse, and an honest opinion can be beneficial. It is not uncommon to have a trial period with the horse before making a purchase so that you can form a bond with your potential partner.

Once you have an understanding of the various horse breeds and personality types, you can take the time needed to find the perfect match. Be sure to visit reputable breeders or visit horse shows to familiarize yourself with different breeds.

Consult with horse experts, such as trainers, veterinarians, or experienced riders, who can help you identify the breed and personality type that best suits your riding goals and experience level. In conclusion, choosing the right horse breed and personality type requires careful research, adequate preparation, and a good dose of patience.

Be sure to evaluate your goals, experience level, and personality traits before settling on a breed that fits you best. Taking adequate time to find the right horse will lead to a successful, healthy and gratifying equine partnership.

Choosing a Horse that Matches Your Experience Level

When it comes to choosing the right horse, matching the horse’s experience level with your experience level is crucial. If you’re a beginner rider, you’ll want to avoid more advanced horses as it can lead to injury or incorrect riding techniques.

Equally, if you’re an experienced rider, you’ll want to avoid horses that are too green or untrained. Evaluating the experience level of both the horse and rider is essential for a successful, safe, and enjoyable partnership.

The Green Horse and Green Rider Rule

The phrase “green horse, green rider” is a well-known rule in the horse industry, which states that an inexperienced rider should not work with an inexperienced horse. It takes a considerable level of riding expertise to train a green horse correctly.

A green rider who is still learning to ride effectively can easily transmit incorrect riding techniques to the horse. Horses, like humans, develop habits, both good and bad, quickly, and a horse can quickly learn the wrong balance, seat, and other techniques.

Hence, it’s essential to choose an experienced horse to ensure that you have a sound foundation from which to build your riding skills. When looking for a suitable horse, make sure to assess the horse’s level of training and previous experience with other riders.

Ensure that the horse you choose is well-trained and can handle the type of riding you intend to do. Take time to learn how to ride and build your confidence with a well-trained horse before taking on a greener horse.

Choose a Horse that Suits Your Riding Goals

To choose a horse that suits your riding goals, you must take the time to evaluate your goals, both short and long term. Here are some tips to help you find a horse that matches your riding goals:

Long-Term Riding Goals

When considering your long-term riding goals, it is essential to choose a horse that can handle your riding expectations. For instance, if you want to compete in dressage or jumping, you need a horse with a physique that’s forward-thinking, athletic, and agile to overcome obstacles.

Furthermore, if you prefer long-distance riding or endurance rides, you’ll require a horse with stamina, endurance, and the ability to cover long distances comfortably.

Versatile Horse

If your riding goals are multifaceted, it’s essential to choose a versatile horse that can handle various riding styles. A versatile horse is perfect for beginners who are still trying to determine which riding style suits them best.

These horses have the ability to adapt to different riding styles, making them an excellent choice for pleasure riding or competition.

Reliable Horse

Regardless of your riding goals, you need to find a horse that is reliable and safe to ride. This means the horse should have a well-established personality, particularly for novice riders.

A reliable horse is easy to handle, well-trained, and doesn’t panic or spook easily. A horse with a good disposition and predictable behavior is sure to give you the confidence you need as a rider.

When it comes to choosing the perfect horse for your riding goals, take the time to evaluate your riding experience, preferred riding style, and long-term riding goals. Don’t rush to make a decision; instead, take enough time to test ride the horse and make your decision based on what you feel comfortable with.

In conclusion, choosing the right horse requires careful consideration, and settling for the wrong horse can be a costly mistake. Regardless of your experience level, you need a horse that compliments your style of riding and has the personality and training that matches your riding goals.

With patience and adequate research, you can find the perfect equine partner that meets your needs and creates a lifelong bond between you and your horse.

Bring Someone More Experienced With You

Buying a horse can be a daunting experience for even the most seasoned rider. Therefore, it’s essential to bring someone who is more experienced with you when looking for a horse.

The right person can be an invaluable asset in helping you evaluate potential horses and making an informed purchase decision. Here are the benefits of having someone more experienced with you when buying a horse:

The Benefit of a Second Set of Eyes

A second set of eyes, particularly those of an experienced horse rider or horse expert, can help you evaluate horses better. Evaluating a horse’s temperaments can be difficult for novice riders, as it takes time to develop the skills necessary to identify certain behaviors or body language that may indicate the horse’s suitability for you.

An experienced rider or horse expert can help you notice details that you may otherwise miss, suggesting tailored horses that match your riding goals, ensuring you get the best possible horse.

Matching Horse and Rider

Matching the horse and rider personality is also an integral part of the buying process. An experienced horse rider can act as an objective voice for you, helping you evaluate a horse’s personality and determine if it matches your riding style.

They can also offer suggestions

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