10 Best Horse Breeds For First-Time Owners

Looking for the best horse breeds for first-time owners? With over 300 different officially recognized breeds, it can be challenging to narrow down the list! We’ve done it though, and picked out just the top 10 best that make amazing choices for brand-new equestrians. Let’s check them out!

10 Best Horse Breeds For First-Time Owners

According to HorseFAQs.com and their extensive research using many different national resources, there are 353 nationally recognized breeds of horses and 100 pony breeds in the world. However, not all of them are ideal for first-time horse owners. So, which are? Let’s take a look! We’ll include fast facts, info about temperament, and even a video so you can see these beautiful creatures. One quick note: A horse’s height is measured in ‘hands’ and 1 hand is equal to 4 inches. Measurements are taken from the ground to the top of the shoulders (AKA the withers). You’ll see why that info is important in a moment.

1. American Paint Horse

The American Paint Horse is a beautiful choice for a first-timer!

Fast Facts:

  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Life Expectancy: 30 years
  • Height: 14.2-16 hands
  • Weight: 950-1,200 pounds

Physical Description:

Strong, muscular build with a firm, muscular neck; broad, muscular chest; sloping shoulders; powerful hindquarters and stout legs.

Temperament:

Calm, docile, friendly, intelligent, level-headed, loyal, relaxed, social.

2. American Quarter Horse

The American Quarter Horse is the Official State Horse of Texas.

Fast Facts:

  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Life Expectancy: 25 years
  • Height: 14.3-16 hands
  • Weight: 950-1,200 pounds

Physical Description:

Compact, strong, well-muscled body with a short, refined head; broad, stocky chest; sloping, powerful shoulders; firm, sturdy, strong legs and powerful, rounded, muscular, stumpy hindquarters.

Temperament:

Adaptable, calm, cooperative, docile, friendly, gentle, intelligent, noble, versatile. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Elb2jPoZMuA

3. Appaloosa

The Appaloosa is the Official State Horse of Idaho.

Fast Facts:

  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Life Expectancy: 30 years
  • Height: 14-16 hands
  • Weight: 950-1,250 pounds

Physical Description:

Compact, muscular build with a broad head; straight back; sloping shoulders; strong legs; striped hooves and sparse mane and tail.

Temperament:

Calm, courageous, friendly, gentle, intelligent, loyal, trustworthy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWIZWM7ueH4

Check: 11 Beautiful White Horses

4. Arabian Horse

Wikipedia calls this one of the most recognized horse breeds in the world, and it’s easy to see why!

Fast Facts:

  • Country of Origin: Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia.
  • Life Expectancy: 30 years
  • Height: 14.1-15.1 hands
  • Weight: 800-1,000 pounds

Physical Description:

Agile, athletic, strong build with a finely chiseled bone structure; refined, wedge-shaped head; long, arched neck and high-carried tail.

Temperament:

Affectionate, bold, intelligent, lively, noble. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLzSgLbRsq0

5. Clydesdale Horse

If you’ve ever seen a Budweiser commercial or visited Busch Gardens, you’ve seen these stunningly large horse breeds. In fact, I’d argue that THIS is the most recognizable breed! There’s just no mistaking them for another.

Fast Facts:

  • Country of Origin: Scotland
  • Life Expectancy: 20-25 years
  • Height: 17-18 hands
  • Weight: 1,600-2,400 pounds

Physical Description:

Large, strong, well-muscled structure with a broad forehead; long, crested neck; stout chest; long, well-shaped legs and large hooves.

Temperament:

Active, brave, calm, friendly, intelligent, noble, versatile. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PXbCtE2IZI

6. Fjord Horse

One of my favorite horse breeds for first-time owners, the Fjord may look small, but he’s quite mighty!

Fast Facts:

  • Country of Origin: Norway
  • Life Expectancy: 30 years
  • Height: 13.2-14.2 hands
  • Weight: 900-1,200 pounds

Physical Description:

Small, strong, muscular physique with a flat, broad forehead; wide chest; broad, muscular back and large, round, dense hooves.

Temperament:

Adaptable, calm, curious, dependable, good-natured, playful, quiet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etL_RtuOzxA

7. Morgan Horse

The Morgan Horse is the Official State Horse of Massachusetts and the Official State Animal of Vermont. He’s also known as “America’s first breed.”

Fast Facts:

  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Life Expectancy: 30 years
  • Height: 14.1-15.2 hands
  • Weight: 900-1,000 pounds

Physical Description:

Strong, compact body with a short head; wide forehead; upright, graceful neck; broad chest and back; well-formed legs and straight, flowing tail.

Temperament:

Adaptable, brave, cooperative, eager to please, intelligent, pleasant, spirited. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO9yKbUoFP4

8. Shire Horse

This magical-sounding breed gets his name from the shires in England, from which he hails.

Fast Facts:

  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Life Expectancy: 25-30 years
  • Height: 16-18 hands
  • Weight: 1,800-2,400 pounds

Physical Description:

Large, tall, powerful physique with a long, lean head; wide, deep shoulders; short, strong, muscular back and round, large hooves.

Temperament:

Calm, docile, gentle, hard-working, mellow, mild-mannered, noble. Unfortunately, according to Spruce Pets, he’s a fairly rare breed, so you may have a hard time finding him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eesMJzNgGM

9. Tennessee Walking Horse

The Tennessee Walking Horse is the Official State Horse of Tennessee.

Fast Facts:

  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Life Expectancy: 30 years
  • Height: 14.3-17 hands
  • Weight: 900-1,200 pounds

Physical Description:

Upright, straight profile with a large, plain, well-defined head; long neck; long, sloping, graceful shoulders and powerful hind legs.

Temperament:

Adaptable, calm, dependable, docile, energetic, friendly, lively. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2d7bqK2du4

10. Thoroughbred

The Thoroughbred is the Official State Horse of Kentucky and Maryland.

Fast Facts:

  • Country of Origin: England
  • Life Expectancy: 25-35 years
  • Height: 15-17 hands
  • Weight: 1,000-1,200 pounds

Physical Description:

Lean, powerful body with an alert, refined head; long, graceful neck; strong, deep chest; fine, elongated legs and powerful hindquarters.

Temperament:

Brave, bold, energetic, friendly, intelligent, lively, noble, spirited. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eweOYqlTuJ8 Any one of these horse breeds is fantastic for first-time owners, but make sure you do your research first. Horses aren’t just major purchases, they’re living breathing creatures who deserve the best life possible. Make sure you’re prepared for the responsibility of owning one.

Looking for the best horse breeds for first-time owners? We narrowed the list of 300+ breeds to just the top 10! Check it out!

What do you think about these best horse breeds for first-time owners? Do you agree with your picks? Share below!

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D T

Deanna has a knack for finding amazing entertainment ideas for horse lovers! When she’s not writing, Deanna loves listening to country music, or watching Dancing With The Stars.
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