Breeds for 'mountain climbing'
I am new to the forum and new to horses. We live in northern New Mexico, USA. We are considering some day (read: in a few years) getting 2 horses.
This will be for recreational purposes, primarily riding them in the mountains. An important point for me is that I like to go off trail (which is what I do when hiking now). Is this possible for a horse, or do they need trail?
Our neighbors have Appaloosas, which are sweet as can be to us. Another friend has a Tennessee Walker, stunningly beautiful, that he rides on trails.
Quarter horses here are popular, but mostly for ranch work.
Also, I've read about the 'natural shoeless' movement. I think that would be a direction I'd be interested, not that I know much about it.
I guess am a seeking advice on what would breeds should we be looking at. Advice either here in the forum or on which books to read is greatly appreciated. The books can be on a range of subjects, form the aforementioned 'breeds' to how to care for a horse, what features to build in a barn, ...
And just to give you a little more about where I'm coming from, I am a dog person, I can read a dog like that back of my hand, but I've only been around horses for a couple months now and am trying to learn to read them.