If you're looking for a large pony the top breeds for level headedness in my opinion are welshs, quarter ponies, morgans (yes, yes, I KNOW they're horses, but I've seen many mature to just over 14hh), and a very special kind of arab. Welshes are a very sweet, pretty breed that are just spunky enough to teach you to ride, but still let you have fun. Quarter ponies... are just basically smaller QHs, smae sort of features. Morgans are known for being very quite, easy horses, and are over looked a lot as a kids horse because many people think they don't come in under 15 hands, but they do (the original morgan was a VERY small horse). As for arabs, I've met several that are completely bombproof and are very smart. I wouldn't go out looking for an arab for a kids horse though. The gental, quite, kid proof ones are few and far between. The ones that are quieter hold some similar physical qualities though. These are that they tend to have a larger barrle, flatter backs (pony like table top back), less dished faces, shorter legs and smaller nostrils than your typical image of an arab. All these things point towards a horse that isn't ment to run as much, and with novice kids, that's what you want.