Beginner breeds - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 12-09-2013, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Beginner breeds

I have been riding for about a year now at the same barn the whole year. I am looking to buy my first horse and I will be boarding it at the barn. My question is that since I am still pretty much a beginner, what breeds of horses would you recommend. I really love arabians. They are my favorite breed by far and I would love to have them, although i have read that they are better for more experienced owners. If anyone reading this has an arabian could you let me know your opinion on that? I want a horse that I can show in hunter/jumper competitions. thank you
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post #2 of 25 Old 12-09-2013, 09:10 PM
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Any breed can be a beginners mount, it just depends upon the horse. Arabians are definitely more sensitive but that doesn't mean you can't find one that a beginner can ride. No matter the breed, it just takes alot of looking and riding potential horses. I would suggest trying out a horse more than once to get a feel of their behavior.
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post #3 of 25 Old 12-09-2013, 09:13 PM
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There is no such thing as a beginner breed. Horses are all individual, and their personality, as well as their life experiences, will influence their suitability for a beginner more than their breed.

That being said, there are certain personality tendencies within a breed. Though possible, you would most likely find it difficult to find an Arabian that would be suitable for a beginner and young/fit enough to compete hunter/jumper.

This breed is almost always on the hotter side as far as temperament goes. This means that they can be too much for a beginner, and can be on the spooky side. They are also very intelligent, and are quick to ferment mischief if handled by someone that's less experienced.

You could try looking for an Arabian-mix type horse if you are set on the breed, but make sure the horse inherited a calmer demeanor from the non-arab side of it's family.
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post #4 of 25 Old 12-09-2013, 09:27 PM
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I've owned an Arabian. They're so smart, but I wouldn't recommend a younger one to a beginner rider. But you never know, just have to look around.
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post #5 of 25 Old 12-09-2013, 09:51 PM
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There is no breed that is good for beginners. There are personality traits that are.

You need a calm animal who will handle your insecurities (whatever they may be) and not get insecure himself. Probably not too many buttons (you could push them and not even know lol) and you just need an animal who you click with.

My first horse was 22 year old Arabian gelding. He had more buttons than I knew what to do with. I had been taking lessons for 10 years and had owned a pony for 5 years before I got him. I had to take some intensive lessons right off the bat to learn what all he could do and how to ask him to do those things.

He was very patient with me though so we were a good match.

You just need to find yours. Arabians, quarter horses, thoroughbreds...any breed can be a beginner horse as long as they have the right mindset.
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post #6 of 25 Old 12-09-2013, 10:02 PM
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Arabs can be surprisingly gentle and quiet if you get the right one so that could definitely be a great starter horse but I wouldn't just rush out and buy one. I would do my research because they can also be quite high spirited and temperamental.

Quarter horses can be really great first time horses as well. I've known quiet TBs but they aren't my personal favorites. If you have no plans to show, a TWH has the heart of a lion....

So as folks have said, any horse will do if you get the right temperament. If you have no plans to show then your options are really open. If you have plans to show then think about the discipline, if it's local level, then any horse will do as long as it's not gaited. If your plan is to trail ride, then definitely look at gaited horses as well.

I would probably look for a horse between the ages of 8 and 10 or there abouts. You can get a really quiet baby but an 8 year old is going to be quieter (for the most part). Look for a horse that has really been ridden, meaning, stay away from a horse that has been out to pasture for a few years or that isn't ridden because the owner doesn't have time, those are usually pretty rusty and may have some serious quirks...

Good luck!
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post #7 of 25 Old 12-10-2013, 03:24 AM
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As others have said, there are no beginner breeds.

If you have to ask what breed you need, then you don't need a particular breed. Breeds are important when you get into serious competing, but not so much for the beginner or pleasure rider.

Think about the characteristics you want, like the height, age, training, experience and general type you want and search for that.

Arabians can be excellent horses, and can be suited to a beginner if they have the right temperament and training, as with any other breed. I've seen many Arabians carting around kids and beginners at pony clubs and competitions. However, they're not traditionally jumpers and while they can jump they're not the ideal horse for that, and the chances of finding one trained in that (to teach you) is slim.
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post #8 of 25 Old 12-10-2013, 06:11 AM
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As the others said, there is no such thing as a "beginners breed"

Arabians tend to be hot and reactive, but that doesn't mean you cannot find the right one for you. I've seen and ridden super sweet arabs who could do lessons with kids and were just "tense" when scared to death. It's not common, but they do exist.

I don't agree with the "you don't need a breed" thing.
Well, you don't need a purebred anything if you're not into shows/breeding, but you are going to invest time and money on a horse, so if you have personal preferences I think you have every right to choose a horse that you like and not just a "whatever".

What you need if you are to own an arab is a good trainer/instructor who doesn't think that beating a horse is the right way to make him behave. It is wrong with every horse, but from my experience some other breeds are more tolerant and endure abuse, whilst arabians fight against it and can became very dangerous if mistreated.
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post #9 of 25 Old 12-10-2013, 11:43 AM
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Do I have to repeat that there is no such thing as a beginner breed?

I've owned my 3 arabians for 12 years. I was fairly "green" myself at the time and got them as yearlings. Now I'm not suggesting it's the best idea, but my experience is that arabians are gentle, forgiving and easy to train.

If you are attracted to arabians, I wouldn't discard them because of reputation or hearsay. People have black and white opinions about the breed, either love or hate. They are good all around horses in any discipline if you just want to have fun and perform in local shows.
I would look for a trained older horse, between 7yo and 20yo. Arabians often live long and active. My friend just lost hers to colics at 33 yo and was still riding her.

Here is DH in the jumping phase of a cross country competition, on his arab gelding:
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post #10 of 25 Old 12-11-2013, 08:12 PM
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My opinion is it's the individual horse everytime hands down.
That and how the horse gels with you.
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