Best Horse For Me - Opinions?
First of all, sorry if this doesn't go here - I haven't used this very much.
I have been riding for 6 years, but have never owned a horse. I am an advanced rider, I am into hunters/jumpers, and I have ridden many different breeds of horses, from QHs to Morabs. I want a breed that has some 'go' in it, but is easy to handle and won't bolt on me. I am also into breeds that are able to jump up to 3 feet or higher, as I currently am jumping around 2 feet. The breed must be not too tiny for a 150 lb person, but not to tall for kids/teens. It should usually have a good temperament, meaning around a 2 or 3, no more then a 5, if you rated it 1 the calmest, 10 the most temperamental. What are some breeds that meet these specifications? Also would want a horse that could be used for lessons if needed.
Thats a pretty tall order, but in all honesty you can't just pick a breed and say 'this breed can do this this and this' because a horse's individual personality, conformation, age, training, environment, and bloodlines are what make a horse who it is. Not it's breed. Yes, some breeds are better known for their jumping ability than others...for example, you wouldn't want to go out and buy yourself a Fjord if you want to jump 3+ feet just because that isn't their 'speciality' but it's conformation and will to jump are going to matter more than other things might. Within a breed are SO many types that its impossible to choose only on breed now. Another example, Quarter Horses. There are barrel bred QH, hunter/jumper bred QH, race bred QH, reining bred QH, cutting bred QH, foundation QH, halter QH....just to name a few of them. Each excels most of the time in it's niche, but outside of that niche it may on be 'so so'. Some may do well in multiple disciplines, others won't. A halter horse is not likely to do well at ALL racing, or even doing light jumping, but it might make an ok trail horse. A tall hunter jumper QH may do ok reining but it probably won't excel in Halter classes or in cutting where 'short and nimble' is the name of the game.
Find a few horses, maybe even mixed breed horses, who generally fit your bill, and go try them out. You'll find one that's right for you.
Thanks for the help - I do realize this, however I was just looking for some general suggestions. I am looking into getting a Fjord in a few years, mainly just for pleasure riding. They are quite stocky, and could probably jump at least 1' 9" if they had to.
Seeing that you realize this then, if you're wanting a horse that can do higher jumps, I'd look into a 15-16hh warmblood. Warmbloods can get HUGE (my friend has one who is 18.2hh) but they also come shorter, they can typically last through jumping, and if you look into the right bloodlines you might be able to find yourself one with an easy going temperament. Maybe look into an older school master.
Appendixes, Angalo Arabians, and some TBs seem to do fairly well with jumping as well, if you get the right one. The latter two though don't tend to fall under the range of 'docile' ;)
Quarter horses tend to have good temperament and are very willing to try what you throw at them, but their conformation varies so much it's hard to recommend them across the board for English riding. They're a good choice for the size and temperament you're looking for, and I've definitely seen several in good fitness with good confo for jumping do 3', but I've seen plenty who couldn't (halter breeding,ick!). You could also maybe look at larger pony crosses. My 1/2 Welsh mare stands a little over 14hh, and is a pretty good English horse when we're not having issues with laminitis. Also, not all warmbloods are huge, and not all TB's are hot headed monsters, so you might find one with suitable size and temperament who would make a good jumper.
Ultimately, you've got to go look at a lot of horses and evaluate individual conformation, training, and temperament. Maybe have a trainer you trust help you look.
If probably go with an appendix quarter horse. But I'm a quarter horse freak, lol.
Something else to look into would be TBX horses or Draft X horses. They tend to muscle/power/endurance you are looking for.
How about a taller Haflinger?
Possibly most pertinent is how much do you want to spend?
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