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Discussion Starter #1
I am just wondering what everyone here thinks. I am a beginner basically when it comes to horses.

I was wondering what you all think is a good horse breed for a beginner? It could be a Mixed breed or a Purebred. I love Arabians, but I have heard they aren't very good horses for beginners.:-(

So what are your suggestions?
 

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Arabians are wayyy to headstrong in general for a beginner. There are always acceptions to this though. My cousin wanted to learn to ride and she is the kind to get everything she wants so she got a pure white arabian as her first horse and got thrown. She threw away her horse and her riding just like that afterwards.

A breed in general would be a colder blooded horse. Not thoroughbreds or something that is really hotblooded but something like a quarter horse or a paint or something like that. They are generally more calm and not so pushy.

You do have to remember however that for a first horse... NEVER choose a cheap horse. I put off learning to ride correctly for 5 years because my first horses shouldve been a "project" instead of a teacher. The horse i got and finally learned to ride on was $15,000 but i now have used the knowledge she gave me to completely retrain my first horse as a showhorse.

Basically all im trying to say is dont skip out on quality because of money. Any breed can be a perfect teaching horse but the training and horse's character in general is what you look for.
 

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I disagree with a lot of points in the post above me.

One of my first horses was an arab. One after it was a TB.

It depends on the individual horse. I've seen very hot non-beginner friendly quarter horses and TBs used in handicapped rider programs.

What you need is a horse that has been there done that, has a good temperament, and is safe. Usually something a bit older and broke.

Price is also not a factor. Actually, the more expensive horses I have ridden have been the most difficult to ride horses.
The most I have ever spent on a horse was 2200 and he was a handful when I bought him, the $800 arab I rode was safe though.

I would suggest working with a trainer who understands your skill level, budget, and needs who can help you find a good match for you. It is all based on the individual horse.
 

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I agree for the most part with Spastic. However, what you need in your first horse will also depend on what type of riding you intend to do. Riding lessons are practically a necessity if you plan to ride English. If you plan to ride in a western saddle, lessons are a good idea, but not an absolute necessity - unless you plan to show or compete in something.

I've never had a lesson - not a formal one, anyway. But - I'd love to have lessons now. Just can't find anyone who has a suitable horse and saddle for me. (I'm super plus size!)

Your first horse should be older, calm and well trained in at least the basics, with no bad habits or vices. Around here, you can find horses like for $250 - $1,000 (or more, if you have lots of $$ - I don't), depending on what their breed (and sadly, color) is. A nice, grade chestnut gelding sold up the road from me for $250. I'f I'd known he was for sale, I'd have snatched him in a heartbeat for my grandkids!
 

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The color of the horse should match your hair!



Thats the criteria I use. P.S. the pony came with a Pedigree, and Show history, and looked very obedient in the round pen as well for a filly. But the color of the hair, is actually what did it!


I am joking, but my 8 year old and her 4 year old Haflinger are doing very well together. The horse is 13.2 hands, very intelligent, and the more they work together the closer they become.

For myself, I bought a quarterhorse!
 

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Breed is irrelevant to what is "beginner safe." It's all about training, training, training.
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In the words of Clinton Anderson "an old ugly gelding is the perfect beginner horse" A horse that knows his job and loves his rider doesnt matter breed.
 

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I would say if you are speaking in generalities, a quarter horse would be the best.... and a bay at that ;)
 

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I agree with others here-- rather than choosing a specific breed first, its more important to choose a first horse with the training, experience, and personality to be as safe as possible a start for the beginner, which will allow the beginner to learn and build confidence and skill on a tried and true horse. Having help, in the form of lessons, a trainer, coach, experienced friend, neighbor or family member-- also helps a great deal.

All of that said, There are many Appaloosas out there paired with beginner riders-- and if you like to compete, the ApHC and ApHCC have great youth and non-pro programs with a big variety of classes offered in several age and skill levels, and there are sponsored trail rides, open show awards, and mileage programs as well.


 

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What is important is a well trained horse who has been there done that. Also for a beginner I always recommend going to see a horse with your trainer to get a second professional opinion. But I have always disagreed with the whole don't limit your breed thought. If you have your heart set on one breed then go ahead and limit your search to that, but just understand that it will probably take you longer to find that perfect horse for you. So instead of taking something like a month to find the perfect horse it might take you 6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the input everyone. I know alot depends on the horse its self, but I also thought that the breed you choose also has alot to play into it.

For example, when I am asked if a GSD is good breed for a first time owner? I usually say no, that they should go for a mix from a shelter, possibly a GSD Mix, to give them an idea on if GSDs are for them.
 

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Some breeds have reputations for being hot, some being calmer. I work at a summer camp that has a horse program. We have almost entirely quarter horses, some of whom are dead broke and several that only the wranglers ride because they would take complete advantage of a child.

But it really depends on the horse. The horses at camp know when they're being ridden by one of us or a child. One in particular is about 25. If a camper is on him, he's the greatest beginning horse. If one of the wranglers gets on him and lets him go in a pasture, he's one of the fastest horses in the herd and will just take off.

It just depends on the horse.
 

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I don't think "raw beginners" should own horses. If you haven't had lessons already take a few months of lessons first, then get a horse. It will do you a world of good, and a lesson or two a week should be less than the cost of horse upkeep - so you won't be out of pocket.

There are the occasional good TBs, and I have seen a few nice little Arabs but the reason these breeds are not often ideal is that they are sensitive. They are lovely looking and smart, but usually (not always) not as forgiving as some of the other breeds. Their sensitivity can make them ideal for the more experienced rider, but often a more tolerant horse will be better for the beginner. If you have you heart set on an Arab get an older one (over 10), in my experience they, along with TBs, seem to stay "young" for longer.

Quarter horses, Standardbreds, mixed breeds all good. Just look for something that has done everything, and is quiet and calm.
 

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I still say Quarter horses as a generality, have a good temperment. Especially the geldings. When you do go to buy this horse, you have to not let your heart run away with you, and really pick one that is broke and trustworthy. It may require a few test rides. It may require the purchase of a less than eye catching old horse. But just think of how hard it will be to want to get back on if you are scared or feel constantly overwhelmed.

Everyone has to start somewhere!!
 

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I personally don't believe it's the breed that matters, but it's more of the personality of the horse.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I won't be getting a horse anytime soon. I have little experience with horses, my aunt had one, and I have ridden a few(mostly on family trips.) I read all I can about horses and horse care.

Are there breed specific rescues for horses? That way I can work with a certain breed of horse. There are stables near me, but they are mostly for people who own horses.
 

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I wouldnt say it's breed specific.. More about training.. And it doesn't have to be expensive. We constantly get sale horses in and out of our barn. One was a 12 y/o tb who is sweet as can be. Anyone could ride her bareback in a halter. She was only 500. My paint I paid 700 he's nine and also dead broke. I wouldn't buy a 2y/o tb however though. I know people will disagree but I myself would look for a horse around 8-10. There SHOULD be plenty of training to be suitable but eitherway. That's why you test ride before buying :)
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