Best Breeds for First Time Horse Owners

For first time horse owners, there’s so much more to consider than a good horse barn and general equestrian care to have the best experience. Obviously, choosing the right horse is a major factor. But what breeds are best for a novice horseman? There are always exceptions to the rule, but we’ve listed our top picks.


American Quarter Horse. Hands down, this is your go-to standard for a horse that is mildly tempered, intelligent, sure footed and generally willing to help you learn as you go. There is a reason this is America’s favorite breed.

Shetland Pony. A great breed for starting children, Shetlands are small and friendly. Like any breed, you could run across one with the nasty habit of biting and/or kicking. Pass on by that one and look for another. Obviously these ponies will be too short to ride after the children get bigger, but they’re a great starter horse.

Tennessee Walker. A lot of people like Walkers because of their smooth gait, which makes them a true pleasure to ride. A lot depends on training and individual temperament, but these horses are generally of a good disposition and pretty hardy. Be sure you take good care of their feet, though, because that’s an important part of the “look” of a Walker.

Older Horses. Okay, this isn’t a breed, but it’s important enough to list. While you won’t have decades of service out of an older horse, you’ll have one with wisdom. It’s life experience that makes older horses ideal for novice riders. These animals are “bomb proof” which means they don’t freak out with traffic, barking dogs, screaming children, gunshots, you name it. They’ve been there, done that.

Geldings. Stallions and mares can have dominance or mood issues, which can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Geldings are your answer. They are always willing, not generally moody, and have the riding stamina of a stallion. The temperament of a horse is more important than pedigree, and geldings get our vote.

A word of advice when looking for your first horse is this: Do a lot of test riding. If a mare gets cranky after she starts sweating on a ride, she’s not for you. She’ll eventually buck, or balk at least. Keep looking.

Carolina Storage Solutions loves horses has delivered more modular horse barns to the Asheville and Hendersonville, NC area than anyone else. We’d love to help you get set up for your new horse as well. Give us a call today!