Best Horses For Young Riders

A rider with little or no experience with horses usually needs a friendly horse that has a lot of experience with people. This is especially true for children. The best horses for children are those that instill a sense of confidence and help them learn proper horsemanship. A child”s horse should be extra tolerant and forgiving and horses with these personality traits make the best teachers.

Look for an older horse, one that is close to retirement and likes to conserve his energy. A child”s first horse doesn”t have to be able to leap fences and hedges. He should take the job seriously and take good care of young riders.

Pony Information

Many kids start out by riding a pony. Some ponies have been credited with teaching hundreds of kids to ride over the course of their careers. The internet is full of stories about and tributes to beloved childhood ponies.

Ponies are typically classified as being between 10 and 14.2 hands tall at the withers (about 40 to 56 inches). They”re smaller than horses and have a more compact body structure.

Because of their size, ponies are easier for children to manage, bridle, saddle, groom and mount.

Is a Horse or Pony Best for Children?

Let”s look at the pros and cons of both horses and ponies. Ponies are good for small children, but kids outgrow them. Most stocks of pony are hardy and easy to keep, but some tend to be ornery. A pony requires less food than a horse and can live to be 40 years old, but some aren”t good with children. For the most part, a pony rarely requires shoes, is surefooted, has a distinct sense of self-preservation and is easy to mount without assistance.

Most horses require shoes and all will require more food than a pony. As with some ponies, some types of horse are not suitable for children. Although horses may be too big for young riders to manage on their own at first, they may be the better choice for the long term.

Whether you choose a horse or a pony for your child, pick the best one for the job. Consider what this horse or pony has done in the past and whether he has a good track record with young children and less experienced riders. Don”t buy a recently retired racehorse “off the track.” Racing is all he knows, and he isn”t ready for the responsibility of teaching a child to ride.

Best Horses for Children

Here is a selection of some of the best horses for children and young, inexperienced riders. Remember that within all breeds of horse you are likely to find one that is suitable for your child; these are simply the breeds known for their sensitivity to young riders:

  • Appaloosa
  • Caspian Horse
  • Chincoteague Pony
  • Connemara Pony
  • Dartmoor Pony
  • Exmoor Pony
  • Gotland Horse
  • Quarter Horse
  • Shetland Pony
  • Welsh Cob/Pony.