Top Horse Breeds for First Time Owners and Children

Children dream a lot about having a pony or a horse. If you’re hoping to make this dream a reality, you should consider specific types of horse breeds.

The best breeds of horses for novice riders and children are gentle, reliable, and safe. It takes quite some time to become perfect at riding. A beginner rider requires a horse that forgives their mistakes and makes them confident. Here are the top horse breeds for first time owners and children.


The Appaloosa breed is an ideal children’s mount if you need an extremely calm and gentle horse for your kids. With colorful coat patterns and striped hooves, they’re lovely to behold. They’re loyal and friendly, which makes them devoted equine companions. Also, they’re easy to maintain and eager to please, making them suitable for beginning equestrians.

Horse Breeds

Morgan Horse

The Morgan horse breed is one of the oldest breeds in the US. It originated from New England, and its ancestry dates back to a stallion horse, Figure. Morgans are about 14.1 to 15 hands high and are easily recognizable by their muscular bodies, small statures, and upright necks.

Due to their gentle, sweet natures and desire to please, Morgan horses are suitable for first-time owners and beginners. They’re easy to train, intelligent, and extremely forgiving. They have long lifespans and are great for carriage driving, trail riding, and many other disciplines.

Pony of the Americas

Also known as POA, this horse breed is famous for being bred specifically for children. The appearance of this spotted pony breed is similar to the Appaloosa breed, but its height ranges from 11.2 to 14 hands high. Its heritage comes from Welsh Ponies, Shetland Ponies, Arabians, and Appaloosas. Due to its suitability for children’s riding, breeders have preserved the horse’s stature and gentle nature for generations.

Horse Breeds

Welsh Cob

Natives of Great Britain, the Welsh Cob has existed for several centuries. The breed evolved from the crossbreeding of the Welsh Mountain Pony (Section A) with bigger breeds, such as Thoroughbreds, Arabians, and Hackneys, to produce a sturdy equine. Its minimum height is 13.2 hands, and it hardly exceeds 15 hands.

These horses are famous for their carrying capacity, and their owners used them for war, transportation, and farming. They’re gentle, intelligent, and friendly enough for beginner riders and children to ride. However, they can also compete in several disciplines with more experienced riders. Due to their calm nature and varied size range, several riding schools have the Welsh Cob.

Shire Horse

Shire horses originated from the British Shires and are the biggest horse breed in the world. They stand between 16 and 18 hands high, though some attain 19 hands high. Bred for their size and strength, these gentle giants pulled carts, performed in battles, and worked on farms.

Shire horses are famous for their easy-going and kind nature. They rarely rear or buck and aren’t easily spooked. They’re also willing to please and are ideal for tall beginners or first-time owners.

Irish Draft Horse

Originated in the eighteenth century, the Irish draft horse breed is Ireland’s national horse breed. Its actual origin is uncertain, but it’s bloodlines are thought to include warmblood breeds and European draft crossed with Spanish horses (lighter framed breeds) like Andalusians. The Irish Draft horses worked on farms, served as mounts in hunting fields, and pulled carts to carry families to church on Sundays.

Measuring about 15 to 16.3 hands in height with a light structure, Irish Draft horses are smaller than many other draft breeds. They have incredible strength and possess a gentle, docile, and kind nature. However, the Irish horses have an excellent jumping ability and are great for beginners and first-time owners.

Shetland Pony

The Shetland is famous for being one of the smallest pony breeds in the world. Due to its very tractable and docile personality, it’s ideal for small children as a saddle pony. It can move at a brisk pace and is excellent in harness.

The average height of Shetlands ranges between 9.3 and 10.2 hands. They have small ears and an attractive head, with a robust small body on short, busy legs.

Horse breeds

Fjord Horse

The Fjord breed is likely the purest and oldest horse breed in the world, as it originated over 4,000 years ago in Norway. About ninety percent of them are brown dun and have primitive marks, including zebra stripes on the legs and unique dorsal stripes on their back. They stand at the height of about 13.2 to 14.2 hands.

Norwegian farmers used these sturdy and robust horses to work on hilly farms. Despite their size, the Norwegian breed can pull heavy loads. Fjord horses are gentle, hard-working, and friendly. They’re ideal for first-time owners, as they have smooth paces and can tolerate rider mistakes, making them comfortable for riding. The Fjord breed competes in several disciplines and is exceptionally versatile.


Originating in Austria and Italy in the late 1800s, Haflinger horses were famous for transportation and farming. Their coat color is chestnut with a flaxen or white mane and tail.

Standing between 13.2 and 15 hands high, Haflingers have an excellent temperament. The Haflinger Registry doesn’t accept unkind or aggressive horses. Hence, these horses will do whatever you want and are people-oriented. Sensible, steady, and calm, Haflingers are suitable for first-time owners, as they perform excellently at lower levels in most disciplines.

American Quarter Horse

These are the oldest horse breeds in the US, initially bred for short-distance sprinting and later as working horses. They’re excellent in every discipline you can imagine, with about three million registered throughout the world. The favorite horse breed in America comes in three different classes of Progressive, Thoroughbred, and Bulldog, standing at about 14 to 16 hands high.

The American Quarter Horse is famous for its laid-back personality, being reliable, intelligent, and safe. They can adapt quickly to varying situations and are willing to embark on any new assignment. Their gentle disposition makes them the most popular in America.

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