Horse riding is one of the most thrilling hobbies and adventures you can undertake. That is why more people are buying horses, and even more are learning to ride them. However, joining the ranks of experienced horse riders is not as straightforward as many may think.
The horse's breed is one of the most significant factors to consider when learning to ride a horse or buying your first horse as a beginner. Not all horse breeds work well with inexperienced riders; hence they need to know the breeds to avoid while still learning.
Below are seven horse breeds that will prove challenging to ride as a beginner and might derail or delay your learning process.
1. The Arabian
The Arabian horse is one of the best horse breeds to ride. They are fun to ride because their gait contributes to comfort. Riders also experience reduced bouncing on the saddle when straddling them. However, they are not ideal for beginners.
The Arabian horse is known to be very intelligent and has an unpredictable personality. A smart horse is ideal for trainers and experienced riders because they can understand and take instructions. However, they can be dangerous when handled by a beginner because they can ascertain when a rider is unsure about what they want to do with the horse.
An Arabian horse will also notice fear in a beginner, and they can exploit that fear to act however they please. Regarding their unpredictable personality, Arabian horses can be gentle and responsive when handled by an experienced person but become stubborn and dangerous when around beginner riders. Therefore, avoiding the temperamental and smart Arabian horse breed is advisable when learning to ride.
2. The Shire
The Shire is one of the oldest horse breeds. It has a long history of association with humans dating back to the Middle Ages though its exact origin is unknown. It was a popular war horse before the invention of firearms because of its height and weight, as it could carry heavily armored and armed soldiers and calmly withstand the intensities of battle.
The Shire’s height and weight are also why it is not ideal for beginners. The Shire’s size can be intimidating to many beginners, which can make some lose interest in learning. Moreover, their height makes them challenging to mount and dismount, especially for individuals below average height.
Besides size, the Shire is a great horse breed because they are gentle and rarely get frightened, meaning there is less chance it will buck and inadvertently cause harm to the rider. That is why they remain a popular domestic horse, especially in farms and rural areas where they pull carriages and loads.
3. The Faroese
The Faroese horse is a breed from the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The breed was introduced to the islands by Norse settlers over 1,000 years ago because they were the only ones able to withstand the location’s harsh climate.
The breed was used on farms and for navigating the islands’ mountains and hills for centuries. However, modernization resulted in their disuse, population decline, and near extinction. Today there are only about 100 Faroese horses in the world. That is one of the reasons it is not ideal for beginners. You cannot acquire one because there is a ban on their exportation to aid in conservation efforts meant to bolster their population.
In addition, the Faroese horse has a stubborn nature. Even if you could acquire one, riding a Faroese horse as a beginner would still be challenging because you will need the skill to tame such a wild and headstrong horse.
The Percheron is a French draft horse known for its size and weight. Like the Shire, the Percheron horse, which originates from the Perche region of France, was initially a war horse. Over time, its use evolved into pulling carriages and pulling loads in the logging industry and farms.
It is a popular breed among riders because of its size, appearance, and temperament. It is also one of the more abundantly available horse breeds. However, its size is the reason many beginners should avoid the Percheron. The breed can be intimidating, which can affect the rider’s ability to direct the horse’s actions.
The Percheron being a strong horse means one might get seriously injured in an accident. Moreover, their strength makes controlling them more difficult, especially when they follow undesired paths. Therefore, beginners should leave Percherons to experienced riders capable of giving them direction without panicking or resorting to forceful methods.
5. Australian Brumbies
The Australian Brumby is a breed of horse not native to Australia. Before the arrival of Europeans in Australia, there were no horses in the country. Today Australian Brumbies number over 400,000 because most of the population is wild and freely reproduces.
Australian Brumbies are not ideal for beginners because of their wild nature. There is a history of the breed’s domestication and use as a war horse and in sports like show jumping. However, most of the population remains wild because their utility dropped as modernization spread.
Living in the wild for so long has forced the Australian Brumby to adopt traits that guarantee survival. Therefore, even when you find a domesticated Brumby, which is challenging, it will still retain wild qualities even after extensive training. The most dangerous trait they possess that can be dangerous to beginners is their shyness.
Shyness might seem like an ideal trait in a horse for an amateur; however, the opposite is true. As a beginner, you will struggle to understand a shy horse, meaning you will have no idea of its intentions, which makes the horse dangerous. Ideally, you want a confident horse because it gets scared less easily; it can learn to follow directions and give feedback through body language.
The Hanoverian horse is popular in equestrian sports like show jumping, driving, and dressage. That is because of their natural skills, which include agility, endurance, strength, and speed.
Watching a Hanoverian at a dressage or show jumping event is a sight to behold because of the ease and fluidity with which the horse moves around the arena. That might give a beginner the false impression that it is easy to ride the Hanoverian.
However, mounting a Hanoverian should be the last thing on a beginner's mind. Riding a Hanoverian requires considerable skill, muscle, balance, and fitness. It is a large horse breed meaning as a beginner, losing control of the situation atop a Hanoverian is very easy. Overall, beginners might get injured riding the breed not because it is ill-mannered but because they cannot handle the horse’s power and agility.
7. The Thoroughbred
Thoroughbred horses are the most sought-after horses globally because of their economic appeal. People breed Thoroughbreds primarily to participate in horse racers. People also buy them to benefit from stud fees. A Thoroughbred horse with the right pedigree can fetch the owner a substantial amount in stud fees.
However, several factors make them inappropriate for beginners. First, Thoroughbreds are strong, large, and have great endurance. Therefore, one requires great skill and strength to control their behavior; otherwise, one might suffer severe injuries from falls, bucks, and kicks.
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Moreover, the training and upbringing Thoroughbreds receive means they are only ideal for experienced and professional riders. Only an individual with experience being around Thoroughbreds can competently provide the kind of care they are accustomed to
Horse riding is a unique and exciting skill set. However, as a beginner, you should avoid focusing too much on the end goal and instead concentrate on the learning process while guaranteeing your safety.
The horse you choose when learning is a significant factor in ensuring your safety. Therefore, finding a well-trained horse that knows how to interact with amateur riders is essential. You should also find a gentle, well-mannered, confident, mature, and appropriately sized horse to help you with your training.