While athletics is regarded as the queen of sports, horseback riding can be defined as the sport of the royals. If you consider taking up horseback riding as your pastime, you should keep in mind that there are more than 300+ horse breeds and that each horse breed has its virtues and shortcomings. Some breeds stand out for working and racing, while others are recommended for casual riding and equestrian competition, such as show jumps. Let’s take a look at what the most popular horse breeds are and how they can meet your personal needs as a horse lover.
American Quarter Horse
This is the most numerous breed in the world, and this breed is recommended for all levels of equestrian mastery – from beginners to advanced horseback riders. These horses are popular for their athleticism, agility, and docility, as well as for their beauty and elegance on the trail. This breed is originally a crossbreed derived from English and Native American Chickasaw horses. They are known for their chiseled head, forehead that is wide, and a flat profile.
This breed is believed to be the oldest in the world, and there are some records that these horses existed even in 3000 B.C. Moreover, the origin of every light horse breed can be traced to the Arabian as their ancestor. Breeds like Morgans, Appaloosa and Andalusians are believed to be connected to the Arabian. The Arabian is not a good choice for a beginner since it is seen as a high-spirited horse breed. Yet, it is famous for its loyalty. This horse is characterized by a compact body, wedge-shaped head, short back, and powerful hindquarters.
If you consider horse races, the thoroughbred is a perfect choice for you. This horse is also known as a ‘hot-blooded” horse thanks to its speed, agility, athleticism, and spirit. Apart from races, this breed possesses versatile abilities and it can be used for horse jumps, dressage, as well as casual, more relaxed riding. Thoroughbreds stand out for their deep chest, lean body, and long flat muscles.
Morgans used to clear and till New England farms at colonial times, and that very fact perfectly describes their strength and musculature. Apart from that, they are known for their elegance, which makes them a good choice both for driving and riding. Their physical appearance is characterized by small ears, expressive eyes, and crested necks.
Ponies are usually smaller than other breeds and have shorter and weaker legs than others. Ponies are a perfect choice for children thanks to their graceful and tame nature. They are also thankful for keeping the balance since their height does not require some complicated skill. The most popular ponies are plucky Shetland and elegant Welsh.