Whatย Breedย ofย Horseย orย Ponyย Wouldย Suitย Youย Best?

Whatย Breedย ofย Horseย orย Ponyย Wouldย Suitย Youย Best?

There are over 400 breeds of horses in the world. Each one is suited for different things and trying to tell them apart can quickly become confusing. How do you know which breed is the best fit for you? It is important to note that there are plenty of crosses and grade horses out there that could be the perfect horse for you, as well as anomalies that may be best suited for something completely different than they are bred for. Bloodlines arenโ€™teverything, but they can give you an idea of what type of horse would suit you best.

English Disciplines

There are a variety of different sports under the English umbrella. Sporty breeds like Trakehners, Thoroughbreds, Holsteiners, Hanoverians, and Irish Sport Horses make good jumping horses. For dressage, big warmbloods like Dutch Warmbloods, Hanoverians, and Oldenburgers are the top choice. Alternatively, some breeds like Friesians and Arabians also excel in dressage. The same breeds, largely warmbloods, are popular choices for both jumping and dressage, but different bloodlines will make horses more suited for one or the other. Most breeds can doEnglish pleasure on the flat as long as they have a good stride and can move out.

Western Disciplines

Stock breeds typically make the best western horses. Some examples of stock-type breeds are Quarter Horses, Paint Horses, and Appaloosas. Within these breeds, there are specific bloodlines that make them more suited for different western events. For example, cow-bred or reining-bred Quarter Horses are very different from a western pleasure-bred Quarter Horse. If you are looking for a stock breed, make sure to research their bloodlines to see if they are bred for the type of western event you want to ride.

Driving Breeds

Driving is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and abroad. If you are looking for a driving horse, there areseveral breeds to choose from. If you are planning to get into combined driving (basically like eventing but in a cart),you likely want a finer, sportier breed. Hackneys, Morgans, and refined Shetlands are popular choices. If you just planto do carriage driving, you could pick one of the aforementioned breeds or go with a heavier horse like a Percheron, Haflinger, Fjord, or Cob. Standardbreds are another breed that is commonly associated with driving, they are famously used for harness racing.

High Energy vs. Low Energy Breeds

When you are trying to pick the best breed for you, it is important to consider their energy levels. Some breeds are naturally more high-energy than others, just like dogs. Hot-blooded breeds like Arabians and Thoroughbreds tend to be livelier and more nervous than other breeds. Warm-blooded breeds (historically achieved by breeding together cold and hot-blooded horses) are calmer than horses like Arabians and Thoroughbreds but still have the animation and athleticism necessary for demanding sports like dressage and jumping. Examples of warmbloods include DutchWarmbloods, Hanoverians, Holsteiners, and Trahkeners. Cold-blooded breeds like

Percherons, Shires, Clydesdales, and Belgians tend to be the calmest since they were originally bred for agricultural work.


Different breeds are often genetically suited for certain events, so having knowledge of the top breeds in yourdiscipline will aid you in your search for a new horse. Additionally, certain breeds are more energetic than others andmay not suit you if you prefer a calmer horse. Use this guide to help you pick out the right breed of horse or pony foryou. Comment your favorite breed below!

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