It is believed that there are more than 400 different breeds of horses around the world. Horses vary in conformation, appearance and purpose. Each breed is defined by specific qualities that determine aptitude and purpose. Some horses are small and are excellent for the role of walking with children on their backs, while others are fantastic at jumping high obstacles and are awesome in sports.
Things to consider when buying your first horse
Buying your first horse is a huge commitment, so think carefully about what kind of horse you need, keeping your skills and budget in mind. Check out the key factors you might want to consider.
Matching the horse
Young and unbroken horses tend to be less expensive, but your budget should not guide you when choosing your first horse. It is crucial to match the horse to your skills so that you can confidently enter the equestrian world. An untrained horse requires months of hard work to make it a suitable mount for a beginner.
Horses of different ages and characters are offered at auctions, but when buying your first horse, you should personally see and get to know the animal. You don’t have that opportunity at an auction. Auctions are for experienced people who can spot a golden opportunity with their inquisitive eye.
When buying a horse, make sure to ask the owner about the possibility of a trial period and the eventual return of the horse if it turns out that you are not able to handle it.
Choose according to your skills
As mentioned above, if you are a beginner, it is crucial to choose a horse that is a bit older and experienced so that it can teach you things. Never opt for a young or inexperienced horse while your skills are insufficient.
Estimate the costs
Buying a horse is a fairly expensive investment, but the subsequent upkeep requires even more cash and time. Remember that you need to provide your horse with a boarding facility, good quality feed, regular visits from the smith, vet, dentist and physiotherapist. Assess what the costs are for these services in your area to decide if you can afford your own mount.
Arrange the necessary equipment
If you have never had a horse, you are probably ahead of buying all the necessary equipment, such as saddle pads, saddle, girth, boots, brushes, bridle, etc. When buying a horse, ask about the size the horse wears in detail so that you can buy all the necessary equipment and be ready for your friend’s arrival.
Below you will find a list of the most popular horse breeds that are known around the world:
1. Arabian horse
Arabian horses are one of the most recognizable horse breeds. Their beauty and pride are stunning, and their conformation and muzzle shape are so distinctive that even an amateur will recognize a horse of this breed.
Arabian horses quickly develop a strong bond with their rider and caretaker, the relationship is strong and can even last a lifetime.
This breed is highly intelligent, and their traits make them quite versatile. They can take part in jumping, eventing, dressage or endurance riding competitions, where they perform sensationally.
The most common Arabian horses have gray, flea-bitten grey, black, bay and chestnut coats. Thanks to their astonishing appearance, they are often actors in movies.
The breed originated in Austria, but you can find individuals of this breed in stables all over the world. The breed is very friendly, and combined with their willingness to learn, they make excellent companions for humans.
With their calm disposition and incredible gentleness, they are perfect horses for children and recreational riding. However, they are nevertheless all-purpose horses and work successfully in harness, as well as in sports. More and more horses of this breed are taking part in jumping or dressage competitions.
Haflingers come in various shades of brown with light-colored mane and tail, often with white markings on the head and legs.
3. Andalusian horse
Andalusian horses are considered one of the most beautiful horse breeds in the entire world. People are head over heels in love with the boastful appearance and the expressive movements of these horses.
Andalusian horses are extremely loyal to their owners, plus they would do anything to make their owner happy. Horses of this breed learn quickly, thus they often take part in showmanship.
Andalusian horses have a very cheerful and serene character, which makes them great with children.
You will find these horses in dressage, but more and more riders use them for jumping and recreational riding.
The most common are horses with gray coat, because it is the most popular among the breed. Less often you’ll see chestnut, black, or palomino coats.
Thoroughbred English horses are known primarily as racing horses. These athletic horses, along with their long legs and muscular hindquarters, yield excellent fast running qualities. However, the physique of these horses has been recognized not only by horse racing trainers. English horses are more and more often found on the parcours and in eventing, and cross-breeds of English horses with sport breeds (such as the Thracian horse) also make for good dressage horse material.
English horses have a rather firm character, so this breed is not recommended for beginner riders or for recreational riding.
You will most often come across thoroughbred English horses in bay coat, as well as gray, black or chestnut. White variations on the legs and head are allowed.
English horses are natural-born actors and you will often see this breed in movies and TV series.
5. American quarter horse
Quarter Horses originated in America and it is there that they are the most popular breed. Their popularity has also sparked the curiosity of riders from other continents, and today you will find horses of this breed in every corner of the world.
These horses are quite easy to handle, yet extremely intelligent and agile, so novices should be careful with them. This breed is most often seen in western competitions and on ranches where they herd cattle.
These horses are quite stocky and relatively short, but very muscular, so they have no problem carrying an adult male on their back. You’ll most often see black, bay, palomino, chestnut and gray horses.
Ask yourself one basic question: are you ready for your own horse?
Before your dream horse comes to you, ask yourself this question to make sure you are doing the right thing. Once you make the purchase, you will be fully responsible for the animal, so the decision should not be impulsive.