When many people first start learning to ride they often wonder if there’s a particular type of horse that would suit them more. You may be a nervous rider or don’t yet have a good balance so it’s natural to ask if one breed would suit you more than another breed would. Horses are living creatures with their own personalities so while one breed may be perfect it doesn’t mean to say that every horse within that breed is going to be suitable. That said each breed has its own characteristics and traits that it’s known for.
If you’re not worried about whether a horse is registered as a purebred or not then you might want to consider a Grade Horse. Often classed as a breed they are, by definition, a type rather than a breed, a Grade Horse can be any horse (or pony in the case of a Grade Pony) whose parentage is unknown or of high mixed breeding. Much the same as with a mongrel dog there will always be people that will turn their nose up at non-purebreds but if you ask me, not being a purebred works in the favor of a Grade Horse. This is because, while not always, they often have the best characteristics of all of the breeds in their makeup, this generally makes them safe, dependable horses which, as a new rider, is exactly what you want.
If, on the other hand, you are worried if a horse is registered or not then you need to consider a few things before deciding if a particular breed is suitable for new riders. If you’re only requirement is a general purpose horse to learn to ride on then an ideal breed would have a gentle, even temperament, be versatile and comfortable to ride while at the same time not be headstrong and considering the rider. You also don’t want a horse that is highly strung and will spook easily. With this in mind, I thought I’d have a look at the most suitable breeds for new riders.
In this article, we’ll cover the 12 best horses for new riders. These breeds are:
- Quarter Horse
- Paint Horse
- Selle Français
- Irish Draught
- Welsh Cob (section D)
- Pony of the Americas
- American Saddlebred
- Tennessee Walker
- Icelandic Horse
- Peruvian Paso
Height: Between 14hh and 16hh (56 inches to 64 inches) although can be up to 17hh (68 inches)
Color: Any color although sorrel (a deep red chestnut color) is the most common
Character: A calm and gentle breed that is eager to please. Ideal for all walks of life and great around children
Country of Origin: USA
As with a lot of American breeds the Quarter Horse, or Quarter Pather as it was originally called, is descended from a mixture of Spanish and Oriental horses as well as the English Thoroughbred and was initially bred for speed. In its early years it was bred by English settlers as a racehorse which is where it gets its name from – the first ‘race tracks’ were wooden tracks laid along a village street which, at that time were typically a quarter of a mile in distance. As America began to open up and people started to travel westward the Quarter Horse was crossbred with ‘western’ horses that had already been bred by Native Americans, it’s with this crossbreeding that the Quarter Horse has developed into the breed we know and love today. In fact, the Quarter Horse is not only the most popular breed of horse in America but it’s also one of the most popular breeds in the world, and when you consider the versatility of the breed it’s not difficult to see why.
The Quarter Horse has a natural ‘cow sense’ that makes them perfect for ranch work but also means that they don’t spook easily and can be calm and relaxed even after a sudden burst of energy. They’re very intelligent horses and are keen to learn which makes them easy to train and once trained they know exactly what to do which gain makes them great for beginners.
The Quarter Horse really is a breed for everybody, regardless of your experience. It’s a flexible pleasure horse but also has the speed for racing and the build for rodeos. It’s often said that the Quarter Horse is a sleepy little critter that can unwind like lightning with the ability to turn on a sixpence.
Five reasons why the Quarter Horse is great for new riders
- Eager to please
- Versatile in all forms of riding
- Great around children
- Easy to handle
- Keen to learn
Want to know more about the Quarter Horse? Check out the American Quarter Horse Association’s website.
Height: Normally between 14.2hh and 15.2hh (57 inches to 61 inches) although they can be taller
Color: White with any other color
Character: A versatile breed that is known for its friendly disposition and relaxed nature. They’re highly intelligent and make great family horses
Country of origin: USA
While the Paint Horse’s coat pattern is arguably its most distinguishing feature it doesn’t mean to say that its other characteristics aren’t just as impressive. Sometimes wrongly referred to as a Pinto, the Paint Horse is a registered breed that is favored for its intelligence along with its willingness to please.
Prized by many, some Native American tribes actively bred these colored horses believing them to have magical powers that would help to protect them from evil spirits. As well as their coat patterns they also treasured them for their good natures.
Despite English settlers introducing Thoroughbreds to the gene pool, early Paint Horses were mainly Quarter Horses, they weren’t registered as such though because until recently the American Quarter Horse Association (or AQHA) didn’t allow horses to be registered with, as they put it, ‘too much white’. This has now been changed so a lot of Paint Horses are also double registered as Quarter Horses. There are two types of Paint Horse, depending on if they are of Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred descent. As you would expect horses with a Thoroughbred lineage tend to be a little bit leaner, whereas those originating from Quarter Horses are stockier.
Paint Horses have many of the same traits as Quarter Horses which makes them an ideal choice for new riders. They are also able to turn their hand (or should I say hoof) to anything, whether it’s quiet trail rides, running the barrels, jumping, or even driving. They really are a horse for all reasons.
Five reasons why the Paint Horse is great for new riders
- Relaxed nature
- Kind temperament
- Patient with new riders
- Intelligent and willing to learn
- If you like your horse to have color you can’t get a more colorful breed
Want to know more about the Paint Horse? Check out the American Paint Horse Association’s website.
Height: Ranging from 14hh to 16hh (56 inches to 64 inches)
Color: Spotted, although it can be solid colored if they have mottled skin
Character: A hardy breed that is capable of doing anything and everything. It’s a very loyal breed with an easy-going nature
Country of origin: USA
Like the Paint Horse, The Appaloosa is perhaps most famous for its distinctive spotted coat, but again, it’s much more than just a ‘colored horse’. It’s a very popular breed of horse and is second only to the Quarter Horse in terms of popularity, with over half a million currently registered with The Appaloosa Horse Club (or ApHC).
Originally bred by the Nez Percé, the breed was said to have been ‘born’ when three stallions, known as the Ghost Wind Stallions, rose out of the sea to create the breed. While this obviously isn’t true it shows just how highly they regarded these horses. After the infamous Nez Percé war of 1877, the breed was nearly wiped out, many having been slaughtered by the US Cavalry. Thankfully though there were a few who escaped and went on to form the basis for the Appaloosa we know today.
Today Appaloosas can range in type from a stocky Quarter Horse type to a leaner more elegant Arabian type or can be similar in build to the Thoroughbred. This is because those breeds were used to help bring the breed’s numbers up and bring it closer to The Appaloosa the Nez Percé was famed for. This breeding though has also helped it to establish it as a horse that can literally do anything.
Appaloosas are hardy horses that are just as happy in a stall or at pasture, they also have a very friendly nature, are extremely loyal, and, being kind horses, are ideal for new riders regardless of their age. Equally as good in English or Western, it’s an all-round versatile horse that also makes it a popular choice on the ranch, for endurance, jumping, and even racing.
Five reasons why the Appaloosa is great for new riders
- Distinctive color
- A great all-round horse
- Loyal and easy-going
- Has a good jump and comfortable ride
- Very hardy
Want to know more about the Appaloosa? Check out 17 Incredible & Fascinating Facts About The Appaloosa.
Height: Between 14.1hh and 15.2hh (57 inches to 62 inches)
Color: Chestnut, black, bay, and brown are the most common but they can be any color
Character: A strong breed in relation to its size, the Morgan is known for its speed, courage, and intelligence
Country of origin: USA
All Morgan horses can be traced back to just one horse called Figure, or as he later became known, Justin Morgan’s Horse. In 1791, at the age of just two, Figure was given, as payment of a debt, to a music teacher called Justin Morgan. Little is known about Figure’s parentage but it is thought that he was descended from a Welsh Cob, a claim that is backed up by its appearance and the way they breed carries its head. Today’s Morgan has changed very little in over two hundred years and is still favored for its strength, speed, and endurance as well as its courage and high intelligence.
Being a very strong breed it began to make a name for itself pretty quickly due to the role it played in clearing and tilling farmland in New England. It’s this strength combined with its courage that made the Morgan a popular choice during the American Civil War, with both sides favoring the breed.
If you see a weather vane with a trotting horse on it chances are it’s the silhouette of Ethan Allen, a famous Morgan who was the fastest trotting stallion in his day. Okay I know it’s got nothing to do with how suitable the breed is for new riders but it’s still an interesting fact.
A lot of new riders haven’t yet developed their balance in the saddle which is one of the reasons why the Morgan is an ideal choice, although not all of them, some Morgans are classed as gaited horses and are able to perform the rack. This is where the horse moves his front leg a fraction of a second before he moves the back leg on the same side, then repeating with the other side. This is called a lateral gait because the legs move laterally rather than diagonally but not all Morgans can do this because the gene for it is recessive which means that a foal will only be able to do it if both parents have the gene.
Five reasons why the Morgan is great for new riders
- Strong, especially in relation to its size
- Courageous and confident
- Happy under saddle or harness
- Highly intelligent
- Extremely comfortable ride
Want to know more about the Morgan? Check out the American Morgan Horse Association’s website.
Height: Anything between 15.1hh and 17.3hh (61 to 71 inches)
Color: Predominately bay or chestnut, although some are gray
Character: A classic riding horse with plenty of stamina, it has a friendly nature and is known for its patients. It also gives a very comfortable ride
Country of origin: France
The Selle Français or Cheval de Selle Français, which translates to mean French Saddle or French Saddle Horse, is known for its success in the showjumping ring, as well as with dressage and therefore three-day eventing but its always been bred as a quality riding horse above everything else. Its strength, athleticism, intelligence, and all-round good confirmation have made it a classic riding horse which means it’s a great choice for new riders.
Some people argue that the Selle Français is more of a type than a breed and in the early years of the breed this was definitely the case, especially considering it was solely bred for its physical capabilities above everything else. While this is still important, a clear breed has definitely emerged even with the continued influence of other breeds in its bloodlines.
There are slightly different types of Selle Français depending on their breeding history, for example, those with a lot of Arabian, Anglo-Arabian, or Thoroughbred blood are more athletic than those with French Trotter blood. All Selle Français’ are known for their graceful gaits but those with a high amount of French Trotter blood are more suited to new riders.
Selle Français’ are versatile horses that are just as happy competing at the Olympics or the World Equestrian Games as they are on the trail or helping people learn to ride. They have straight backs and harmonious gaits that give the rider a smooth and steady ride, in fact, the Selle Français is so smooth that they’re also a popular choice for equestrian vaulting. They are intelligent horses that are very quick to learn while at the same time being patient and having a friendly personality.
Five reasons why the Selle Français is great for new riders
- Originally bred as a riding horse
- Friendly nature
- Doesn’t tire easily
- Intelligent but patient
- Comfortable and smooth ride
Want to know more about the Selle Français? Check out the Studbook Selle Français North America’s website.
Height: Ranging from 15.2hh to 16.3hh (62 inches to 67 inches)
Color: Bay, brown, chestnut, or gray
Character: A powerful all-round workhorse that loves to be around people, it has a docile nature and is economical to keep
Country of origin: Ireland
When it comes to English disciplines the Irish Draught is one of the most popular choices and has been used as a foundation breed in the creation of many leisure and performance horses. The Irish Draught itself can be traced back to the now extinct Irish Hobby who helped to establish the breed, along with Anglo-Norman war horses in the early 12th century. Since then other breeds have been introduced, with varying degrees of success, at various stages of the Irish Draught’s development. In the 16th century, the Clydesdale and the Thoroughbred were introduced along with Spanish horses that were aboard the shipwrecked Spanish Armada, while the Connemara Pony was added in the 19th century.
The Irish Draught’s original purpose was that of a workhorse which meant that it needed to have a good nature, be strong, reliable, and economical to keep which is exactly what it still is today although it is more popular as a riding horse now than as a workhorse. Its strength and temperament have main it a popular choice over the years with country infantry and law enforcement, today all horses in the British police forces are Irish Draughts.
Some people refer to the Irish Draught as the Irish Sport Horse but this is actually a separate breed, albeit it one that was bred by crossing Irish Draughts with Thoroughbreds. The Irish Sport Horse, which is also a great horse for new riders, does, however, have a great deal in common with its founding forefather.
The Irish Draught Horse Society states that all Irish Draughts must be versatile, powerful, and athletic with a good temperament and a docile, willing nature which is exactly what makes this such a good breed for new riders. On top of that, they enjoy being around people and are great with children.
Five reasons why the Irish Draught is great for new riders
- Powerful workhorse
- Easy to keep
- Gentle nature
- Doesn’t spook easily
- Great with children
Want to know more about the Irish Draught? Check out the Irish Draught Horse Society of North America’s website.
Welsh Cob (section D)
Height: Taller than 13.2hh (54 inches) but the average is 15hh (60 inches)
Color: All colors
Character: The Welsh section D is courageous and has a gentle nature. They are also very hardy and strong, their friendly nature makes them a perfect choice for new riders of all ages
Country of origin: Wales
The largest and tallest of all of the Welsh breeds, the Welsh Cob (or section D) is an extremely old breed that is known to have been in existence since at least the Middle Ages, records held by the International Museum of the Horse in Lexington, Kentucky show that British Knights valued them as one of their essential mounts. It’s also known that the Crusaders, who brought horses back with them from the Middle East, introduced Arabian blood into the breed which only helped to increase the speed and strengthen the agility of this already outstanding breed.
Part of a group of breeds known as mountain and moorlands that were traditionally kept, as their name suggests on the mountains, moorlands, and heathlands of the British Isles, the Welsh Cob is, like most other mountain and moorland breeds an easy keeper which has helped them to survive during the tough winters. Described as ‘the best ride and drive animal in the world’ and has been, over the centuries, used as a cavalry horse, for driving, hunting, racing, and riding, it’s easy to see why the Welsh Cob is such a popular choice.
Character-wise the Welsh Cob is friendly and very eager to please but is independent enough to think for itself which is actually one of the traits that has made it such an endearing breed. It has the character, strength, and hardiness of a pony but the speed of a horse. Before the arrival of motorized vehicles, their value was determined by how quickly they could cover a set distance – they were the choice of many doctors who needed to be able to get to a patient quickly if there as an emergency.
Five reasons why the Welsh Cob is great for new riders
- Extremely hardy
- Strength means it can carry children and adults alike
- A solid workhorse
- Friendly nature
- Independent but easy to please
Want to know more about the Welsh Cob? Check out the Welsh Pony & Cob Society of America’s website.
Pony of the Americas (or POA)
Height: Normally between 11.2hh and 14hh (46 inches to 56 inches)
Character: Speed, stamina, intelligence, and a gentle, willing nature are important characteristics in all Pony of the Americas
Country of origin: USA
While there have been many breeds over the centuries whose evolution was an accident there can’t be many that were created purely by chance although the Pony of the Americas (or POA as it’s also known) is definitely one of them. Its development was a direct consequence of Shetland Pony breeder and lawyer, Les Boomhower, being offered an Appaloosa mare that had accidentally been bred with a Shetland Pony. The resulting colt was called Black Hand due to the black smudges he had on his otherwise white coat and inspired Les Boomhower to create the breed we know today. He wanted to create a Western utility breed that, while being known for its colorful coat, was also a great ‘in-between’ breed for older children that were too big for ponies but too small for a horse.
Just a few years after the Pony of the Americas’ inception the Shetland Pony was dropped from the breeding program altogether in an effort to increase the breed’s height. This has proven very successful and they are now very capable of carrying adults just as easily as children.
Despite being developed as a Western riding and stock pony the Pony of the Americas is capable of doing pretty much anything, from driving, endurance and dressage to other English disciplines such as jumping and eventing. On top of that, they’re also extremely fast, have great stamina and a big jump, especially in relation to their size. Their stamina was clearly demonstrated in 1961 when the International Grand Champion, Apache Wampum, completed a 700 plus mile ride from Columbus Junction in Iowa to Cheyenne in Wyoming.
It’s their character thought that makes them such a good breed for new riders, they’re intelligent which makes them easy to train and handle but also have a gentle, willing nature.
Five reasons why the Pony of the Americas is great for new riders
- Strength of a pony
- Able to carrying children and adults
- Have a great deal of stamina
- Distinctive Appaloosa coloring
- Can be used in all disciplines
Want to know more about the Pony of the Americas? Check out the Pony of the Americas official website.
So-called because as well as the ‘normal’ walk, trot and canter, these horses have at least one other gait or pace. Gaited horses are extremely comfortable to ride and are ideal for new riders who haven’t yet developed the balance and riding position, they’re also ideal for riders who suffer from lower back pain.
Height: Anything between 15hh and 16hh (60 inches to 64 inches)
Color: Any color
Character: One of the friendliest temperaments of all breeds, the American Saddlebred is easy to train, comfortable to ride, and versatile
Country of origin: USA
The original purpose of the American Saddlebred is what makes it such a great breed for new riders. It was initially created as a mount for plantation owners who wanted a comfortable, elegant, and versatile horse that they could survey their vast estates from by day and, by night, could use to pull their family carriage. In order to create the breed they were after, Canadian Pacers and the now extinct Narragansett Pacer were crossed with Morgans, Thoroughbreds, and Arabs, this gave the breed its comfortable ride but also helped to establish its reputation as having one of the friendliest temperaments of all breeds.
The American Saddlebred has two artificial gaits, that are taught to young horses as soon as they’re old enough to begin training. The gaits are the slow walk which is actually more of a fast trot, and the rack which is faster than a canter. The rack is also characterized by its high leg action which gives the breed a great deal of beauty and elegance. The canter of the American Saddlebred is also different from that of most other breeds, which is so collected (This is where the horse’s hind legs are further under his body and his movement is energetic but contained) it’s said to be able to ‘canter all day in the shade of an apple tree’.
Another reason the American Saddlebred is a great choice for new riders is its versatility, despite being known as gaited horses the American Saddlebred is just as happy in a jumping ring as it is eventing or hunting.
Five reasons why the American Saddlebred is great for new riders
- Friendliest breed
- Easy to train
- Smooth gait
- Developed for a comfortable ride
- Versatile in most sports
Want to know more about the American Saddlebred? Check out the American Saddlebred Horse Association’s website.
Height: Normally 14.3hh to 17hh (59 inches to 68 inches)
Color: All colors are allowed
Character: An elegant breed that is known for its calm disposition and smooth gait. They’re versatile and ideal for new riders
Country of origin: USA
Originally called the Plantation Walking Horse, the Tennessee Walker, like the American Saddlebred, was developed as a versatile horse that plantation owners could ride all day and then use as a carriage horse for their family. It was also known as a Turn Row due to the way the plantations were inspected, ‘row by row’.
The breed has two unique gaits, the flat walk, and the running walk, along with the universal canter. Both the flat walk and the running walk are natural and can often be seen in foals as they run alongside their mothers.
The flat walk, which is also called the flat-footed walk, is a stretchy four-beat walk in which horses can cover up to seven miles in an hour. The flat walk is a very comfortable gait in part because of the ‘overstride’, where the horse slides his hind feet over the tracks left by the front feet, this overstride is often accompanied by the horse nodding his head in time with the movement of his feet. The running walk, on the other hand, is pretty much the same as the flat walk but with a lot more speed. While not present in all horses, some Tennessee Walkers also have another gait called the trail pleasure walk. Sometimes called the dog walk it’s mainly used in the show ring.
Like all breeds, some Tennessee Walkers are bred for the showing ring and they are also capable of performing the trail pleasure walk, this gait, which is also known as a dog walk, is a showy walk that is also very relaxed.
The Tennessee Walker is a versatile pleasure horse that has a very kind and docile nature which, along with its comfortable ride, makes it ideal for new riders as well as with nervous and elderly riders. It also goes well in harness and can be used for trail and endurance riding.
Five reasons why the Tennessee Walker is great for new riders
- Smooth ‘gliding’ stride
- Happy under saddle and harness
- Docile nature and calm disposition
- Good around children
- Not easily spooked
Want to know more about the Tennessee Walker? Check out 13 Incredible & Fascinating Facts About The Tennessee Walker.
Height: 13hh to 14hh (52 inches to 56 inches)
Color: Any color
Character: A solid horse that won’t spook, the Icelandic Horse is a hardy breed that is easy to keep
Country of origin: Iceland
If you’re after a purebred then you really can’t get much purer than the Icelandic Horse which, while descending from horses that were introduced into Iceland over 12,000 years ago, hasn’t been influenced by any other breeds since 982AD. It even has a place in Viking mythology where night and day are pulled by two Icelandic Horses called Hrímfaxi (frost mane) and Skinfaxi (shining mane).
The Icelandic Horse is probably one of the ‘safest’ breeds for new riders, I say safest because in their homeland they have no natural predators but Iceland does have a lot of quicksand and rock slides. This has helped the Icelandic Horse evolve into a horse that won’t spook but will instead assess a situation. The Icelandic Horse is also a very hardy breed, during the winter it grows a second layer of fur as well as a full mane and tail that help to keep it warm during the harsh weather.
As well as its extremely unflappable, level-headed nature the Icelandic Horse is also a very comfortable breed. Its classed as a gaited horse because as well as the standard walk, trot and canter the Icelandic Horse also has two extra gaits, the unique tölt (or tølt as it’s also known) and the pace.
As an interesting footnote, it’s worth mentioning that Icelandic Horses have a built-in homing device, this is particularly evident in their native Iceland they are regularly turned loose, after traveling for days, to find their own way home.
Five reasons why the Icelandic Horse is great for new riders
- Won’t spook at all
- Easy to keep
- Fast but smooth gaits
- Can be ridden for days without tiring
- A horse that’s pony size
Want to know more about the Icelandic Horse? Check out 15 Incredible & Fascinating Facts About The Icelandic Horse.
Height: Between 13hh and 15.2hh (52 inches to 62 inches)
Color: Any color
Character: A gentle breed that has a very smooth ride with a huge amount of energy and stamina
Country of origin: Peru
A direct descendant of the horses that the Spanish brought with them to South America, the Peruvian Paso hasn’t been influenced by other breeds in almost five hundred years which has helped to keep the breed true to its original idea – that of an elegant horse with a friendly nature and an easy gait with good knee action. The original Jennet, a small Spanish breed known for its placid temperament and smooth ambling gait, and the Andalusian were crossed with the Barb to produce the breed. Together they helped to give the Peruvian Paso its energy, strength, and stamina as well as its smooth gait.
All Peruvian Paso’s are born with two natural gaits, the Paso Ilano which is an evenly spaced lateral four-beat movement of medium speed, and the Sobreandando, a faster version of the Paso Ilano. Both gaits give the rider a comfortable and smooth ride. The Peruvian Paso is also able to ‘roll’ its front legs outwards in an action similar to that of a swimmer’s arms while performing the front crawl. This action is unique to the breed and is known as the término, which actually translates to mean finished.
Often said to be the most comfortable breed in the world the Peruvian Paso, which is the National Horse of Peru, is ideal for new riders not just because of its comfortable ride but also due to its friendly nature and kind temperament. Described as a ‘something for everyone’ horse the Peruvian Paso has the endurance to cover great distances with neither the horse nor rider tiring.
Five reasons why the Peruvian Paso is great for new riders
- The most comfortable breed in the world
- Calm nature and kind temperament
- Comfortable to ride
- Plenty of energy
- An elegant way of moving
Want to know more about the Peruvian Paso? Check out the North American Peruvian Horse Association’s website.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you did I’d be grateful if you could share it please as it would really help me.
Over the years I have tried hundreds of different horsey products, from various blankets and halters to different treats. Some I’ve loved, others I’ve hated but I thought I’d share with you my top all-time favorite products, the ones I never leave the yard without. I’ve included links to the products (which are in no particular order) that I really think are great.
- Horse Knots by Reference Ready – If you’re like me and enjoy pocket reference guides then you’ll love this knot tying guide. These handy cards can easily fit in your pocket or attach to the saddle for quick reference. They’re waterproof, durable and are color coded to make them easy to follow.
- Mane ’n Tail Detangler – Even if you never show your horse you’ll need to detangle his tail from time to time (and possibly his mane too) which is always a challenging chore! I’ve found that if I run a little bit of detangler through my horse’s tails every few days it stops them from getting matted up and makes combing them easy, even if they’re coated in mud. I don’t know if I should admit to this or not but it also works wonders on my hair.
- TAKEKIT Pro clippers – Over the years I’ve tried a lot of different clippers and while some were obviously better than others I found these to be by far the best. They are heavier than a lot of other clippers but for me, that’s a good thing, it makes them feel more sturdy and hardwearing. On top of that they have a range of speeds so are just as good for clipping your horse’s back as they are his face. I also like the fact that they come in a handy carry case but that’s not for everybody. The company that makes them is super good and incredibly helpful too, a real bonus these days. The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the fact that it doesn’t come with any oil, but that’s not a major problem as it’s not difficult to buy lubricant.
- Shire’s ball feeder – There are so many boredom buster toys out there but I like to use these every day, regardless of whether or not my horses are bored. I find that it helps to encourage my horses to problem solve by rewarding them with treats (or pieces of fruit) but it also mimics their natural grazing behavior which helps to keep them calm and de-stressed.
- Horse safe mirror – This is a strange one that many people are surprised about but I like to put horse safe mirrors in the trailers as well as in the quarantine stalls. It helps to prevent the feeling of isolation by giving the impression of other horses being around. Being herd animals horses can get extremely stressed when they feel that they’re on their own but with these stick-on mirrors, they believe that at least one other horse is with them.
- Rectal thermometer – I know this isn’t glamourous at all but it’s vital for your horse’s well-being to be able to check their temperature and a rectal thermometer is the easiest way of doing this which is why I’ve added it to the list.
I’ve also put together a few shopping lists of essential items that I’ve found helpful over the years. I’ve broken the lists down into different categories rather than put everything in one massive list 😉