Many people think of the Arabian horse as a high strung, or stupid, horse, one not safe for beginners. Indeed while some Arabian horses are high strung, they are generally considered one of the more intelligent horse breeds, and believe it or not some Arabian horses are suited for beginner riders.
About the Arabian Horse Breed
The Arabian horse is one of the oldest horse breeds. For generations they were bred for endurance and stamina in rough desert conditions. They were raced over long distances, and still are today. Only the best and most fit horses were allowed to breed. As a result many Arabian horses have a lot of energy and may even appear hyper and crazy to the untrained horse person.
Arabian horses are intelligent, and actually very playful, when spooked, they do not run away in fear, instead they raise their tail and head and use it as an excuse to be silly. This trait has actually endeared them to many supporters as classes in shows are devoted to watching Arabian horses at play. These classes are called Liberty Classes.
Indeed while many Arabian horses do require an experienced rider, there are many Arabian horses suited for young, or inexperienced riders. In fact some people specifically breed for calmer Arabian horses - including those that can be used in endurance races where sill behavior (for example in the middle of a suspension bridge) would not be good.
©by Author - English Pleasure, saddleseat - Arabian Gelding
Traits of a Good Beginner's Horse
- The horse should be easy to catch.
- The horse should be easy to tack up; should tie well, stand for grooming, and having its feet done, accept the bridle.
- The horse should stand nicely when being mounted.
- The horse should not be spooky.
- Often times a slower moving “plod along” type of horse is considered best for a very beginner.
What is a Bomb-Proof Horse?
When buying a beginner's horse you will often hear the term “bomb-proof”, this implies that a bomb could go off and the horse would not flinch. This term is often used pretty loosely and should be taken lightly however it does give you a fairly good idea that the horse is quiet and good for beginner riders, assuming the seller is honest.
What Horses are Best for Beginners?
As mentioned Arabian horses should not be counted out when searching for a beginner's mount, however other breeds, such as the Quarter horse, are often touted as being the best for beginners. Really there is no one breed that can guarantee a safe horse for a beginner, and no breed that should be counted out, with in every horse breed there are always exceptions.
Stallions should never be considered safe for beginners, they can be very dangerous, and even mean, in the wrong hands.
Mares are apt to be moody, but as a note I had a brilliant Arabian mare who was so calm she was used in handicapped riding lessons.
Geldings are typically the calmest when looking at gender.
Western type Arabian horses are better than English (saddleseat) type when considering beginner riders.
Mature horses, over 8 years old, are often calmer than younger horses.