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The Best Horses and Ponies for Beginner Riders: A Comprehensive Guide

Buying a horse for a beginner is a thrilling, yet scary, venture. The buzz of buying yours or maybe your child’s first horse or pony and finally taking the step you’ve dreamed of is unrivalled. However, the responsibility and pressure that comes with this is huge and the first equine partner a rider has will shape the rest of their journey. The right animal will probably mean you’re hooked forever and create the best memories to look back on, so to avoid the dream becoming a nightmare, take a look at our comprehensive guide below covering the key considerations.

Understanding the needs of a beginner rider


Getting the best height and build

It’s quite common for riders new to the industry to buy a horse that is the wrong size for them. To ensure the horse is not too small, you can follow the general rule of thumb that if the weight of you and your tack & equipment is under 20%, you are good to go. For example, if your horse is fit and healthy and weighs in at 500kg, you and your tack should be under 100kg combined.
On the other hand, getting a horse too big will also cause its own problems for a beginner rider. Over-horsing yourself will increase the difficulty of learning to ride.

Having a plan of action to improve as a rider

Before buying your first horse, you should have decided on an instructor to take you from a beginner to Team GBR’s next gold medalist (maybe not quite that far, but you get the gist). By selecting a suitable instructor for your riding lessons and briefing them on what you are looking to achieve before purchasing a horse or pony, they can use this and their wealth of knowledge to give you a more tailored insight into the type of horse you should buy.
Top tip - When you view the horse, take an experienced equine professional with you, ideally,  the instructor you’ve chosen to give you lessons once you own the horse.

Forming a relationship with your next horse

To have any real success as a rider, your horsemanship has developed with your riding. The key part of horsemanship is the bond you have with your horse or pony. Even if you’ve worked with horses for a long time and maybe just not have ridden or owned your own, there’s now a new dimension to add to your skills. For a guide on building a bond, take a look at our article on the 5 best ways to bond with your horse.

Have you considered all of the other responsibilities and costs that come with owning a horse?

Horse ownership involves a significant commitment of time, effort, and resources. Patience and a willingness to learn are equally important. Take the time for some reflection before committing. Ask yourself why you want to own a horse and what you hope to achieve. Maybe you would be better suited to loaning a horse or visiting a riding school.