My horse, Cruz Bay is a Welsh Cob (Section D) Cross
Last time we looked at ideal horse breeds for the taller/larger beginner rider.
Now let’s check out horses that work well for medium and lighter weight beginner riders.
Breeds for Medium and Lighter Weight Riders
This breed is extremely versatile, calm and good-natured. It is beautiful to look at, and renowned for its soundness, agility and stamina.
Morgans are powerful, elegant movers, and perform well in both English and Western disciplines, including trail riding, with steady and comfortable gaits.
They usually range in height from 14.1 to 15.2 hands, but can reach 17 hands. Permissible colors are bay, black, brown, chestnut, gray, palomino, cream or creme, dun and buckskin.
Resources for Morgans:
The American Morgan Horse Association
Where to Buy a Morgan
5. Quarter Horse
Named after its ability to race a quarter of a mile, this horse is the most popular breed in America. He is a versatile animal, equally at home in Western and English riding disciplines.
Quarter horses usually stand between 14 – 16 hh, and can be virtually any color. They have a pleasant disposition and are ideal for families and children.
Resources for Quarter Horses:
Owning a Quarter Horse
6. Welsh Cob (Section D)
Welsh ponies come in four sections, A, B, C and D. Section D is the Cob variety, ‘cob’ being a term used to describe a small, stout horse with strong bones and a steady disposition.
Welsh Cobs are strong and hardy, gentle in nature, with the character of a pony. They are over 13.2hh, with no upper height limit. (Since a pony is usually 14.2hh and under, some Welsh Cobs are horse size.) They are not normally grey, but often have striking markings.
The Welsh Cob is a popular choice for dressage, combined training and combined driving and makes a great family equine.
Resources for Welsh Cobs (Section D):
About the Welsh Cob Section D
Buying a Welsh Cob
A word of warning: if you’re a beginner rider, don’t touch the little Welsh Mountain Pony (Section A). It’s not called a ‘spirited’ animal for nothing!
7. Connemara Pony
Don’t be put off by the word ‘pony’! Ranging from 13 – 15hh, this breed originated in Ireland, and is a strong, hardy animal for both adults and children. The Connemara can show jump, be a working hunter, event, perform Western pleasure, go on endurance rides or work between the shafts.
Connemaras are friendly, intelligent animals (my first pony was a Connemara) with large, kind eyes set in a handsome head. They are easy keepers, meaning they don’t need a rich diet to maintain health and fitness.
Gray and dun are the most common colors, but you’ll also find blacks, bays, browns, chestnuts, palominos, and an occasional roan. The only unacceptable color is paint.
The largest of the pony breeds, Connemaras range from 13 to 15 hands, with 14 to 14.2 hands as the average. Being fully mature at five, they can live well into their 30s.
A natural jumper, the Connemara is also suitable for dressage. With their big hearts and amazing endurance, they often win against taller, larger horses.
Resources for the Connemara Pony:
What Is a Connemara Pony?
Buy a Connemara Pony
Connemara Weird Facts
Next time, in the final part of this series, we’ll be looking at horses and ponies for the beginner rider.
Horses are my big obsession, and I'm constantly striving to get better, smarter and more in harmony with my equine buddy, Cruz Bay.
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