What are the friendliest horse breeds?

Wondering what breed of horse has the best temperament? Get to know the best no-drama, gentle giants.

Many individuals question what the calmest horse breeds are when trying to buy a horse, studying leasing alternatives, or selecting a lesson horse.

In this post, we’ll look at five of the most peaceful horse breeds, including:

  • American Quarter Horse
  • Morgan Horse
  • Appaloosa Horse
  • Norwegian Fjord
  • Connemara Pony

Remember, there are no “guarantees” when it comes to temperament. There are broad characteristics shared by all breeds, yet each horse is unique.

We address what is characteristic of the breed, not individual horses, for each advice.

What are the friendliest horse breeds?

Amazon has an illustrated guide to 100 horse breeds.

You could even come across a beautifully calm horse within a breed of traditionally “hot” horses, such as a particularly placid Off The Track Thoroughbred (OTTB) or Arabian.

A horse that has been bred for an even temperament, on the other hand, may be hot.

Do you like learning about other breeds? Check out our 4 Best Horse Breeds for Beginners and 11 Best Breeds for First Time Horse Owners.

5 Gentle Horse Breeds You’ll Love

American Quarter Horse


American Quarter Horse

The Quarter Horse has certainly earned its place on our list of calmest horse breeds. With millions of Quarter Horses across the world, they are the most popular breed in the world.

They are legendary in the American West, where cowboys relied on them to get through long days on the range.

Quarter Horses are well-known for their adaptability and may be seen participating in any discipline a rider desires. They have notoriously calm temperaments that make them a natural choice for rookie riders and horse owners, as they quickly win hearts and build riders’ skills and confidence.

See why Quarter Horses were named one of the 11 Best Breeds for First-Time Horse Owners.

You might like riding a Quarter Horse if you:

  • Are new to horses: Quarter horses look after their riders while enabling you to relax and enjoy the ride. They know their job, and perform it with the utmost diligence.
  • Want it all: The Quarter Horse’s adaptability allows you to have it all. Ride all day, transition from Western to English during the same horse show, or altogether change disciplines. For evidence of their adaptability, go no farther than the class list at a local Quarter Horse show.
  • Want to show: Quarter Horse exhibitions are very popular in the United States and Canada. The Quarter Horse Congress, held each autumn, is the apex. Qualifying is a great honor, and performing at the Congress is an unforgettable experience.
  • Like to share: With a Quarter Horse, you don’t have to worry about letting a friend, neighbor, or total newbie ride your horse. Your Quarter Horse will take care of whoever is on their back.
  • Are looking for community: The Quarter Horse is the most popular breed of horses in the world. If you’re wanting to join an equestrian community, there are many other Quarter Horse owners around you who can provide you with a built-in group of horse-loving pals.

Hold Your Horses

Quarter Horses were bred to race, and there are some hot Quarter Horses out there, as with any breed.

When shopping for horses to buy, it’s important to consider temperament and if the horse is a good match for you.

Check out our list of 60 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Horse.

Horses from the track, as well as certain Appendix Quarter Horses (crossed with Thoroughbreds), may not have the calm temperament you need.

Eager to Learn More? Visit The American Quarter Horse Association.

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Calm breeds are exceptionally well-suited to clicker training. Check out our 6 Easy Clicker Training Exercises for Horses to get started.

Morgan Horse


Morgan Horse

Figure is the Morgan breed’s foundation father. He was born in 1789 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the entire breed can trace its roots to this single stallion.

Figure, subsequently known by his owner Justin Morgan’s name, was a versatile horse capable of competing in races, working in the fields, and being ridden under saddle.

See why Morgan horses made our list of the 11 Best Breeds for New Horse Owners.

Morgan horses are known as “America’s original breed,” and they influenced the development of several other popular breeds such as the Quarter Horse, Standardbred, and Tennessee Walking Horse.

They have lovely features like as slightly dished faces, arching necks, and flowing manes and tails. Morgan horses can be found throughout the United States and Canada, as well as abroad.

You might like riding a Morgan if you:

  • Want it all: Morgan horses are adaptable. Indeed, the versatility division in Morgan horse exhibitions demonstrates this. In this class, horses are required to ride, drive, and jump over two fences. Morgan horses may be seen on the trail, competing in driving competitions, handling cattle, and so forth.
  • Your horse is your best friend: Morgan horses have fantastic personality and are ready to connect with and satisfy their owners. If you want a “heart” horse who will become your best friend, look no further than a Morgan horse.
  • Looks matter: Morgan horses are stunning. Someone once stated that feeding an ugly horse costs the same as feeding a lovely one, so you may as well have a pretty horse. The Morgan combines function and beauty.
  • It’s a family thing: A Morgan can be the breed for you if horses are a family affair. They make fantastic babysitters, let one or more kids scramble all over their back, or serve as your favorite lounge chair while you read a book.
  • Seek adventure: Although the Morgan is a peaceful breed, its innate high head carriage and strong curiosity in everything new make them raring to go. Even in the show ring, they are calm while majestic.

Hold Your Horses

Morgan horses who have been bred for the show ring are hotter than others in the breed. Similar to the Quarter Horse, you need to evaluate all horses as individuals, and find one with the quiet temperament you desire.

Eager to Learn More? Visit American Morgan Horse Association.

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Having a calm horse is essential, but do horses really like being ridden?




The Nez Perce Native tribe in the Northwest bred the Appaloosa. The Nez Perce raised numerous horses and were well-known horsemen. Their people relied on horses to hunt buffalo and travel across the plains.

See why Appaloosas made our list of the 11 Best Breeds for First Horse Owners.

Around 10% of the Appaloosas bred by the Nez Perce were discovered, and their bright coat patterns were popular. They were known as Palouse horses, after the Palouse River in Northern Idaho. Through time, the name evolved into Appaloosa.

The Appaloosa Horse Club was founded in 1938 with the goal of protecting and improving the breed.

You might like riding an Appaloosa if you:

  • Are colorful: The leopard coat design or blanket of spots are distinctive and will help you stand out from the crowd. Not all Appaloosas are as colorful, and while only one spot is required to become a registered Appaloosa, most have the distinctive coat pattern we know and love.
  • Want to connect to history: The Appaloosa was grown and nurtured in the western plains, and it has a unique heritage. Every year in July, the club commemorates that heritage with the Chief Joseph Trail Ride, a four-day ride from Grangeville, Idaho to Musselshell Meadows, Idaho. They also provide regional trail rides around the nation.
  • Want it all: The Appaloosa horse, like our Quarter Horses and Morgan horses, is noted for its adaptability. The same horse can easily help you with your English, Western, or trail goals.
  • Need a kid-friendly horse: Appaloosas are also recognized for teaching children to ride and appreciate horses. Their kind temperament and calm personality make them a favorite among children and young adults.
  • Love a horse with personality: Appaloosas are a lot of fun! They have a lot of character and individuality. It’s a match made in heaven if you find one who fits your personality.

Hold Your Horses

Appaloosas were also bred for speed, and there is still a thriving racing culture for these animals. When seeking out an Appaloosa, be careful that you choose one bred for temperament and versatility, rather than the race track.

Eager to Learn More? Visit The Appaloosa Horse Club.

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Norwegian Fjord

norwegian fjord

Norwegian Fjord

This “light draft” breed is as well known for its dorsal stripe and roached black and brown mane as for its lovable nature.

These miniature horses are strong enough to transport children and adults while being gentle enough to put even the most nervous riders at peace. You’ll also see this breed pulling carts, enjoying trail rides, doing dressage, and much more.

You might like riding a Norwegian Fjord if you:

  • Want to take things slowly: Fjord horses are noted for their calm and easygoing disposition, yet they will hustle if the work requires it.
  • Love being on display: Prepare to stop for onlookers who want to snap photographs with your horse – people are captivated to this breed’s kind demeanor and adorable beauty.
  • Value steadiness over sass: Hot-tempered and scary characteristics have been bred out of contemporary Fjords since they were trained to pull carriages.
  • Like to give back: This breed is popular in therapeutic riding programs that emphasize serenity. Whether you want to officially work with a riding program or simply help other anxious friends conquer their fears in your backyard, look no further.
  • Don’t do heights: If you’re afraid of falling and prefer to stay close to the ground, you’ll enjoy the sensation of riding a full-size horse without the danger of a full-size fall.

Hold Your Horses:

Despite this breed is ideal for leisure riders, drivers, and children, it is not intended to outperform the competition in high-energy sports such as reining.

Eager to Learn More?  Visit the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry

What are the friendliest horse breeds?

Connemara Pony

connemara pony

Connemara Pony

Adult beginners sometimes overlook a whole group of beautiful equine partners-ponies! Adults and children, alike, can enjoy many breeds of ponies.

The Connemara Pony is known for being athletic, kind, and willing, not to mention adorable.

You might like riding a Connemara Pony if you:

  • Believe great things come in small packages: This type is suited for typical people and children of all ages, standing 12.2 to 14.2 hands tall.
  • Want a “horse” that holds up: Connemaras have muscular backs and hindquarters, deep rib cages, and crested necks. With proper care and love, they’ll stay on the job for many years.
  • Value willingness: Not all ponies have a “pony attitude.” Instead of snark and sourness, you’ll appreciate a spouse who is respectful, willing, and eager to please.
  • Love an all-star athlete: Do you want to take the plunge? Take the plunge. Do you like trail riding? Have fun with it. Do you want to try your hand at some cattle work? No problem. This breed is physically fit enough to attempt everything.

Hold Your Horses:

This breed is prone to Hoof Wall Separation Disease (HWSD), therefore keep a watch on your pony’s foot health with your farrier and doctor.

Eager to Learn More?  Visit the American Connemara Pony Society

Calm Horse Breeds Infographic

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Calmest Horse Breeds

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What horse breeds are best for beginners?

Quarter horses’ calm temperaments will soon set your mind at rest and enable your abilities to improve, allowing you to build confidence in the saddle and on the ground.

They are trustworthy and consistent, which are two qualities that any newcomer should desire.

Read more about the 11 finest horse breeds for new horse owners.

Q: What breed of horse has the smoothest ride?

Morgan horses are famous for their rocking horse canter. Morgans have short backs, which allows for very smooth gaits. Riding a Morgan will provide you with confidence and hours of entertainment.

Q: What is the best horse breed for a kid?

Choose the ideal Appaloosa for your child and watch them connect and develop together. Appaloosa’s have a lot of character, and are known for their wonderful personalities when working with youth.

Q: Where can I find a horse temperament scale?

There are several horse temperament scale materials available on the Internet, ranging from parent blogs to Pat Parelli Horsemanship.

This Evaluation of Horse Behavior is recommended since it covers the theory, questions to ask, and additional resources that are accessible (including Parelli).

Q: What are the best riding horse breeds?

Quarter Horses are well-known for being excellent riding horses, and the hours spent in the saddle on the range by cowboys attest to their rideability.

Read more about the 11 finest horse breeds for new horse owners.

Q: What is the friendliest horse breed?

Morgan horses are well-known for their kind attitudes. They would probably come in the house if allowed.

Morgan horses will follow you around and form bonds with you like few other animals.

Q: What is the best breed of horse for first time owners?

We have a detailed essay on this subject! Learn more about the 11 best breeds for first time horse owners.

Q: What is the most docile horse breed?

Since every horse is unique, you should not base your horse’s personality just on its breed.

Having said that, Norwegian Fjords are well-known for their gentle, charming, and accommodating personalities. It’s why they tend to make such good therapy horses!

Q: How to calm a horse in a new place?

Allowing your horse time to acclimatize to his new environment is the greatest thing you can do. Allow lots of turnout time, and hand walk him around so he can get used to everything.

The same is true for getting to a performance. Don’t throw your horse in a stall and walk away. Let him to look around and take in everything. Get some grass for him to chew on after he has calmed down.

You may also take a magnesium supplement, which is recognized for its soothing benefits. Feed it as a pellet long-term or use the paste for more immediate effects (like showing or a long trailer ride).

Q: How to calm a horse in a stall?

Consider giving your horse additional outdoor time if he does not need to be stalled. Alternatively, make sure he has a buddy nearby if he gets stuck. Horses who are very nervous may benefit from a stall buddy, such as a goat.

If your horse is on stall rest, give him a reward toy or feed him hay from a slow feeder or hay pillow. Make sure the stall is light, airy, and has a view of other horses.

Some horses just do not like being confined to a stall. If that’s the case, try to keep his time in one to a minimum. Most horses prefer to be outdoors in all weather conditions rather than being stalled.

Q: Are Irish Sport Horses calm?

Irish Sport Horses are the result of a mix between Thoroughbreds and Irish Draught Horses. They’re known for their hardiness, stamina, and jumping ability.

Their agility and intellect are due to the Thoroughbred breed (in part), while their calm and reasonable minds are due to the Irish Draught breed.

They may be stouter athletes, so be sure you have the abilities to manage a somewhat bigger horse, particularly over jumps if you desire to jump.

Consider the Irish Sport Horse if you want a willing-yet-scopey mount.

Q: Are Rocky Mountain Horses calm?

This breed is known for it’s good natured personality and love for their humans. Fans of bred horses appreciate the horses’ lack of spookiness, particularly during trail riding, as well as their confidence in their riders.

They’re also bred for endurance, toughness, and curiosity.

A Rocky Mountain Horse is a good choice if you want an even-tempered trail companion with easy gaits.

Q: Are Arabian horses calm?

There’s a lot to like about this breed, but they’re not recognized for having calm temperaments.

Arabians are designed for stamina, surefootedness, and intelligence. If tranquillity is at the top of your desire list, this breed may not be for you due to their intensity and “hot blooded” disposition.

Nonetheless, there are exceptions within each breed. We’ve plenty plenty of Arabians who are sweet, docile, and patient mounts.

Q: What is the best horse breed in the world?

The American Quarter Horse is the obvious winner in a numbers game. The volume of Quarter Horses in the world speaks to their long lasting popularity.

Nevertheless, the greatest horse breed in the world may be right in your own backyard. It’s a very personal question.

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What are the friendliest horse breeds?

Riding Should Be Fun

The Quarter Horse, Morgan, and Appaloosa are just three examples of typically placid breeds that allow you to concentrate on why you began riding in the first place—for enjoyment!

Several of our honorable mentions are included on the list of the 11 finest horse breeds for first-time horse owners.

Horses share their beauty, strength, and power with us, giving us wings and teaching us to soar. So, whether you choose one of these breeds, or something different, head out and find your dream horse.

P.S. Enjoy this article? Trot on over to:

  • Say Yes to the Horse: The 11 Best Breeds for New Horse Owners
  • 5 Best Horse Breeds for Rugged Mountain Hunting
  • 5 Rare Horse Breeds You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
  • Elevate Your Ride With These 6 Tall Horse Breeds
  • Introductory Horse Riding Instructions (basics, safety, mistakes)
  • Friendly & Fun: 4 Best Horse Breeds for Beginners
  • 60 Questions to Consider Before Purchasing Your Ideal Horse

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    7. Welsh Cob.
  • What is the sweetest horse?

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  • What is the most comfortable riding horse?

    The Paso Fino is described as “the world’s smoothest riding horse.” 2. Paso Finos’ unique gait is natural and super-smooth.

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