Which breed of horse is the most gentle?

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

Keep in mind that there are no “guarantees” when it comes to temperament. Within every breed there are general traits, but every horse is an individual.

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

Which breed of horse is the most gentle?

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 earned a spot on our list of the calmest horse breeds. They are the most popular breed in the world, with millions of Quarter Horses around the globe.

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 take care of their riders, while allowing you to enjoy the ride. They understand their role and carry it out with zeal.
  • Want it all: The Quarter Horse’s adaptability allows you to have it all. Ride all day, switch from Western to English at the same horse show, or change disciplines completely. 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 can worry less about letting a friend, neighbor, or complete novice hop on your horse for a ride. Your Quarter Horse will look after whomever is riding on their back.
  • Are looking for community: The Quarter Horse is the world’s most popular horse breed. If you’re looking to join an equestrian community, you’ll find lots of other Quarter Horse owners near you, for a built in community of horse-loving friends.

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 especially wonderful to work with for clicker training. To get started, check out our 6 Simple Clicker Training Activities for Horses.

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 are a beautiful breed, with slightly dished faces, arched necks, and flowing manes and tales. Morgan horses may be found all across the United States and Canada, as well as internationally.

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 can be found on the trail, in competitive driving events, working cattle, and on and on.
  • 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 said that it costs the same amount to feed an ugly horse as a pretty one, so you might 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: While the Morgan is a calm breed, their natural high head carriage and keen interest in anything new have them eager to set out on the trail. They are calm and magnificent even in the exhibition ring.

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.

Approximately 10% of the Appaloosas bred by the Nez Perce were spotted, and their colorful coat patterns had many fans. 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: Similar to our Quarter Horses and Morgan horses, the Appaloosa is known for their versatility. The same horse may readily assist you with your English, Western, and trail objectives.
  • Need a kid-friendly horse: Appaloosas are also known for their ability to teach youth to ride and love horses. Their kind disposition and quiet demeanor make them popular with youngsters and young people.
  • 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 pint-sized horses are as sturdy enough to carry kids and adults and calm enough to put even the most anxious riders at ease. This breed may also be seen pulling carts, going on trail rides, practicing dressage, and much more.

You might like riding a Norwegian Fjord if you:

  • Want to take things slowly: Fjord horses are recognized for their calm and easygoing disposition, yet they can hustle when the work needs a little more energy.
  • 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

Which breed of horse is the most gentle?

Connemara Pony

connemara pony

Connemara Pony

Beginner adult riders often ignore an entire category of wonderful equine partners–ponies! Ponies may be enjoyed by both adults and children.

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 are built to last with strong backs and hind quarters, deep rib cages, and crested necks. They will work for many years if properly cared for and loved.
  • Value willingness: Not every pony has a “pony attitude.” Instead of sass and sourness, you’ll enjoy a partner who is dignified, willing, and aims 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. Eager to try a little cow work? No worries. This breed is athletic enough to try anything.

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?

Find the right Appaloosa for your kid, and you’ll watch them bond and grow together. Appaloosas have a lot of personality and are well-known for their excellent characteristics while dealing with children.

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 an in-depth article about this topic! Read more about the 11 finest horse breeds for new 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.

That said, Norwegian Fjords are widely beloved for their docile, sweet, and tolerant temperaments. That is why they make excellent 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. Once he starts to calm down, find some grass for him to munch on.

You can also use a supplement like magnesium, which is known for its calming properties. Feed it as a pellet over time, or utilize the paste for faster results (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 has been prescribed stall rest, try giving him a treat toy or feeding him hay from a slow feeder or hay pillow. Check that the stall is bright and airy, and that it has a view of neighboring 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 a cross-breed of Thoroughbreds and Irish Draught Horses. They are noted for their toughness, endurance, and leaping abilities.

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 well-known for its gentle temperament and devotion to its owners. Bred fans praise the horses’ lack of spookiness, especially while trail riding, and trust 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 built for endurance, agility, and intelligence. Their energy and “hot blooded” nature may not make this the breed for you if calmness is top of your wish-list.

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.

However, the best horse breed in the world may be the one that’s in your backyard. It’s a really personal question.

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Which breed of horse is the most gentle?

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, power, and strength with us, giving us wings and teaching us to fly. Thus, whether you select one of these breeds or anything other, go out and discover your perfect 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

Related Questions

  • What is the smoothest horse to ride?

    The Paso Fino is known as “the smoothest riding horse in the world.” 2. The natural and super-smooth walk of Paso Finos.

  • What's the easiest horse to ride?

    These are seven horse breeds that are often regarded as being good for inexperienced riders…

    1. Morgan Horse.
    2. Friesian Horse.
    3. Icelandic Horse.
    4. American Quarter Horse.
    5. Tennessee Walking Horse.
    6. Connemara Pony.
    7. Welsh Cob.
  • What is the calmest draft horse?

    All big draft breeds are docile in general. Shire’s, Belgian’s, Percheron’s, and Clydesdale’s are known for their calm and gentle temperament.

  • What is a calm horse?

    In general, Quarter Horses have peaceful temperaments. The majority of them appreciate being ridden and enjoy working. It’s in their blood. They excel at working cattle, reining, timed events, trail riding, and pleasure riding. A excellent Quarter Horse might be ideal for the whole family.

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