When purchasing a horse or choosing one to ride, we tend to be smitten by a horse’s appearance and abilities. Unfortunately, we often neglect to consider the horse’s basic temperament. If that doesn’t complement our own riding capabilities and comfort levels, riding may become a chore. Here’s how to decide which type of horse is best for you.
At the other extreme of the temperament spectrum is the cold horse. Sure, they’re a little lazy at times, but there’s something to be said for a horse that enjoys life at a slower pace. Colder horses are perfect for equestrians who view riding as a hobby. Novices enjoy colder horses because, since they’re less in a hurry to respond, they’re more forgiving of miscalculated cues. If a cold-blooded horse is frisky at a show, it’s easy to settle them down with a few minutes on the longe line or under saddle. They tend to reconsider whether it’s worth the effort to break a sweat. Moreover, if you’re nervous during competition, the cold horse is less likely to react to your emotions.
Riding should be a rewarding, pleasant experience. Choose the horse whose temperament thermostat is set just for you.
The author is a longtime hunt-seat competitor.