Calmest Horse Breeds

There are people who prefer a wild ride on a fiery horse, while there are others that prefer calmer rides where their lives are less at risk! If you are in the latter category, are still new to riding, or just have a nervous disposition, then you will definitely prefer calm horses. This is where the calmest horse breeds come into the fray. Luckily, there is a handful of these.

Take a look at the ones listed in this article and try to find the one you like the most.

Deciding on a calm horse to learn with is the first step toward a lifetime of good decision-making. What should you look for in a calm, safe horse? First and foremost, he should be a genuine non-judgmental sort who will respond positively to a rider who is willing to work at getting better. He should be responsive to voice commands and understand simple directions like “walk“, “trot“, “canter” and “lope“. In other words, the horse you choose should have a good “sense of mission” and be eager to please.

A good rule of thumb is that if a horse has had any kind of surgical operation, he is not a good candidate for learning to ride. This is because such horses often develop a fear of people and may kick or bite if they are bothered in any way.

A lot of reasons exist why a particular horse breed should be chosen over others. For example, Arabians have a reputation for having a lot of stamina and endurance, while Thoroughbreds are known for their incredible speed. If you’re looking for strength as well as pulling capability, almost any draft horse breed will be a suitable choice. However, what if you’re an amateur rider and need a calm horse to learn with? Or you’re just looking for a calm horse to ride regularly without any stress?

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It is important to note that there are no assurances. For instance, the Quarter horse is reputed as the calmest breed of horse, but you might end up getting a fiery one instead. Also, Andalusians are regarded as being very spirited for new riders, but then again, you could end up with a relaxed and calm horse.

In this article, we mention 7 of the calmest horse breeds that you can choose as a perfect companion.


  1. American Quarter Horse

This horse breed was developed to be used for ranch work and they have developed what is called cattle sense, which is an ability to stay calm while bringing together frightened and aggressive cows. Their ability to stay calm under such pressure makes them a perfect choice for nervous or new riders.


American Quarter Horse


This horse breed came into existence as a result of cross-breeding between Thoroughbreds and different native American horses like the Chicksaw breed. This particular process brought about a breed that was compact, hardy, small, and incredibly fast.

Although the most common is sorrel, the American Quarter Horse has different colors. There are also black, gray, buckskin, bay, and several roan colors. Common uses of this breed include stock work, reining and cutting, hand showing, Western riding, and general riding.


  1. Morgan

This breed was one of the first that was developed in America and it is calm-natured and incredibly versatile. They were utilized by people as coach horses as well as in general riding, harness racing, and cavalry in the Civil War.

This breed of horses has actually been influenced by a host of horse breeds like the Standardbred and the Quarter Horse. They have also gone on to influence other horses themselves.




The Morgan breed is refined and compact – and normally stands at 14.1 to 16.2 hands. Generally, they are black, chestnut, and bay in color.

They can also be dun, roan, silver dapple, gray as well as several cream variations. This horse has been utilized for different functions in the last few centuries. However, what stands it apart and also ensures that it is suitable as a family horse is its calm nature.


  1. Appaloosa

One thing that stands this horse breed apart from the others is its spotted coat. However, its calm and docile character also ensures that it is a firm favorite.




This breed was initially called the Nez Perce horse because its color pattern was initially noticed and intentionally bred for by Native Americans. Due to the fact that it was kept so close to its initial breeders, a calm temperament was needed. These qualities have been maintained over centuries of breeding and it ensures that this breed is one of the calmest you will ever encounter.


  1. Irish Vanner

This particular breed has a reputation for being quiet and calm-natured. Initially bred to carry Irish gypsies’ wagons, the Vanner was like a member of the family as it lived very close to the gypsies.


Irish Vanner


That’s why it was imperative that their demeanor and temperament was calm, with children and pets all about. This was also important for pulling a heavy load because it won’t be ideal to have a horse getting spooked while pulling you and your family.

The Vanner stands at 13 to 16 hands, however, the smaller sized ones are in higher demand because they cost less to maintain. Generally, the breed is skewbald or piebald and is usually used in trading, general riding, showing, and dressage.


  1. Cob Horses

This horse breed is normally an uncomplicated and straightforward breed that tends to come with a calm temperament. This horse also usually has strong hooves, large joints, and strong bones.


Cob horses


Even though they are compact and small, Cobs remain larger than ponies. They stand at 14.2 to about 15.1 hands, while sharing the same strength and compact structure. This horse breed is known for its calm temperament, which makes it ideal for beginners as well as nervous riders.


  1. Norwegian Fjord

This horse breed is quite small and it also has a peculiar look: a haircut including a black mane and a dorsal stripe. The Norwegian Fjord is popular amongst novice and experienced riders because of its great personality.


Norwegian Fjord


Even with its impressive energy levels, this horse can still be calm and biddable when called upon. They were initially bred for pulling carriages, meaning all the unreliable genes have been bred out.


  1. Tennessee Walking Horse

This horse stands at an incredible 17 hands, meaning it is popular and stands out – quite literally – for its looks. However, this isn’t the only reason why it is a favorite. It is also strong and comes with a great character.


Tennessee Walking Horse


As well as being gaited horses, they have a calm nature – which makes them easy to ride. This also means that they are suitable for novice and first-time riders. Even though they are quite tall, these horses are simple to manage.