Dealing With Temperamental Horses

When buying horses, it’s important to know about the common personality traits associated with each breed to help you in dealing with temperamental horses. Here are the 3 common groupings for horse breeds, the breeds that fall under these groupings, and the common personality traits associated with these breeds.

Hot-Blooded Horses

If a horse is classified as being hot-blooded, it usually means that they have high energy levels and may have a nervous temperament. This may cause them to be easily spooked, and it can make them difficult to control, which means they’re not ideal horses for beginners. However, their high energy levels often make them popular for competitive equine sports like racing or even long-distance riding. Here are the breeds that fall into the “hot-blooded” category:

1. Thoroughbreds

Thoroughbred horses are very popular in the world of competitive equine sports. They’re very athletic horses, making them ideal for all sorts of mounted athletics, including racing, jumping, and dressage. They can be a little slow to learn, but they’re emotionally perceptive creatures and have the energy needed to work at something until they get it right. They may overreact when something frightens them, and they can be a little defensive, so it takes a patient rider and steady hand to keep these horses under control.

2. Arabians

Arabians are known for their incredible endurance and speed over long distances. They love to run and are fast learners, but anyone familiar with horses will tell you that an Arabian is a moody creature. They’re great for endurance racing, but their tendency to get spooked and penchant for stubbornness doesn’t make them ideal for other mounted sports.

Cold-Blooded Horses

Cold-blooded breeds typically encompass the working horse breeds. These animals are patient and calm, and they don’t spook easily. However, because they’re usually larger animals, they’re not great athletes. They’re great plow horses, or can be used for general pleasure riding. Just don’t expect any bursts of speed from these breeds:

1. Clydesdales

These gentle giants are intelligent and have a merry temperament. They’re even great with inexperienced riders and small children.

2. Percheron

The Percheron is the one cold-blooded breed that may be able to compete in equine sports. Though not as athletic as other breeds, their intelligence and willingness to work can allow them to be competitive in jumping, dressage, and other mounted athletics.

Warm-Blooded Horses

As you might expect, a warm-blooded horse has a temperament somewhere between a hot-blooded and a cold-blooded breed. The majority of horse breeds fall into this category, and they generally have a calm demeanor, while still being able to exert large amounts of energy when needed. Here are the most common breeds in this category:

1. Quarter horses

These popular rodeo horses are calm and gentle, but are highly intelligent and easy to please as well. They don’t spook easily, making them great horses for cattle work. Though they stand a little shorter than some breeds, they’re still top competitors in many equine sports.

2. Friesians

These beautiful and elegant horses are intelligent and willing to work. They’re popular dressage horses because they show well in an arena.

3. Appaloosas

There’s not much that can spook an Appaloosa. They’re level-headed and courageous horses with docile temperaments. They’re popular workhorses, but can also be found in the competitive realms of jumping, dressage, and racing.


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