Best Horse Breeds for Kids

Last Updated on February 19, 2022 by Allison Price

Which horse is the best for children? There isn’t a single breed. Each horse is unique and it is dangerous for you to use breed as your primary indicator of temperament. You can narrow down your search by searching for horses that are the right size and conformation for your child’s chosen discipline.These are our top picks for children’s dogs:

  • American Quarter Horse
  • Arabian
  • Miniature Horse
  • Morgan
  • Pony of the Americas
  • Shetland Pony
  • Welsh Pony
  • Grade Horse

Are you unable to find your favorite breed? This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any suitable ones for your child. This is a list of some of the most popular young riders’ mounts.Get our weekly Enewsletter about horses

Best Horse Breeds for Kids

American Quarter Horse

The American Quarter Horse has become the most beloved breed in the world and is loved by both amateur and youth riders. Their reputation for being easy-going and laid back horses has been forged by their historic use as ranch horses. Some lines are not suitable for beginners, as they are speed-bred. There are literally millions upon millions of Quarter Horses available. You’ll find people that can be used in a range of competition areas.

American Quarter Horse Youth Association has a wide range of youth programs, including a Youth World Show and educational activities.


You may have heard that Arabians can be high-strung. Here’s a list of horses suitable for children. Some lines are bred to show at halter and can be sensitive or full of energy, but others make great children’s mounts. The ancient breed was created to be a close friend and companion for young riders. You will find the right one for your child’s sport thanks to their intelligence and versatility.

The Arabian Horse Association has spent a lot of money supporting young riders. Young riders can compete at the Youth National Show, take part in judging contests and apply for scholarships. They can also enter journalism and art contests.

Miniature Horse

Although miniature horses are not meant to be ridden they can be very fun for budding equestrians. Miniature horses require similar care and grooming requirements to big horses, so young owners are taught the responsibility of horse ownership. Minis are more affordable than big horses, so they’re a good choice for many families. Mini owners can enjoy their horses and practice jumps and obstacles with them, as well as driving them for show and pleasure.

The American Miniature Horse Association offers a range of programs for young equestrians.


This American breed is known for its versatility and can offer a lot to young equestrians. Morgans are able to compete in many disciplines, including working western, saddle seat, eventing, and riding on trails. Morgans can be held between 14.1 and 15.1, which is a size that’s manageable for children. However, they are large enough to not become too big like ponies. Because of their versatility, the breed has been bred for specific disciplines. Make sure you choose a horse that is suited to your child’s sport.

The American Morgan Horse Association offers a wide range of youth programs for both competitive and non-competitive riders. Members 21 years and under can earn badges through the Horsemastership program. They will learn horsekeeping and riding skills. Morgan shows offer youth exhibitor classes for junior and youth exhibitors. Youth members can join local clubs and enter creative contests.

Pony of the Americas

The Pony of the Americas is a must-have on any list of horses for children. Since its inception, the POA was bred exclusively to be a children’s mount. The appearance of these spotted ponies is similar to Appaloosas. However, in order to be registered, they must measure between 46 and 56 inches (11.2-14 inches). Appaloosas and Arabians are the breed’s ancestors. The breed’s only purpose is to be a child’s mount. Its gentle nature and suitability have been preserved over generations.

Shetland Pony

The Shetland Pony is the ideal children’s mount. European Shetlands are strong and rugged, while the American Shetland breed is more refined and animated. Shetlands can reach 46 inches (11.2 hands), which makes them more manageable for the youngest riders. However, temperament is more important than size. Ponies can be very intelligent, so you want to ensure that the pony you buy for your child has good nature and is able to use that intelligence for good.

Shetland ponies are great for driving, so children and parents can both enjoy the same horse in different activities. Your child will be able to enjoy the ride and exercise of a pony who is trained to drive after she outgrows him.

Welsh Pony

The Welsh Pony is a great choice if your child is interested to compete in hunter/jumper events. Based on size and conformation, the breed is divided into four parts. Section D is the largest section and can be ridden easily by small adults. These ponies are great for riding on trails and excel at jumping and driving carriages.Pony of the Americas

The Welsh Pony & Cob Society of America sponsors a Junior Merit Program to recognize members aged 17 and under for their equestrian, academic, and community service achievements.

Grade Horse

The humble grade horse is a great choice when looking for a child’s mount. These horses are purebreds or horses from mixed breeding that have never been registered. If your child plans to compete in a breed circuit, a horse with papers will be required. Children can ride their grade horses anywhere a registered horse can, including trail riding, 4-H, Pony Club, and open shows. Although upkeep costs are the same regardless of whether you have a registered horse, an equine mutt’s purchase price is usually less than a comparable registered purebred.

No matter what breed you choose to get your horse, it is important that the horse be well-trained and has a temperament similar to your child.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!