Five Great Pony and Horse Breeds for Kids
 By Saferaphus   •   5th Oct 2016   •   1,067 views   •   1 comments

While there's really no best breed of horses or ponies for kids, a few breeds do stand out from the crowd. Much depends on the temperament and training of the pony or horse. But, here are five breeds to think about when looking for a horse or pony for a child.

Chances are if you learned to ride when you were very young, you learned to ride on a diminutive Shetland. Shetlands can be great ponies or they can be the devil incarnate. It all depends on how they are handled. The older the better may be true too. The Shetland breed wasn’t developed to a be child’s pony. They were bred to be hardy work horses. So although they are small, they are very strong and do not tire easily. They are much stronger than a child and often smarter. The good thing about their size is that they are easy for a small child to groom, saddle and bridle. And if a small rider does have an unscheduled dismount, the distance to the ground is not too great.

This is another breed that was developed as a draft pony, not a mount for young riders. The introduction of Arabian horses into the breed makes them a little more refined looking, and that makes them elegant show ponies. They are hardy and strong, and a mid-sized Welsh pony can easily carry a small adult. In fact, Welsh ponies come in three pony sizes and a “D” size which is horse size.

Pony of Americas
The Pony of the Americas is one of the very few pony breeds developed for children. These are usually a blend of breeds, with Appaloosa being the most predominate. Although color should be the last consideration when purchasing a pony for a child, color is an important characteristic of this breed. But be far the most important characteristic of this breed is their temperament. Poor temperament, displayed by bad behavior in the show ring is a big no-no with this breed.

American Quarter Horses
Although we think of Quarter Horses as being horse sized, there are many that are pony sized. They’re certainly not as small as a Shetland, but still small enough to be regarded as a pony in many disciplines. These horses weren’t bred to be children's mounts either, but their steady temperaments make them perfect for kids. We might think of them as western style horses too, but most are versatile enough to carry a child over jumps, in mounted games or down the trail. This is a breed a kid can grow up with. There are many reasons this is the world’s most popular breed.

We have to give a nod to the good old grade pony. While not a breed, these ponies of mixed breeds are common. They’re really not even a type, as they come in all shapes, colors and heights. They often combine the hardiness of the draft ponies, with the sensibility of horses like the Quarter Horse or Morgan. Like any pony much depends on how they are trained and handled.

Of course, we all know the exceptions to the rule. There are Arabians and Thoroughbreds that are dead quiet and make perfect kids mounts. And there are Quarter Horses that are completely unsuitable for children. And, some kids like a bit of ‘bad’ in their ponies, while others will be scared and intimidated. Usually, though, when comes to being the perfect kid’s horse or pony, temperament trumps, soundness, conformation or breeding.
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Saferaphus
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Welsh Ponys are some of the best for kids, especially the sections A's.
  Oct 7, 2016  •  1,635 views
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