Top Trainers Talk About Horse Breeds

For more information about each breed, click on the link we’ve provided to a Web site-and for more great insights from these and other trainers, read “More Horse Choices for Your Sport” in the January 2002 issue of Practical Horseman.


“It’s my favorite breed. They have such heart, they have such wonderful canters, and they’re not slugs.” – Dressage Olympian Lendon Gray

“Some people say Thoroughbreds are hot, but I think they might just have had a particular horse that was hot, which can happen with any breed. And Thoroughbreds are so athletic and agile.” – Rachael Tennyson, successful Pennsylvania hunter trainer.

“When it comes to upper level eventing, Thoroughbreds have the scope, they have the speed, they have the stamina.” – Advanced eventer Carol Kozlowski
Click for information on Thoroughbred pedigrees and race records.


“When I think back over the type of horses that have been very enjoyable to work with, teach on, do everything with, the Quarter Horse is one that comes to mind.” – Bolton, Massachusetts, ‘A’ circuit hunter/jumper trainer Mitch Steege.

“Quarter Horses can be superstars at Training Level dressage because they’re so solid and so steady, nothing fazes them.” – Lendon Gray

“The ‘old-time’ working type Quarter Horse is pretty hardy and could be a good Preliminary-level horse; a lot of the Appendix Quarter Horses look very much like a Thoroughbred and could easily do a three-day event.” – International eventer Ralph Hill.

“Quarter Horses make fabulous children’s jumpers and junior jumpers. They’re usually quiet, and a nice size.” – Lynn Little, grand prix show-jumper.

Click on, the American Quarter Horse Association.


“Let’s face it, the Warmbloods are bred for temperament and soundness, and they come in every possible size; some registries even have ponies. There is no ‘typical’ Warmblood.” – Lendon Gray

“Their whole conformation lends itself to jumping: the haunches and the way they slope, the shoulder, all those things.” – Lynn Little

“The amateur rider wants to enjoy the sport without wondering ‘How is my horse going to be today?’ When I look for horses for my students, the breed is secondary to me; I’m just looking for a nice, quite trainable horse-and I’ve ended up with a barn-full of Warmbloods.” – Massachusetts hunter trainer and AHSA judge Pam Hunt.

Click on (Belgian Warmbloods), (Dutch Warmbloods), (American Hanoverian Society), (American Holsteiner Horse Association), (Oldenburgs), (North American Selle Francais Horse), (Swedish Warmbloods), (Trakehner Horses), (Danish Warmbloods), (“All-Breed” Sport-Horse Registry).


“They’re a perfect size, 16 hands or smaller, for the smaller rider. They have a nice topline, from neck to withers and through the back and the croup-they have a lengthened trot and a lengthened canter and then they can turn right around and do the collected movements.” – Leslie Webb

“Morgans make lovely learner horses.” – Rachael Tennyson

“Their brains are quick and pony-like; they tend to be very committed and very brave. I’m riding a Morgan now that will probably go Prelim next year.” – Carol Kozlowski.

Click on


“They tend to be, as a group, nicely sensitive.” – Lendon Gray.

“Their stamina is incredible. Yes, they can be a little spooky but some spookiness is positive because it makes them careful to the jumps. ” – Lynn Little

“They’re small, but length of stride -it needs to be at least 12 feet — is more important than size.” – Ralph Hill

Click on, the Arabian Horse Association.


“They’re usually good, safe jumpers and they’re very personable and very hardy-they like living outside.” – Mitch Steege

“They’re very smart. Put a rider on them who’s a little bit of a thrill seeker, has a sense of humor, and is willing to put the work in, and it can be a wonderful match.” – Carol Kozlowski

“As a breed they tend to be extremely trainable. Many are very good movers.” – Lendon Gray.

Click on , the American Connemara Pony Society.

This information first appeared in the January, 2002 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.