Characteristics to Look for in a Lesson Horse

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Are you looking at horses for sale with plans of buying a horse for a lesson program? Good lesson horses can be hard to find, and when you do find them they often fetch significant prices. Why? Because good lesson horses need to have a specific set of characteristics. Here’s what to look for when you’re viewing lesson horses for sale.


Soundness is key in a good lesson horse. A horse’s entire career depends on his ability to stay sound, so when looking at lesson horses for sale you will want to ask about the horse’s past soundness history. A horse that suffers from hoof or leg issues may not be able to regularly perform in a lesson program.


While lesson horses don’t generally need perfect conformation, remember that a horse’s conformation can play into how well he is able to perform his job. A horse with poor conformation may not be able to hold up to the demands of daily rides.

You should also consider whether the lesson horse will be asked to compete in shows, even smaller local ones. If so, a horse with poor conformation will score poorly in classes judged on the horse’s form and correctness. Your plans for the horse may affect how important his conformation will be to you.


Good lesson horses are often versatile. They need to carry a wide variety of riders, all of different sizes, weights, and riding abilities and styles. A good, versatile horse will be able to perform any exercises, and sometimes discipline changes, that may be needed by the lesson program.


Lesson horses are intended to provide riders with a safe way to learn how to ride. A lesson horse must have an excellent temperament, and generally can’t be highly reactive.


Lesson horses must be able to work with different riders, and will sometimes work with multiple riders in a single day. A good lesson horse must be adaptable and willing, no matter what changes they may face in their routine. Being able to adapt to the varying riding styles, cues, and abilities of the different riders is a key characteristic in any good lesson horse.


Often, lesson horses must be counted on to keep their riders safe. In looking at horses for sale to find a lesson horse, you will want to find a horse who knows his job and can be depended on to do it. Horses with common sense, a willingness to please, and an understanding of what is expected of them can make great lesson horses.

Lesson horses are a talented bunch who are worth their weight in gold. A good lesson horse must have all of the above characteristics, plus more. Once you find a good lesson horse, you won’t ever want to let him go.

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