What Type of Temperament Should Your New Horse Have?


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When buying a horse, you have many choices – there are countless horses for sale. And while you might have an idea of what you’re looking for in a horse in terms of height, breed, training, and experience, there is one last characteristic that you should always consider carefully: temperament.

What Are the Different Temperaments?

A horse’s temperament refers to his character and general behavior. Temperament can be indicative of how a horse might react in different situations. Horses with cooler, more relaxed temperaments will tend to keep their calm in the event of a surprise like a sudden loud noise. Horses with hotter, more reactive temperaments can react strongly to that same surprise.

Horses are typically divided into three large temperament groups: hot, cold, and in-between. Hot horses are highly energetic, sensitive, and reactive. Breeds such as the Thoroughbred and Arabian are known for often having hot temperaments.

Horses with cold or cool temperaments are relaxed, even-tempered, and often referred to as being “bombproof.” They tend to stay relaxed even when confronted with new situations or events that would frighten other horses, like loud noises or strange sights. Draft horses frequently have cool temperaments.

In between hot and cool temperaments are mild-tempered horses. These horses are relatively calm and relaxed, though they are not calm enough to qualify as “bombproof.” Many riders prefer mild-tempered horses for their mix of dependability and sensitivity.

Why Is Temperament Important?

A horse’s temperament must match a rider’s experience, talent, and comfort level in order for the horse and rider to be a good match. If a rider lacks confidence and riding skill, pairing them with a hot, reactive horse can be a dangerous move, as the horse can quickly take control and a situation can end badly. The rides can be draining and upsetting if a rider rides a horse with a temperament that is too much for them to handle.

On the other end of the spectrum, a talented rider looking for a challenging ride can be bored when riding a horse with a cooler temperament. Some riders prefer their horses to have some “spirit” and to quickly respond to their aides and the surrounding environments. Such riders would be better paired with horses with hotter temperaments.

When trying out horses for sale, it is important to make sure that a horse’s temperament matches what you are looking for in a horse. Decide how much spirit and reactivity in a horse you can handle, and use that as your guide when evaluating horses for sale based on temperament. TOPHORSE–browse horses for sale or place an ad to sell horses

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