Paint Horses

With many options available as good beginner horses for new riders, paint horses are an interesting consideration. Finding a good beginner horse for those wanting to embark on their equestrian journey may be a challenging feat. Making the right choice can determine if the remainder of your equestrian journey will be good or great.

Paint horses are indeed a good choice for beginner riders. This is mainly because these horses have a lovely temperament, are quick learners, and form deep bonds with their riders. Their calm nature makes for a valuable characteristic for new riders. 

As a rider, I have experience with different breeds ranging from Thoroughbreds to Warmbloods to the Boerperd breed. I can say with certainty that some qualities in a horse make the learning process much easier and more enjoyable. These include an easy temperament and reliability, which are qualities found in paint horses.

Why Are Paint Horses Good For Beginners?

Paint horses, besides their beautiful colors and unique coat, display several characteristics that are ideal for beginner riders:

  • They are generally easy-going and have calm natures.
  • They are intelligent and learn quickly.
  • They make strong and deep bonds with their riders.
  • Paint horses are typically associated with Western riding and other Western events. They are athletic, which makes them ideal for most disciplines. However, English-style riding is also common, and new riders can try out several activities, such as jumping, cross country, showing, or dressage, to find out what they like.
  • They are trustworthy and reliable, always willing to please their riders.

Paint horses were initially used by the Native Americans, which is why they are quick learners and, therefore, a good option for beginners. These horses are known for their sturdy conformation and are traditionally used as workhorses on ranches.

Having the ability to learn quickly make these horses smart, which is a quality that would give any new rider some confidence. They are excellent candidates for trekking and are usually loyal to their riders.

They are easy to handle, which is an important quality for most new riders who have to juggle learning many different things at once. This similarly helps new riders to be able to focus on the basics instead of focusing on keeping the horse in control.

Paint horses have qualities that make them ideal for beginners. But not all paint horses are the same, so before making a final decision, make sure to visit the different horses you have in mind. Although it is essential to check the schooling, conformation, and breed of a horse, the temperament and character of the horse shouldn’t be overlooked.

Qualities To Look For In A Paint Horse

Just like people have their personalities, horses also have different characteristics. Many believe that horses should not be chosen based on their breed but rather the individual horse themselves.

On the other hand, there are horse lovers that more firmly believe that the horse breed dictates its temperament. Both may be the case. I have experienced a Thoroughbred to be calmer and more stable at times than a Boerperd, which would typically be vice versa.

Regardless of your opinion, there are some qualities in any horse that would be important for new riders. Typically, paint horses have many of these qualities. A perfect recipe for a good beginner paint horse is the combination of being calm and willing to work.

Those who are too calm may not be ideal for teaching you enough about riding. Those who are too excited and energetic may make riders a bit unsettled. Patience is another fantastic attribute that will go a long way with beginner riders.

A patient horse is generally calm and relatively docile, which is a good combination, especially for more nervous riders. You make many mistakes and give mixed signals to the horse while learning. Safety is the priority when starting in a sport such as horse riding, whether the goal is to seriously compete or go for fun trail rides.

Safety comes with a trustworthy horse and doesn’t spook too easily. Of course, it is also important to learn how to deal with certain difficult and unexpected situations, but this is better once you have mastered all the basics.

Are Paint Horses Easily Available?

Paint horses are reasonably available given their popularity among new riders and more experienced riders. You also won’t have a problem recognizing paint horses due to their unique color patterns.

According to the American Paint Horse Association, over one million paint horses are registered, and this association is the second largest horse registry in the world. Because of their willingness to perform in various disciplines, they are also quite in demand.

This makes them relatively easy to find at an equestrian school or to buy. Before committing to buying a paint horse, a tip would be to research where they are coming from, including the organization or breeder.

Age, general health status, breeder information, and training background will also play a role in the suitability of the paint horse you are looking at. Paint horses can cost between $1000 and $5000, but this can change depending on the individual horse.

Are Any Paint Horses That Are Not Suitable For Beginners?

In general, qualities that are not suitable for beginner riders are not found in paint horses. However, there are exceptions, and knowing the red flags are important. Horses that are flighty, nervous, and spook easily are not good qualities for new riders.

This could make your first few experiences quite unpleasant and may even stop you from riding altogether. Safety plays a significant role here, but confidence as a rider is equally important.

Qualities that can be an advantage with more experienced riders are very energetic, strong, and highly motivated to train horses. These qualities may be too overwhelming and difficult to handle for beginner riders. Horse breeds like these are Arabians and Thoroughbreds. These horses are probably not ideal for beginner riders.

Very young paint horses that still require a lot of training are usually not ideal for new riders. Older, more mature horses that have experienced several different riders are a much better choice.

Hot-headedness can go together with younger horses, which is difficult for new riders to deal with. A rider builds a lot of strength and endurance when learning to ride, and it is much easier to do this when your horse is not too strong-willed or spirited.

Stubbornness is a characteristic you should avoid when selecting your first horse. This could prevent you from learning many important things at the start of your journey. It can also teach you some of the wrong ways of riding and might not be what works for other horses that are more willing to work with you.


Paint horses are a good choice for beginner riders. Typical characteristics of these horses are their easy-going temperaments, friendly natures, willingness to work together with their riders, and ability to learn quickly. Any other horses, irrespective of their breed with these qualities, are also great options for new riders.