Horse Breeds and Temperaments

Updated on April 2, 2018

Just like people, horses have unique personalities. And, of course, much of their behavior is influenced by the personality or temperament. Most people who are experienced in the equine world will broadly define a horse’s personality as “hot-blooded”, “cold-blooded”, or “warm-blooded”. Each of these terms describes how a horse will react in certain situations, relate to their riders and trainers, and what type of work for which they are best suited.

Hot-blooded Horse Breeds

If a horse is hot-blooded, it means that he tends to be high-strung, nervous, or full of energy. This could bode ill for a new rider because a hot horse is difficult to handle. But, his high energy makes him perfect for long-distance travel or racing.

Here are some breeds that are classified as hot-blooded:

Thoroughbred

  • Common uses
    • Dressage
    • General riding
    • Jumping
    • Mounted athletics
    • Racing
  • Max height: 17 hands
  • Common personality traits:
    • Takes time to learn
    • Emotionally perceptive
    • Tends to overreact when something upsets or frightens them
    • High-strung
    • Defensive

Arabian

  • Common uses:
    • Endurance riding
    • General riding
    • Racing
  • Max height: 15.1 hands
  • Common personality traits:
    • Love to run
    • Sensitive to handler’s mood
    • Possess great stamina
    • Fast learners
    • Love to please their rider
    • Easily spooked
    • Curious

Source

Anglo Arabian

  • Common uses:
    • Jumping
    • General riding
  • Max height: 16.3 hands
  • Common personality traits:
    • Love to run
    • High strung
    • Endurance of an Arabian with the speed of a Thoroughbred

Cold-blooded Horse Breeds

If a horse is cold-blooded, this means that she is patient, calm, and not easily startled. Cold-blooded horses are also typically muscular and tall, causing them to have less endurance. This makes them perfect for farm work like plowing fields.

Here are some breeds that are classified as cold-blooded:

Clydesdale

  • Common uses:
    • Work
    • General riding
  • Max height: 18 hands
  • Common personality traits:
    • Spirited
    • Intelligent
    • Merry
    • Energetic

Source

Shire

  • Common uses:
    • Work
    • General riding
  • Max height: 21.2 hands
  • Common personality traits:
    • Docile
    • Hard-working
    • Gentle
    • Patient
    • Easy-going

Source

Percheron

  • Common uses:
    • Dressage
    • General riding
    • Jumping
    • Work
    • Racing
  • Max height: 19 hands
  • Common personality traits:
    • Alert
    • Intelligent
    • Willing to work
    • Good disposition
    • Spirited

Warm-blooded Horse Breeds

If a horse is warm-blooded, that means that she is somewhere in between hot and cold-blooded, as you might expect. Warm bloods are the most common type of horse. They have a calm and versatile demeanor, giving them the ability to adapt to various situations. They can exhort more energy when they need to. But, at rest, they are typically calm and friendly.

Here are some breeds that are classified as warm-blooded:

Quarter Horse

  • Common uses:
    • Dressage
    • General riding
    • Hunting
    • Jumping
    • Work
    • Mounted athletics
    • Racing
    • Rodeo
  • Max height: 17 hands
  • Common personality traits:
    • Eager to please
    • Calm
    • Well-balanced
    • Highly intelligent
    • Gentle
    • Docile
    • Sense of humor

Source

Friesian

  • Common uses:
    • Dressage
    • General riding
    • Racing
    • Work
  • Max height: 18 hands
  • Common personality traits:
    • Willing to work
    • Intelligent

Appaloosa

  • Common uses:
    • Dressage
    • General riding
    • Endurance riding
    • Jumping
    • Mounted athletics
    • Racing
    • Work
  • Max height: 16 hands
  • Common personality traits:
    • Level-headed
    • Even
    • Docile
    • Quiet
    • Courageous

Your fellow equine-lovers want to know!

What type of horse breed do you prefer?

See results

As Unique as a Snowflake

Although each breed has some typical, relatively predictable traits, it is important to remember that every horse has his own unique personality. Observing these special qualities and treating your horse accordingly can lead to a fulfilling relationship between you and your horse where trust and loyalty can flourish.

References and More Information

  • Find the Best (http://horse-breeds.findthebest.com/)
  • Facts about Horse Breed Personalities by Sally Emerson (http://voices.yahoo.com/facts-horse-breed-personalities-622367.html)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      rcmandeville 

      2 years ago

      I have a Paint, a Mountain Pleasure Horse (naturally gaited), and a Quarter pony / Paso Fino. They each have very distinct personalities, but the Paint is definitely the most lovey-dovey and friendly. My MPH is 'all business' on the trail, and very imperious, demanding, and Kingly when not. My QP/PF is a real Diva, and she is very changeable, as mares tend to be. Not sure how that all fits in to your post (which I appreciate) but you know us horse moms - We can't stop talking about our 1000 pound 'babies'!

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for the neat information on a variety of horses. Useful to me.

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 

      4 years ago from Austin, TX

      All I knew then was about hot-blooded horses. I didn't know there are cold-blooded and warm-blooded ones too. Engaging read, and beautiful horses. At my age I think I'll go for the cold-blooded ones. ;)

      Thanks for posting. :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)