4 Versatile Horse Breeds
4 Versatile Horse Breeds for English & Western Riding
If you enjoy both English and Western riding, you may think you need a separate horse for each discipline. But fortunately some breeds can be ridden in both English and Western and here are 4 versatile horse breeds for riders in all height and weight categories.
Made famous by the Budweiser ads, these horses are not just pretty pullers of beer carts. They are very sensible under saddle, and can make good jumpers.
Their kind and gentle dispositions are ideal for the more nervous rider who wants to ride English or Western dressage at the lower levels, in Western pleasure classes or on the trails.
Clydesdales stand between 16 and 18.2 hands high and weigh between 1,800 lbs. and 2,200 lbs. suiting the upper height and weight rider categories.
Clydesdales crossed with Thoroughbreds produce great all-round horses with better jumping ability, which also accommodate riders of lesser height and weight.
If you need added agility and speed for barrel racing, consider a Clydesdale/Paint or Quarter Horse cross: they can all be ridden in both the English and Western style.
This intelligent, gentle and willing draft breed was originally a war horse. He was then used for pulling stage coaches, before switching to agricultural forestry work.
Yet now the Percheron is a popular riding horse for English and Western pleasure. (Although he won’t make a fast barrel racer!)
The purebred Percheron’s height ranges from 15 to 19 hands, and he weighs between 1,100 lbs and 2,600 lbs., making it possible for riders within a wide range of stature and weight to find a suitable mount of this breed.
Also sought after for English and Western riding are Percherons crossed with Paints or Thoroughbreds. They are lighter boned and quicker on their feet, while retaining the sane brain for which the Percheron is renowned.
The American Paint Horse
Although generally thought of as Western horses because of their Quarter Horse blood, Paints are recognized as great English riding horses, too. Previously considered outside the norm at English shows, their color patterns have now become firm favorites.
Paint Horses range in height from 14.2 to 15.2, and weigh between 950 lbs and 1,200 lbs. They are at home in the dressage arena (English or Western), the jumping stadium, the cross-country course, rounding up cattle or barrel racing.
This fleet-footed animal is fun to own and comes in many different colors. The American Paint Horse Association describes him as ‘having athletic ability and being agreeable.’
This little horse has it all. Compact, strong and powerful, the Morgan makes a good barrel-racer, Western pleasure and cutting horse, English jumper and eventer, English and Western dressage horse as well as endurance horse.
His height is anywhere from 14.1 hands to 15.2 hands, with some individuals standing a little taller. Usual colors are bay, black or chestnut.
The Disciplines & Uses page for this breed lists no fewer than sixteen different areas in which the Morgan excels!
Not only that, but he has a gentle disposition and steady temperament. He is an easy keeper, meaning that he is not hard to maintain at a good weight.
Because these horse breeds perform well in both the English and Western disciplines, you can have the whole package in a single horse. This makes riding much more interesting and a lot of fun!