Are Clydesdale Horses Good For Beginners?

Clydesdales are known as gentle giants of the equine world, so it’s only natural to think of them as good beginner horses, right?

These horses possess qualities that beginners would love, they have this gentle demeanor, they’re calm and steady.

In this article, we’ll get to know more about how Clydesdales are such an ideal candidate for a beginner horse.

Are Clydesdale Horses Good For Beginners?

Yes, Clydesdale Horses are good for beginners.

A beginner in the equine world has little to no experience with horses, so being exposed to Clydesdales will increase their chances of becoming more confident in owning a horse.

One of the main reasons why this breed is not just good but excellent for beginners is because of its temperament.

Clydesdales have an easy-going temperament so owning one wouldn’t cause any trouble at all. The thing is, Clydesdale are draft horses, and draft horses enjoy the company of people and it’s also innate in them to tolerate bad behavior.

While this may be good news for beginners who have good intentions, this would be bad for the horses if they ever land on the wrong hands (a.k.a. abusive owners).

Going back, Clydesdale Horses are a popular and beloved breed because of their unique appearance, remarkable personality, and price point.

It’s safe to say that everything that a horse owner would ever want in a horse is already possessed by the Clydesdales. And on top of that, Clydesdale Horses are quite affordable for beginners as well. So Clydesdales do indeed make a great entry horse.

They have an abundance of desirable traits, which is what makes them good for beginners. We’ll discuss this in detail as you read along.

Why Clydesdales Usually Make Good Horses

There are a number of reasons that make Clydesdale Horses Good Horses, please refer to the list below to find out why.

Clydesdale Horses Have Wonderful Traits

Clydesdale Horses possess these desirable traits: they have a gentle demeanor, they’re tender, graceful, intelligent, brave, friendly, active, and versatile.

After reading the traits mentioned above, we’re pretty sure that beginners would love to have their very own Clydesdale Horse. This just means that even beginners won’t feel overwhelmed with this horse despite its size.

Big horses don’t automatically mean they’re difficult to handle, well, that is if we’re talking about Clydesdale Horses.

Let’s look at it from a bigger picture, this breed is suited for any type of owner, whether it’d be a pro or beginner. Clydesdales make good horses just based on their traits and temperament alone.

Clydesdale Horses Are Easy To Train

We’ve already established that Clydesdale Horses are friendly and easy to work with, so that means, that makes them easily trainable.

These horses are willing to work with their owner and follow every instruction given to them. Plus, they’re smart, so they have the capacity to learn quickly. This adds to the horse’s overall trainability.

Clydesdales Genuinely Enjoy The Company Of People

As we have mentioned before, these horses are friendly, so they naturally gravitate towards people. They enjoy the company of people which is why they want to eagerly please their owners.

Moreover, this breed doesn’t mind it if they frequently get moved from one place to another. A change in their environment is not that big of a deal for them.

Clydesdale Horses have an optimistic spirit and they openly embrace change in whatever form it may be. So if they get exposed to a new environment, new people, new animals, it would be quite alright with them.

Clydesdale Horses Are Affordable

This breed is affordable, even for beginners, and they’re usually sold for $1,000 to $5,000.

Of course, this is just a base price because we have to take other factors into consideration such as the pedigree of the horse (if the horse came from a famous lineage of Clydesdales), conformation (a horse’s build), coloring, and overall qualities.

Furthermore, there would be a continuous commitment of expenses after purchasing a Clydesdale Horse.

Since they are relatively big horses, their needs are different compared to an average-sized horse.

They would need more food, they will need to be groomed regularly, and they have to have custom-made tack (accessories equipped on a horse) to accommodate their large size.

A Clydesdale’s Gait Is Smooth

If there’s one thing Clydesdales are known for, it’s definitely their smooth gait.

This is why Clydesdale Horses are often used for therapies, they just provide a calm soothing ride with their smooth canter, trot, and walk.

If it’s your first time riding such a big horse, the feeling may be a little bit different despite the Clydesdale Horse having a smooth gait.

There are pros and cons when it comes to riding on big-sized horses, but nonetheless, Clydesdales are a joy to ride on.

Clydesdales Can Compete In Multiple Disciplines

Although this breed may not be widely used in various disciplines as often as we see Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, they’re still being used to compete in equine events.

Here are some of the equine disciplines that Clydesdale Horses compete in:

Trail Riding

Clydesdale Horses are known for being gentle and level-headed, meaning, they don’t get startled by anything easily, be it a random animal that just suddenly passed by or whatever external thing they would encounter.

The reason why this breed is the horse for you when it comes to trail riding is because of its smooth gait, as previously mentioned.

Whether a rider wants to competitively engage in trail riding or enjoy the calmness of a leisure trail riding experience, the Clydesdale is your best bet. They will surely give you one of the most comfortable riding experiences of your life.


The size and variety of colors of the Clydesdale Horse add up to its unique appearance, which is why this breed is being used to compete in dressage disciplines.

Clydesdale Horses are known to succeed in low-level dressage. Just their looks and excellent gaits combined, they will surely snag the winning title of any low-level dressage.

This breed can’t compete in upper-level dressages because they aren’t capable of meeting the demands from that level. Their confirmation is what hinders them from doing so.

Clydesdale Horses Can Be Used For A Lot Of Things

Clydesdale Horses are also widely used as show horses, forestry workhorses, parade horses, patrol horses, and draft horses.

Is A Clydesdale A Good First Horse?

Yes, a Clydesdale is a good first horse.

Clydesdales make a good first horse because of their gentle temperament, level-headedness, friendliness, and affordability.

Plus, these horses are easy to train, so first-timers won’t have a hard time handling these giant majestic horses.

Are Clydesdale Horses A Riding Horse?

Yes, Clydesdales are riding horses.

Thanks to this breed’s smooth gait, they’re a popular choice when it comes to riding, especially putting the emphasis on trail riding.

It’s just a pleasure to ride on these horses because they provide riders with a pleasant and unique experience.

However, it’s important to note that Clydesdale Horses were not specifically bred for riding. They are draft horses, so much of their purpose is geared towards pulling carriages and whatnot.

Are Clydesdales Good Riding Horses?

Yes, Clydesdales are good riding horses.

This breed is easy to maneuver when it comes to riding and they don’t easily get scared of the things they see around them, therefore, they provide a smooth comfortable ride.

Is It Hard To Ride A Clydesdale Horse?

No, it’s not hard to ride a Clydesdale Horse.

One might think that Clydesdale Horses are hard to ride on because of their size, but that’s actually not the case.

Clydesdales are easy to control once you mount them, but for some, the mounting part can be quite difficult due to its size.

Are Clydesdale Horses Easy To Train?

Yes, Clydesdale Horses are easy to train.

This breed is easy to train thanks to their cooperative attitude and intelligence. Clydesdales are quick to pick up on instructions and follow the commands of their rider.

Are Clydesdales Fast?

No, Clydesdales are not fast.

Their fastest speed when it comes to their competitive side is 20km/h at most.

Clydesdales are initially bred for farm work and hauling heavy loads, so they aren’t really supposed to be one of the fastest horses.

On a side note, their build is also large and heavier things pull down the speed of something. The same idea applies to the Clydesdale Horse.

Can Clydesdales Jump?

Yes, Clydesdales can jump.

Clydesdales have actually competed in several events which involved jumping and were successful in said events.

They are very much capable of jumping over 3’6 oxers as well. Despite having the potential to jump, it’s not ideal for big draft horses to compete in such events.

Clydesdale Horses have a better shot at trail riding and other activities similar to that.

Alternative Clydesdale Horses For Beginners

If you believe that Clydesdales aren’t the one for you, then there are other alternatives for it. These horses share some similarities with the Clydesdales, although, their temperament and other qualities are where the difference is.

Either a Shire Horse or a Percheron Horse would be a good alternative to Clydesdale Horses. If you’re not a big fan of feathering, then the Percheron Horse would be a good choice for you.