17 Best Horses For Off-Grid Living

The importance of horses is abundant when it comes to survival. The best horses for off-grid living will allow you to do different things and make survival easy. 

Unlike other homestead animals, horses are not productive. But they are more usable than other domestic animals.

You can use them for multiple purposes and enhance the off-grid living experience. 

You should go forward with a clear and complete guide to find the best horse for off-grid living. Compare the capability, purpose, and lifespan of horses before deciding on the breed to buy.

In this writing, we present the best horses for off-grid living and a complete guide that will enable you to choose the right horse for you. 

The Benefits Of Horses For Off-Grid Living

The Benefits Of Horses For Off-Grid Living

Having an active horse will give you several benefits, and you can survive easily off-grid.

Most importantly, a horse will allow you to ride in remote places and carry weighty material in the hilly and flat areas.

You can reach your destination faster and complete daily tasks using a horse. Besides, it will be your great companion. 

Furthermore, you can do different types of sports activities with a horse. You will get a great companion off the grid if you choose the right horse breed. 

How To Choose Horses For Off-Grid Living

You have to consider several things while purchasing a horse. We include some significant features that will enable you to find the best horse for off-grid living. 

We consider several issues and the context of each breed to ensure the best selection process.

Suitability To The Purpose

First, you have to fix that for what purpose you will use the horse. It will enable you to go through a filtration process and find the best horse.

Some breeds are suitable for family farms and transport. You cannot use them for sports activities. So. it depends on you whether you will select a family, partner, or draft horse. 

Ease Of Handle

A good horse should be easy and convenient to handle. You cannot use an anxious horse for daily purposes. 

Besides, you need a powerful horse to carry things or run faster in off-grid areas. 

Budget

Don’t break your budget. You should consider the price and purpose. A significant investment cannot provide you with the best service.

So, you have to search for the best horse at an affordable price. It will save time and money.

Best Horses For Off-Grid Living

Here, we review the best 17 horses for off-grid living. We include these breeds after considering several features and issues.

Besides, we analyze reviews from users. These horses are strong and come with high-performing activities.

Furthermore, we analyze several breeds and compare them with different purposes to understand their real-time performance. 

BreedsAppearanceBest for purposeCost
The HaflingerChestnut and other shadesPleasure riding, farm work$5,000+
Quarter horsesBrownish redRiding, farm work$1,000-$4,000
Miniature HorsesMany different color patternsFamily, pet$1000 on average
MorgansBlack, chestnut, and bayFarm work, riding, family$1,000-$5,000
Rocky Mountain And Tennessee WalkersBlack, palomino, bay, chocolate, and chestnutFarm work, trail riding$3,000 and $7,000
MustangsPalomino, chestnut, black, and moreFarm work, trail riding$125-$5,000
Belgian HorsesBay, chestnutFarm work, riding$5,000 to $10,000
Clydesdale HorseBlack, gray, bay, or chestnutCarriage pulling, riding$2,500 and $5,000
Percheron HorsesBlack, gray, chestnut, roan, or sorrelFarm work, riding, family$1,000 and $10,000
Arabian HorsesBay, gray, chestnut, black, and roanFarm work, riding$5,000 to $20,000
Irish DraughtGray and chestnutFarm work, sports$10,000 on average
ShireBlack, gray, bay, or brownFarm work and riding$2,000 to $20,000
Suffolk PunchChestnutFarm workUnknown
Friesian HorseChestnut, white, or blackSports, shows, pleasure riding$15,000 to upwards of $25,000
Missouri Fox Trotter Stallion TiogaChestnut, gray, palomino, black, champagneRiding, farm work$1,000 to $13,000
Icelandic HorseChestnut, brown, and moreRiding$10,000+
American CreamCreamFarm work, show, riding$2,500+
Comparison of the best horses for off-grid living

The Haflinger Horses

The Haflinger Horses

The Haflinger horses have different appearances, ranging from rich, golden chestnut to light gold. Their manes are often white or flaxen.

This breed grows to about 13.2-15.0 hands with large, forward-pointing eyes and overly wide nostrils. Their necks are medium in length and a bit slim towards the neck.

This horse breed is also identified with its small white markings on the face and legs.

Physically, they have pronounced withers, deep chests, and strong backs. The hindquarters are well-built, strong, and slightly sloping.

The Haflinger legs have well-defined joints and hocks. Their legs are also proportional to their body with small and hard hooves.

This is an intelligent breed and does great as a family horse. The horses are easygoing, kind, and gentle.

Handing them should not be a problem for kids, adults, and the elderly. They are calm and offer the best riding experience.

However, they are curious and can sometimes outlearn their owners. In such cases, they start to be stubborn. So, don’t be surprised if your otherwise calm horse turns willful.

The Haflinger horses are of two types: the taller and shorter breeds. Shorter ones are ideal for draft work, while taller, lighter horses are best for pleasure riding, light driving, and sports.

This breed can remain strong and do almost everything until they get into their 40s.

Generally, they are easier to keep and require less food to sustain than heavier breeds. A well-bred Haflinger horse sells for $5,000 or more.

American Quarter Horses

American Quarter horses are the most popular breeds in North America. They are known for their gentleness, versatility, beauty, speed, agility, and loyalty.

This breed is ideal for riding and can be owned by anyone, provided you can provide for its needs.

The American Quarter horses are heavily built and come in different colors. Brownish red is the most common, but you can also find other shades.

You will also find white markings on the face and leg. They grow to a height of about 14-16 hands and weigh between 950 to 1200 pounds.

The breed is characterized by a muscular body, deep chest, small head, flat forehead, and generally flat profile.

It can live for up to 25 years, providing power to the farm, and is also suitable for sports and family.

American Quarter horses are the best for families and newbie riders because of their calm, gentle demeanor.

They are also easy to train for rank work, competitions, and recreational uses. It will cost you about $1,000-$4,000 to acquire one. This pricing depends on age, health, and where you buy it from.

Miniature Horses

Miniature Horses

Miniature horses, popularly known as minis, are generally small in nature and very social. This breed has an adorable appearance and is mainly kept for a companion or pet.

Miniature horses can grow to a height of just about 8.5-9.5 hands and weigh between 150 and 350 pounds.

Despite their small body size, they still require as much care as full-sized horses. However, they don’t need even half the feed of other breeds.

This breed is a suitable choice for anyone who wants a companion animal. Due to their small size, they cannot do any work.

They are also not for riding, but you will have a lasting companion. Miniature horses can live for 35 years if well taken care of.

Miniature horses come in all colors and coat patterns. You can find solid coats, pintos, and spotted ones, featuring thicker coats than full-size horses.

The breed is built as the bigger ones, with only the small size being the hallmark.

Miniature horses are intelligent, curious, gentle, and social. Their advantage is that they require small space and feed less.

However, be prepared to spend $1000 on average. They are easy to find at animal rescue centers and breeders countrywide.

Morgan Horses

Morgan horses are versatile. They are known as horses that choose you and do everything just to please you as the owner.

Other reasons for choosing this breed include handling ease and adaptation to various conditions.

Morgan horses grow to a height of about 14-15 hands and weigh 900 to 1,000 pounds.

They are characterized by a compact and masculine body, a short head with a wide forehead, large and expressive eyes, and a thick mane and tail.

Morgan horses usually display dark, solid colors, such as black, chestnut, and bay. However, you can also find some with palomino, pinto, gray, dun, roan, and other coat colors.

We can say that it depends on where you buy your horse.

This breed is docile and suitable for riders of all levels, including children, and can live for 30 years.

It is the best family horse for its ease of maintenance and social nature. Besides, you can train it to do what you want.

However, this breed is a bit more expensive. It costs about $1,000-$5,000, depending on age, health, training, and the breeder or where you buy it.

You can buy it across the United States, including Vermont.

COAT DEFENSE Trouble Spot Drying Paste for Horses

Rocky Mountain And Tennessee Walkers

Rocky Mountain horses are best for long smooth rides. They can endure long hours of trail riding and pulling carriages and plows.

This breed is also a gem in competing in the show ring and handling many other tasks.

Rocky Mountain horse is one of the tallest breeds, growing to about 16 hands in height. It weighs between 850 to 1000 pounds.

It is uniquely identified by its natural ambling gait.

The breed is characterized by a muscular body, a small head with a wide forehead, a deep chest, and a flat body profile.

Its coat color can be black, palomino, bay, chocolate, and chestnut, but mane and tail are flaxen.

Blocky Mountain horses are calm, amiable, and kid-friendly. However, Blocky Mountain horses are not for you if you intend to train them trotting or cantering.

They will not learn it. They, however, are strong and can live for 35 years to buy as a family horse or for competitive riding.

However, Rocky Mountain horses may be the most expensive breed on this list. It costs between $3,000 and $7,000, but registered and certified ones with an excellent bloodline can cost upwards of $12,000.

Mustang Horses

Mustang Horses

Mustang horses are characterized by compact and muscular bodies. They can grow to 14.1-15.2 hands tall and weigh between 800 pounds.

This horse breed can live for 40 years. You can find them in different colors, from palomino to chestnut and black.

Mustangs are known as hardy and surefooted horses. They are suitable for working and trailing because they handle different terrains that some breeds struggle with.

This breed is very social and gets along with other pets. However, the introduction should be gradual to avoid the reactiveness and spookiness of Mustangs.

If they are not provoked, they stay calm and very cooperative.

Mustangs are easy to adopt countrywide. You can begin by reviewing the requirements of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

It will cost you $125-$5,000 to adopt from BLM. However, the price can be as high as $15,000 for stallions with outstanding show records.

Belgian Horses

If you need height, Belgian horses may be your option. This breed is a beast that can grow to about 16.2-17 hands tall and weigh up to 2,000 pounds on average.

However, you can find some that grow as tall as 20 hands and weigh as much as 3,200 pounds.

Belgian horses were originally bay in color, but you can nowadays find roan and sorrel in the United States. Some have chestnut coats with flaxen manes and tails.

They are attractive farm animals with pretty white markings on their faces and legs.

The Belgian breed is characterized by small heads, massive bodies and legs, and muscular hindquarters.

They have medium-sized hooves and strong legs, making them suitable as working horses. They can live for up to 30 years.  

Belgian horses are gentle animals but very sensitive. They are ideal family pets and are willing to do work, including pulling, plowing, and logging.

If you are looking for a horse breed that is easy to handle, not easily spooked, and easy-to-handle, Belgian may be the best choice for you.

Belgian horse breed can cost between $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the color, age, health status, training appearance, and physicality.

Clydesdale Horse

Clydesdale Horse

Clydesdale horse is another beast we have on this list. It can grow to a height of about 16-18 hands and weighs between 1,600 to 2,400 pounds.

It, however, has a relatively short lifespan of about 25 years.

Clydesdale horses are characterized by long-silky feathering on legs, rounded feet, arched, long neck, and broad forehead.

Its coat color is commonly black, gray, bay, or chestnut, which can be solid or have roan markings or spots. Some have white blazes or bald facial markings.

This breed is intelligent, calm, and easy to train. It, however, requires extra grooming due to its long hair.

These horses are docile and easy to handle, even if you have limited experience with horses. The horses are also playful but are not afraid to do work.

The cost of a Clydesdale horse is between $2,500 and $5,000 from a rescue center or breeder.

Percheron Horses

Percheron horses also fall in the group of very big-sized horses and grow to about 15-19 hands tall and weigh between 1,800 and 2,600 pounds.

These horses are built with broad, flat foreheads, small, upright ears, and arched necks. They can live for up to 30 years.

The Percheron horse breed is mainly black, gray, chestnut, roan, or sorrel.

However, French-bred Percherons are born with black coats but turn gray as they approach adulthood. You can also spot some with faint white markings.

Percheron horses are eager to please their owner, friendly, and have strong work ethics.

They are docile, making them an ideal choice for novice riders. These majestic horses can be intimidating, but they have sweet, tolerant, and easygoing personalities.

The price tag of a Percheron horse is between $1,000 and $10,000. This wide range depends on age, training level, and pedigree.

Arabian Horses

Arabian Horses

Arabian horses are not as intimidating as Percheron or Belgian horses. They are medium-sized, growing to about 14-16 hands tall and weighing 800-1,000 pounds.

You can identify them with their compact bodies, small, wedge-shaped heads, and long, arched necks. They can live for 30 years, which is the average for most horse breeds.

The most recognized Arabian horse coat colors include bay, gray, chestnut, black, and roan.

They also have white facial markings and stockings on their legs. These horses also possess heavily pigmented skin, giving them a dark color. This feature protects them from the raging desert sun.

Arabian horses are intelligent, friendly, and athletic. They can be loving, loyal, and responsive animals, but they get bored fast.

However, you need experience with horses to train them. But once trained, anyone can use them to do work or just ride on them for pleasure.

This breed is more social than many others. They like the company of human beings and can generally adapt to different conditions.

The average price of an Arabian horse is from $5,000 to $20,000. These horses are famous and easy to find across the United States.

Irish Draught Horses

Irish Draught horses are the iconic farm animals of Ireland. They grow to about 15.2-16.3 hands in height and weigh between 1,300 and 1,500 pounds.

The horses are strong, well-built, and muscular with powerful legs. You can uniquely identify them with their long legs, wide foreheads, and wide-spaced eye.

Irish Draught horses are ideal for riding and hunting. Their well-built, athletic body makes them suitable as farm animals. They are also used by police officers and sportsmen. If you take care of your horse well, it can live for 30 years.

This horse breed is popularly known for its solid coat colors. Gray and chestnut are the most common, but you can find other shades. However, they don’t have excessive white markings.

Irish Draught horses are easygoing and adaptable. They are quick learners, making it easy to harness their power to do work.

Their gentle temperament makes them ideal even to first-timers. However, they require regular exercise and a lot of it.

Irish Draught horses are rare. As a result, they are expensive. Most of them cost about $10,000.

Shire Horses

Shire Horses

The Shire is a rare breed of horse. They are massive, with large hooves and featherings on their legs.

These horses can grow to a height of 16-18 hands and weigh between 1,800 and 2,400 pounds. You can identify them with long, arched necks and slightly Roman noses.

Shire horses are best for all levels of riders and owners. They are typically calm, docile, and pleasant.

You don’t need experience with horses to own this breed because they are social. You will get along quite well with your new companion that can live for about 25-30 years.

Shire horses mainly have black, gray, bay, or brown coats. Some of them have white facial and leg markings.

These horses have imposing height and extreme strength. Fortunately, they are easygoing. Tapping their power to do work is never a problem.

The cost of Shire horses varies from $2,000 to $20,000, depending on age, training level, and health status.

Suffolk Punch Horses

The Suffolk Punch horse breed was mainly developed for farm work. This breed stands 16-17 hands tall and weighs 1,800 pounds.

It has short legs and dense bones. The shoulders are inclined upright, a feature that makes them the best choice for power. The back is short, strong, and has long and smooth headquarters.

Suffolk Punch horses have one solid coat color, chestnut. White markings are rarely seen on this breed.

They are known for outstanding gentleness and calmness, strong work ethic, and eagerness to please the owner.

If you are looking for excellent farm work, Suffolk Punch horse is the best option. Its lifespan is about 25-30, but you will get the best out of it at its prime.

Suffolk Punch horses are rare. You may not even get your hands on them. As a result, little is known about their prices. They are mainly not for sale.

Friesian Horse

Friesian Horse

Friesian horses are sleek and elegant animals mainly used in sports, shows, and family pleasure times.

They stand about 14.2 top 17 hands tall and weigh about 1,300 pounds on average. These horses are sturdy and feature high, arched necks and thick mane and tail.

Unfortunately, Friesian horses have the shortest lifespan of about 16 years. That may not make it the favorite among many homesteaders.

Friesians usually have chestnut, white, or black coats and markings on the legs and faces.

Most of them are black, with chestnut color being the rarest. They are distinguished from other breeds with their strong hindquarters, thick necks, and dense manes and tails.

Friesian horses are gentle and well-mannered. They get along with every member of the family who likes riding.

These horses also do best as workers, being able to pull wagons. However, they have a low tolerance for cold weather.

Frisians are expensive. They can cost $15,000 to upwards of $25,000.

Missouri Fox Trotter Stallion Tioga

Missouri Fox Trotter horses symbolize power. They were popular with the royal families for their appearance and majestic gait.

Missouri Fox Trotter horses typically stand 14 hands tall and weigh between 900 and 1,200 pounds.

Their lifespans range from 20 to 30 years, depending on care and conditions. They have straight face profiles, muscular bodies, and short backs.

At a glance, you will notice slopped and powerful shoulders, sturdy legs, and a full chest of Missouri Fox Trotter horses.

They are built for power, capable of handling challenging terrains and maintaining a smooth ride.

Missouri Fox Trotter horses are exceptionally well-behaved, friendly, and social animals. They are the best choice for trail riders, children, and persons with disabilities.

You can find this breed with chestnut, gray, palomino, black, champagne, and other coat colors.

White face and leg markings are also a common feature of Missouri Fox Trotter horses. They sell for as low as $1,000 and as high as $13,000.

Icelandic Horses

Icelandic Horses

Icelandic horses are famous for the 5th gaits that allow them to trot. Just a few breeds have this capability.

An Icelandic horse stands about 13-14 hands high and can weigh between 730 and 840 pounds.

Another remarkable trait of Icelandic horses is their long lifespan. They can live for 40 years, with some going well above 50 years.

These horses are equally beautiful and come in a broad assortment of more than 40 different colors. Chestnut and brown are the most common coat colors for this horse breed.

Icelandic horses are built for riding. They can take on snowy terrain and thrive in cold conditions. They are also docile and friendly towards people of all ages.

To acquire an Icelandic horse, plan with a budget of $10,000, but you can find some going for less if they are young and untrained.

American Cream Horses

American Cream horses are known for their cream coat colors and white manes and tails. They also have distinct amber eyes.

This breed is docile and willing to handle different tasks, making them suitable for small farms and showing.

American Cream horses grow to about 15-16.3 hands tall and weigh between 1,600 and 2,000 pounds. They thrive in different climatic conditions and live for about 20-35 years.

These horses are calm, gentle, docile, and intelligent. You can choose them for farm work, show, riding, and carriage pulling.

It will move along with other pets and animals with the same temperament.

American Cream horses are expensive because they are rare. Budget with at least $2,500. Some of them are sold at much higher prices.

Horse Breeds to Avoid

Some horse breeds are not suitable for off-gridders or homesteaders. That is because these breeds require experienced persons, high maintenance, aggressive, or spooky. If you are a beginner, avoid the following horse breeds:

  • Thoroughbred
  • Australian Brumbies
  • Akhal-Teke
  • Przewalski
  • Barb
  • Faroese
  • Andalusians

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FAQs

What is the most dangerous horse breed?

Przewalski horses are arguably the most dangerous horses on the planet. They are not predatory but can be aggressive when provoked or defending territories. Strangers or inexperienced people should not handle them.

What is the hardest horse to train?

The Arabian, Thoroughbred, and Akhal Tekke are the most challenging horse breeds to train. These nervous and hot-blooded horses are wild and require an experienced person to tame.

What is the smoothest horse to ride?

The smoothest horses to ride are the gaited breeds. You can try Icelandic, Paso Fino, Peruvian, or American Saddlebred breeds. They will give you a pleasurable ride.

What is the smartest horse breed?

Arabian and Hanoverian are thought of as the most intelligent horses. They are easygoing and courageous animals that learn quickly.

What is the cheapest horse breed?

The cheapest horse breeds to buy include Arabians, Thoroughbreds, and quarter horses. But the prices can vary significantly depending on the age, training level, and pedigree.

Wrapping Up

Horses are great farm animals to complement your off-grid lifestyle. They provide transport and animal power.

You can experience a better life off the grid with the right horse breed. Choose any of the highlighted horse breeds you can afford to discover what you have been missing.

Thank you for reading this article at Em Offgrid. We hope you enjoyed it and found the information you needed about horse breed to buy.

Kindly share this article with other off-gridders with an interest in horses.

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