My pony is a 14hh POA gelding named Specs. He's a pretty good all-arounder. and he's 11. Do you think he's too old to train to jump? I know - 11's not old - but still. I've jumped him a little before (like x-rails, and big, 1 1/2 diameter log!) and he does it. Not well - but he gets over it ;)... He's got good sturdy legs & feet, doesn't have any huge conformation flaws, and is very healthy for the most part--physically.
I would definitely run it past an English trainer since jumping can be stressful on their joints. As for age for jumping, I think he'd be quite alright to learn how to jump so long as he's fit enough to handle it.
-How long should stirrups be? How do you know how long to use your stirrups? Last time I rode English like a year ago, my friend ('instructor' I guess ;P) said that my stirrups were wayy too long and laughed at me - but they felt perty short to me!
-Will I look stupid riding English in jeans and cowboy boots
Anything else I should know??
For stirrups, the general approximation of stirrup length
starts with pulling the stirrup leather down (as if you were about to mount up) lifting the saddle skirt up so you are looking at where the stirrup attaches and placing the tips of your fingers on a flat hand at the top and stretching the stirrup leather down so that the stirrup iron fits underneath your arm pit.
If your stirrups are too long or short, shorten or lengthen them until the stirrup iron fits under your armpit comfortably without any excess stirrup leather.
It's kind of the baseline on where you start. From there you shorten or lengthen based on a few things.
(these aren't concrete just my opinion and experience):
a) discipline in English (dressage, jumping, hunters, eventing)
b) your seat
c) strength of leg
The first and foremost is which discipline you decide to do. It's best to start (IMOP) with Dressage because it's about finding that seat, learning the basics inside and out dealing on the flat only. But you can start with whatever. Dressage stirrups tend to be
longer. But an exception would be if you are working on your legs (like I am) your trainer may shorten them etc.
I've found that if you have a more secure seat, you can often get away with longer stirrups but it isn't dependent on this sole fact. Just a factor.
Also if you have weaker legs (me again) you may work with short stirrups.
Lastly, you always should factor in comfort. If you aren't comfortable, then your riding probably isn't as relaxed and put together as it could be.
No you won't look silly in jeans and cowboy boots. Maybe at an English show :P but you shouldn't be concerned about how others view you when you're with your horse.
Have fun!!!!! :)
Make sure you get that saddle evaluated on your horse to make sure it fits!!