Tips for riding larger horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 01-27-2009, 11:09 AM
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I completely understand i used to ride ponies and horses but i feel more secure on a bigger horse now bc i feel like i have more to hold onto. My horse right now is about 16.2 and my old horses were 16.3 and 18h and i'm only 5'1 and wiegh about 105, maybe 112lb when its muscle. So its def something you have to get used to but the bigger horses gaits are so much nicer than little ponies.

"The horse you get off is not the same as the horse you got on; it is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible the change is for the better."
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post #12 of 21 Old 01-27-2009, 12:35 PM
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Smoothness of gait has nothing to do with size, it's determined by build. I've been on giant horses that felt like jackhammers and some that were unbelievably smooth. You do have to post much faster though on the little ones. :)

I know exactly how you feel though. 95% of what I ride are ponies, but this past year I had 2 horses I needed to show so I had to get used to riding the big ones again. I think the biggest differences are: size of barrel (you have to almost reestablish your leg when you go from the big ones to the little ones, or vice versa), turning radius (just like driving a really big car or a compact. even if the big ones turn very easily it's not like turning on a pony! good thing is, it's harder for the big horses to suddenly turn out from underneath you like some of the ponies can), and length of stride. This is the biggest change when it comes to jumping. It takes a bit to adjust to adjust to finding a distance again. But it WILL happen! You just need time and practice. If you ride nothing but big horses for a bit, you'll find that sitting on a pony feels kind of strange. If you're wanting to show in the 3" yea, it's about time to make the switch. I know the larges jump 3" at rated shows but I think there comes a point in most people's showing career when they need to get a horse if you want to progress. Plus, you can't show in the pony classes past 18 anyways.
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post #13 of 21 Old 01-27-2009, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys

Oh, and Upnover- I've never jumped over 2'6, but if I'm showing horses I have to jump three foot. Right now I do wn a horse, but he is 15.1ish hands, and has decided he hates jumping, so we are selling him
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-27-2009, 02:14 PM
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I have always ridden larger horses so I prefer them over smaller ones any day of the week. You just need to get used to them. Their strides, jumps, etc. are all going to feel bigger for you but I bet you'll learn to love it. Riding ponies is like riding a sewing machine to me.

As far as the strides when jumping, the pony strides tend to be one more than horse strides. For example, if you are jumping a line that is supposed to have 5 pony strides in between the jumps, then your stride count on a horse should be 4.
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post #15 of 21 Old 01-27-2009, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by IrishRider View Post
As far as the strides when jumping, the pony strides tend to be one more than horse strides. For example, if you are jumping a line that is supposed to have 5 pony strides in between the jumps, then your stride count on a horse should be 4.
Thanks I knew the number of strides in lines, but I was hoping for some tips about couting out strides to a jump. I've always been to count the strides (1-2-1-2) then spot the strides three steps away (1-2-3) It is much longer coutning and three comes much further away on a big horse
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-28-2009, 12:29 AM
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I'm 5'3 and I've ridden 17hh Hanos, 12hh Donkeys and just about everything in between size wise.
Just remember that it's still a horse, but more of a cruise ship size than speed boat or small yacht sized. Stay on your toes and really ride proactively. Learn to anticipate the horses, and ride more with your seat and legs. You weight about as much as a horse's head, so don't ever get in a pulling match because you are going to lose. And have fun! Your trainer is always going to be there to help you out of sticky situations and teach you to ride a horse so just stay calm and really try to ride with the horse. If the horse did a huge lead change and you fell onto it's neck, first of all this tells you that you weren't riding proactively to get a smoother change and second, that your back and hips were too stiff to move with the horse's movement. Don't stop riding as soon as the horse size and stride length goes up.
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post #17 of 21 Old 01-28-2009, 04:39 PM
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if you do a lot of pole work, even one pole on the ground and get used to trotting and cantering over it ... it will help you feel the strides better and you can get comfy with out having to worry about a jump there too ...

any yes lots of practice and it will become second nature for you! i love a big horse, my mare is 16.1hh ... right now a pony is your comfort zone and after some time and if you find the right horse- i think you will fall in love too! :)

let us know how it goes!

:: Karley ::
Tucker WB/TB- 11 yr
Speedy QH/TB- 22 yr
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post #18 of 21 Old 01-28-2009, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!

It isn't even that I'm nervous of a big horse, they just move so differently! Even the worst ponies have nice fast gaits that are easy to ride, big horses all seem to pause inbetween each stride (trot and canter) It is so uncomfy!
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post #19 of 21 Old 01-30-2009, 10:36 AM
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i used to always choose ponies at my old riding school but now at my new riding school we don't get to choose who to ride and my instructer made me ride a horse (i've been riding her for 3 months now) and it took some getting used to but now i can't even think of going back to riding ponies.
i think the gaits are much more comfy
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post #20 of 21 Old 02-03-2009, 07:15 PM
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i am only 5ft tall and weight probably 90lb but i ride bigger horses always cant be doing with ponies. lol most of my rides are 15.3 upwards, keep your weight down and ride lik your feet are being pulled until you get used to it, will stop you for falling forwards i found. the harest bit of it is the sitting canter throws you out if your legs are as wee as mine gripping down the sides is nearly impossible.
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