Ponies and tall riders - Page 2

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Ponies and tall riders

This is a discussion on Ponies and tall riders within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Horse with big barrel small legs
  • Rider too tall for pony

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    03-14-2013, 05:15 AM
Theodore O'Connor was a pony! 14.1 3/4 or something. Most incredible little guy.

Jack of Diamonds was a GP showjumper wayyyyy back when. 14.2hh.

There are tons of accounts of ponies jumping higher than their own height. 12.2hh ponies jumping 1m30 [that's 4'4"-ish!], Connemaras winning at puissance against 17.3hh jumping-bred warmbloods, the list goes on. Ponies can be awesome!

Edit; and way back in the days of "high-jumping" competitions, before WW2, it wasn't unheard of for 13hh ponies to jump 7 foot high fences!
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    03-15-2013, 07:55 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by albertaeventer    
If the horse has enough barrel to take up your leg, then I don't see a problem. My legs aren't hanging super long on my horse. Some horses have a small barrel, and that's where people run into "looking too big", regardless of the horses's size. Many ponies have a big barrel that takes up a larger rider's leg just fine, it just depends on the horse and how they're built.
Another thing that people rarely consider that also messes with perception is the length of the horse's or pony's neck in relation to the length of the rider's upper body. You can have two horses with the same exact barrel and similar heights, but a person with a longer upper torso is going to look bigger on the horse with the shorter neck versus one with a longer neck.

As to ponies jumping - I've always loved this pic!

ponyluver420 likes this.
    03-15-2013, 09:37 AM
Originally Posted by Cat    
Another thing that people rarely consider that also messes with perception is the length of the horse's or pony's neck in relation to the length of the rider's upper body. You can have two horses with the same exact barrel and similar heights, but a person with a longer upper torso is going to look bigger on the horse with the shorter neck versus one with a longer neck.
Good point! Also how they carry their neck can affect it too, high head carriage vs low neck carriage.
    03-19-2013, 10:58 PM
As long as your feet aren't scraping the ground, and your equitation doesn't interfere with the pony, you can ride anything. My average height trainer used to train ponies for a living!
    03-19-2013, 10:59 PM
Personally, the ponies have the best turns
    03-19-2013, 11:59 PM
I've made lots of posts on this topic but never attached any pics.

I'm 5'11" tall and I rode my 14.2 hand super cresty chunk of a pony (at one of his fittest points in his career during my FEI Junior year). I look awkward if you look at my upper body vs. his neck but his barrel eats up my leg for the most part. I used to jump him, albeit not very high, and always got told that I looked way too big for him. I took up dressage and did up to 4th level on this pony. I moved on because my young horse was ready to go and the pony hit his limits - not because he was too small. I think it's time to move on once you hit your limit on the pony and want to continue on.

ETA: Balance was an issue with him in the sense that I had to be super balanced on him so not to get in his way. He never made me off balance though.

Here's some pics from when I rode my pony, a front and side view for reference (sorry about the size):
Photos courtesy of Bob Bittner Photography

    03-21-2013, 07:38 PM
Originally Posted by NaeNae87    
I ride a 16.1hh OTTB and a 14.3hh Andaulsian X TB.

I am 5'7 and I have never been told I am too big for my little one. I don't feel under horsed, and he certainly doesn't act as if I am too big for him :)

My 16.1hh TB
Attachment 132563

My 14.3hh boy
Attachment 132564
Hmm mind if I grill you on your Andy/TB? How is he to event? What's his bone structure like?

I have a 4 y/o Andy/TB filly I just started and had planned on eventing her when I retire my TB, but I worry about her petite 14.2 self carrying my 5'9'' butt around, especially with the sticky baby weight I can't seem to shake.
    03-21-2013, 07:51 PM
My mare is about 15.1 and I'm 5'8"
I think I'm a little too tall, especially for english. I'm much more comfortable and balanced on the 17.2 hand gelding at my barn.
He's also wider sprung, whereas my mare is super long and narrow.

I prefer larger horses, no idea why really, I just like them(:
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    03-21-2013, 08:06 PM
I'm 5"6-5"7 (can't remember.. :b) and ride a 13.2 hh pony. (:
As long as you are both comfortable and not interfering with balance, ect you should be fine. Ask your trainer why, too, he may just think you look to big.
    03-21-2013, 08:44 PM
I'm 57 and my mare is 14.2 maybe , I do look a bit tall on her but we do great together. But when jumping, its better to be on a bigger horse just because of the ratios, theres more there for you if something goes wrong, where as when you're towering above the ponys head there is much less, but I would prefer something 15.3 +

Chispa n I
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