I have been slacking on riding this filly extensively because I feel I'm too large for her. I guess when I say "extensively" I mean more that 45 minutes at a time. I am 6'2, 165 lbs. She is 4, 14.2 (at most) and petite. I broke her myself and now her owner is trying to sell her, so I need to give her saddle time. I don't want to hurt her though. I can't really excel past a walk/trot because I'm afraid she'll have trouble balancing me. I've done tons of groundwork with her, so she's ready for consistent riding. I am considering hiring someone smaller to give her saddle time. Here is a photo of me riding her:
I'm pretty self-conscience about my height when it comes to riding. I only feel comfortable on horses that are 16h+, and if they're any smaller, I feel huge unless they're built like bulldozers.
I don't think you're exactly too "big" on her, she should be able to handle you unless she is extremely weak. You riding her might also bring some strength to her back as well. Overall, I think you look very much in proportion with the horse (compared to me on my instructors little grey Welsh Mountain Pony) and shouldn't be too worried about harming either you or the horse.
You definitely look to big for her (as in appearance), but I personally don't think she'd have trouble carrying, and if you're a balanced rider I doubt she would have trouble balancing you. I wouldn't worry about it.
While you're obviously big on her I wouldn't say TOO big, not for like riding anyways. You could try to weight tape her to make sure you're not too heavy just to be safe.
Do you mean "light" riding? If so - that's exactly what I need to get past. I need to get into "heavy" riding I guess you could say. I need to get her past green broke and translate what she's learned on the ground into the saddle, as well as cantering and leads and all the goodies.
A little off topic, but my sister has the same problem and she's only 5'11. Here's a pic of her on my 18hh WB. We're both tall and have been since puberty. We started on a 14.3hh Morgan and rode her hard without a lame day in her life.
PS Yes, that is a lunge whip. We used it only for five minutes as a once off (it was all we had in the arena at the time and once a crop is in hand my gelding gets the idea. Plus it's a long hilly walk to the barn!)
What everyone else said. If it makes you feel better I have a 13.2hh pony that is ridden hard by me (5'8" 135 lbs) and a couple of my friends (5'10" 160) (5'6" 120), and (5'4" 140lbs). When I say hard I'm talking about long trail rides walk, trot, canter, and gallop. When she progresses to jumping I'll be her rider. I will also be teaching her games.
Lily has given me no indication she has any trouble carrying any of us and has plenty of energy and spunk under saddle. Unbalanced riders are more of a problem than heavy/long riders.