Height issue - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 17 Old 04-17-2013, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Height issue

So, I'm currently looking into buying my first horse. I am 5'10 and always liked a big horse. The last horse I tried was a 17 hand draft horse cross, and he fit me perfectly. I'm worried that if I go any smaller, I'll look silly (I have very long legs and I'm not exactly skinny). I have been offered several horses between 15-16 hands but I just couldn't bring myself to seriously consider them. Am I overreacting?
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-17-2013, 07:47 PM
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I find you have to try the horse out to find if your comfortable. I'm 5'9" and prefer a 16 hh but under 17 hh. But personally own a 14.3hh skinny, grade mare. Go figure right. I'll admit I look funny on her because my legs wrap around her, but she's the prefect confidence building horse (which I needed after a couple trips to out patience) and she has no problems carrying me. I recommend looking and trying all the horses that meet your standards regardless of height, who knows what you'll find.
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-17-2013, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lovexlaugh View Post
So, I'm currently looking into buying my first horse. I am 5'10 and always liked a big horse. The last horse I tried was a 17 hand draft horse cross, and he fit me perfectly. I'm worried that if I go any smaller, I'll look silly (I have very long legs and I'm not exactly skinny). I have been offered several horses between 15-16 hands but I just couldn't bring myself to seriously consider them. Am I overreacting?
I think you're being a little over sensitive. My husband is 6'2" and rides our 14.3 - 15.3 arabs and looks fine on them. The main consideration for him is, enough heart girth to take up his long legs. He's found that if the horse is big enough around the barrel the height is really inconsequential. I have the opposite problem, I'm 5'3" and have short legs, trying to find a horse that doesn't feel like I'm trying to ride the dining room table is hard for me. Height doesn't make any difference for me, except my dad used to call me "Peanut" because he said I looked like a peanut riding on a boxcar on my first horse who was 17'3".
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-17-2013, 08:16 PM
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Barring any weight considerations, it really is up to you and what you feel like fits you best. I'm also 5'10 with a long leg, and personally feel like your average shaped horse that's 162-16.3 fits me best. That being said the mare I currently am riding is narrow and 15.3hh. But I would not consider her a horse for me because she does feel small to me. I am honestly more comfortable on a 16.1-17 hh horse with a good sized barrel just because of how my leg rests on them. So don't write off a horse that's a little under 16hh, you might find one you click with really well that fits you, but I personally know I would not look for something below 16 because of what I know works best for me.
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-17-2013, 09:44 PM
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You should get the size of horse you're most comfortable with.

I'm only 5'3 and petite, but I like big horses better than I like smaller ones. I feel safer. I can ride 13hh ponies, but I prefer horses 16hh+ and the bigger the better. I look like a pimple on a pumpkin on the really big ones but I'm comfortable and that's what matters. I know tall people who ride small horses, and provided the horse is able to take their weight, it's no problem at all.

The only reason I can think of for someone to really NEED a horse that takes up their whole leg is if they jump high. Hitting your foot on a jump hurts. A lot. [I used to ride a 12.1hh Welsh, it happened to me regularly]

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post #6 of 17 Old 04-17-2013, 09:48 PM
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Quit being obsessed with height
You'll look fine on a smaller horse. I'm 5'9" and use to work cattle with a QH about 15 hands.
I personally would be happy if my 16.1 mare was an inch or two shorter and I'm hoping that my youngers mare will stop now that she's about 16.3 (shorter would be better).
She's already tall enough that I have to find a depression, stump or something else so that I can remount when out riding. Also means I have to pull myself a greater distance up which pulls the saddle against the side more when I mount (not comfortable for the horse).

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-17-2013, 09:54 PM
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I agree with everyone else if the horse is wide enough height doesn't matter. I ride a 14.2 h quarter cross who isn't very wide and I feel a tad too big but I also ride and will be racing on a 14.1 quarter horse who is built and takes up my leg beautifull I feel perfect on him. I am 5'5 so not overly tall but ya just try a few out you'd be surprised.

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-18-2013, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone :) A friend is letting me ride her 15.2 hand Thoroughbred so I can start judging exactly what height I need.
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-18-2013, 05:37 AM
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Good luck!

My husband is 6'3 and normally rides our 15.2h horse with a super huge barrel/wide back. She takes up his uber long legs very well and they look lovely. Sometimes he rides our DD's gelding who is only 14h and they look ok (he's pretty thick).

So I agree with everyone else, also look for a shorter backed, relatively heavy/well boned horse if you are worried about weight.
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Last edited by FlyGap; 04-18-2013 at 05:42 AM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-18-2013, 08:05 AM
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No worries abbout it.

Just feel cofortable, do not look at what you look like... I had a 13hh ponymare, I am 168 cms tall and we looked a bit silly to the others, but we were a perfect team, she was mysoulmate fro trailrides...




8yo pony mare Líza <3
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