Horse vs. rider size?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-13-2013, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Horse vs. rider size??

Hi Everybody,

I hope this isn't a silly question, but I'm looking for advice. In the last year I've been getting back into riding after about 15 years off.

I spent quite a while looking for the right horse. I was originally looking to buy an OTTB, but I stumbled across this Arabian and kind of fell in love with her. Not necessarily what I would call a rescue situation, but she definitely needed love and attention.

I originally just planned to get some weight on her and get her restarted under saddle to do some trail riding or a bit of pleasure riding. But she has been doing so well that I'm thinking about maybe trying a couple of shows next year - just small 4-h or local Arabian shows. Hunter under saddle or some dressage - no jumping.

My question is, do you think I am too large or long-legged to compete on this horse? I was heartbroken as a 16-year old when a judge told me I was too big for my 14.2hh arab, and that ended my showing career.

I'm horrible at measuring, but i'd say she is on the upper side of 14.3, possibly 15 hands. I'm 5'7" and long-legged.

I'd like to add that I'm not going to get rid of this horse or trade her in for something bigger. I'm committed to her and not going to get rid of her just because I might be "too big". She's an arab and short-backed, so I think she can handle my weight without problems. I'm just curious as to what your thoughts would be on showing her. Don't be afraid to be honest. Thank you!
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-13-2013, 05:55 PM
Join Date: May 2011
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You look like you weigh maybe 130lbs, if that. You're fine. You're nowhere near too tall or too heavy for her.

My old gelding was a 14.2hh Arab/NSH cross and carried me just fine (I'm 5'7" with a 32" inseam and weighed 160lbs at the time).

My friend is 5'9" and skinny (I think she weighs 135lbs, tops), and her arab mare is 15hh. She looks fine on her and even competes in hunters.
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post #3 of 18 Old 10-13-2013, 06:03 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2013
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Weight-wise you're obviously fine on this horse. Since the answer to this question doesn't determine whether or not you will get the horse, I wouldn't be too concerned. You do look somewhat leggy on her, but nothing that will affect your riding or her well-being. If you want to show then go ahead and try it, especially since they are small local shows. I have a friend that was showing dressage on her similarly sized arab cross, and she did well despite being taller than you. The girl did eventually move up to a larger (and more advance) horse, but she didn't have problems with her pony. Just give it a shot, but be prepared to hear a few comments about the size difference. Smile, nod, shrug them off, and keep riding your little horse!
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-13-2013, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
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You fit her fine. I am your size and ride a 14.1 TWH for years. I has a 16.1hand TWH now and sometimes miss my shorter horse.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-13-2013, 06:18 PM
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Don't worry about it!
I have a 3yr old colt that is maybe 13.3H that I ride.
And my number one horse is 14.2H. I am 5'9" and weigh about 135.

A lot of cutters and reiners are little horses and shown successfully by full grown adults
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Last edited by COWCHICK77; 12-06-2013 at 12:51 AM.
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-13-2013, 06:34 PM
Green Broke
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It really depends on the culture of the shows in your area. Dressage traditionally has been HUGE horse with tiny rider as "ideal" but thankfully in many areas they are getting more realistic for the lower level riders.

You are by no means too big for that horse for day to day riding, so personally I would give it a go at a few shows and just make sure I take my thick skin with. And remember - everyone has an opinion, but just because they voice it does not mean they are right.
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-13-2013, 07:05 PM
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I'm 6ft 265lb and my go to FT horse until last year was a 14.2 paso and after 8hrs a day in the saddle she was usually good for 8more the next day barring some injury. I say ride your horse and smile when someone says something dumb.

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post #8 of 18 Old 10-13-2013, 09:50 PM
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I will start off by saying that no, it does not appear that you are too big for that horse. I wish my legs were as long as yours!

Now for my rant. How dare a judge, after watching one or two rides on your horse, tell you that you are too big?! In my opinion that is completely unacceptable. They do not know the horses normal disposition and have no business telling a young person interested in showing that they are too big for their mount (there are exceptions to this, I know, but in your case I think the judge was out of line)

Good for you for wanting to show again and good luck with your cute new arab! (If you choose to get her )
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post #9 of 18 Old 10-14-2013, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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You two look great together! I am 5'5 (and built like you, lol) and my Arab is 14 hands even, and I ride the crap out of him! I think you should be fine, and that judge was stupid, IMHO. I think you guys look great! Et us know if you get the lovely lady! ;)
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-14-2013, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SE Indiana
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My dad is 6'7" and is gelding is 15.1. He uses him for civil war reinacting. He doesnt look too big on his horse and I think you look just fine in yours. If you are happy then that is all that matters!
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