I'm 4'11 and weigh about 92 pounds right now. I 'tune up' ride our lesson ponies every week or two and have never felt bad about it. I have a light seat and don't bounce around on them, so I've even put out 11.1hh pony mare through her paces. I wouldn't let an normal sized adult ride her, but we have lesson kids up to 85 lbs or so ride her and she doens't have trouble with them.
We also have two 13.2hh ponies, a Quarter Pony mare who is nothing if not as sturdy as they get, and a (possibly) appy gelding. The QP mare is ridden by a 200 lb cowboy some times (though her normal rider is 160) and does just fine, the appy is a bit lighter built but has carried up to 180 lbs for a full day's work. Both are in tip top shape though, and have decent conformation. If they didn't have good conformation or were old, I might reconsider.
You see the comments more in the dressage/english world of riding than the western world. The preferred "image" seems to be a small rider on a huge horse.
The reason for that could very well be (in hunters at least) that the taller, longer legged horses have a much easier time getting the distance between jumps in the right number of strides. Hunters are all about grace, ease, and technical ride. If you have a 14hh QH going up against a 17hh TB, and having to cover the same distance in the same number of strides, the TB is going to make it look slow and easy, and the QH is going to have to really work to cover the space, and it won't look as pretty. The more competitive riders tend to ride big lanky horses because it's what the judges look for, and it's become a stereotype. But it's not so much the weight as it is the appearance.
Im 5'9" and ride anything from 12.2 hh to 18hh. While cuing with your legs is difficult at the extremes, its not that big of deal, they never had a problem. I prefer 15.2 to 16hh and slim, I have joint issues and riding a wide horse can be extremely painful for me, on a taller narrow horse, my legs don't drag or wrap around the horse. But together we looked balanced.
Hi! SO I am new to this forum, but have read/heard a lot of controversy about adults/older kids riding ponies. I know that a lot of pony breeds were originally bred to carry grown men all day on farmland, but nowadays people (especially americans) say that only small kids should ride ponies? Kids as in Pony Clubbers and none under the age of like, 13. I don't really get this, a lot of riders from UK seem to be fine with adults riding ponies, but here people are all freaked out about it.
I don't think this is based on concern for the ponies' health. It's a belief that ponies are for kids and therefore you're not a grown-up if you still ride one. It is just like how dressage riders want big horses even though size doesn't make a difference in dressage.
I suppose it also depends on your idea of a pony. A lot of non really horsey do-gooder types only think of pony as the little 10hh Shetland, and if you say to one of them that you ride a pony, this is what they picture.
I"m in the pony club.. haha, I'm you're height (5"5-6) and ride a 13.2 hh pony as well.
Actually had a discussion with a club leader a couple days ago but he said since I'm built so small I look fine, even though he's into bigger horses.
The smallest horse I've ridden in my adult years was a little 13.1 hand Shetland x QH that I started a couple of years ago. I am 5'5 and average weighing about 130 pounds but with my 43 pound saddle and the rest of my tack, my riding weight is at least 175.
Little JJ carried me working full days at a feedlot (8+ hours every day) and I even managed to rope off him once so he also hauled a 500 pound heifer out of a pen.
I suppose it also depends on your idea of a pony. A lot of non really horsey do-gooder types only think of pony as the little 10hh Shetland, and if you say to one of them that you ride a pony, this is what they picture. Shetland Pony Wild West - YouTube
Haha, nice video!Just hope they didn't actually put grown people on those poor little ponies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, my question is more or less answered, but keep the opinions coming! Also, I weigh about 130ish pounds, and my saddle is like 15, so my ride weigh is still within pony club limits! (ride weight is 145lbs) be sure to post ur height too, so I can get an idea of rider height to pony height ratio! Esp. If you post pics!
In all honesty, when I was in college I worked at a stables where I was ofter catch rider for a lot of medium to large ponies. I was in the 120lb range then (I'm 5'3") and even the ones around 12.2hh never had trouble carrying my weight. The problem with a large rider on a small pony is that balance is so much more precarious, and your leg is so long that it is more difficult to keep leg on them properly and cue them properly. As long as you are riding a pony that takes up your leg well and that you are comfortable on, it shouldn't be a problem. I'm not as light as I used to be, but I still get hired to work larger ponies from time to time. And I ride my daughter's 14.2hh TB/Morgan cross regularly.
As everyone is saying, it really depends on the pony too. I have two pictures here, one is me riding a client pony (the pinto) that is 13.1hh but with a very drafty built (also very overweight) and the other is me riding my daughters pony, who is 14.2hh, but he is from lighter horse stock. I look much larger on the taller pony because of his build.
I own and ride my 13.2/13.3h pony. She's welsh cob x arab, we do pretty much everything but our hearts are in the jumpers and always have been, she's a competitive little pon! I got her when I was 13, everybody said I would outgrow her, fortunately for me I actually finished growing (minus a little filling out) when I was 12. I am in my 20s now and for the most part I am her only rider. Despite being stocky, she's too small for most adults. As for kids? She is much too hot. I wouldn't even trust her with an experienced kid, I don't feel like their mindset is quite as "there" as my pony needs to have a good productive ride, and to deal with a problem should it arise - which it likely would, that's just her personality. I've heard from a lot of people telling me I shouldn't ride her because I'm "too big" for her, or "she's a pony, she's meant for kids". Really though, she's taught me a lot as a rider and in general about myself. I'm a better rider today because of her. That, and I really don't think I am too big on her at all. I actually love seeing adults on ponies - provided the size goes together.