It really is a personal preference, as long as you are not trying to ride something widely to small most horses can carry most people. I'm 5'11" and i've ridden a range, from small QHs to a 17.2 Hanoverian I have to say I feel more comfortable on larger horses and I look better on them. Not to say I didn't "fit" on the small QH but I definitely wasn't comfortable, I never felt like I could get my leg on her quite right cause she was small and thin, I think my size preference is somewhere around the 15/16 hand mark just because I fit well as long as they have decent barrel sizes and you can mount most 15/16 hand horses from a small mounting block where the big 17.2 guy I ride now you have to have something redic tall in order to get on. Even though I actually look like I fit him it would be awful to be out and about with him because I wouldn't be able to ground mount if I had to on a trail. So when I go to get a horse I will look around the 15/16 hand mark with a long neck and larger barrel. So its all about how you feel. If you don't feel safe on it then it isn't the right horse for you.
... big 17.2 guy I ride now... it would be awful to be out and about with him because I wouldn't be able to ground mount if I had to on a trail.
That sure would be a long way up even though you are 5'11"!
When we first moved to Florida and started trail riding, my riding partner said I had better practice ground mounting just in case. She was right that in case I ever needed to, it would be best if I was at least somewhat comfortable.
I definitely whine when I need to ground mount, but with a lot of grunting/groining I do make it up. When at all possible, I try to find a low spot to put Chuck in and even a few inches helps.
I have no idea what ft I am, but Im 1.72m and weigh 54kg, the horse I ride is 16hh, and he's perfect. Try taking a photo on the horse and see if you look awkward. I look super weird on any horses shorter than 15hh because my legs are too long hahaha Posted via Mobile Device
As others have said, it's all really a personal preference. Given your size, you're likely light enough to ride just about anything you want. It's really just a matter of finding a horse that's tall enough so that your torso doesn't tower over them and a horse that's got a big enough barrel to take up your leg.
Right now, I'm riding the biggest horse I've ever had who's actual purpose in life is being ridden. I have ridden one that was 18 hands, but that was just for fun, not for actual work. Rafe, my current main saddle horse, is 16.2 and I look like a little kid on him because he's super thick and heavy. I normally like horses in the 14-15 hand range, but I'm shorter than you. I'm only 5'5.
My brother, who is 6'1 and weighs right around 215, commonly rides a stocky QH that stands about 14.2 and they have no problems.
Jason is on the bay
Me on my 16.2 hand chestnut monster in the background.
Thanks for all your help!
Wdblevin- Yeah, Gainesville as in Florida! Where are you from?
As far as ground mounting, most heights aren't a problem for me. I had a coach for three years who didn't believe in mounting blocks, lol. I rode bareback all one summer, and had to ground mount a 16hh QH. I feel comfortable on pretty much anything as long as it's not way too small.
Smrobs- thanks for the picture, it really helps! The horse your brother is riding in the picture is 14.2?
Saskia- thanks for the tip! I'll definitely try having someone take a picture of me riding her and see.
All in all, I feel pretty comfortable on this mare, but I've been told that I look awkward on smaller horses. The horse I currently ride is a gelding around the same height, but a little stockier. I feel totally fine on him though, and we get along really well on the ground and in the saddle... We've even been in the ribbons both times I've competed on him.
Hi. I am 5'4" and I like 14.3-15.1 anything taller then that I have trouble getting on. My QH is 14.3 and so are my walkers. I look better on the QH because he has a bigger barrel but eh, the walkers handle me fine and are a lot smoother, so I usually choose to ride them :)
I am 5' 4" with everything from a 15 - 17 in the current barn, Warmbloods, Quarter horses, the whole shebang. Agree with those who have stated that it is personal preference, and if you are competitive, what build of horse is best suited to your particular sport.
Another thing to be mindful of is that the horse's gaits, at any size, are something you can ride. Your back and hips can really take a pounding if your mount's movements are too big to ride comfortably, which typically results in the horse being sold in favor of a smaller mount as the rider ages and riding simply becomes painful. This is something you see a lot of in the English disciplines at the various trots - riders practically being vaulted out of the saddle and ending up with back problems.
I am 5'8" and the horse I had for 7 years was a very broad 14.1h QH. I looked a little funny on him but I felt comfortable on him. I do like shorter horses but I have been told I look best on a 15-16 hand horse that takes up a good amount of leg. My last lesson horse was a 16h draft/qh cross. Posted via Mobile Device