HELP! Horse Size vs. Rider Size - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 12-17-2009, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Question HELP! Horse Size vs. Rider Size

Well as some may know, I'm currently searching for a perfect fit for me. As of Tuesday we welcomed a 15.2 hand registered paint mare into our family, she more suited for my boyfriend will be his horse. I am contemplating the purchase of a 3quarter TWH and 1quarter morgan but I'm totally hungup on the size. I will ride a long ride this weekend and render my decision since the weather down here has been rough the last couple weeks. I feel comfortable when I'm on Mariah but she is the smallest I've rode.
She stands right at 14hands.. and I'm told she's about 800lbs. I'll attach a pic I took yesterday.
I am 5'3 on a good day with shoes.. LOL and about 130-140.. seriously I flucuate... so I am wondering what size suits me best.
We plan to trail ride, and we are in mountainous terrain, overnight camping trips, day rides, etc. But really nothing other than western pleasure... Since we are in the Mtns of GA a shorter horse is nice for mounting on the inclines but I do not want to force a horse to work harder than they should, but I also don't want far to fall either
Please give me your thoughts on horse size and what you all are comfortable with!!




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post #2 of 37 Old 12-17-2009, 12:08 PM
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I'm uncomfortable on smaller horses as a personal preference. I like to feel smaller on a horse not larger. I'm really uncomfortable on any horse that my legs can nearly wrap around. I don't doubt that she can carry you, though.

On a side note is that a super long shank on that black horse?
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post #3 of 37 Old 12-17-2009, 01:12 PM
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Yes, you do weight a bit much for your pony, but not enough for me to fully worry. I do think that you might want to get a taller, heavier horse though. Go with a QH, they are pretty beefy and can hold a lot of weight. They are great for mountain riding too! =]

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post #4 of 37 Old 12-17-2009, 02:07 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it at all. I weigh about 145-155 and am 5ft 7 or 8 ish and my mare is 14.1hh. =D

Here's a picture of me next to her and then one of me on her back for comparison.

I look like a giant!

Then I don't! Haha

Funnily enough, her blanket size is 69 and I'm approximately 69 inches tall. Haha

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #5 of 37 Old 12-17-2009, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Wallaby! You really don't look bad on her at all, and your a good deal taller than I am! How much does your mare weigh? Thats too crazy all your stuff matches up - you two are definitly a pair :) I guess since I've always ridden larger I feel a little akward buying a smaller one. I mean I really do feel just fine on her, and my bf swears I am crazy because we fit well. I love her personality too - she really is a sweet pony:) thanks again
Just always thought I'd end up with a larger horse. The man who is selling her has several others he is working with, I may talk with him this weekend about purchasing her or start paying him for one, ride her and then if I see another that may fit better (he has about atleast 15.5hand tan and white paint mare that is gorgeous, just not fully broke... so perhaps we could make arrangments if I ever felt I was too large. )
thanks again !

In riding a horse, we borrow freedom.
~ Helen Thompson
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post #6 of 37 Old 12-17-2009, 02:30 PM
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If you were going to be doing something really strenuous, like jumping, I would be more concerned. You look fine on her and if she doesn't show any signs of having a problem carrying you, then no worries. I am bigger than you and I have ridden a lot of smaller horses with no problems (one of which managed to buck me off LOL). My brother rode a horse about her size for many, many years and she never missed a step (brother is 6'1 and weighs about 180). He always got laughed at until Sis outran everyone else and drug cows that weighed more than she did.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #7 of 37 Old 12-17-2009, 02:41 PM
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I don't know how much she weighs for sure but I wouldn't estimate over 1000lbs at all. I'd say maybe 900ish? If it helps at all, her western cinch size is 20 inches. haha
I think it has a lot to do with your body's proportions too. I'm just as tall as I am because I have a long torso, my legs are pretty average length and I have short arms so it helps me fit on smaller horses better.

I know what you mean about liking bigger horses though. Lacey is the smallest horse I've ever ridden for a prolonged period. It was just one of those instant connection things, but it was really weird for the first few months. After working with her for the last year and a half however, I've come to the conclusion that it makes me feel more secure knowing that i don't have as far to fall if I ever fall off of her. haha And smaller horses can squeeze through smaller places (like under tree branches and between trees) that can be really awkward and sometimes painful on a larger horse. Hahaha

I think that's a good idea, try her out for a while and if you still feel too big after some good riding time, continue to look.

Hahaha smrobs! Your comment about tiny horses bucking you off reminds me of my favorite pony ever at the camp I volunteer at... He was maybe 13hh (a POA), if he was lucky, and I rode him ALL the time. In one summer, riding him everyday, I came off at least 4 times, if not more. But we had a great time together, even though I looked seriously ridiculous. I love ponies. =P

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.

Last edited by Wallaby; 12-17-2009 at 02:45 PM.
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post #8 of 37 Old 12-17-2009, 02:51 PM
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I like a small horse. When I was younger I didn't mind the 16+ hands but now that I'm older (52) and in really bad shape I like a horse thats easy to get on. I'm 5'8 and somewhere in the 200lb range. I haven't weighed myself since I gave up the cigarettes
Anyway, Vida is 14.3 and a slight built RMH. We trail ride exclusively. I get off every hour and give her a rest. She has never had any complaints. doesn't grunt or groan when I get on and has never been sore backed. I know I look like a giant on her but I don't really care
Here's us..........
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post #9 of 37 Old 12-17-2009, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks ladies :) Makes me feel better. I have heard so many positives about each and I appreciate your imput on the smaller horses out there.
Smrobs - trail ride exclusively undless we learn to team pin.. LOL - I hear it's alot of fun. But I don't see myself doing much other than pleasure riding and spending time with her. Thats a great story about your brother, makes me chuckle :)
Wallaby - very true - thats what I hear most in my area of the US is smaller horses are better for our terrain merely because we do encounter a bunch of low lying branches and tight squeezes :) so yet another good point!
I'm just a stubby person all together. I think I'm in proportion I'm just short legged, torso and all! LOL!! So perhaps it is a good fit
Vidaloco - I think you look JUST FINE on her!! I guess I need someone to take a good pic of me on her from dead on, instead of pointing down. Like I continue to say I feel confortable on her just want to make sure she's ok with it
The more and more I hear the more I believe she is. The long ride this weekend will be a good test. And Vidaloco the every hour is a good idea, my knees have gotten worse the older I get so not only my horse could use but so can I
Thanks again for all your input :) I'll keep you posted

In riding a horse, we borrow freedom.
~ Helen Thompson
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post #10 of 37 Old 12-17-2009, 04:04 PM
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All of these threads really frustrate me. I ride mounted games - Which is pretty strenuous - Galloping, sharp turns, leaning off to the side t get things off the ground at a gallop - And the ONLY height/weight restrictions are that any pony under 12.3h must have a rider who weighs less than 60kg.

I personally prefer smaller horses - They are more practical for what I want to do - Usually more agile - Tend to have more personality - And are easier to get on and off!

I extensively trail ride and jump and sport and mounted games and stockwork on a 14.1h slightly built arab.

I just got a new mare who is 13.3h and I plan to ride her a lot, doing MG and jumping.

I made an offer on a pony for MG who was only just over 12.3h, and if I bought her would have trail ridden, jumped, and done MG on her.

Really, with a horse over about 13h and decently built, unless you are very overwight they will NOT have a problem carrying you. The only problem is looks - Seriously. You may look funny, but I don't care, do you? I don't think that is ANY reason to pass on a horse you like.

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