Intimidated by Larger Horses? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-14-2012, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Intimidated by Larger Horses?

So my family bought a house in vermont, where a woman would like to keep her two horses on our land (Self care, and just for the mud season because we have a lot of space). She offered to give me lessons when we're up there (I take lessons now where I live, but it would be cool if I could ride other horses/different places). She said they were 16 and 17 hands and I'm rather intimidated around these larger horses. Right now I ride a 14.3 hand mare and have ridden a 15.2 gelding twice, which I'm comfortable with. So ho do I overcome this? We will be taking them for a walk this weekend and probably grooming them, which should help a bit. Has anyone ever had a similar problem?

Intermediate Rider~Learning Equitation and English Pleasure~Interested in Eventing
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-14-2012, 07:02 PM
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Oh yes, I hear you! I've gotten spoiled with my shrimpy quarter horses. I kind of like being able to see over their backs. I about had a heart attach when I started taking dressage lessons and she threw me up on a nearly 18 hand thoroughbred! I'm terribly afraid of heights and that was a little too much for me
But it actually wasn't so bad. I got more comfortable with him as the lesson went on. The only thing I couldn't get over was his canter. It was HUGE! I felt like I was being run away with even though he was just going normal speed. I never got a chance to work on though. She leased him out to a girl at another barn, and I went back to riding her slightly smaller saddlebred. Who I think is closer to 16 hands.

Just take things slow and give yourself time to get used to the height. 16 hands isn't a huge leap up from 15.2. It's really only a couple more inches. Good luck!
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-14-2012, 07:29 PM
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A lady at the barn where my daughter rides has a 17.3hh Holsteiner gelding that I'd love to ride.

I dig tall horses. But I still love my little 15.2hh Calypso (Appendix QH mare)
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-14-2012, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ink View Post
Oh yes, I hear you! I've gotten spoiled with my shrimpy quarter horses. I kind of like being able to see over their backs. I about had a heart attach when I started taking dressage lessons and she threw me up on a nearly 18 hand thoroughbred! I'm terribly afraid of heights and that was a little too much for me
But it actually wasn't so bad. I got more comfortable with him as the lesson went on. The only thing I couldn't get over was his canter. It was HUGE! I felt like I was being run away with even though he was just going normal speed. I never got a chance to work on though. She leased him out to a girl at another barn, and I went back to riding her slightly smaller saddlebred. Who I think is closer to 16 hands.

Just take things slow and give yourself time to get used to the height. 16 hands isn't a huge leap up from 15.2. It's really only a couple more inches. Good luck!
Me too! i don't know why it's just a thing I like. But I should grow out of it, after all I'm only a teenager, so as I grow the horses will also need to grow considering all of my brothers are 6' or taller!

Intermediate Rider~Learning Equitation and English Pleasure~Interested in Eventing
A horse will tell you everything you need to know about him, if you listen.
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-14-2012, 08:41 PM
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I am not scared of larger horses
I have been around short horses and tall horses

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post #6 of 17 Old 02-14-2012, 10:49 PM
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I think once you ride a larger horse and feel that nice floaty trot and rolling canter, you'll change your tune about larger horses. Very different feel from their smaller counterparts.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-15-2012, 06:41 AM
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I tend to go for the 16.2 - 16.3 range in height...when I first started riding, trainers of the time (this was 30+ years ago) indicated that horses over 17 hands, admittedly not all, can have problems with balance as their center of gravity is so high and maybe that has stuck in my mind.

Now, on that note, in looking for another horse I came across two that were 17 and 17.2 respectively. The 17 hand mare was a thoroughbred but she was massive...definitely looked like a quarterhorse in her build. The only thing thoroughbred about her was her height. The other one I looked at was an American Warmblood..I was thinking 17.2...big but OK as he was already showing first level dressage. They brought him out and put him on the crossties. I took one look and said nope...not gonna happen :). Probably wasn't fair as the horse was an absolute sweetheart and a great mover, had a cute jump in a lumbering canter sort of way but his sheer size made it difficult, as the barn manager said, to get him "together" when riding. There was just a LOT of him. I'm 5'6, so 16.2 in my own height and when I looked straight at this horse, I was dead eye level with the middle part of his shoulder...to say it was a strange feeling is an understatement :)

What Ink said though makes sense. Once you get on them they don't feel that much different in height than any others. It is true the difference is in the gait, most notably at the canter, and once you get used to that it isn't any different. My 16.2 has a rolling canter just due to how he moves and it took at least a half dozen or so rides before I could actually sit that canter.

Last edited by tlkng1; 02-15-2012 at 06:46 AM.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-15-2012, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! I'll take all of this into consideration... I'm really excited that I might have the opportunity to ride another horse!

Intermediate Rider~Learning Equitation and English Pleasure~Interested in Eventing
A horse will tell you everything you need to know about him, if you listen.
-Winston Churchill
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-15-2012, 08:05 AM
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A big horse is just more to LOVE. I too was intimidated by large horses as I had never been really involved in anything over 14.2. It took time and exposure to realize that most are just gentle giants. Good luck and enjoy the change of pace (literally).
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-15-2012, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck View Post
I think once you ride a larger horse and feel that nice floaty trot and rolling canter, you'll change your tune about larger horses. Very different feel from their smaller counterparts.
Yes ideed.

My ideal horse would be a 16.2 - 17.2 hh R line Holsteiner.
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