Too small? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-26-2012, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Too small?

So I rescued a little 2 yr old arabian on Jan 4th. I have since put weight on her, and been working with her, since she came to me with a halter 3 sizes to small and basically unhandled. She now ground ties, trailers, lunges, ground drives, saddles, perfect ground manners, perfect for farrier/vet etc. So I have saddled her 6-7 times now, and I leaned over her Friday. Saturday I did the same thing. Foot in the stirrup, my whole body laying over her. So yesterday, I just swung up on her. She did great, but I fear I may be too big/she is still to small. She is officially 3 years old as of march 15. She is right between 14.2-14.3 at wither and RIGHT at 15 at the hip. She tapes close to 800 pounds, so yeah, very tiny. Very fine and dainty.

So me, I'm 5'6" and 170 lbs. Not a petite rider, but I'm no fat ***. So anyway, when I leaned over her I layed on her back for 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes then for up to 15 minutes, it was starting to hurt my stomach, but she seemed to have no trouble with it at all. I know that Arabians are sturdy little animals I just feel so huge.

So, here are the pics of me leaning over her one day, and sitting on her the next. I had someone walk us around, and she was fantastic. I just do not want to hurt her or stunt her growth. I have raises, broke and trained horses before. It is not the process thatI am worried about, but more so the specific horse.

Leaning over her:
On her the next day:

Please, be honest. I only plan on sitting on her and being led around a couple (2x) a week for now. We will continue our lunging, ground driving and other fun things of course.

Dahlia <3 1/4/2012
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-26-2012, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Those links did not work, here ya go:
lia | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Then scroll through to the right.

Dahlia <3 1/4/2012
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-26-2012, 10:32 AM
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Your links don't work.

If she's only a coming 2 y/o and not 3, stay off her for now. If she's a coming 3 y/o then you should be able to sit on her for short periods of time, unless of course she's still underweight.

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post #4 of 16 Old 03-26-2012, 10:45 AM
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Arabians mature verrryyy slowly compared to other breeds, especially mentally. I would give her time and not try to ride her for a while yet. In that time, she'll probably begin to look more filled out to you.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-26-2012, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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The link in the second post should work. She is 3. Sorry if that part was confusing.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-26-2012, 10:52 AM
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She looks like a baby still to me. Give her time to fill out, and I think she'll be a stunner
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-26-2012, 10:59 AM
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just give her time. Sitting on her shouldn't be a problem for a short amount or time, but personally I wouldn't worry about it.
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-26-2012, 11:28 AM
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My personal opinion, to be taken or not as you see fit.... I think she will be just fine for you to ride, but I would keep your rides to 10 minutes and under for at least the next six to eight months. She is going to continue to grow and fill out and will look a lot less awkard under you. At 15 hands, she will be able to carry you all day long...

Now Shaman is only half Arab... but you can watch his progression

Here he is at 2 1/2

And six months later at 3

Six months after that

And then as a four year old showing in 4H with my daughter

Finaly - at 14 and, um, fluffy...

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post #9 of 16 Old 03-26-2012, 11:45 AM
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If the horse is coming 3, and her physical conition acceptable, you should go ahead and ride and have fun. I will agree with Yadlim, keep your rides short, not because of physical limitations, but mentally a young arab may shut down, or explode if it becomes too much for her. Try to max out at a trot for the next 6 months. If she feels the need to canter, let her take just a few steps to work her into balance.
Have a great time, starting horses is the best!

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post #10 of 16 Old 03-26-2012, 12:21 PM
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Personally, I agree with equiniphile.
i don't think she'll be injured or otherwise hindered by being ridden now BUT she's still recovering internally from being rather neglected and she is still pretty dainty and small.

If I were in your place, I think I'd wait a couple of months until she's a bit more filled out and her body has had more time to get used to being fed enough. She's looking a lot better than she was, so keep up the great work!

Also, I'm always promoting this book but that's because it's so great. Reading it really opened my mind about how long exactly it takes horses to recover from obesity/being out of shape/neglect. I really feel like it should be on the bookshelf or every horse person and I'm thinking it could really be beneficial to you currently:
My other concern is that your saddle doesn't appear to fit her really well. Obviously, she's growing and if you buy the perfect saddle now, it's probably not going to fit in 6 months. But, I'm concerned about the possible effects of an ill-fitting saddle+weight on a horse that still has so much growing to do.

Even so, if you keep the rides short like yadlim mentioned, I don't think you're going to do her any major harm. :)

Side note: That green halter she's wearing, I've been looking for one that exact color for my mare and I've been having the hardest time. It seems like every green halter HAS to be dark green or lime. Could you tell me the brand of it? That would be so great. :)
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