I'm hoping to buy a horse relatively soon. I'm six feet tall and have a 36" inseam, so I've always leaned toward taller horses, and have really enjoyed riding a couple of drafts lately (both Percherons). I like stocky horses because with narrow ones, my legs hang too low on the horse and I feel like I can't ride effectively.
I currently weight 260 lbs, and while of course I'd love to lose weight, I'm not going to buy a horse that can't handle my current weight (plus tack of course). So again, that puts me leaning towards drafts, or very stocky horses.
I plan to ride trails 90% of the time (or more), and would like to someday do long-distance, competitive, and/or endurance riding. So that kind of rules out a draft. Plus, the shorter the better for trails, if you get off and need to get back on.
I'm not picky about breed or color, or even gender, though I see myself with a gelding (but that could be because the horse I owned years ago was a gelding), but I think size matters. However, should I aim for a half draft or really stocky gelding? Or do you think a well-built 15.2 Arab could carry me? I want the horse to be able to carry me for a few hours, with a few breaks where I get off and walk/jog alongside to help with that weight loss thing.
Oh, and I'm far from an expert, but can sit or post the trot (on most horses--one of those Percherons was REALLY chopping) and canter without slamming on the horse's back, and am relatively well-balanced. Not a total newbie flopping all over, is what I'm getting at.
So...any height guidelines you think I should aim for? How stocky/light should I be looking at, considering the compromise between sturdy, wide, and able to do long trail rides I'm looking for?