Too Tall For Hunters and Equitation? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-21-2012, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Question Too Tall For Hunters and Equitation?

I am 5'9" (about) and a majority of my height lies in my legs.

I have been told by some friends and horseback riding instructors that I may be 'growing out of' hunters.

Two of my friends, who have both shown a the WIHS and in university equitation leagues, are around 5'6".

Is it possible for a person to truly be 'too tall' for a particular riding style? I understand that some body builds are better for some disciplines than others, but I'm just wondering what the 'ideal' hunter/equitation body type is.

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post #2 of 9 Old 08-21-2012, 12:54 PM
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I would think the only way you could possibly "grow out of hunters" is if you ride a horse who's barrel doesn't adequately take your leg's length? I'm interested in what others have to say too though.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-21-2012, 01:57 PM
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never heard of that ! lol sounds pretty ridiculous to me. i have a few friends that are tall like you and do hunters, they just ride tall/big barreled horses who take up their leg.

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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-21-2012, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I ride a big barreled 16.2hh thoroughbred gelding (avatar picture) and I think he takes my leg up pretty well.

I've just heard that I would be better suited for jumpers/eventing and dressage because of my long legs.

I also looked it up on WikiAnswers and read that some people 'grow out' of hunters because their upperbody contains all the height, and therefore makes the proper equitation position look awkward.

So I think I should be okay, but if there's anyone out there who has a unproportionate torso:leg length I sincerely feel bad for you and I am kind of curious to see a picture of you riding.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-22-2012, 04:55 AM
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This sounds bizarre to me.

It is true that in order to look the part of an eq. rider, you would have to have a horse the correct size for you and that takes up all of your leg.

And I don't see how your height and length of leg affects your ability to show hunters, as it's the horse that's being judged, not the rider. Certainly some riders dress up a hunter better than others, and there's ideal and less than ideal rider conformation, but a leggy 5'9" sounds pretty close to the ideal to me, especially if you're also slim and willowy. If you look at some of the best hunter riders in the country - John French, Martha Sifton, Liza Boyd, Peter Pletcher - they are about your height and build.

Many riders get to a certain point in hunter riding where they can't afford to be competitive at a certain level or to go to the next level, and they have to make a choice - lay down the same types of trips for the same types of ribbons over and over again, or do something else.

Is it possible that these friends/instructors are saying you're "outgrowing" hunters ability-wise? And that if you want new riding challenges you should try other disciplines? That makes more sense to me.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 10:30 PM
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Never ever ever never ever NEVER have I EVER heard that having long legs was a bad thing for riding! I'm 5'11 or 6' (haven't been measured in a while....) and yes, I used to ride hunters. And people always told me they wished they had long legs like me. It makes it easier for you to balance with long legs (or so I've heard). To say you can "outgrow" a discipline is absolutely rediculous!
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 10:32 PM
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Oh also, you do need a taller horse if you're tall. I rode a 17.1 warmblood when I did hunters. He took up my leg and we looked great together.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-25-2012, 06:01 PM
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Are you kidding?! I always thought the taller the better! I'm 5'8 and just got a taller horse (who's 17.3) when I reached about 5'6. I think I know more riders that are taller than me than shorter :)
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-31-2012, 09:43 PM
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im 6'4"...and i ride hunters. eq, not so much...once upon a time i had pretty decent eq, so much ;)
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