Right type of horse? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 11-04-2013, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by verona1016 View Post
I agree that it's definitely a trend to get taller and taller horses for dressage, and I'm lucky that I was able to lease a tall horse (~16.2 or 16.3) before going to buy. I'm also 5'2" and my leg never hit in the right spot and I felt I looked tiny in pictures. When I went horse shopping I decided to stay around 15hh (plus or minus a couple inches) and ended up with a horse who's just a hair below 15hh. He's the perfect size for me. I ended up getting a QH cross even though I was specifically NOT looking for a stock type horse (his personality really won me over!) but I did see plenty of smaller warmbloods under 16hh and other breeds that would have been suitable for lower level dressage. I'm actually fairly certain even my horse could make it to 2nd level if I can become a good enough rider to get it out of him...

Here's what I looked like on the taller horse:


And on the 15hh horse I bought:

Wow! Thank you! I will keep that in mind. I just have to say, your horses are beautiful. =)
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post #12 of 18 Old 11-04-2013, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DuckDodgers View Post
I disagree completely with the need to get a 16hh+ horse to be competitive in dressage. I am just a bit larger than you (5'3, 110 lbs) and my 15hh horse is perfect for me. If you like larger horses, then go for it! Don't buy one just because you think it is necessary. Just as tall riders don't look right on short horses, a short rider doesn't look as well-matched on a short horse.

When I was looking for a dressage horse at the age of 15 and almost exactly your size the height range that I was considering was between 14.2 and 16hh. I did pass on looking at some light boned horses at the small end of the scale because my legs would come down too far, and I potentially had some growing to do. Anything larger than 16 and I just wasn't interested. If I were to do it again I might be less concerned by the upper size limit, but in dressage horses it seems that larger = pricier. Also consider the horse's gaits- if you get something smaller then make sure they don't have a teeny weeny pony trot as that isn't so conducive to successful dressage! Maybe for just having fun, but a good mover is a huge asset in a dressage test.

If I were you I would consider anything 14.2 and up, as well as the build of the horse. You're obviously not going to be too heavy for anything light boned, but your legs may come too low for that "perfect look" if it's short and fine. If the height is questionable then I would have someone with you take pictures while riding and standing so you can see the full picture for yourself. If you still have some growing left to do then don't push the lower limit, but don't pass on the perfect horse just because you think you need a giant to be competitive in dressage! I did alright on my 15hh horse when I was showing, and I love his height. I had a friend quite a few inches taller than me (probably 5'8+) who rode her 14.3 lightly build Morgan/Arab in schooling shows and did well. She did eventually upgrade to a new horse, but it didn't hurt her too much in the show ring!

Okay thank you!!!
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post #13 of 18 Old 11-04-2013, 07:46 PM
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I agree, with the above, as a dressage rider myself, and also on the smaller end, there are plenty of smaller horses doing well in dressage. I would focus more on ability, training the horse has had, how it moves, if it's done any shows, and how it's done, and less on finding that perfect height for dressage. There is no such thing. That being said, while I love my friend's pony, she's a large welsh pony, and I didn't mind my client's 15.2/3 hand WB gelding, I personally feel much more at home on 16-17 hand horses. I can get them to listen effectively, and while I certainly don't look "big" on them, I also don't look too horribly small. But after my friend getting her pony, I've realized that I can also enjoy riding the ponies, and a lot of adults are just too big so they have to stick with horses. Ponies are interesting animals, and I do have a blast riding them. I wouldn't let height determine what you look at. Find what suits you, is comfortable to ride, and can do what you want.
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post #14 of 18 Old 11-04-2013, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dressagebelle View Post
I agree, with the above, as a dressage rider myself, and also on the smaller end, there are plenty of smaller horses doing well in dressage. I would focus more on ability, training the horse has had, how it moves, if it's done any shows, and how it's done, and less on finding that perfect height for dressage. There is no such thing. That being said, while I love my friend's pony, she's a large welsh pony, and I didn't mind my client's 15.2/3 hand WB gelding, I personally feel much more at home on 16-17 hand horses. I can get them to listen effectively, and while I certainly don't look "big" on them, I also don't look too horribly small. But after my friend getting her pony, I've realized that I can also enjoy riding the ponies, and a lot of adults are just too big so they have to stick with horses. Ponies are interesting animals, and I do have a blast riding them. I wouldn't let height determine what you look at. Find what suits you, is comfortable to ride, and can do what you want.
Okay thank you. =)
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post #15 of 18 Old 11-05-2013, 10:44 PM
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My personal 'rule' is the horse should be small enough to jump on bareback! No massive monsters for me thanks & I think little people on big horses look silly & out of proportion.
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post #16 of 18 Old 11-06-2013, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
My personal 'rule' is the horse should be small enough to jump on bareback! No massive monsters for me thanks & I think little people on big horses look silly & out of proportion.
By that logic I shouldn't have my 15hh QH, and I'm not the least flexible person in the world :P To each their own though- I think that short people on tall horses look equally as out of proportion as tall people on short horses though!
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post #17 of 18 Old 11-06-2013, 12:41 AM
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....do you think there's a link that my 'ideal' horse gets smaller as I'm getting older?? Perhaps it's getting to the time of my life to... bend the above rule a bit!
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post #18 of 18 Old 11-06-2013, 02:42 AM
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^xD I definitely can't get on my 16.1 gelding bareback with no help xD
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The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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