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1dog3cats17rodents 01-26-2009 06:05 PM

Tips for riding larger horse
I've always been one of the better small riders, and there were plently of larger riders, so I've ALWAYS ridden the ponies, and sometimes horses like 15'2 and under, but they rode like a pony. Now, my trainer is making me buy a horse at least 16 hh and I'm nervous. I know that's small, but it's big to me! The few times I have ridden larger horses (including some HIGH quality ones) I hate how they move! Is this something I will get used to? Especially the canter is just awful :-P

I'm 5'4" with the legs of a 5'10"+ person, but I only weigh 87lbs. Yesterday I went with my trainer to try a horse, and he did an unexpected bouncy flying lead change and I was catapulted onto his neck:oops: Again, do I just have to get used to it, or should I put rocks in my pockets to hold me down? (kidding :lol:)

One last thing, any tips for getting the strides right for jumping a horse? I was jumping like 18" cross poles, but I kept counting out pony strides, which obviously didn't work well :lol: Should I just wait and see how it works as my trainer makes me ride bigger horses?

Thanks for any help you can give, I'm nervous about having to own a "big" horse:D

english_rider144 01-26-2009 06:12 PM

Ah I remember trying to get used to the big horses. I'm almost 5'1" and 120 lbs. I'm tiny. Just gravitate your weight onto your pockets. You just have to get used to a bigger horse. You'll get the hang of it. As for the strides I don't really know.

Goosen 01-26-2009 06:53 PM

I kind of know what you mean. For the longest time I rode ponies and only ponies. In all truth, I actually cried when my instructor tried to put me on a horse. (I was like, 6, but still!)

I'm about 5'5'', very leggy like you are, only I weigh a bit more. Haha.

My trainer has a friend that adores me. She has this huugee, horse named Jasper. He has lines about two generations back of pure Belgion draft horse. So yeah, he has his size down. But the thing is, he's very lazy. Been under saddle about a year, and the best way to ride him is bareback.

The first time she asked me to ride him I hardly got him to move. After all, the only person who had ever rode him was his owner, so he didn't exactly trust me. I got in a nice ride and then didn't ride him for a while. Last week she did a sneak attack and told me to go get my helmet, hand her the horse (I was cooling down Clyde), and take the crop. Before this, when I first saw that she was riding him bareback, I went up to her and was like: "You're riding him bareback?!?!" "Yep!"

Now I'm perfectly fine with it. I mean, it's really amazing how much better he actually behaves when he doesn't have his saddle on.

--My Point Is--

It just takes some time to get used to. Don't push yourself so hard that you feel really really nervous, but push yourself enough that it's not what you're used to. Take a chance. ^_^

Learn to sit back a bit more, put more weight in the pockets of your pants, and just enjoy it! Personally, I really like their large movements and gates. I can go to my old Dressage pony to Jasper in a flash and still know what diagonal I'm on and am very used to the way they both move. Give it some time.

Also, can you just ride a larger horse for a while before you actually buy one? That way you can get used to it before you spend your money on a horse that you may not even end up loving?

(I have no idea about the strides thing. I'm a Dressage freak, haha. Sorry!)

And for the reference:
Jasper ^

1dog3cats17rodents 01-26-2009 07:08 PM

Thanks for the reassurances guys:-)

And I can't really ride bigger horses, they all are privately owned. I'm just getting a chance this weeks because one owner is gone for the week.

And I do need a bigger horse because if I want to show, it needs to jump three foot and get horse strides :-/

claireauriga 01-26-2009 07:11 PM

As a tall rider with very long legs, and being a novice without the best balance in the world, I love larger horses! I like the slower movements the rider makes because their legs are longer; on ponies rising trot and canter are really hard for me because they move like jackhammers! I also don't have the problem of having to jack my stirrups up so short my knees are level with my chin.

I feel much more secure sitting atop a bigger horse. It's definitely a bigger motion to get used to, but hopefully the change will be beneficial for you, e.g. highlighting bad habits you may have got into riding ponies that you can't get away with on a horse.

english_rider144 01-26-2009 07:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
BTW this is the boy I ride.

horseMAD 01-26-2009 09:49 PM

Glad to see your enthusiastic!! Hope all goes well for you!!

hntrjmpr 01-26-2009 10:08 PM

First of all...I don't think it would right of you to get a horse your trainer is MAKING you buy? Or did I misinterpret that?

1dog3cats17rodents 01-27-2009 06:53 AM

You don't know my trainer ;-) She is great, but she pretty much looks at horses with you, and she decides wich one you get, w/ a bit of input on my part. That's how it's always been and always will be.

But, even when it seems like a bad match, it always turns out to be perfect for everyone involved.

toosleepy 01-27-2009 10:15 AM

i have one horse that is 15.1 hands and one that is 17.1 hands tall. My bigger horse is super smooth and i love riding him. i had never ridden anything bigger than 16 hands before i got justin. I think you just have to find the horse that you like and feel good on. I'm not gonna lie being up that high does take some getting used to, lol

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