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Right type of horse?
Hi I want to buy or lease a horse or pony. But how tall of a horse/pony would be perfect size for me? I am doing dressage. I am 5'2 & 7.1 stones. :?
I have no idea how much a stone is so i'm not sure of your weight. I'm 5'0 and 95 lbs. I personally feel most at home on horses that are pony sized. I can ride larger horses but i'm tiny and my leg isn't near as effective as it's not in a good spot. However it seems lots of english people like larger horses.
Here I am on my current sales project. This little mare is 13.3 and as you can see, my leg falls in about the perfect placement. My leg isn't hanging down too far where i'd have to roll my heel up or so high that i'm at the widest part of her barrel.
If you are "doing" dressage just for your own enjoyment-get a horse that fits your size-if you want to compete & have a possibility of winning you will need a much taller horse. As BR said, your leg may not hit in the right place then & it will be harder to get the correct response. Like BR, & you, I'm small & have no desire to get on ANYTHING bigger than 15.2, but much prefer about a hand shorter. My Morgan mare is 14.3, the mare I brought home yesterday is 14 hands-my horse family is complete. I use dressage on all my horses but have never competed, although I used to give demonstrations on it to horse clubs a couple of decades ago, when a lot of people had never heard of it & I had a horse w/years of training from his previous owner.
A British stone = 14 lbs. so she's 99 lbs.
Sorry I forgot to put pounds in it. One stone is 24 pounds. I weight 7.2 Stones is 100 pounds. =)
I have never competed before I want to try. So should I get one that is about 16 hand?
Honestly, I disagree with Cacowgirl. There are many breeds of sport pony that can be very competitive in the Dressage arena. It's true that taller horses are a bit more "in", but come with a very high price tag.
I would focus more on finding a horse that is suited to your needs--focus more on breed, age, and training than height.
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:
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!
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