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-   -   Does size matter? (http://www.horseforum.com/reining/does-size-matter-55479/)

IllComeALopin 05-20-2010 10:01 AM

Does size matter?
 
I always thought that smaller horses had the advantage in reining. Like cow horses (after all they are pretty much the same), reining horses can get low to the ground a heck of a lot easier if they are 14-14.3hh-ish. I can see how being smaller would make it easier to do roll backs, sliding stops, and even the spins.

But can bigger horses still play the game? What would your cut off size be when looking at a horse's potential in reining?

kevinshorses 05-20-2010 11:07 AM

The trend in cowhorses is going the other way. More cowhorses are being bred to be 15-15.3 so that they have the size and speed to better handle cattle. Cutting horses and reining horses are going to stay on the smaller side because it is easier for them to get down and move fast. Also reining horses look faster when they spin when they are shorter head to tail than a horse that is longer.

IllComeALopin 05-20-2010 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kevinshorses (Post 638871)
The trend in cowhorses is going the other way. More cowhorses are being bred to be 15-15.3 so that they have the size and speed to better handle cattle.

Are you talking about events like roping? Or like the reined cow horse classes?

Ive seen a few versatility ranch horse competitions and thought those horses seemed a little bit bigger than the cutting and reining horses.

SorrelHorse 05-20-2010 12:32 PM

Bigger horses can absolutely play the game. I like a cowhorse to be between 14.3-15.2hh, but at my shows I've seen decent ones be up to 16hh, and one girls rides a monster horse at 17hh. Nobody really knows her name but they all know her hrose because she's huge...Not the most brilliant reiner, but he can do it well enough I suppose. Funny to watch :D

kevinshorses 05-20-2010 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IllComeALopin (Post 638988)
Are you talking about events like roping? Or like the reined cow horse classes?

Ive seen a few versatility ranch horse competitions and thought those horses seemed a little bit bigger than the cutting and reining horses.

Reined cowhorse and versitility ranch classes are trending toward larger horses because they need alittle more speed and there are alot of opportunities for the older horses if they stay sound. I have seen some cutting type horses that had really good runs in the herd work and the dry work but when it came time to do the fence work with the cow they were not fast enough or big enough to control it well.

IllComeALopin 05-20-2010 03:34 PM

Makes sense. Thanks.

Understandable that it must take a bold horse to run down the fence and stop a cow.

I know traditionally, real working ranches use tough bigger horses. I assume becuase one horse must chase cows, be agressive enough to throw his weight around when needed, be able to handle the roping and the pulling, as well as cover some ground when asked.

kevinshorses 05-20-2010 04:11 PM

At least here in the west where ranches are bigger and rougher and the cattle are more scattered you don't typically see the 14 hand cutting bred horses being used on the ranches. In fact alot of ranches crossbreed thier QH's with drafts and/or TB's to get some size and muscle.

nrhareiner 05-22-2010 12:59 PM

I like my reiners and reined cow horses between 14'2 and 15hh. They are fast enough and large enough to handle the cattle even on the rail and small enough to work well in the reined part of both events.

horselady36501 06-06-2010 10:13 PM

im working a TB right now in rening and hes a good 16hh i would say but he can sure get down and durty i think it realy depends on the horses want to get down and work btw the horse is also off the track he was a big winner too. but im not going to be competing on him were teaching him rening so he can handel himself better on the barrels.

farmpony84 06-06-2010 10:18 PM

I would think just about any size horse could do the event if trained properly and physically capable, but I think you are right, the smaller ones excel. I just came from a 3 day show, the reiners were all 15 hands and smaller. They were really neat to watch. They made me nervous in the warm up the way they fly around the ring and then slam on the breaks but they are really cool to watch. I'd love to sit on one and spin!


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