You should only trail ride on big horses because they are stonger, and wont die. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 111 Old 07-30-2011, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Skagit County, WA
Posts: 799
• Horses: 3
Exclamation You should only trail ride on big horses because they are stonger, and wont die.

I went on a trail ride today, SUPER fun, just me and my friend Andrea up at the Les Hilde trails in Hamilton. Once again someone told me I needed to get a bigger horse, I am killing Dedee.
Are ride today was five hours, its a weekly thing, my horse is ridden everyday but mondays and wednesdays. We walk, trot and canter, and go through a lot of streams. My horse is always ready to go. Why are trail riders obsessed with tall/big horses?
My hobby jumper/trail horse is 14.1hh registered quarter horse.
She is 11, and in regular work.
I am 5'3", 115lb clothed, I ride english and can balance myself (do not rely on my horse and jerk her around)
She has never callosped with me, or stumbled etc. She likes to go fast on the trails.
Lots of pics from today
Dedee is my darling, I got her 8 yrs ago on my 12th birthday, can anyone see any signs in my availble pictures that she is uncomfortable carrying me?
Thanks! :)
Also just wanted to share some pictures of Beautiful Western WA!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Trail riding with andrea july 30 2011 001.jpg (82.8 KB, 1290 views)
File Type: jpg Trail riding with andrea july 30 2011 003.jpg (76.8 KB, 1263 views)
File Type: jpg Trail riding with andrea july 30 2011 011.jpg (80.6 KB, 1265 views)
File Type: jpg Trail riding with andrea july 30 2011 016.jpg (73.6 KB, 1240 views)
File Type: jpg Trail riding with andrea july 30 2011 027.jpg (92.4 KB, 1252 views)
File Type: jpg Trail riding with andrea july 30 2011 032.jpg (98.3 KB, 1295 views)
File Type: jpg Trail riding with andrea july 30 2011 033.jpg (100.0 KB, 1250 views)
File Type: jpg Trail riding with andrea july 30 2011 045.jpg (89.2 KB, 1240 views)
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post #2 of 111 Old 07-30-2011, 10:55 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 993
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Hm. I would say that anyone who told you that doesn't know what they are talking about. As far as small horses, look at arabs. Very small, fine boned generally. They excell in endurance riding, which is much harder, faster, and longer than just 'trail riding'.
I have 2 horses, one a big 16 hand, the other a smallish QH, barely 15 hands. Both excellent on trail. But I have to duck far fewer branches when riding the little one. :)
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post #3 of 111 Old 07-30-2011, 11:05 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
Posts: 22,157
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They don't know what they heck they're talking about. You guys are the perfect size for each other and I, personally, prefer shorter horses when I'm doing a lot of trails. They are easier to get on and off of, you don't have to duck as much as others (or get off) to go under tree limbs, and on the off chance that you fall, it isn't nearly so far to the ground. I am 5'5", 135-140 pounds and the horse I most often ride is 14.3.

My brother, on the other hand, is 6'1 and weighs about 190 and his main ranch horse is about the size of your girl, maybe a bit wider but no taller, and Snuffy can go for hours and days on end without showing signs of wearing out. I seriously doubt you would be able to ride your girl hard enough to sure enough wear her down to the point of exhaustion or collapse .
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post #4 of 111 Old 07-30-2011, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: northeast Pennsylvania
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people are ridiculous! I used to trail ride my 13.3hh arab/quarter and my 14.2arab/quarter! If the horse is well conditioned then it doesn't really matter how big he/she is. It's not like you are a 200lb unbalanced rider flopping all over your horses back, at your size you even if you were unbalanced your horse would probably not have any trouble lol
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post #5 of 111 Old 07-30-2011, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Skagit County, WA
Posts: 799
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that is good to hear, I am very comfortable on her. I do have my bigger gelding who I am more seriously training (and being trained with) now, but Dedee is still my trail partner. The ladies that said this were tiny (maybe 5') and were riding matching 16hh PLUS tenessese walkers.
We then proceeded to leave them in our dust (dedee think she is an endurance horse)
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post #6 of 111 Old 07-30-2011, 11:45 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
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That's crazy! I'm a 160 pound rider. I use to ride a 14.1hh TWH for hours. My endurance horse is on the short side of 15hh. I even go as far as to ride an Arab cross pony sometimes.

Tall horses are impractical for trails. It's hard to mount back up, it's a long way down to get off. And you get your face whacked by tree limbs. I don't understand why everyone is after 15.2 plus horses. Even little shorties want them! I'm 5 feet tall exactly and are amazed that people my height are walking around on 17 hand monsters. Are they compensating for something?

It's a fashion thing, I suppose. That combined with people under estimating the power of a well conditioned pony height mount.

By the way, love that saddle pad. Where'd you get it from?

Last edited by Brighteyes; 07-30-2011 at 11:49 PM.
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post #7 of 111 Old 07-30-2011, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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My 14.2 (800 lbs tops) Appy/Arab mix was ridden for 12 hour days when he was a ranch horse, and his rider weighed over 200 lbs. Didn't harm him any.
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post #8 of 111 Old 07-30-2011, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Skagit County, WA
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Thanks my saddle pad is from Horseloverz I love it! doesnt bang around or anything, nice and thick material too.
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post #9 of 111 Old 07-30-2011, 11:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Pshhhh!!! I ride with a 6 year old boy that puts miles and miles and miles and MILES of trails on his 13hh pony (Welsh, I think)! She jumps trees, crosses creeks, chases cows... where every that little boy points her nose is where she goes! And she always looks just as happy as your mare does in those pictures!
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post #10 of 111 Old 07-31-2011, 12:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 5,277
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I probably shouldn't tell everyone my weight all the time, but I am 5'6, 200 lbs. and I ride a 14.3 Mustang and a 15.1 Missouri Fox Trotter.

Before I got the Fox Trotter, I rode the Mustang 5 days a week, 5 hours at a time all summer long. He was never lame or acted sore, but I did feel sorry for him and wanted to get another horse to alternate him with. But as far as carrying me over hill and dale, he could do it no problem. Heck, I just wanted a second horse to ride and used that as an excuse.

I also used to have 2 Arabians (approx. 860 and 950 lbs and I guess around 14.3) and they carried me all over the place any speed I wanted to go too.

I would like my next horse to be at least 15 hands and stout, just because I don't feel as guilty riding a bigger horse. With the small guys I am afraid I might look too big for them. But as far as them carrying me, they have always had no trouble.

Someone your size could ride any horse without concern, so just ignore the weird people!
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