Trying to decide on a breed to get eventually - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-22-2020, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Trying to decide on a breed to get eventually

Ok so I’m hoping in like 4-5 years after taking riding lessons for like 4 years to buy my own horse and I’m looking for advantages and disadvantages between a Gypsy Vanner and a Welsh Section D I like the cob/draft look but I know that I wanna stick between 14-15ish hands cause I’m 5’5” and right now I’m 289 lbs but am hoping to get down to 200 or less eventually and I can start lessons at 275 so I’ll probably start lessons in the fall or in spring 2021
I have no plans at this time to do shows and would mainly trail ride but if I do eventually do shows it’s be low level local jumping or cross country or maybe like the trail/obstacle courses
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-22-2020, 07:14 AM
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Why not consider learning to drive in the meantime. Check around and see if there are any that give lessons. When you're ready you can purchase something that both rides and drives so you would be able to enjoy horses while working on your weight. To me it is not a specific breed that you would look for but the build that could carry heavier loads.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-22-2020, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
Why not consider learning to drive in the meantime. Check around and see if there are any that give lessons. When you're ready you can purchase something that both rides and drives so you would be able to enjoy horses while working on your weight. To me it is not a specific breed that you would look for but the build that could carry heavier loads.
I’m waitin till fall or spring because I’ve got other stuff I’m doing and saving up for as well as saving up for lessons and nowhere around me has driving lessons plus I don’t really want to learn to drive
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-22-2020, 10:56 AM
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Hiya and welcome! Have you found somewhere that would give you lessons at 275lbs? Please correct me if I'm wrong that's about 19 stone? My mother is at that weight right now but she's 5'8 and also looking to ride. Most places here wont accept anyone over 15 stone (for their large breeds too!) and I have a 17.1hh irish draught mare (depending which vet measures her. Reassuring right? Lol). I wont let my mother ride even my horse until she's 224 and even then I'd be very cautious. But its less about the weight actually and more her fitness. There's a large man at one of the yards I go to he's same weight but 6'9. But he is incredibly fit and is so balanced that the chance of the horse straining something isn't very high. The way I write it is terrible - hes a highly qualified freelance instructor lol. My mother would be flopping around 100% and the horse would have to compensate a lot and I don't wanna risk her discomfort or that vet bill. So... we have similar goals to you and I'd love to be able to share your journey with her so she's not alone. I know plenty people who are similar weights and trying to loose to ride and what a wonderful motivation it is!

So I know you just wanted advice on breeds but hope you dont mind some other suggestions?

- get an exercise ball if you haven't and practice straddling it and moving your hips to get flexible ahead of time and for balance ofc. Personally for my mare I'd want at least 16 stone and she's not exactly a small horse. Even then I'd be cautious if the rider is new/unfit. Remember... the bigger the horse the heavier the tack. They are gonna carry the weight of that tack as well and western saddles are super heavy from the two times I've got to handle one lol. But its up to the owner/establishment and you to look out for their welfare and make that judgement call.

- if possible can you volunteer at a yard once a week? Fetching, mucking out, grooming and hand walking are GREAT motivators.

- even better, can you "share/loan" a horse once a week? Stable duties in exchange for the experience. You can learn how to properly handle horses, lunge, free-rein etc. Going on handwalks on trails you might eventually ride would also be an amazing experience! Even if not to ride that particular pony/mini/horse it would still be motivating. I walk one of the elderly ponies at my yard for no reason other than it brings us both joy. She's far too small for me but I love taking her on walks.

- You don't just need RIDING lessons. Until you're a suitable weight get out there and get horsemanship lessons. How to handle. How to do ground exercises. There's no need to wait until you can get on. They are a thing. I have a horse I can ride but still pay for ground lessons! You can even offer to "prepare" the horse and tack them up for when eventually you'll do it for yourself!

- As for breeds you will realistically need something draught-like right now. The closer to 200lbs you can get the more options will open up for you. But remember its not just weight but fitness! There are some smaller horses that can carry more weight but depending where you are in the world aren't easy to find even for lessons or to own... but as an irish draught lover... but I also REALLY love belgians and am very jealous of @QtrBel :P I just have a thing for gentle giants (same with dogs).

PS I'm 5'6 and look a bit stupid on my huge mare. My friend is 5'4 and rides my mare sometimes. Never mind falling... mounting is a pain in the you-know-what haha! But there are gadgets you can get to help out mounting if you can't find a tree stump or rock. But... they eat a lot. They cost a lot. But she's my first baby and I'm literally in love with her.

So yeah.... GET OUT THERE. Don't wait until you're a certain weight. Start looking tomorrow to get into the world of horses. And if you already are and know how to care for horses... I'm terribly sorry for my essay hah.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-22-2020, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kalraii View Post
Hiya and welcome! Have you found somewhere that would give you lessons at 275lbs? Please correct me if I'm wrong that's about 19 stone? My mother is at that weight right now but she's 5'8 and also looking to ride. Most places here wont accept anyone over 15 stone (for their large breeds too!) and I have a 17.1hh irish draught mare (depending which vet measures her. Reassuring right? Lol). I wont let my mother ride even my horse until she's 224 and even then I'd be very cautious. But its less about the weight actually and more her fitness. There's a large man at one of the yards I go to he's same weight but 6'9. But he is incredibly fit and is so balanced that the chance of the horse straining something isn't very high. The way I write it is terrible - hes a highly qualified freelance instructor lol. My mother would be flopping around 100% and the horse would have to compensate a lot and I don't wanna risk her discomfort or that vet bill. So... we have similar goals to you and I'd love to be able to share your journey with her so she's not alone. I know plenty people who are similar weights and trying to loose to ride and what a wonderful motivation it is!

So I know you just wanted advice on breeds but hope you dont mind some other suggestions?

- if possible can you volunteer at a yard once a week? Fetching, mucking out, grooming and hand walking are GREAT motivators.

- even better, can you "share/loan" a horse once a week? Stable duties in exchange for the experience. You can learn how to properly handle horses, lunge, free-rein etc. Going on handwalks on trails you might eventually ride would also be an amazing experience! Even if not to ride that particular pony/mini/horse it would still be motivating. I walk one of the elderly ponies at my yard for no reason other than it brings us both joy. She's far too small for me but I love taking her on walks.

- You don't just need RIDING lessons. Until you're a suitable weight get out there and get horsemanship lessons. How to handle. How to do ground exercises. There's no need to wait until you can get on. They are a thing. I have a horse I can ride but still pay for ground lessons! You can even offer to "prepare" the horse and tack them up for when eventually you'll do it for yourself!

- As for breeds you will realistically need something draught-like right now. The closer to 200lbs you can get the more options will open up for you. But remember its not just weight but fitness! There are some smaller horses that can carry more weight but depending where you are in the world aren't easy to find even for lessons or to own... but as an irish draught lover... but I also REALLY love belgians and am very jealous of @QtrBel 😛 I just have a thing for gentle giants (same with dogs).

PS I'm 5'6 and look a bit stupid on my huge mare. My friend is 5'4 and rides my mare sometimes. Never mind falling... mounting is a pain in the you-know-what haha! But there are gadgets you can get to help out mounting if you can't find a tree stump or rock. But... they eat a lot. They cost a lot. But she's my first baby and I'm literally in love with her.

So yeah.... GET OUT THERE. Don't wait until you're a certain weight. Start looking tomorrow to get into the world of horses. And if you already are and know how to care for horses... I'm terribly sorry for my essay hah.
I can’t get out and do anything right now with corona virus going around but yeah I’ve got a barn that I’ll be able to start lessons at 275 lbs and that will include taking care of the horse and eventually I will either lease or buy a horse it just depends on what I’m able to do in 4-5 years and I’m hoping for 14-15 hands cause they’d be easier to get on as I get older and as my back gets worse cause my back has some issues
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-22-2020, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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I’m going cob type cause obviously it depends on the individual but in theory a 15 hand cob should be able to hold me in a few years without issue being as they’d be about 1200 lbs so the weight limit on them would be 240 and I don’t plan to ride often just like 1-2 hours 1-2 times a week cause I have a full time job on top of other stuff
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-24-2020, 10:50 AM
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Weight is not the determining factor in whether a horse can comfortably and safely carry you.



Not picking on you Kalraii but this is an example of common thought and it is pervasive in the horse world. So using it to illustrate a point.
- As for breeds you will realistically need something draught-like right now. The closer to 200lbs you can get the more options will open up for you. But remember its not just weight but fitness! There are some smaller horses that can carry more weight but depending where you are in the world aren't easy to find even for lessons or to own... but as an irish draught lover... but I also REALLY love belgians and am very jealous of @QtrBel :P I just have a thing for gentle giants (same with dogs).



Thanks, I love my girls. Kalraii is spot on with everything but the bolded. It is build that you are looking for. Too many modern drafts have long backs which are going to cause issue if heavy weights are applied. Ideally you want short backed, strong coupled and heavy boned. There are plenty of horses that fit that build. QH included. It is just an issue of locating them and knowing what you are looking for in a horse's conformation. I'll also add along with this longer backed trend in drafts that comes with the hitch types can come a much hotter personality.



Fitness for the rider is a must and using a balance ball is great. So are the riding fitness workouts that stress balance and flexibility as well as strength.


While you've said driving isn't of interest to you it is a great way to be around horses and enjoy activities that are not weight dependent. It gives you flexibility to also share your horse and still retain control by being able to ride together in a vehicle. My neighbor absolutely loved horses and at 400lbs there was just no way but with driving she was free to enjoy them and spend time until she reached a weight that she could ride. She had surgery and lost 150 pounds. Because of the girl's long backs and her weaknesses she was still not at a point where riding them was going to happen. They are also all at or well above 17 hands. The horse I had that suited her best at the time she was intimidated by as to her he had too much fire in his eyes. Goes to show how looks can be deceiving as he was the most laid back horse I had at that time. But driving...she's passionate about. She never thought she would be. Now she is in Tx and she's been hooked up with friends that ride and drive. She still hasn't ridden but it is more because she can take her friends out with her and comfortably talk on the go. Carrying a full picnic lunch is also a bonus she tells me. I'd bet there are those around that do both. They probably don't advertise though. I learned through mentorships. Wasn't given a choice as it was part of the job I took on but I can say I'd never go back to riding only. Only one of those I learned from officially taught driving skills.


AI -"Im going cob type cause obviously it depends on the individual but in theory a 15 hand cob should be able to hold me in a few years without issue being as theyd be about 1200 lbs so the weight limit on them would be 240 and I dont plan to ride often just like 1-2 hours 1-2 times a week cause I have a full time job on top of other stuff"

I bolded that last part because along with conformation goes fitness. A horse expected to regularly carry a heavier load would also need to be fit. It could be an easy trail for that amount of time and only a time or two during the week would not be a strain but having a horse ridden more frequently and with a fitness goal in mind could benefit horse.
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Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-30-2020, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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I figure that along with me riding a few times a week I might be able to find someone to lease to ride like 2-3 of the days that I’d probably not be able to get out and ride and even if I’m not able to do that I may go out more often just to do other stuff like lunge the horse
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-30-2020, 03:27 PM
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When the time is right, perhaps a Fjord horse would be a good choice. They are very strong, have big bone, and are short. They make excellent trail horses.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-06-2020, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
When the time is right, perhaps a Fjord horse would be a good choice. They are very strong, have big bone, and are short. They make excellent trail horses.

They’d be on my list but they’re even more expensive I believe when it comes to the cost of just the horse
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