Anyone ever ridden a 19hh horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-25-2020, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone ever ridden a 19hh horse?

When I met my wife a half century ago she had a Morgan/Tennessee Walker mare horse, about 15.2 hands, her friend had this 19 hand mare. A grade horse Belgian, Hanoverian and some other mix previous owner said. I'd never ridden before but as a teenager would try anything. The girls wanted me to race my wife, me on that horse which I did. I'm 6'1", back then really skinny (135#) and I remember they rode English and it was a challenge just getting in the saddle. We were going to race up this long hill. I was given a few minutes instruction!
When taking off, it was no contest leaving my wife in the dust. At the top though that horse turned running full gallop downhill then through the trail in woods. All I could think to do was lean forward, holding tight reins letting her go until she decided to stop.
When she did I dismounted and she had worked up a lather. I led her back to the girls thinking that had to be the wildest ride of my life.
As I understand a 19hh horse is very unusual.

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Last edited by farmpony84; 09-25-2020 at 02:14 PM. Reason: fixed typo
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-25-2020, 02:10 PM
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When i was very young, about 10 yo, I rode a black, ex-police horse who was 18.2hh. Obviously, I was a lot shorter and needed help getting on and off (like I'd be able to get on and off without help nowadays ) . Although, I felt like a pea on a mountain, he was a gentleman, who'd do anything for his rider except canter on his right rein. I'd been riding ponies, anything from 11hh to 14hh so he was a shock, I loved every minute i sat in his saddle.

When i was in my early twenties I rode a hunter who was around 18.3/19hh. He was less predictable and super fit but a great deal of fun. You could point him at any fence and he'd say no problem; nothing frightened him.

I've ridden slightly smaller Clydesdales at around 17hh, who felt larger and slower due to their action.
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-25-2020, 02:48 PM
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Majority of these very tall horses are guesstimated and usually well under the height stated.

The biggest racehorse I ever rode was measured for the Guinness Book of Records, he lost out to another gelding by the same stallion who was 1/2" higher. Bother were 18 hands.

Another big horse I rode was Party Politics, who won the Grand National, he was 17.3

A big boast, I did vault onto a young shire colt who stood at 18.1 as a four year old. He stood rock still whilst I struggled to get on him and once I was on board (bareback) the owner told daddy me had had never had anyone sit on him!
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-25-2020, 03:16 PM
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I didn't ride it but I rode with one huge horse at the same time in a small dressage arena. I was on a rather large Hanoverian mare and I felt like a hobbit next to this horse. It didn't help that the lady that was riding him was also tall and very svelte with long, flowing silky hair - just like an elf from Tolkien's books. They literally towered over me and my not-exactly-small horse. It was rather disconcerting. I tried to stay out of their way most of the time.
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-25-2020, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
Majority of these very tall horses are guesstimated and usually well under the height stated.



The biggest racehorse I ever rode was measured for the Guinness Book of Records, he lost out to another gelding by the same stallion who was 1/2" higher. Bother were 18 hands.



Another big horse I rode was Party Politics, who won the Grand National, he was 17.3



A big boast, I did vault onto a young shire colt who stood at 18.1 as a four year old. He stood rock still whilst I struggled to get on him and once I was on board (bareback) the owner told daddy me had had never had anyone sit on him!
This horse wasn't guesstimated but 6'4" from ground up to the withers. My father in law was 6'6" and the withers were about even with top of his head! I do understand a 19hh horse is unusual but she was!

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post #6 of 15 Old 09-25-2020, 03:42 PM
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That's a big horse, but I agree on some people have a skew on sizes. I was someplace, forget where but I think it was a cow gathering. I was on Wrangler and someone came up and said wow that horse must be 18 hands! I said nope 15.3 - 16... he said no way my horse is 16h. His probably wasn't but I didn't say anything. But I think Wrangler's size not only height throws some people off.
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-25-2020, 06:56 PM
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Yes, my father's halter-bred Percheron gelding.
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-25-2020, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Her horse was enormous. I checked one day by placing a level on her withers, then measured straight up floor to bottom of level. So that would be floor to top of withers, measuring level up then level over. It was 76". My understanding is that's how you do it properly. 4 inches=a hand, 76÷4=19 hands.
If I did it wrong let me know. I wanted to check behind what previous owner and this owner said. As I said I'm 6'1" and couldn't really see across her back. Freak of nature I guess, just like my father in law at 6'6". His Dad was 5'7", Mom 5'4, none of his brothers were over 5'8".
Wherever we went people were amazed and lots of people wouldn't ride this girls horse. That mare loved to run and that tall had quite a stride. I wish I had pictures, but that was a very long time ago.

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post #9 of 15 Old 09-25-2020, 09:08 PM
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Only 18 hand horse I've ridden was a draft harness horse and I crawled up his harness to get on.
Most of my horses used for showing were in the range of 16.1 - 17.3...
Tiny was the largest.
Tonka was the smallest, and small was 14.2 and he could jump better than the giants...talk about scope, ability and heart.
I often rode a friends horse who was 17.2 and built huge...not sure if he had any draft in him but he sure could of with his thick bone-frame.
He was so comfortable, a broad couch to sit on...only thing ever I found was dismounting when my feet were really cold it really hurt to hit the ground...my ouchy toes.
How I got on was needing a mounting block and I prided myself on mounting from the ground but these guys were just to large to try.
Today, no way no how would I even attempt from the ground, forget a average 3-step mounting block...my bones and I have gotten soft, old and stiff...not sure which order that should be, but all fit.
Worse is having to get off or falling off is a long way to the ground...forget tacking up not sure if I could place a saddle as well as I did when younger.
Admitting my limitations...arthritis stinks.
Today, I'll stick with my horses who are in the 15.3 - 16 hand, heavy boned and muscled {when in shape}..
My friend has a 15 hand trail horse who actually for me is a easy on/off and still a nice ride as he moves freely forward...if I decided to replace mine, it would be with smaller as I get older..
...
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-26-2020, 03:16 AM
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I've never even seen a 19hh horse! The biggest horse I have ever ridden (widest as well) was a 5 year old grey percheron cross called "Log". Maybe 17.2-3hh. He bucked with me once and the back of the saddle bruised up the top of my back. It was wild to be on such a HUGE horse, but he was mostly an easy, lazy ride and a real sweetie. He stepped on my bare foot after a swim at the dam but obviously didn't put his whole weight down, or I'd be lame for life!

One of my favourite mares was a big, black ex police horse, a touch over 17hh. She was so well educated but not an easy ride at all (hence being retired from the police force). I loved her to bits. A real black beauty. Getting a bridle to fit her was hard, and reins long enough for her to stretch her neck. She was tall, especially for a part bred Andalusian, neat movement and a great jump. Really, really strong mare and one of the best rides of my life. I will never forget some of the amazing movements I was able to do on her with her very high level of education. The feeling is indescribable.

I had another mare by the same stallion after her, and she was a very similar ride, a little sweeter, much smaller (different mother, 15.2 measured). The stallion has since died but I am always on the look out for his progeny in the dream I will get another mare like those two. Hopefully another tall one :P Strong, bossy, challenging but unforgettable and rewarding rides.
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