Good horse height? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Question Good horse height?

Need an opinion on good horse height. I'm 5'8/5'9, lightweight, and I ride western reining. As quarter horses are a generally small breed (or most of the one's I've come across anyway!) I usually ride smaller horses, but love big horses. Because I'm tall and slim though, I've been told I look awkward on smaller horses. I'm looking into buying a QH mare now who's about 14.3 hands.
Any opinions? pros and cons to horse height, etc? Any help is appreciated!
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post #2 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 07:19 PM
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My personal ideal height is between 15hh - 15.3hh. I think it's a really manageable height, and tall enough to carry most riders. I don't like bigger ones, they're not as handy, you need big rugs and they're just, big. Much smaller than 15hh is too small for me though.

I'm a tad shorter than you (5'7) and I have a 15hh stock horse and a 15.3hh TB. The smaller one takes up my leg a lot better and and I look pretty perfect on him (he's chunky though). On my TB I look just right, but she couldn't be any smaller. So it really depends on the horse. I think 14.3hh will be suitable if the horse is quite solidly built. You really have to ride them to see how they take up your leg, if they feel right.

The only problem with chunky small horses and sizing is that sometimes their neck can be too short to balance out your torso height, which can look strange.

Just go see the horse, get someone to take a few pictures of you on them, ride around and see how you feel with that horse and their size.
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post #3 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 07:26 PM
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Welcome to the forum! You'll soon see a lot of responses, I'm sure, as this has been asked before... always fun to see the various horse owners vs. horse heights! I'm only 5' tall, and all 3 of my mares are 15 hands - I always need a mounting block, even though I'm physically fit... I say that if you are comfortable and your horse is comfortable, no one is to judge as to the appearance :)
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post #4 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 07:30 PM
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I'm 6'4" and all our Paint mares are 14.2-14.3. Those big barreled QH/Paints take up a lot of leg.
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post #5 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 08:29 PM
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I always say whatever works for u. I am 5'4 115lbs and ride a mare that is16.1 and we look awesome. My previous horse was 14.2
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post #6 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 08:30 PM
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6'2" on 14.2 here.

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post #7 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 08:41 PM
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Hi dmasri15 and welcome... Gainesville as in Florida? If so, we're almost neighbors.

So, horse height (IMO) is definitely a personal preference. I think a lot depends on what you want to do with your horse and the breed you are attracted to.

I prefer horses between 15.2 and 16.2. Maybe, as my former trainer would laughingly say, it is a control thing for me. I am 5'6/130 # and I've been told I look pretty good proportionately on our boy. Our QH Chuck is 16.2 and about 1200#'s.

As Saskia indicated, some bigger horses may not be as handy and that is definitely true of Chuck. On the otherhand, his sweet personality and his generally mellow disposition make him pretty darn near perfect for us and the type of riding I do.

Last edited by wdblevin; 11-04-2013 at 08:44 PM.
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post #8 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 08:43 PM
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I am 5'7'' and I have ridden a 13.2, 14, and 15.1 horses and they are all pretty good sizes. My 15.1 is my current horse and I can jump on him bareback from either a running start to a big jump right besdie him. As long as I can do that it's a good height :)

But 13.2 to maybe even a 16 horses would be pretty good for me. I like bigger horses, but small ones are just so cute as well!! haha

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post #9 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 08:57 PM
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Hi and welcome!
It's all your personal preference..

I'm 5'1/2.. Yes the 1/2 makes a difference! I weigh 130.
I ride a 16.3 saddlebred. We look pretty good together but he is the narrowest thing ever so I may not look so tiny on him.
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post #10 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 09:00 PM
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Back about 20 years or so QH's were a short stocky sort of breed but now they are so different depending on what you use them for... My western pleasure guy is 16.2 which is kind of short for the English ring but to tall for the reining world.

I am so new to reining that... well... I've had just one lesson but we did discuss horse sizes because I was curious about it. From what I understand they are generally around 14.2 to 15.2 so if you are worried about your height versus your horses height then aim for the 15 hands, but you have to remember, these are really stocky horses which makes them look larger than they are. Reining is also very popular with male riders and most of them are 6 feet or more riding a horse that's only 14.3 and really, they don't look monstrous on them....

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hands , horse height , opinions , quarter horse , tall rider

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