How tall is too tall? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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How tall is too tall?

I'm in the market for my first ever horse (!!) and I like a few that are 16 or 17hh. I measure up at exactly 5' 4.5" and since I'm 28 I don't think I'll be getting any taller. I know that it's important to not get a horse that is too short for you, but are there any downsides to getting a big guy? Besides the extra effort of getting on, obviously.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
I'm in the market for my first ever horse (!!) and I like a few that are 16 or 17hh. I measure up at exactly 5' 4.5" and since I'm 28 I don't think I'll be getting any taller. I know that it's important to not get a horse that is too short for you, but are there any downsides to getting a big guy? Besides the extra effort of getting on, obviously.
You fall further, its harder to get their bridle on if they decide to stick their head in the air (been there, luckily I have a magic technique), you need a bigger horsebox for the big ones, you need bigger rugs, headcollars etc (which cost more, here at least), they eat more, they need more space, most take BIG steps (for shorties like me), when they get muddy you've got a whole lot of horse to wash (lol), bigger shoes cost more money...that's all I can think of at the moment.
If it becomes a problem, its a BIIGG problem xD

Those are just general things, like I know big horses with quite short strides, generally in my experience. I had to walk a 17.2 the other day, he was walking really slow for him but I had to like float walk to keep up and he was like giving me a weird look like, "keep up leprechaun!" and the guy behind me was laughing cause he's taller and he has no problem walking the horse with his big long legs lol.

Those would not be significantly more than say a 15 something hands but if I compare a big horse to my wee Harry at 13.2hands its a decent difference.

A woman at my yard is 5ft 3 and has a 17.3 irish draught.

Last edited by AnnaT; 08-06-2012 at 05:03 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Ha ha, yeah, I guess the fall would be higher. Hopefully that won't happen too often. I don't mind the normal "big stuff" like it eats more, etc. I was mostly concerned about while in the saddle.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 05:42 PM
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Well, I'm a little taller than you (around 5' 5 or 5' 6) and I have an 18.2hh draft horse. The main difference between him and a 'normal sized' horse is their strength. At least, thats how it is with drafts. If my horse doesnt want his wormer, he'll hold his head up and not let me give it to him. If he doesn't want a bit in his mouth, he holds his head up. If he doesn't want me mounting, he walks away from the block or railing that I'm using (I can climb up from the ground if I saddle him, but bareback riding requires mounting help)
These things can be somewhat of a bother but you just gotta get creative! For his wormer, I put it on horse cookies and he eats it willingly. For his bridle, I taught him to drop his head for me (and he seems to like being ridden anyways..). For mounting, I use railing or a mounting block and make him stand still. If I'm saddling up, I use a mounting block to get the saddle on or I throw it up and fix it once its up there and then I climb on up. If his back or or the top of his butt gets really dirty, I climb onto my mounting block and brush him or brush him while I'm sitting on his back bareback.
There are simple ways to take care of the little problems. A big horse is more fun, if you ask me!

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post #5 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 05:54 PM
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I agree, mostly the only difference is trying to climb the beast and if you are out on the trails and happen to end up on the ground, whether by his choosing or your own, then you need to find a way to get back on, unless you practice hard and get really good at swinging up from the ground.
And as the others said, they can hold their heads alot higher to evade you, certain big horses need taller fences to keep them in your pasture (of course this can be said of certain shorter horses as well but if the animal towers over the fence he'll be more inclined to hop it), you may need a bigger trailer as well.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-08-2012, 07:33 AM
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5'2 and have always ridden horses that were over 15.3 love the 16.2 or bigger but as I have gotten older like the 16hh. Like they way they move :) never had a choppy ride.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-08-2012, 08:37 AM
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The tingles in your feet when you come down off the big guys is a downside to me!
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-08-2012, 10:04 AM
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I'm 5'11", so I can reach the taller ones when they decide to try to avoid me. My biggest issue with them, even at my height, is the dismount. I ride a lot of horses around 15-15.3 hands, so dismounting from a 16.2hh horse or taller, I nearly hurt myself every time coming down because I do not expect that extra couple of inches to drop down. Bottom of my feet, even in riding boots on sand, sting from the drop, and my knees take a bit of abuse from it too.

Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-08-2012, 10:14 AM
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I am 5"6'' and my lesson horse is 16:2
since it was my first time on him I need the ramp to get on then
when I got off I slid my right leg over with some help
then slid to the ground

Country Woman

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post #10 of 10 Old 08-11-2012, 05:32 AM
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The paces of taller horses is magical.. we have five horses ranging from 14.2 to 17.1...
Everytime I go, just for a local day ride the big fella gets my saddle every time, but out trekking for a few days I use a slightly less tall boy as its much easier to get off and on, opening gates, getting off to walk down hill, loading them etc..

I find riding my wifes appy at 15 hds is like riding a sewing machine, posting up and down quickly and not getting along very fast..
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