Learning in New England - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 12-14-2017, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Learning in New England

Just introducing myself here. :)

I'm 31 and live in eastern Massachusetts. Right now I'm an EMT, child-wrangler/human jungle-gym at a health club, and a student in paramedic school. I spent a lot of my adolescence doing trail rides a few times a year, then went to college and had a lot of things happen that kept me from riding at all for a long time.

I just started formal riding lessons a couple of months ago, and I'm very much enjoying it. Right now I'm working on getting a real sound foundation in walk and trot, and learning to stay relaxed and trust myself and my horse. Well, "my" horse. He's a barn/school horse, but he's my regular partner, and I try to squeeze in as much time as I can with him. I am very fortunate that the barn is small and friendly, and not far from either the hospital where I am doing clinical rotations, or my school, so I have the opportunity to visit outside of lesson times to say hello to my "Tall Vegetarian Friends".

One of my favorite things about riding so far has been how much the experience permeates and informs the other things I do, including my job. Physical and emotional balance, and confidence, as well as new ways of thinking and moving. Plus, when we have a good thing going, it feels like we're thinking together or dancing together. It sounds like it should be obvious, but I remember my third or fourth lesson, I caught my ("my") horse's eye, took a look in it, and thought, "huh. look at you in there, thinking away." It's hard to describe it, just that moment of looking in and seeing that individual personality in there, looking back at me as an individual.

Speaking of "my" horse, his name is Toby, he is (I'm guestimating, based on where my head reaches) about 16hh (ish? that seems like a high estimate) gelding of indeterminate origins, though there's some sort of draft in there somewhere apparently. He's bay and white, I think it'd be a tobiano pattern of some kind, but not sure. He's an older guy (late teens), a bit lazy, but strong and steady.

As long as the windchills stay above 20F (per my instructor's limits), and there's no ice, we'll be riding together through the winter. :) (and hopefully onward)
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post #2 of 38 Old 12-14-2017, 01:01 AM
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Very cool! Welcome to the horse world!

What is your preferred sport/discipline/activity so far with Toby? Are you hoping to foxhunt? Jump? Dressage? Trail ride? Maybe just have fun? xD all these questions! Congrats on finding horses, it's never too late to start!

New England is THE place if you want to show (I ride competitive English) so I am jealous of you there!
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post #3 of 38 Old 12-14-2017, 08:38 AM
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Are you measuring at the withers? What is your height? and where do the withers meet on you? If you are 6' , a little over, then the wither should be just under your chinish.
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post #4 of 38 Old 12-14-2017, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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So far Toby and I are just working on the basics, balanced seat. We've had the occasional trail ride together. I suppose I might consider some kind of more specific discipline as time goes on, but for now it's purely recreational. :)

QtrBel, I am just about 5'6", and Toby's withers are just about even with the top of my head. I was trying to divide 66 by 4 to come up with a rough estimate.
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post #5 of 38 Old 12-14-2017, 12:40 PM
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Hey there Redbadger, I'm also from eastern MA, an EMT and paramedic student. What a coincidence! Welcome to riding, I'm glad you're enjoying it
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post #6 of 38 Old 12-14-2017, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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So I was misremembering how tall I am compared to him - I visited him today, and he's more like 15.4hh.



There he is. Personally, I don't think the photo does him justice. He's a lovely fellow.
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post #7 of 38 Old 12-15-2017, 12:45 AM
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Aw what a cutie!!! I love bay paints! Very nice barn in the background!
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post #8 of 38 Old 12-15-2017, 11:15 AM
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Also meant to say "Welcome!" 15.4 would be 16 hands. He is quite lovely. Sporting his winter woolies. A pic like this could give you a good idea. This pic is 15.2 (62"or 5'2") horse with 5'10" ( in boots) child. You would need to be on the near side but it gives a handy reference when sizing up horses. My child likes to keep an album of those he rides and there is always a size comparison in the group. Can't get the photo to load but if you are 5'6" you are just a shade taller than my husband. If the top of your head is even with his withers then he is 16.2 hands or close. If you can see over or eyes are level with then 15.2 would be a close estimate.

Last edited by QtrBel; 12-15-2017 at 11:22 AM.
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post #9 of 38 Old 12-15-2017, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
Also meant to say "Welcome!" 15.4 would be 16 hands. He is quite lovely. Sporting his winter woolies. A pic like this could give you a good idea. This pic is 15.2 (62"or 5'2") horse with 5'10" ( in boots) child. You would need to be on the near side but it gives a handy reference when sizing up horses. My child likes to keep an album of those he rides and there is always a size comparison in the group. Can't get the photo to load but if you are 5'6" you are just a shade taller than my husband. If the top of your head is even with his withers then he is 16.2 hands or close. If you can see over or eyes are level with then 15.2 would be a close estimate.
So, I checked today, and he is in fact 15.2, according to my instructor. I am just terrible at estimating the height of anything or anyone (I categorize things as "shorter than me" "taller than me" or "significantly taller than me").

I do have a photo of me next to him (courtesy my instructor, who caught me taking photos of Toby after grooming him) but haven't uploaded it from my phone.

Because of the weather (it's still quite icy in the ring), we went off on a trail ride instead. I feel like even since the last trail ride (about Thanksgiving) I have a better feel for Toby and how he moves, because of course he moves differently on a trail than in the ring. And he moves differently across snowy/icy ground than dry or muddy, so these are all good things to learn about a horse and how they handle themselves. And, we avoided taking out either of my kneecaps, which is always positive. I am still working on trotting on the trail vs. trotting in the ring. Always a process, but worth it.
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post #10 of 38 Old 12-16-2017, 12:40 AM
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You are going to learn so much on this forum! Everyone is super nice and I'm finding it's mostly comprised of trail riders, so you are in good company! I'm just getting into trails and leaving my "snotty handkerchief" (if anyone gets it) back at my show barn ;) we never thought much of trail riders but my goodness i have MAD RESPECT now.
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