Too tall for horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-26-2015, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Too tall for horse?

I currently have a free lease on a horse who I really like and am thinking of buying however the only problem is I'm 5'11 and he's 14.2 hands. I'm a green rider and he's never had any formal training so he's going to stay with a trainer for a month to fix barn sourness while I take lessons at a local barn on more trained horses. But due to our height differences is it worth putting all this money to train and buy a horse I am too tall for? I don't weigh more than 115 pounds so I'm not too heavy. I'm more comfortable around smaller horses and his temper is so sweet I feel like it'd be hard to find again. But will having long legs make it harder for me to ride and keep balance? Am I better off looking elsewhere?
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-26-2015, 03:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
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It will not be harder to ride. I'm 6'4" and all our Paint mares are 14.2-14.3.
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-26-2015, 04:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western KY
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Depending on his body style and what you're trying to do (huntseat, jumping, western, trail, etc) if you're comfortable and he's comfortable, you should be fine.

In the old days when horses actually worked for a living, many horses were shorter than the behemoths we have gotten used to today. Many Cowboys rode horses well under 15 hands. Since their horses worked for a living and lame horses would quickly find themselves coyote food, it wasn't size that was an issue.

Sounds like you've got a gem. I wouldn't give up a good horse unless there was some sign that something was wrong.

Advice is like a stall, sometimes you have to sift through it before you find something worth keeping. Manure happens, just shovel it!
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-26-2015, 08:36 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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I would not put any money into training a free lease. If you buy him then put the money into him.

It may or may not be too small depending on his build and discipline.

I once bought a horse that was around 14.2hh and from the moment I tried her I thought she was too small. People assured me it was fine. But one person said to me, "if you think your horse is too small now you're always going to think that and it will always bother you". And they were right.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-26-2015, 11:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Palmyra, Wisconsin
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Lots of Arabians are shorter but adults ride them just fine.
Some small horses are big when you ride them.
Look at Icelandics, some of those riders have their feet at the horse's knee.

If you like him then buy him. If during your lease you don't feel comfortable then don't buy but I agree with Saskia, don't put money into someone else's horse.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-26-2015, 11:15 PM
Join Date: Aug 2015
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I'm tall too, and I've been riding a fairly short horse for 4 years now. My only issue was that when I first started riding her, I looked funny on her because I hadn't figured out how to sit properly and get my legs wrapped around her. Now you would never know that she's short and I'm tall. Seeing as you don't weigh very much, your horse's height will not be an issue. My best friend is even taller than me, and her horse is even shorter than mine, and she has never had a problem.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-27-2015, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: California
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You will do just fine as long as YOU feel comfortable with it. Personally, I love ponies, and some may say I look silly on them, but I just poke fun at myself for it and make light of it. It makes me feel better to acknowledge it before anybody else has the chance to! But that's just my personality, if it makes you feel better to ignore it you probably can and chances are nobody will bother you about it. It would take a pretty insecure person to make fun of you or anything for how you look on a horse that is plenty able to support your weight.

However, if you are looking to advance and compete at higher levels, there are certain disciplines where you might encounter some problems. But at lower levels at any discipline, you shouldn't encounter any problems, to my knowledge.

"Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!"
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-27-2015, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
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It is simply a matter of what you are comfortable with since your weight is not a consideration. As a novice rider you may not have discovered what height and build horse works best for you yet. If you have doubts about the height now, remember that you are leasing this horse and have time to think about purchasing him. I am 6'1" and am equally comfortable on a 15 hd stocky Quarter horse as I am on a 16-17 hd TB or draft. What feels small to me is a horse that is built narrow regardless of the height.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-27-2015, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: west coast
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Why would you put money into sending a horse off to a trainer when you do not own the horse? IF you buy this horse, send to a trainer if need be AFTER all is said and done.

As for you fitting the horse, it really has to do with the individuals in question. Is your height mostly in your legs and the horse a lanky one - or are your fairly proportionate and the horse of a stockier build? Same would go for if you are on a lanky 16h horse.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-27-2015, 01:52 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
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It's what you like. I've known cowboys that ride horses they can cross their ankles while riding under the horses belly. I've also known 5' 100lb riders that insist on riding 18hh 2000lb drafts because that's what they are comfortable on.

Too many people lately have been told they need tall horses when they really don't. Ride what you like
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