What size horse would be best for me - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 01-05-2015, 12:00 PM
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A lot of it depends on your and the horse's builds. My horse is just shy of 15hh and fits me great at 5'2" (1.57 m). When I was horse shopping, I test rode a horse who was 14.2hh with a very narrow build and I definitely felt like I was on a kid's pony (I'm an adult, so not the look/feel I was going for )

I currently also ride a pony who's probably around 13.2hh but stoutly built and I don't feel too big for her at all.

So for you, I'd recommend looking in the 13-15hh range, but not putting too much importance on it if you find a horse that is a little bit outside that range.

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post #12 of 21 Old 01-05-2015, 02:11 PM
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Oops, sorry!

Hi again, Horselover!

As others have said, a smaller rider has way more options as far as a mount to carry them thru life. About the only additional comment I would make is that you will find that large animals have large movements, and you may have to work harder to stay in sync. You sure won't have to worry much about your weight affecting the horses performance tho :-)

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Last edited by jaydee; 01-05-2015 at 04:22 PM.
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post #13 of 21 Old 01-05-2015, 02:21 PM
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Zexious, I meant for harder riding. I am small too, but I don't like to ride small horses hard. If she is looking for a walk/trot/canter horse, pony is fine, but barrels, jumping, or extensive trail riding, not so much.
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-05-2015, 02:31 PM
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^It's pretty widely accepted that a horse can be "ridden hard" and comfortably carry up to 20% of it's weight.

If, for example, there was a 12 hh pony that weighed 600 lbs, 20% of that would 120lbs. Even with tack, the 70-80ish pounds that OP weighs doesn't come anywhere near that.

What you choose to do and what is universally accepted aren't necessarily the same thing.

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #15 of 21 Old 01-05-2015, 03:51 PM
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^^^^Not to stir the puddin' but....We have a Caspian x QH about 12.hh.He was broke but needed a refresher and some additional rides before I felt comfortable putting my daughter on him.
I talked to the vet about how much weight he could safely carry without doing damage.
He said that at 800 lbs (he is quite stocky), he could carry, 160 lbs at full tack.So 180 -20saddle -120 rider put us at 140 so within the safe zone for me to ride him even after a bowl of ice cream…….
HOWEVER, he added that because of the horse’s young age (2.5yo) and the fact that the spine and leg growth plates were still not fused, if I was going to do more than a walk for a short time, he suggested that I find a rider that weighed no more than 100 lbs fully tacked, 12% of his weight.
He also suggested waiting at least two more years, preferably 3, before I got on him for anything more than a short hack and no hard riding by me (or someone my weight) until he was about 7 which is when the spine would be mature.
So from the veterinary advice I got, it would seem you are both correct.

“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer


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post #16 of 21 Old 01-05-2015, 03:58 PM
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I am 5'4" tall and I prefer a horse that is stocky and 15.2hh
It all has to do with gaits. The taller the horse the more they move around, especially at the trot, BUT a tall, gaited horse is, IMHO, less comfortable that one that is shorter.
I have trained myself, over the years to sit pretty much any horse's trot. You still see a LOT of tall, lanky cowboys riding 14.hh tall horses, or starting shorter colts. I understand that many prefer to be able to just throw their leg over a horse to mount. I bought my 16'3hh KMH gelding for my 6'5" DH bc he looks great on a tall horse with a barrel that swallows up his long legs. He looks like he is on a pony riding anything shorter than that.

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post #17 of 21 Old 01-05-2015, 04:27 PM
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OP - As you are under 5ft then a pony will suit you better as a first time owner - easier to handle and to get on.
Since you're in the UK if you want to compete in age restricted classes then choose the size pony that enables you to compete in your age class if you aren't interested in competing then anything between 13.2 and 14.2 would suit - if you think you're going to grow a lot more then aim at roughly 14.2
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post #18 of 21 Old 01-05-2015, 04:40 PM
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My personal recommendation would be 13-14hh. I say that because at my height (170cm/5'7) I like the height range of 15-16hh. I think having a horse shorter than yourself is great, especially for a first horse as they're easier to saddle up, mount, groom and gain confidence.

I would not go much shorter because it really limits who can ride your horse. You might want a trainer to do a little work with it, or exercise it while you're away. Not many people are small enough to ride something under 13hh where as lots of people can at least do a little work with slightly taller one. If you plan to purchase a horse, its also going to offer more resale options.

So while at your weight you can probably ride any height, I'd recommend something shorter than you for ease of care, but something that is tall enough to be ridden by a range of riders.
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post #19 of 21 Old 01-05-2015, 05:13 PM
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Reiningcatsanddogs--Wellllll if we want to get technical ;)

There are actually many vets that suggest not backing a horse AT ALL until 3-5 years of age, depending on the breed. That said, I doubt OP would be purchasing anything where age would be a factor, considering it's their first horse.

Also, there have been studies suggesting that ponies can carry a more weight proportionally due to the length of their back.

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #20 of 21 Old 01-05-2015, 07:33 PM
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Yep. I know. :)

My trainer doesn't recommend a horse be started until 3, the Caspian came to us green broke and my daughter was 60 lbs at the time and riding lightly so we went with it...... he is her first horse and no she hasn't gotten hurt, they actually work very well together. Not unheard of to have a young horse with a young rider.

I asked the vet to avoid damage so he gave me the answer in that context.

“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer


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