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Hi, I’m generally small and I’m wondering if I’m to big for a Shetland? I’m 4’9 and weigh about 88lbs. Does anyone know if I’m to big? Google hasn’t helped to much so I would greatly appreciate it if someone told me if I can fit on a Shetland or not! 😊
 

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I would say you’re good for short, easy rides such as a bit of flat arena work/rides down the road and back, etc. It might become too much for the Shetland if you’re going on lengthy rough terrain trail rides or doing a lot of jumping, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would say you’re good for short, easy rides such as a bit of flat arena work/rides down the road and back, etc. It might become too much for the Shetland if you’re going on lengthy rough terrain trail rides or doing a lot of jumping, etc.
thank you! I have a shetland and i’ve ridden her some I used to do much more with shetlands a year or two ago! But i’ve always wondered could I start competing with them again but thank you for your feedback! I will do just that
 

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Shetlands are a tough breed, if this pony has the bone and is stout built I see no problem on this horse being able to carry you, The Shetlands I knew could do just about any thing a horse could do.. :)
 

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Shetlands are a tough breed, if this pony has the bone and is stout built I see no problem on this horse being able to carry you, The Shetlands I knew could do just about any thing a horse could do.. :)
Thank you! This pony is about 11.1 and has some bone but not a lot she has been ridden by riders larger than me and it doesn’t look like she struggles to carry her
 

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Thank you! This pony is about 11.1 and has some bone but not a lot she has been ridden by riders larger than me and it doesn’t look like she struggles to carry her
I love Shetlands, I think they are so worth their weight in Gold when you get a good one, so many are so misunderstood because they didnt fall into the right hands while being broke and turned out to be a monster because of bad trainers. All the ponys I have have were awesome, heck some I knew could even work a cow, rope a smaller calf, made a cool little barrel horse, run poles. I had one when I was a little kid and she was the Best, I just think they are cool little horses..
 

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They are tough and they're used for everything here from jumping and racing to hunting (not just on as lead rein ponies).

I think a lot of areas see tiny ponies and think they should be molly-coddled, perhaps because this is their home country, we approach the breed differently and honestly they are at their best when they are fit and have a job to do.

You are at the top of their weight range but at 11.1hh she is a standard, and if she were of the sturdy island type, then I would say that you wouldn't have a problem for light to medium work, but it does depend on what you're going to add re. saddle and pads though.

They're said to be the strongest horse in world relative to their size and they can be ridden by bigger children and adults but the question is; should they? Adults used to ride them in the islands but they had little choice, and they weren't as aware of welfare issues as we are now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They are tough and they're used for everything here from jumping and racing to hunting (not just on as lead rein ponies).

I think a lot of areas see tiny ponies and think they should be molly-coddled, perhaps because this is their home country, we approach the breed differently and honestly they are at their best when they are fit and have a job to do.

You are at the top of their weight range but at 11.1hh she is a standard, and if she were of the sturdy island type, then I would say that you wouldn't have a problem for light to medium work, but it does depend on what you're going to add re. saddle and pads though.

They're said to be the strongest horse in world relative to their size and they can be ridden by bigger children and adults but the question is; should they? Adults used to ride them in the islands but they had little choice, and they weren't as aware of welfare issues as we are now.
Ok! I used to be involved in the U.S.A. Shetland pony racing organizations but I have slightly outgrown the weight requirements so I don’t do much racing anymore. Thank you for your feedback and I will definitely do that I’m also not looking to do much with her as she is about 18 all I want to do is tiny cross rails at most (about six inches) nothing to hard!
 

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Hi, I’m generally small and I’m wondering if I’m to big for a Shetland? I’m 4’9 and weigh about 88lbs. Does anyone know if I’m to big? Google hasn’t helped to much so I would greatly appreciate it if someone told me if I can fit on a Shetland or not! 😊
You are too big to ride a shetland, due to your weight
 

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88 pounds? Those that are built like a brickhouse can easily tote 120. Depends on the pony.
Horses at most can carry 20% of their body weight so the avg. shetland is 400lbs so the max they can carry is 40*2=80
this is so just her bodyweight is 88lbs and then if we add tack and stuff it is way more
 

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Ponies have a sturdier build, are much closer to the ground and their carrying capacity as well as pulling power is much higher per pound than the average horse. That's not to say they need to be over loaded but depending on the animal, their build, bone and fitness level they are more capable rather than less. Same goes for horses. Some are more capable than others. The modern hitch type drafts are not built to carry weight. Their height, length of back and comparative lightness of bone compared to the old style or farm chunk makes them less than ideal for the weights people put on their backs.
 

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11.1hh she is a standard.
At 11.1 she's actually too big to be a standard Shetland. If she's a purebred, she's over-sized by almost a full hand!

The maximum allowable height for a Shetland is supposed to be 10.2 hh.

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@Kalli_Eventing Regardless OP, I wouldn't feel the least big guilty about riding this pony.
 

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US standards I thought allow up to 46 inches - 11.2 hands
 

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US standards I thought allow up to 46 inches - 11.2 hands
That's for American Shetlands. American Shetland Pony - Wikipedia

Despite their name, American Shetlands are not the same thing as Shetland Ponies. They aren't "just" Shetland Ponies who happen to be born and bred in America- They're actually a derivative of Shetland Ponies.

They have a slimmer, taller build and have had Arabians, Welsh ponies and even Hackney Ponies bred into them. They aren't "bad" animals by any means, but they lack the short, stocky build and pure breeding of traditional/UK/Island-bred Shetland Ponies. Shetland pony - Wikipedia
 

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Thanks for the explanation but they allow all types for registration and do not make a distiction between foundation type or this refined type for height in their registration is my understanding. Those may not be eligible for the UK registry but are here.
 

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If horses at most could carry only 20% of their body weight, most of the pro reiners would not be able to ride. That number has been frequently debated on this forum and most believe there are many factors that make a horse able to carry more or less weight.
I suspect nearly any 11 hand pony could carry 88 lbs with no issues.
 

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Ponies have a sturdier build, are much closer to the ground and their carrying capacity as well as pulling power is much higher per pound than the average horse. That's not to say they need to be over loaded but depending on the animal, their build, bone and fitness level they are more capable rather than less. Same goes for horses. Some are more capable than others. The modern hitch type drafts are not built to carry weight. Their height, length of back and comparative lightness of bone compared to the old style or farm chunk makes them less than ideal for the weights people put on their backs.
All horses have the same biological capacity they can carry 20% of their bodyweight tops
 

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All horses have the same biological capacity they can carry 20% of their bodyweight tops
This is not true as a blanket statement. By "capacity," what is the result if the capacity is exceeded? Perhaps a horse might not be able to gallop a mile carrying more than 20% of their weight without getting winded, but there are so many other scenarios and factors.

Horses have been known to regularly work carrying more than 20% of their weight, and carry on uninjured into old age.

Perhaps you can explain what causes you to believe this.
Also a person must consider the horse's build, the speed and difficulty of the work, the ability of the rider, the weight distribution of the tack, etc.
 

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This is not true as a blanket statement. By "capacity," what is the result if the capacity is exceeded? Perhaps a horse might not be able to gallop a mile carrying more than 20% of their weight without getting winded, but there are so many other scenarios and factors.

Horses have been known to regularly work carrying more than 20% of their weight, and carry on uninjured into old age.

Perhaps you can explain what causes you to believe this.
Also a person must consider the horse's build, the speed and difficulty of the work, the ability of the rider, the weight distribution of the tack, etc.
It causes spine damage on the horse
 
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