Does size matter?

(26 Posts)
N0tinmylife Thu 28-Feb-13 13:50:17

Minds out of the gutter please, I am talking about horses! grin

As I may have mentioned before, (sorry to go on about it!) I am back on the hunt for a horse on loan. I am only 5 foot 3, and 9 st 7lb ish, so I had thought of getting something around 15 2hh. The trouble is every horse I have seen advertised seems to be 16 2 hh or more.

I have recently been riding a 17 hh horse, and although from the ground he looks ridiculously big, once on board his size doesn't really seem to be an issue. I was wondering what people think is an acceptable size horse to rider, or does it actually not matter? Thanks.

Callisto Thu 28-Feb-13 14:08:03

It depends on what you're comfortable with. I ride every size from a 17.3hh monster to a 14.3hh polo pony. My next horse will be something around 15.2-16hh TB type - I'm 5ft7in, around 10st. I don't see the need for a massive horse, plus they eat more (and make more mess) and need more rugs etc.

You do sound small for a 17hh though.

Nicecuppachar Thu 28-Feb-13 14:40:35

Can you get your leg round properly? I have a friend whose horse is too big for her and she cannot get her leg on him effectively and as such he doesn't ride in the bit with her but does with other people.

Nicecuppachar Thu 28-Feb-13 14:42:46

Can you get your leg round properly? I have a friend whose horse is too big for her and she cannot get her leg on him effectively and as such he doesn't ride in the bit with her but does with other people.

Nicecuppachar Thu 28-Feb-13 14:43:07

* on the bit

dopeysheep Thu 28-Feb-13 14:46:42

I am tall but even so find getting on a 17hh without a mounting block/leg up quite hard. What about hacking out if you have to get on and off for any reason. Also big horses eat tons and poo loads.
I like around 15.2 I think it's a great size but currently have a chunky 14.2 he's brill!

N0tinmylife Thu 28-Feb-13 17:18:17

I hadn't thought of the possible issues getting on away from the yard, and mounting block. There is no way I could get on without standing on something. As far as I can tell I can get my leg round ok, although I haven't tried any major schooling as yet. I think my ideal size is 15hh to 15 2, but they just don't seem to be offered for loan!

Booboostoo Thu 28-Feb-13 17:47:41

For me it's not so much a height issue but a width issue. A light weight 17hh horse with a short-ish back is easier to keep together than a heavy weight 15.2hh with a long-ish back. It also depends on how well schooled the horse is because a responsive horse will always be easier to ride.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Thu 28-Feb-13 18:44:15

You must look like a pea on an elephant on a 17hander! I know I do! I've said this before, think pony!

emlu67 Thu 28-Feb-13 20:33:56

Just returned to riding so am no expert but I am a little smaller than you and have recently been riding 14hh-17hh. As you say once you are on board a larger horse you don't really notice the height however bear in mind the practicalities of getting on and off, grooming, rugging up etc. If I was buying or loaning I would be on the lookout for 14hh-15hh and if you go for a chunky type you will feel that you are on something bigger anyway. Good luck in your hunt!

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Thu 28-Feb-13 22:51:25

I love watching my small friend trying to get a bridle on her warmblood! Its hysterical! <<evil>> She gets off by sliding down his leg like its a firemans pole!

Hehehe saggy... can think of a few other things relating to sliding down poles

But yes 17h does sound a wee bit big. But go with what you feel comfortable with xx

lovebeansontoast Fri 01-Mar-13 08:19:59

I am 5ft 8in and my horse is 15hh. He's a welsh section d and takes my leg up fine. I wouldn't want anything bigger. I like to be able to get on from the ground. Up to you, but I would seriously consider something smaller. However, when you say, "Does it matter?" well, no, not really. All depends what you're comfortable with. Smaller does generally mean easier to handle though, as even with a big "saint" you're still going to have to get up pretty high to rug/groom/bridle etc

N0tinmylife Fri 01-Mar-13 11:14:31

Saggy, I had considered that I must look ridiculous. I have been told I don't but who knows if people are just being polite. I will have to get someone to take a photo so I can see. I may have to try your friends method of dismounting though, not sure what the horse would think about that! grin

I have been considering whether I would be better off with a pony, practically there are a lot of positives, but I just like horses, I don't really know why. I think ideally I want something that is about 15.2hh, and a tb type crossed with a native, with the paces of a horse, but the brains of a pony. I am just not sure if such a creature exists!

lovebeans, I am not sure I could even get on Mum's 14.2 hh pony from the ground these days, I don't bend like I used to!

Butkin Fri 01-Mar-13 11:48:45

I'd have thought that anything from a Connemara up to 15.2 would be about right for your size.

Some of the issues with a 17hh whopper -

Getting on whilst away from the yard
The size of your horsebox/trailer (may not fit!)
Size of your stable etc.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Mar-13 14:18:13

Connie x tb might fit the bill, just keep an eye on conformation. Connie x seem to be either great or diabolical!

Backinthebox Fri 01-Mar-13 14:31:57

I had 8 happy years with a 17.3hh heavyweight hunter. I could get on him from the ground most of the time, but he would stand very politely beside gates/tree stumps/in holes in the ground so that I could get on. He lived in a normal 12x12 stable and was content in there (I am a big believer in as much turnout as you can get though, and often he would be standing in the dark by the gate waiting patiently because I made him stay out longer than he wanted to be!) He was polite too when ridden, although he did need riding every day - this was nothing to do with his size though. He lowered his head to me for his bridle or headcollar to be put on.

The downsides were that he was light grey, and when he needed a bath, we both got a bath! He ate bucketloads of food, loads of it! His rugs were really huge, and when they were covered in mud they were really heavy. You have to buy the biggest size in everything. He ate more, therefore he pooed more - more mucking out.

I sold him not because of his size, but because he needed riding every day and I didn't have the time what with work and 2 kids, and also because he was, to be frank, filthy, and I could no longer bear trying to keep a white horse clean. He wasn't keen on small ponies, either, which wouldn't have fitted in with my plans for riding with my children.

I now have a 15hh dun, and he easily disguises mud, and is a better height to grab wobbly kids on ponies from. I was actually looking more in the 15.2-16.2hh height range, but he just came up! I'd be really surprised if you can't find a decent 15-16hher, there are lots of horses out there looking for new homes atm.

Mitchy1nge Fri 01-Mar-13 14:34:09

ahh your ideal sounds a bit like my horse smile he is a perfect fit for me

I'm maybe a bit taller than you (1.62m) but have short legs/long body and have ridden various things from our 11hh something dartmoor we used to have and 16.3 IDx (first loan horse) - I could always get on from the ground, either side (just lengthen stirrup leather, no?) anyway I now have a 13.2 and 15.2 and they are both fine, just wish the smaller one had a longer neck!

Pixel Fri 01-Mar-13 17:53:54

I've said this before, think pony!
Well yes, that was the plan. Shame no one told dhorse! Even the woman who sold him to me, when I saw her at a show said "I didn't expect him to get that big".
I'm actually happiest on around 14hh, I thought he might make 14.2hh and he's now 15.2hh. If only I could shrink him again grin.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Mar-13 20:24:29

I can sell anyone who is interested a nice little 13hh newfie! wink

Will swap you for 11h deamon welshie saggy hehehe grin

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Mar-13 21:39:49

not another one! I already have 3 and 2 in the oven! confused

Zazzles007 Fri 01-Mar-13 21:44:41

Hi N0t, I don't think size tends to matter, and I am a similar height to you. For what its worth, friends offer me horses to ride that are in the 16-16.2hh range, and that's just how it seems to go. I have been told by a professional eventer that I probably shouldn't go over 16.3hh though, as a larger horse can be too much to 'put together' - ie ride on the bit, correctly and in a relaxed manner, which an above poster mentioned.

It also depends entirely on what you want to do. What do you intend to do with the loaner? What are your riding goals? Some lessons? Hacking and a little jumping? Let us know...

N0tinmylife Fri 01-Mar-13 22:05:57

Strangely Zazzles, what you have just said, pretty much is exactly what I would like to do. Probably mostly hacking, with a lesson once every week or two, and a bit of jumping. Ideally I'd like to do a bit of showjumping, and the odd hunter trial or similar.

Mitchy1nge, you don't want to put yours out on loan do you? grin

Backinthebox, maybe I just need to learn some patience!

TataClaire Sat 02-Mar-13 23:06:22

I got a 15.3 and Im your height, and feel he's a good size but could happily have gone smaller, as I feel at 7stone Im too light for him and will probably have to downsize!

dappleton Sun 03-Mar-13 16:20:01

I think someone else has said this but IMO it's also important to consider girth size and to some extent length of back and neck, as well as height. I'm a little bit smaller than you but feel very happy on my 14.1hh light-weight cob and equally on my small-boned 16hh TB. Pony has a lot of neck in front of him and a good bit of belly to get my leg around. For his size, horse has a shortish back and neck and not too much 'girth'. I do regularly ride a 17hh horse but don't get out of him what others can, just don't have the leg for it.

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