I have been learning to ride for about a year now - am 47.
I had 6 weeks off in Autumn when were out on a hack and the horse badly stumbled - I fell off and fractured my coccyx and displaced it. It healed really well and I was back 6weeks later - it has left me a bit nervous though about dealing with the unexpected...
I had a group lesson today and got allocated a pony who I was informed bites freely and is very forward, and has a soft mouth...
"Oh Great - I'm going to be thrown off then bitten" I thought to myself... Still - at least I'll be nearer to the ground...
"No - you'll get on well" my instructor beams "really - you will" I trust my instructor...
She wasn't much smaller than a horse I sometimes get allocated, so she must be a larger pony. Not like a shetland or owt. I was crapping myself.
We had a blast it took time to get used to her trot and she is forward, but we were doing 20 metre circles in trot, a bit of canter and trotting over poles ( first time!)
She took a bit of getting used to, but I really liked riding her - she just seemed to 'fit' - I know nowt about horses, but I felt in contact with her, and she really felt responsive when turning, circles etc- like I just had to shift my body and she kind of knew what I wanted? It was brilliant! She was like a wee pocket rocket, but I felt quite stable and confident. I came away beaming
Numpty questions, but are ponies much different to horses really? Or is it just stuff I have heard. Also am 5 ft 3 and 8 stone 4lb isnt that a bit big for a pony? And did I feel more confident cos I was closer to the ground? And do they turn easier cos they are smaller? And did I feel better control cos I could get more of my legs round? And why does she bite?
We could maybe do with a new riders thread where we can ask each other stupid questions!
You are not at all too big for a pony!
I am 5ft2 and 9st4 and own/ride a 13hh welsh pony!
I have bad hips from a fall years ago and cannot mount anything bigger than about 14hh from the ground, so I don't tend to ride anything bigger.
Ponies do tend to be very crafty and quick. There is not a lot in front to grab on to once they get their head down
I don't know, but I'm awaiting responses. Good for you that you've regained your confidence and had a fantastic lesson. I haven't ridden myself in years, but remember that feeling of when it goes really well and you feel connected.
I'm sure you're neither too big nor too heavy for a pony, but others might disagree. I think anything over 15h is classed as a horse (but could be wrong). I've been told by a reliable source that you would be well suited to a larger pony, and that a reputable riding school wouldn't match you to that pony if you were too heavy.
she just seemed to 'fit'
It might be that your natural rhythm was more matched to the pony than to some of the horses you have ridden.
Some ponies and also horses bite - it's usually just a behaviour they have developed that gains some reward.
My pony is 14h, I'm 5ft11 and 91/2 stone but because she's a chunky cob I don't look too big. I'm much more confident on her then I am on horses even though I always have ridden 16.2-17h! The only thing I find is that the shorter strides feel strange but hopefully I'll get used to it.
I have a Fell pony. She's 14hh. I'm 5'10 and 10 stone. I don't look silly on her and absolutely love her forward thinking pony brain. shes safe and sensible but do much fun with her great big knees up trot and responsiveness to my thoughts.
Horse's are great but I love ponies
Oh and biting is just plain naughty. Often caused by feeding from the hand. If a horse tries to bite you give it a big hard stare and loud "no" and never feed from your hand
I've shared a large pony with my daughter since she was 9. We love him so much. Everyone's different just like us so it's a bit hit and miss.
Officially a pony is 14.2 or less. However some breeds e.g. Arabs are always horses even when smaller.
Yes, ponies are often more manoeuvrable in tight spaces. You're perfectly OK at that height and weight on a pony. Time was when even full grown men rode mainly ponies. It does depend on build as well as height though. I'll ride a stout 12.2 but not a skinny show pony of the same height.
Thanks for all your posts! It was very reassuring!
Where I go riding is pretty good at weight matching. My older boy (19) is also learning to ride - he's off to uni in september so I shall miss my riding comrade - he got matched to a horse by a riding instructor who knew him, but when we turned up for the lesson with a different instructor she weighed him beforehand.
The horse had a 9 stone weight limit as she had had an operation some time previously, and Apocalptic lad pitches up and he is almost 6 foot tall. But he is very slim and at that time weighed only 8stone 5 - he has caught up with his growth a bit now and is over 9 stone and slowly building up.
But it was very reassuring that they checked him to make sure. So it doesn't sound like Iam too big for pocket rocket - That's good!
The trot is very different, and like britnay said - there isnt a lot to hang onto once they get going - but I do feel more confident - maybe cos am closer to the ground or I can get my legs round more.
Arsenal - you know you want to come back... and 50 am practising my special hard stare and "No!"
Ooh Gabilan - Thanks for your post - I know nowt about horses but am learning - she is a school pony and deffo on the larger side of pony and a reasonable build as far as I can tell... I definitely noticed a difference in turning - she was great! 😊
Apocalyptic - I do!
I think it's only a matter of time!
Gabilan I stand corrected!
Sorry for giving you duffer information, OP .
Funny isn't it how we all click with different things. Personally, I don't like riding ponies, I don't like the little stride and the lack of neck and shoulders.
My own boy is a lump of an Irish draught, he's 16.3 and still growing. Much prefer his bigger stride.
Horses for courses, after all
I'm very small and ride ponies - got a young 14.1 pony. Much, much, much prefer riding 14.2 and under to anything bigger - I can't get my leg on properly, the stride is too long, everything is just too big. Anyone under 10 stone and under about 5'5" could also ride him without looking ridiculous.
Plus it's not as disastrous coming off something that's a lot closer to the ground.
Plus I find that ponies have a self-preservation streak that a lot of bigger horses just don't. You wouldn't find my young native pony upside down in the bottom of a dyke (unlike some ex-racehorses I've known! )
Plus I find that ponies have a self-preservation streak that a lot of bigger horses just don't
One of the many things I love about my 16.1 ID x TB is that he has a bit of a pony brain. I know he will look after himself and by extension, me. But then Irish Draughts do have native pony blood in them and are bred for temperament so perhaps it's that!
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