Correct horse size?

Mar 26, 2017
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#1
Hey there.
I'm really struggling to find any help with this so anything anyone can offer would be very appreciated.

I'm 5'7 (maybe even 5'8) and 11 stone 6 (loosing weight). I currently ride school horses as my own horses are too small and retired. But I do not know how big the school horses are. Sometimes I ride a cob which is roughly 15hh and sometimes they put me on this lad that's roughly 16hh. However, I've also ridden a Clydesdale and been told that I suit it?

Do these horse heights seem about right?
 

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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#3
Im 5'6 and regularly ride my daughter's 13.2, my other daughter's 14.2 and my own 16.3. Feel fine on all of them. Cant see any issue with the horse sizes you describe.
 
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Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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#4
I am a riding school rider too and I agree it is hard to know how high the horses are. One measures horses from the shoulder. What I do is judge the height by knowing the height from the ground of my own eyes. I can then I can use my hand at eyeball level to judge the height of the horse. My eyes are about 5 ft from the ground and that is 15 hands. A hand is 4 inches.
I do agree that height isnt what really matters - although a tall horse does mean one falls further and there will be more impact with the ground if one falls off. A taller horse will have longer legs and therefore a longer stride - the rhythm of the trot will be slower than on a small pony but the movement as a whole may be more powerful which you will feel more in canter if you are not used to it.
So yes you need a horse on which you feel comfortable to ride but the most important factor for me and many older riders is the shape of the back and the width of the rib cage. When you sit on any horse (plus saddle) you need to make sure you are sitting at exact right angles across the horse, your two knees level with each other (not with one further forward than the other) and that you are comfortable sitting like that.
And that riding that horse doesnt cause you any particular back ache or other pain after the ride or next day.
Older or more finely built horses may not be able to carry your weight, but the riding school will judge that - it isnt a question of height.
 

domane

Chatterbox
Jul 31, 2005
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#5
It's more about what you feel comfortable on. I'm 5'6 and a very important half an inch but I ride ponies way better than horses with big strides.

This is my husband's ClydieX who is 16hh....

20170327_084013-800x542.jpg

This is my previous cob who is a mere 14.1hh...

Albi0-600x900.jpg

And this is my current mare who is a smidge over 14.3hh

IMG_1456-800x533.JPG

Personally, I don't think I look too big on any of them. They all take up my leg well and had no problems carrying my weight (which is considerably more than yours!!! :p)
 
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Mar 26, 2017
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#8
I am a riding school rider too and I agree it is hard to know how high the horses are. One measures horses from the shoulder. What I do is judge the height by knowing the height from the ground of my own eyes. I can then I can use my hand at eyeball level to judge the height of the horse. My eyes are about 5 ft from the ground and that is 15 hands. A hand is 4 inches.
I do agree that height isnt what really matters - although a tall horse does mean one falls further and there will be more impact with the ground if one falls off. A taller horse will have longer legs and therefore a longer stride - the rhythm of the trot will be slower than on a small pony but the movement as a whole may be more powerful which you will feel more in canter if you are not used to it.
So yes you need a horse on which you feel comfortable to ride but the most important factor for me and many older riders is the shape of the back and the width of the rib cage. When you sit on any horse (plus saddle) you need to make sure you are sitting at exact right angles across the horse, your two knees level with each other (not with one further forward than the other) and that you are comfortable sitting like that.
And that riding that horse doesnt cause you any particular back ache or other pain after the ride or next day.
Older or more finely built horses may not be able to carry your weight, but the riding school will judge that - it isnt a question of height.
Thank you. I know all of this about different strides for different sizes. I'm just wondering what ideal range of height I should look for when looking for a horse. Thank me though.
 
Mar 26, 2017
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#9
It's more about what you feel comfortable on. I'm 5'6 and a very important half an inch but I ride ponies way better than horses with big strides.

This is my husband's ClydieX who is 16hh....

View attachment 85749

This is my previous cob who is a mere 14.1hh...

View attachment 85750

And this is my current mare who is a smidge over 14.3hh

View attachment 85751

Personally, I don't think I look too big on any of them. They all take up my leg well and had no problems carrying my weight (which is considerably more than yours!!! :p)
Thank you. Beautiful horses by the way and you do look rather grand on them.
 

CharliesAngel

Well-Known Member
Jan 15, 2010
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#10
Nope its not about height , its about build and bone. I agree over a certain weight you shouldn’t be on anything tiny and there is a rule of thumb , a calculation you can do to work out % rider weight as to what a horse can carry but Im not sure it’s that accurate. Im 5ft4

14.1hh



13hh


I also back some of our shetlands who are 10.2hh and built like brick outhouses.


a 14h well built highland would carry you fine. I looked like a pea on a mountain on a friends traditional, sturdy 14.2hh highland, they are a LOT of horse. A fine 15.2hh might feel too small in comparison so dont rule things out.
 
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Oct 31, 2016
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#11
I am 5'7" and 10st and I ride a 13hh chunky pony, I was paranoid at first that I was too big but have been reassured plenty of times that I am not by very knowledgeable people I trust!



Here I am pony squashing! She doesn't struggle to carry me at all and is happy to bomb about with me when she's in the mood to :)
 

Wally

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Apr 16, 2000
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#12
I am 5 foot 7 ish, way more than 11 stone, and the biggest horse I own is maybe 14hh, Never measure him, it's not important, The mare in my avatar is maybe 13.2hh might be 13.3hh no bigger,

There is no correct size, it's depends on the breed, the job you want them to do and what you are happy on. I know of some 16.2hh horses whho cannot take a 12 stone rider without being miserable about it,
Here we are, not one over 14hh, and nobody under 5 foot 7.
The mare in my avatar is the one on the far right.
 
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Mar 13, 2017
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#13
Agree with comments above. Its interesting..i think English riders are probably more worried about this. Lots of quarter horses and other western breeds are well built in the 14-15hh range and there are plenty of tall male riders not looking out of place on them.
It comes down to what you like. Ive always preferred a taller horse and at 5'7 have always had about 16'3hh, but i ride my daughters full height half arab pony and she moves like a big horse. I look like im riding a horse not a pony. Ive also ridden big horses with choppy gaits. My current 3/4 clydie is now 16.1hh but he is still really narrow and some of our photos make me look like im on a much smaller horse (see avatar). On the ground he intimidates people because of his size.
 

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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#15
I am 5ft 2 and I own a 16.1hh shire x. He is enormous and I am really too small for him, but there is no way in the world I would be without him. He has the perfect temperament and is ideal for me in so many other ways - I have just learnt to ride a big horse! Getting can be an issue if I don't have a huge mounting block to hand.
 
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Apr 16, 2017
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#17
I'm 15 and a half stone, and I'm losing weight more and more each week.

I've not ridden for a couple years and I've missed it so much, so I'm getting back into it slowly. With lessons etc. But I hope to buy my own horse.

At the moment what types of horses would you say/height etc I should look into buying.

Thank youuuuuuu
 

Jane&Ziggy

Learning together!
Apr 30, 2010
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#18
At that weight you want a horse with the body and legs to carry you. A Highland would laugh at your weight (@flump1967 said of her Highland that he would think that 16 stone "was a little bird perching on his back") and a good solid Irish Draught would probably do the job if you wanted something taller. Or a fine proper cob, built to carry a heavy man for a day's hunting!
 
Apr 16, 2017
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#19
At that weight you want a horse with the body and legs to carry you. A Highland would laugh at your weight (@flump1967 said of her Highland that he would think that 16 stone "was a little bird perching on his back") and a good solid Irish Draught would probably do the job if you wanted something taller. Or a fine proper cob, built to carry a heavy man for a day's hunting!

Thank you so much!
 
#20
At that weight you want a horse with the body and legs to carry you. A Highland would laugh at your weight (@flump1967 said of her Highland that he would think that 16 stone "was a little bird perching on his back") and a good solid Irish Draught would probably do the job if you wanted something taller. Or a fine proper cob, built to carry a heavy man for a day's hunting!
I'm 15 and a half stone, and I'm losing weight more and more each week.

I've not ridden for a couple years and I've missed it so much, so I'm getting back into it slowly. With lessons etc. But I hope to buy my own horse.

At the moment what types of horses would you say/height etc I should look into buying.

Thank youuuuuuu


I weigh more than you and I ride a solid leg in each corner Highland Pony...... she is solid weigh carrier but i would agree with Jane and ziggy..... a cob or solid Irish Draught or Cleaveland Bay.

I prefer ponies for riding i am not that competitive apart from a bit of showing etc.... so ponies suit......


10603404_319014424940548_6899847889449844308_n.jpg