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View Full Version : Today I went to try a horse...



AllyandPete
Dec. 23, 2009, 11:30 PM
...that was listed as being 16hh. When I got there I was suprised to be staring at a little mare that was maybe 15.1 on a good day. Why do people do that? It drives me bonkers! Rounding up to 16 on a 15.3 horse, especially if it is fuller-bodied to try and get more people to come out isn't bad...but a horse that is 15.1-15.2?!

I feel like you need to look at horse ads the way you look at guys profiles on online dating sites...if the guy says he is 5'9-6', subract 2" to get his real height...anything over 6'1 is probably his real height.

with horses- listed as 15.2-16hh, subract 2", 16.1-16.3 maybe really height, anything over 17hh is probably its real height!

OH the joys of horse shopping!

ponyxjd
Dec. 23, 2009, 11:34 PM
That's why I make my height range on advanced searches for sale websites a good two or three inches above and below what I'm actually looking for. You never know unfortunately. Sort of like the pony I went to try a few months ago- it was listed as a top of the line large but was actually barely a medium. Hmmm...

mroades
Dec. 24, 2009, 12:10 AM
because they dont know, dont care, or really think you are that stupid...remember what p.t. barnum said.....

cssutton
Dec. 24, 2009, 12:41 AM
I am convinced all horse dealers saw one inch off the bottom of the stick.

I have never carried one home and got the same measurement with my stick.

Carry your own with you when you go.

CSSJR

Madeline
Dec. 24, 2009, 08:00 AM
My brother defines horses in 3 categories: "ponies"- under 15 h., "about 16 h"- 15.1-16.3, and "really big" - 17h +. I've gotten two "about 16 h." from him sight unseen. One was 15.1 and grew to 16, the other was about 16.3.

Of course his opinion of size is colored by 2 things: he's not involved in the show hunter world, and he had a lot of success racing a 15.1 horse over big timber.

Merry Christmas, all.

Skip's Rider
Dec. 24, 2009, 08:48 AM
15.1 is the new 16 :lol:

turningpointequine
Dec. 24, 2009, 09:19 AM
As a seller this is annoying too. I actually measure my horses and people don't believe me until they come to see the horse. The first words out of one woman's mouth was "Wow, she really is 16.1". I have a mare now advertised at 15.3 and very few inquiries. She could be 15.3 1/2, but my flooring is old barn wood and not super level so who knows (she's definitely no smaller). I advertised her at 15.3 to be safe but apparently should have said 16. Liars are annoying for both sides of the situation. :( Grrr. LOL

judybigredpony
Dec. 24, 2009, 09:38 AM
As a seller this is annoying too. I actually measure my horses and people don't believe me until they come to see the horse. The first words out of one woman's mouth was "Wow, she really is 16.1". I have a mare now advertised at 15.3 and very few inquiries. She could be 15.3 1/2, but my flooring is old barn wood and not super level so who knows (she's definitely no smaller). I advertised her at 15.3 to be safe but apparently should have said 16. Liars are annoying for both sides of the situation. :( Grrr. LOL

I agree Turningpointequine, not only do I measure mine on a concrete floor but have a metal measuring stick.
I had a lovely 4yr old who was 16.+ and when he went to be vetted the stipulation (besides deing sound) was he be 16H minimum...so the buyer had the vet measure him on a slanted rubber matter floor. w/ a wooden older stick. The vet said 15.3 3/4 quarters. Buyer pulls plug on vetting, really...

2 weeks later horse goes of to be tried and vetted somewhere else a diffrent vet diffrent barn. So after x-rays etc were done buyers asks if we can stick him No reason she was very petite. Vet whips out a lovely metal stick and Holy Batman horse was 16.1.
Every thing I sell I measure from both sides and have the stick hanging in wash rack for any buyer to use should they question.
Seriously some people have no idea and just eyeball the horse, or try to use a tape measure or hope since its young it will keep growing.
Not all sellers work from this premise and it has nothing to do w/ the price range you are shopping in.

RockinHorse
Dec. 24, 2009, 09:50 AM
I generally keep an open mind. I looked at a horse advertised to be 16'. When I got there and walked up to the horse he looked to be maybe 15.2. I tried the horse anyway. He was an awesome little horse with a huge stride so of course I bought him ;).

I did not have the vet measure him during the PPE and did not measure him until I had him home. When I did measure him (with a regulation stick on a flat surface), yup he was a hair over 15.2. He was 4 at the time and grew up to be around 15.3.

While sellers should not lie or make guesses and state them as fact, I think a lot of buyers are so hung up on size that sellers are afraid no one will look at anything unless they say it is big. But, they are horses, not men so unless you are 6 feet tall, size doesn't matter as much as people think.

Flash44
Dec. 24, 2009, 10:12 AM
Size should not really matter if the horse has a show record. I am exactly 15 hands tall, so when I stand next to a 16 hand horse, the withers should be 4" above my head and I should not be able to see over the horse's back. I am my own measuring stick!

I just sold a 3' hunter that was about 16 h. Never bothered to stick her, since she walked the lines and had a fabulous jump, and went on to earn the show record to prove it. I advertised her at 16 h, and only one prospective buyer questioned her height. No one bothered to stick her since it was all about matching up horse and rider, both physically and ability wise.

NancyM
Dec. 24, 2009, 10:26 AM
I advertised a horse for sale who was 16.1 hands. The potential buyer came out, looked at the horse, watched him ridden etc.

"So, this horse must be about 15.2 I think" he says. "Nope, he's 16.1, I just measured him last week" I have a good stick with a level on it. I may be out half an inch or so due to footing/lack of suitable measuring spot, but I'm not out by 3 inches. If a buyer can't tell 15.2 from 16.1, he's just disqualified himself as a suitable owner for the horse. The fact that the buyer did not want to ride the horse because he was afraid of the english tack didn't come into it, I swear.

It works both ways.

findeight
Dec. 24, 2009, 10:29 AM
I'm 5'4" and that is 16h-yet I routinely look over the back of horses touted as 16.2:no:.

Basic axiom of horse shopping is it is 2 inches shorter and 2 years older then advertised. Except Ponies advertised as 12.1, 13.1 or 14.1. Those are 2 inches TALLER:lol:.

Treasmare2
Dec. 24, 2009, 10:49 AM
I always measure and if I need to round anything off I round down to be safe. I try hard to be truthful about my horses to the point I state every lameness ever and anything I know that has happened to them and how they have been feed all their life. I feel where I brought them into the world I have a responsibility to place them where they fit and will have a usefullness to their owners. I do not ever want a horse of mine coping with a dismal end because of a mismatch. Honesty is th ebest policy and it does filter who contacts you. It is sad that people make th eassumption that all ads are false.:no:

hollyhorse2000
Dec. 24, 2009, 11:06 AM
I'm one of those riders for whom size DOES matter. I'm 5'8" and when I was looking for a new horse five years ago, I wouldn't look at anything listed at 16 hands or less. (I also didn't want anything 17 hands or more). Yeah, small window, I know.

I had no experiences of horses being significantly misrepresented in height. Maybe I was just lucky. The horse I bought was listed as 16.1 in her papers and, as I recall, 16.3 in the ad. She was 16.2. Perfect for me! :-) But I didn't stick her until I got her home. I was looking for something the right size for me (which she was) not a exact, specific height . . .

zahena
Dec. 24, 2009, 12:00 PM
I'm with HollyHorse. I'm 5'10 1/2" so I need a big horse.

I talked to a lady not too long ago and she said to me "He's REALLY 17 Hands so that won't bother you will it? I mean, he's huge. He's 17 hands. I'm 5'8" standing next to him in that picture." Smart on her part. Because the horses withers were almost even with her head.

RHdobes563
Dec. 24, 2009, 12:19 PM
Before I went to see "Blue", the seller told me that he was 'around' 15 hands. I was coming from a 17-hand Thoroughbred, looking for a Morgan. His height, or lack thereof, didn't sell me on him; it was his movement, training, and personality.

When I DID measure him (after I got him), he was 15.0 1/2". When you get on his back, his head comes up, his neck arches, and he is transformed from a dumpy looking little gelding into Something Special. You would SWEAR you were riding a 16-hand horse! He's 'old-fashioned', so he takes up leg anyway, and he's powerful, so I never feel/felt like I was too much for him (weight-wise).

I REALLY like this horse.

Bogie
Dec. 24, 2009, 12:44 PM
I am just shy of 6' tall so size does matter to m/

Some horses take up more leg than others. I had a 16.2" mare who was narrow; I always felt too big on her. My current TB is maybe 16.1 but he rides big and takes up my leg. When I first picked him up he was underweight and scrawny. I took him in as a foster dismissed him out of hand as being too small. Some groceries and work helped him to fill out considerably. In fact the first time I actually sat on him I was really surprised by how much bigger he felt.

That said, I am mightily PO'd when I show up at a barn and find a horse is 15.2" on a good day.

Before going to see a horse I always stress to the owner that I am TALL and that I need a horse that is suited to my height.

War Admiral
Dec. 24, 2009, 12:57 PM
Yeah... I drove 8 hours each way to see an allegedly 16.1h who was 15 even...

...And now I'm kinda stuck w/ Tony the Pony, who OK *could* still grow (he's 3.5 y/o, late-developing breed) but has been "stuck" on 15.1 for long enough that I'm giving up hope. I'm 5'10" so this is NOT a winning situation, certainly not for the show ring anyway. :no: Oh well: bought him to cross-train into carriage driving anyway... sigh...

Thomas_1
Dec. 24, 2009, 01:20 PM
Well you know the old joke don't you.

Why can't women reverse cars and parallel park.

Because men keep telling them 4inches is 6 inches :winkgrin:

Heinz 57
Dec. 24, 2009, 01:22 PM
I bought a coming 4yo TB mare this spring who was advertised as 15.3 - which was fairly accurate, by my eye. I'm a hair shy of 5'8", but I was hoping she wasn't done growing considering her age (and lack of nutrition at the time).

Nine months later, she's a chubby 16.1 and I think (hope) not done. But she's also fairly wide barreled, and takes up my leg. I'm hoping for another inch or two, but you just never know. She looks MUCH bigger than my 16.3h TB did with a rider, and it took him until 7-8 to reach that height (16h when I bought him at 5).

I find that there is a special group of folks that are the backyard-y type that end up with a TB somehow, and advertise them as 17.2-18h because they're so used to the 14.3h backyard nag in the other pasture. Said TB is usually about 16h, and the ad says REALLY, he's 18h! He's REALLY REALLY BIG!

Lexus
Dec. 24, 2009, 01:29 PM
[quote=Flash44;4573884]Size should not really matter if the horse has a show record. quote]

Size absolutely matters in some circumstances. I am looking for a small junior hunter so that 1/8" means alot to me!!! I won't even get into pony requirements.

I bring my own stick, and sometimes two to make sure I get the same measurement if it's that close.

Sing Mia Song
Dec. 24, 2009, 01:29 PM
When I was selling horses, I would always list the height as "measures with regulation stick at..." so people could have some faith in the height.

When I buy, I always take my own stick along. It's more about the picture and the feel for me (I am 5'4", but with a long upper body, so I prefer a horse that is tall enough to balance out my upper body, but narrow enough for my leg to feel comfortable). Nonetheless, I like to know if I'm looking at a big Small Junior or a small Large Junior for resale purposes.

Halt Near X
Dec. 24, 2009, 01:59 PM
If a buyer can't tell 15.2 from 16.1, he's just disqualified himself as a suitable owner for the horse.

Really? I once did an exercise in grade school where we had to estimate various body parts in inches and then draw ourselves on butcher paper using our estimates. My drawing went up one side of the hallway, across the ceiling, and halfway down the other side.

So my spectacular lack of ability to estimate the height on something in inches would disqualify me from owning a horse? I mean, you'd never want me to build a barn for you, but to drop me as a potential buyer? That just seems like a really odd requirement for a seller to have.

Sparky
Dec. 24, 2009, 02:05 PM
This is a true story--you can't make this stuff up! I went to look at one that was advertised as "over 16 hands" and when I got there it was all of 14.2. I was mad and the guy could tell, so he put the horse in cross ties and measured it from BETWEEN ITS EARS to the ground. Yep over 16 hands all right. Silly me! Really,he was so belligerant about it, I just said thanks.

Once, though, things did turn out all right. I called about a mare that was 16.3. Even subtracting the usual 2" markup, she would still be a decent height. Drove 5 hours to see a 15.2 horse. It was such a long way, I asked to see her lunged. She was so cool, I called my daughter and asked her to drive the 5 hours to ride it. She did, we bought her, and she has become a 4 time AQHA World and Congress Champion. She did grow too--all the way to 15.3 :lol:

Not So Practical Horse(WO)man
Dec. 24, 2009, 02:57 PM
I'm 6'...alllllll leg. When I was looking for a horse a few years ago I said not way would I buy anything under 16.2

Well lo and behold...my mare is probably 15.3.

The secret to finding a horse for a tall rider is to find a horse that has a big barrel. My mare is a tank(all TB, go figure) and fills me out very nicely.. Everyone thinks she is bigger though. Sigh...

horsetales
Dec. 24, 2009, 03:10 PM
It is frustrating on both sides. I've always measured and try to get on as level as possible ground. Maybe I need to re-list my TB mare as 16 if everyone is subtracting 2"+ She is 15.2 - maybe everyone is thinking she is 14 something ;) Its frustrating when my friends get on her and comment how she rides like a bigger horse, but nobody is willing to come look at <16hh

goeslikestink
Dec. 24, 2009, 04:16 PM
...that was listed as being 16hh. When I got there I was suprised to be staring at a little mare that was maybe 15.1 on a good day. Why do people do that? It drives me bonkers! Rounding up to 16 on a 15.3 horse, especially if it is fuller-bodied to try and get more people to come out isn't bad...but a horse that is 15.1-15.2?!

I feel like you need to look at horse ads the way you look at guys profiles on online dating sites...if the guy says he is 5'9-6', subract 2" to get his real height...anything over 6'1 is probably his real height.

with horses- listed as 15.2-16hh, subract 2", 16.1-16.3 maybe really height, anything over 17hh is probably its real height!

OH the joys of horse shopping!

becuase they tell you what you want to hear- lol

mzm farm
Dec. 24, 2009, 07:01 PM
It is interesting, people must get so used to looking at 17hh horses that are significantly smaller, that when they see a true 17hh horse they think it is 18hh.

I have had this happen just past summer. Lady wanted a big horse, was told the horse she is coming to look at is 17.1+ Her response arrival what "oh, wow, he is HUGE" um, that is what 17.1+ is to most women.

Horse size is so deceptive though, I have horses that are 15hh to 17.3 that "fit" me. One of my 15h horses takes up more leg and has a bigger barrel then the 17.3hh fellow. She is just "right" under me, the big guy feels so narrow that I feel like I am straddling a rail. Such a difference would have never been my guess until I rode through it.

shawneeAcres
Dec. 24, 2009, 08:19 PM
I too am TALL and not at all petite! My joke is that I can make a Clydesdale look like a shetland pony and it is true! I have a 17.2 hand appendix QH gelding that I actually look GOOD on! As I market quite a few horses I make SURE to be accurate when I say what a horses height is. Granted a horse CAN fluctuate a 1/2 inch or so based on shoeing, fitness, weight etc but I try VERY hard to be within that 1/2 inch. Just yesterday had a horse vetted and the vet said horse was 15.3. He is advertised as 16.1, but vet said no way, however, when he measured the horse the horse was 1/4 inch of 16.1. And had been recently shod. Had another pony vetted this summer, vet said (different vet) that pony was over 14.2, she measured pony and she was 14.1 1/2. Body build has SO much to do with the size a horse APPEARS to be. But I have MANY TIMES gone to see horses that were fully 2 - 4 inches under what they were advertised, which is frustrating! That seems to be quite prevalent in this area where there are lots of western riders, and anything 15.2 is HUGE to them! Most of the time, when I am told a horse is 16 or more hands by the "locals" I subtract 2 inches mentally before bothering to go and look!

EqTrainer
Dec. 24, 2009, 08:29 PM
Because of this, I always stick them carefully and if there is any question, go w/the smaller size.

The only time I have found sellers to run them small is on ponies.. got to carry your own stick for them :lol:

Leena
Dec. 24, 2009, 08:46 PM
I did not know that..

I would have been very upset to get to a place and find the horse is smaller..Hmmm.

I stick all my horses and even got into an argument with a buyer that have been told her horse was taller than I advertise..Actually the mare had super long legs so she looked taller !!!

AllyandPete
Dec. 25, 2009, 12:28 AM
I wish that I were shorter so that I could fit on a 15.1-15.2 horse. The horse was very pleasant and a nice mover. Unfortunately I am on the tall side and alllll torso.

I think being all torso is worse than being all leg. If you are 5'7" and all leg, you could technically find a warmbloody/draft/qh with a big barrel that could take up your leg, even if they do not hit 16hh.

I have no leg and tons of torso. I need something tall to off-set my torso, yet narrow so that my leg doesnt look stupid. Thankfully, I am a huge fan of thoroughbreds :)

Flash44
Dec. 25, 2009, 01:41 PM
So if you are selling a horse that is on the smaller size, maybe include a photo of the horse standing next to an average size person and/or a photo of the horse under tack with an average size person so buyers can see that the 15.2 horse is not 14.3...

Oakstable
Dec. 25, 2009, 01:55 PM
How much difference do shoes make in height? 1/2 inch?

TSWJB
Dec. 25, 2009, 04:05 PM
It is interesting, people must get so used to looking at 17hh horses that are significantly smaller, that when they see a true 17hh horse they think it is 18hh.


this is sooooo true! my horse sticked at the vet clinic 16.3 and 3/4. we just xrayed him to see if his knees had closed which they had. the vet said he could pop up a little bit in the wither due to muscle, but basically he was done growing.
so they all said my horse was a giant. must be almost 18 hands. that is why we sticked him that day. and to everyone's surprise. he measured 16.3 & 3/4!
the thing that makes him tall is he has very long legs! and he doesnt have a high wither. so his back is taller than most horses.
but it amazes me how many people will say their horses are 17h and i can tell they are lucky if they are 16.2h.

TSWJB
Dec. 25, 2009, 04:09 PM
i am 5.8ft and i wanted a horse at least 16.2h when i was shopping. i cant tell you how many times people told me their horses were 16.3h. when i get there, the horses were barely 16h. i even told the owners on the phone that i would not buy a small horse. but they still represented their horses as 16.3h and of course i was not interested!
when i finally found the horse i bought, i asked the owners if he was a true 16.3 hands. and they said he was! and sure enough he was 16.3h as a 3.5yo. he topped out at almost 17h. on that trip i did bring a measuring stick!

Leena
Dec. 25, 2009, 04:21 PM
Welcome to honesty !!!

I really did not know that..Wow it is seemed to be an heightmania..
There is so many reasons a seller would lie on a horse but height ! I have heard many stories but this one..Let's say it is surprising.

What I experiment on my side is that people are shopping the wrong horse for them..They stick with colors, height, request high potential and very often they don't know how to ride..

It is a funny world...

doublesstable
Dec. 26, 2009, 12:35 AM
Most people eye-ball it. I would ask if they have sticked/measured the horse. Expecially if you are driving so far..... And I never thought you would have to ask them where they put the measuring stick. (after I read Sparky's post - :lol: - not the ears)

I understand those here that "need" a bigger horse. I have long legs and look like a goof on a smaller horse.

I once went to look at a horse and the lady said he was big; over 16 hands... went to look at him he was 18 hands (via tape/stick) ... I did end up buying him and I love that he makes me look so thin....

I also knew a lady that had a 15 2 horse she told everyone he was 17 hands....

allanglos
Dec. 26, 2009, 04:27 AM
That is why I tell buyers that if my horses don't measure as advertised, I will pay their plane fare:)

I want interested buyers to have confidence that my horses won't "shrink" when they arrive to see them.

I know when I bought my TB mare ten years ago, she shrunk a full hand in the trailer ride from MI to FL. Needless to say, I did not pay the vet for her pre-purchase exam, where I emphasized that I wanted her to measure the mare.

SOTB
Dec. 27, 2009, 06:23 PM
Ugh - I hate when people do that!