I spent 20+ years with my first "horse", a 14 hand appy/arab mix with substantial bone, a heavier type. I'm about 5'3" and we fit perfectly fine. She just crossed over the bridge and my new horse is a whopping 15 hands. Even seeing pictures of myself on her and knowing we make a good "fit", she feels huge to me.
I was ridiculed for years, "a grown woman riding a pony". Eh, who cares. She was worth her weight in gold.
I'm 5'8" tall and my ASB mare is 15.2 h and for me this is the perfect height. I trail ride alot, so being able to get up and down off of a horse without too much trouble is a benefit. Also, I'm gretting older and the knees are starting to sound like Rice Krispy cereal. I can't imagine trying to climb on board of anything over 16 h.
Besides, we always put the tall horses w/riders in front so they can clean out all the cobwebs on the trail....
I am trying to be the person my horse thinks I am.
5'7, weigh 185-190, both horses 15 hands and both can carry me just fine. I can put either one in a ditch or me on a bank and struggle aboard with my soon to be 55 year old knees. Best horse I ever owned might have sticked at 14.2 but only because his withers were up around his ears. He could tote over 200 pounds easily, fabulous trail horse, surefooted and sensible, kind to beginners but still had ponytude to spare.
Her Morgan X pony is only 14.1 hands, but he is round as a barrel and can jump the moon - plus he's so cute and sweet and only 8 years old, so I will take him over. Yah, I'm too tall on him, but he's a MORGAN for crying out loud...he can carry me all day long!
Well- I have two in work at present. I clicked on 13.2 to 14.2 which applies to the newest acquisition, a 3 yo quarter horse mare, about 14.2 at the withers just now but the butt's a bit higher. She is GREAT fun, extremely athletic, won her first and only competition to date (a competitive trail ride in Oct), and close to the ground. Her 'brother,' the 5 yo appendix, was bought cheap at 2 because my cutting horse friend knew then he'd be too big for his tastes! And indeed he is oh, 16.1 or so. But equally fun- even at 5, thinking about this summer's rides, I could put my grandmother on him.
If you believe the string test, my little mare will get to 15 hands. That's fine. And will look pretty good in about ten years too! Actually I have always preferred right around 15.2 but had a great mare for 28 years that was 14.3 in her prime. Biggest horse I ever rode was 18h+. He did just fine but you did need a ladder to get on!
I'm 5'6" and heavy, and I like a horse to be about 15 hands (although I look really good on 17h or bigger). Somehow, I ended up with this little 14.1h beauty and I just love her! Luckily, in Arabland we're used to big people on little horses so I don't look as silly at Arab shows as I do in Openland.
I'm 5'5 and I need to be able to get on from the ground.
I've got an eye out for a welsh cob, somewhere between 14.2 and 15.1, but nothing bigger than that. People think I'm crazy for wanting something that small, but really and truly, the taller they are the more leg to have problems with.
I used to have short horses... I like short, round horses... when I was looking for a new horse, I was looking for something under 15 hands, probably a mare, Morgan or Morgan cross. However I ended up with a 16h OTTB gelding! At least I got the age range right. He's narrow though. When I ride without stirrups, I'm like, I think there's a horse under here somewhere, his barrel has to be around here somewhere. My friend's 14.2 Morgan feels bigger!
"Uh, if you're going to try that, shouldn't you unplug it first?"
I'm 5'-5", heavy with not as much leg length as I would like. My Appy mare is 15.2 and about 1200 pounds. We seem to be a great fit. I ride a 16.1 Dutch warmblood mare in my lessons and I'm just more comfortable on my shorter girl.
I am 5'5 and heavy, my two boys are small - I have a 15.3 hand OTTB and a 16.0 hand QH - they both can carry me perfectly fine and have never had any problems with it. They are not actually small, but compared to the horse I sold a few years ago which was a 17.2 1/2 hand Irish monster they are tiny.
Great thread and what a cute pony! You look good on him too. Another advantage to having a pony has got to be that they're all so bloody adorable.
I have to admit I'd consider anything 16.1 or over tall. I'm 5'3" and my first (lease) horse when I was a short kid was 16h. Then I got my very first horse of my own... she's 15.1 on a tall day with shoes. Now I have that mare and a 13.2 hand pony (also on a tall day) so at this rate I guess my next horse will be a mini. I do feel a bit tall on the pony, especially since she has no neck, but the horse is a great size and they're both a ton of fun and unlike a lot of people at my barn I can get on from the ground. I'd say we have an easier time with low branches on trail rides then but I think I'm the only one there who's actually been knocked off by one... totally rider stupidity there.
Of course, I've been studying abroad in third world Nicaragua and cart horses are pretty common here... after months of seeing horses 12-14h ranging from "rail-thin" to "walking skeleton" in the streets, 13.2 and 15.1 will probably resemble "hippo" and "elephant" when I finally see them again. (Sunday! )