I am 5'10". My mare is no taller than 15hh. Talk about odd. She carries me around like no one else's business. No problem here. We work well as a team. No serious competing in our future, but we are having fun.
I'm 5'8" and my horse is 14.2 and a half. But he's also got a nice round barrel and I have short legs.
We look nice together, and he's unstoppable and enthusiastic about riding at 30.
We also aren't competing, although we may do a shorter endurance ride next year.
I think (in general) that the weights of the horse and rider matter more than the heights. As long as the rider and tack aren't more than 20% of the horse's body weight (assuming the horse is healthy) there should be no issues. Also, a taller rider 'looks' more natural on a wider horse than a narrow one, if you have a choice between two shorter horses.
I'm in the 5'10" range. I am also slender (around 130 lbs), and rode competitively in college, so I've really run the gauntlet in different size and shape horses that I've ridden.
I find that I do best on big, long horses. One of the best schoolies at my college was over 17 hands (not sure by how much) and wore a 56" girth, and I liked riding him because I really felt like I FIT. Same for this guy, who is in the 17.2-17.3 range (and laughing at that crossrail).
Since I'm sort of long everywhere, and quite, erm, chesty... I find that I feel more comfortable on horses that are relatively long. For example, my project schooling horse (Sassy, whom I lovingly referred to as "Sausage" because she was so long) couldn't have been more than 15.1. BUT- she was about 8 million miles long, and as a result I didn't feel too big on her at all.
More upright necks also make the picture nicer if the rider is tall. My horse Mugsy was an honest to god 17h, wore a 52" girth, and an 84" blanket, but I looked enormous on him. (Just for giggles here, here is my 5'5" friend on him)
In sum... I think fit depends on the rider's proportions. If they have a long leg, a big barrel is necessary for "fit." If they have a long upper body, they'll probably look better on something with a slightly more upright neck and longer body.
Last edited by Lazy Palomino Hunter; Oct. 18, 2009 at 07:12 PM.
I agree, weight is more important than height. My legs are too short for my round barreled TB, but with his short back and my long back, I look to big on him! He's 16 h, I am 5'4". Yes, my conformation is opposite that of most decent riders! So, ideally a shorter legged and longer backed horse that I could mount with out a step ladder would make a prettier picture.
And what do you *do* with your horse? If you don't mind me asking...
Mostly trails (he's a wiz at the really rough, hilly, rocky stuff), but he also does speed events, extreme cowboy races, reining, penning.
We do plan to show some gaited classes next year.
I do look more balanced on him in real life than in the picture, I think what makes it work between us is not only that he is deep chested, but he is a lot of horse with a lot of self confidence and a distinct air of pride about himself, and he carries himself that way.
I recognized with despair that I was about to be compelled to buy a horse ~ Edith Somerville and "Martin Ross"
"Momma" to Tiempo, Tucker and Puff, RIP my beautiful Norman 8/2012