I'm a short, petite woman in my mid-50s. I currently own a lovely 15.2ish hand Quarter Horse mare that I part lease to two great teenagers, who adore her. They are taller and stronger, and, golly, just more confident than me and do such as great job with her. I am not ashamed to admit that they usually ride her better than I do. They also jump, which I don't, but which my girl loves!
In addition to still riding her, I've also been taking lessons on a fabulous 13.2 hand welsh pony and am having a blast! I just fit him so well, and my confidence has also increased because I am closer to the ground. I seem to ride him better than my own horse, and even my trainer says it's partly because he fits me better. This has gotten me to thinking about maybe leasing a pony for myself, and, maybe, down the road, buying one if finances allow. Of course I know all about pony attitude, but there are gems out there!
Would love to hear stories from other adults who ride ponies. Pictures would be great too!
Not all ponies have attitudes, not if they have been in good professional/adult hands, especially if you go for the ones that look like a small horse, not like a small draft cross.
Then, the more horse like tend to be a bit more "up" also, so maybe the calmer, sturdier ones may fit you more.
I bet you can find yourself a neat little one for yourself.
Being very short myself, I was the designated rider for many ponies, starting or retraining or just when they needed more exercise and I really enjoyed them, even the tiny ones.
In my mid 60's now, I like a short horse, but not quite as small as ponies, not when riding with other horses and working cattle.
My current horses are qh and from a very shrimpy 14 hands to 15.1, still small to medium by many horse standards.
I think that, when you find the right horse for the kind of rider you want to be today and the kind of horse you feel the most comfortable with, the size won't matter that much, within reason.
There are plenty of very nice, quiet smaller horses that are not ponies.
I would not be stuck too much only on size or kind of horse/pony.
My go-to mare is 14.2 on a good day. I chose her deliberately and wanted a smaller mount. In my mid 50's, she's much closer to the ground for getting on and off of, even when I'm doing on purpose.
I also chose western pleasure horse bloodlines as they seem to be more spook proof and quieter. I have to work to make this mare go. Because of her temperament, she's the first we try any new idea on and she's the one I've actually taught the most to.
I am 49 and ride/show a pony breed in dressage. I went from holsteiners to welsh cobs over 20 years ago and have not looked back. I am 5'2" and was a pony jock for many years before being convinced that the taller horses were where I had to go if I wanted to compete (both hunter circuit and dressage). By the time it came for me to start having kids I decided I wanted something that made me happy, was still competitive (in dressage) and would be kid friendly too. The Welsh breed was the answer for me (throw in a few Arabs too). The only animal I own over 15 hands is my son's 16.1 hand oldenburg. I acquired her a year ago when he hit 6' tall (he's 16). Of the others I have two 13 hand section Cs who I've competed in dressage. The others range from 14.1 hands to 15 hands (all section Ds and their crosses). My son competes in competitive trail challenges so I ride as a buddy rider, sometimes competing in the pleasure division. My favorite mount for trail is my 13 hand section C welsh gelding. There's nothing he won't try for me. Ponies are definitely where it's at for me (have two due in the next 2 weeks - one C and one D).
I found a Connemara last year who has a permanent 14.2 card. She is cob built and it works out fine with my 5'4" height. All I do is fox hunt and trail ride so it works out perfectly!!! And yes, she has popped a "pony-tude" once or twice but it has not been anything dangerous.
My horse is just a shade over 14.2 and he's the perfect size for me. For lessons, I usually ride ponies, and I love it--I'm almost 30, but I'm built like a 12-year-old, so I often get to ride the ponies that are used in the walk/trot lessons when they get a little punky and need some schooling. For some reason, misbehaviour that would freak me out in a big horse is a fun challenge when I'm on a wee small pony--I feel more effective because I can actually use my weight and leg more than I can on a big horse, and I'm not as scared because I'm already close to the ground. Ponies are the bomb. (:
Depends on what you want to do with your pony. Back when I was jumping 2'6", my pony was fine at the shows. Then when I wanted to move up to 3' and do the Adult Hunters, I needed to switch back to a horse to be competitive in the ring. So now my pony lives at my farm, and is my riding buddy. The big TB is at a show barn, and he's my show buddy. There's a lot to be said for ponies. I'd never part with mine!
She's a BLAST. I also have a 17.2++ beast who I fit better, but I showed the pony for at least a year prior to leasing her out to a little girl who loves her! They're showing together now and have been doing great.
I'm one month in on my down-size to a 14.3 Connemara. He's only popped some tude once or twice and one of those was when everyone else was getting hayed. But like everyone else has said you really do just laugh it off at that size and at 5'2" he is my size.
My big man who's 17.2 decided after I'd down-sized to be sound so I make sure I go small to big so I never feel with the smaller stride I'm going faster then I really am but I am starting to wonder if the big man is as lazy as he feels which he could be.
One more vote for ponies! I'm 5'1 and never going back to riding horses when I fit so well on ponies. My Welsh Cob is not quite 14hh, and rides like a horse. It's wonderful to be able to see the top of his back and drape his blanket over him instead of heaving it up there and praying!
Last edited by CobJockey; Oct. 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM.