Her predecessor (the late Star Runner) was 14.3. Definitely carried me around well for hours upon hours of trail riding in a heavy western saddle and 150 lb me.
Glad no one took photos the couple of times I had to ride a 13hh half pony-half horse mare. The pony was stocky for sure and it was either ride her out to the fields or a long 3 mile walk since she wouldn't go with the herd to graze. She survived that too and of her own accord, decided to gallop and keep up with her friends. I did feel a little guilty there, but I figured she would survive the couple minutes there with a balanced rider and no saddle and survive she did.
Ponies are tough little suckers! Ride a few and see what you think!
Personally...I just can't do the bigger horses. I always laugh when people think they are 5'6" and need a 16hh horse or above. I understand for certain disciplines to make the lines or whatever, but why should a small, petite woman necessarily own a large horse to fit in?
I think of my smaller horses as little sports cars. Fun, agile, pretty to look at!
I'm 5ft of nothing and can handily ride anything from a well sprung 12hh to a 14.3 narrow nellie. However and I do say this with utter love, my DD with legs of supermodel length cannot ride anything shorter than 12.2 and that thing needs to have the barrel of a drafty to take up all that leg. Currently she rides the 12.2 hh wonder pony who is built both solid and has an overstep to make even the staunchest horse supporters swoon. Her other mount is a 14hh welsh quarter cross (A cross I HIGHLY recommend) Now she is a red-head and upgrading that welsh mind with a quarter horse body probably wasn't the smartest thing her breeder ever did. (She has TUDE!!) But anyone from tiny tot to 5'9 burly man can ride her and look absolutely wonderful on her. It's the proportion you need to worry about. That big barrel is nice but it's horrid on a short legged horse, add a human and you look like you're riding a dachshund. Long legged looks like the way to go but pair it with a short neck and your hands end up near your ears while your fall range gets uncomfortably high. There are many wonderful pony breeders on this board and many many of us who ride ponies but I would highly recommend NOT buying without sitting on it.
Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
Originally Posted by alicen:
What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.
I'm almost 5'6" and ride a 14.2 Arabian. He's wide and takes up my long legs fine. Like you, my upper body is short, which is perfect for a smaller horse. I'm also quite thin so I can't comment on the weight issue.
You'll quickly learn that learning too far forward can easily put a little one onto his forehand.
I think I'll always have Arabs or smaller horses. I used to ride a 17h TB who felt like a bus. Once you get used to something small, everything else feels odd....and looks odd. Giant hooves and thick legs just seem crazy after dealing with tiny delicate hooves and lean short legs.