How many of you ride Vertically Challenged Jumper Horses?
I realize that most of you have large WB or tall TB horses for riding the jumpers. As I dive back into the english world I do not have one of these as an option. I have decided for the rest of the year I want to focus on paying off bills so I am going to ride what I have.... cow ponies
Sure they aren't big... not even very fancy (exactly why I am not even considering the hunters) But both of my guys, especially the smaller one, are handy, responsive, and just plain fun to ride. I am 5'6" so I know I will look a little oversized on a 15h horse but I don't plan on making any A show appearances
When I rode eventers there were plenty of handy little horsees making their way around Prelim and Intermediate courses so I got to thinking... How many of you actually ride and show a smaller guy (under 16h) in the jumpers?
My hunter is only 15.2 1/2, and I'm 5'6" and I'm just fine on him, and I'm not skinny either! I've won equitation classics on a mare that was only 15h, so obviously not to many problems on the look spectrum. I even rode a few medium ponies today and bareback at that! (I can't even begin to explain how long it's been since I've been on bareback...) I've ridden both small and over 16 hand jumpers and the only thing I've found is that I feel like I have more control to collect and extend and package up on the smaller horses and always have a more finessed ride on them, but I've always been the type for small thoroughbreds, it's just my ride.
I rode a 15.2 ex-cutter QH gelding all last year in the 3'6/3'9 jumpers, we finished fourth on the provincial circuit. Jump-offs are a blast on the cow ponies He was super short strided though so we sometimes had a few odd adds in combinations...
OP, this is what it looks like going to the big jumps on my mare. No one is judgmental, they just love her because she's like a little superball!
This is walking into a welcome stake and passing a horse one of my friends owns. There is more than a 2 hand difference in their heights!
HAHA! My bf found a pic of me when I was in high school on my old event horse standing in an awards line up. He said "Wow! That horse next to you is massive!" I explained to him that my eventer was the same size as my little cutting horse gelding I now own, just not as wide. He just could not fathom that a little horse would be able to jump as well as a bigger one!
I ride a jumper pony! Probably will be showing her .95 meter classes this year. She is a blast, and great for jump-offs. I am 5'4" and she is about 13.3hh, so I look a little funny, but we get along really well.
I'm 5'11 and 3/4 (not 6'! I will stop growing before I reach 6'!!) and I ride a massive 17.1hh TB. But back when I was a shrimpy 5'9, I rode a 14.2hh QH/Arab in the .90m jumpers and the large pony hunters. She was stocky, and my height is very much mostly in my leg, so it wasn't that bad looking, but we definitely got some stares! She's so much more agile than my current guy, though, jump offs were a blast. And then an hour later she'd calmly canter around the hunter course, best pony. I think that if a horse, of any height, has the will to be competitive and loves to jump, than you can be a pretty freaking competitive jumper for sure.
Loved my pint sized jumper... She is 15.1hh and THE best jumper I have had. I ended up with a 17hh giant after her but I am now back to a 16hh (much easier to get on lol). I love those slightly smaller nimble horses.
Not a jumper (yet!) but my hunter mare is 15.3. I am 5'9". I am lucky in that she is so broad that she takes up my leg, but she is short coupled too and my uppper body looks tall-ish on her. I still pin well. Some people comment, until they see her go!
My hunter is just 15.2 1/2 (perm card) and she's so scopey and powerful that she's actually easier and more comfortable for me to jump than my 17.3hh gelding. I do the 3'3 with her now and she could easily move up (I'm the weak link in our relationship, lol).
My good friend shows the medium schooling and low adult jumpers (3'3 -3'6) on her petite TB mare who's under 16.0hh. That mare is fast and brave, and she can spin around little turns that a bigger horse wouldn't be able to manage.
If your horse has the step and the scope, they don't have to be big to be successful and fun! Good Luck!
A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...
I am 5'10 and think it's fine to ride small ones if you aren't too heavy and jack your stirrups up. I love the little guys. My more recent horses are all little catty horses right around 16 hands, only the 3 year old is "big" -- he'll be about 17 hands and I'm not sure I like that!
Enjoy your cow ponies if that's what you've got -- mine won quite a lot in the 3'6 and showed up to 4'. They were not grand prix horses but they were FUN.