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Share your small horse success story...

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  • Share your small horse success story...

    I have a fabulous 5 yo Friesian Filly by Teade. She is wonderful! She is forward, willing, and sassy, but in a good way. I am an AA, so personality is very important to me too, and this filly is sweet! I love her and my trainer loves her, but... she is *gulp* only 15.1. I do not think I look too tall on her; I am 5'7", and she does not feel too small when I am riding her. While this fill is short, she is not small. I love this filly to pieces and hope to have many great years with her.

    Do you have a small horse story to share?

  • #2
    I have a 15 h. Trakehner/SWB mare, now 12 years old, who excelled in dressage, but became a star as a jumper. She was started over fences at the age of 9 and four months later, she was champion at Ocala. As a jumper, she is so handy and so fast, she regularly beats the Big Guys. An amazingly versatile horse, she is now being leased by a Pony Clubber and they are having a blast together. An all-around super little horse -- fancy, talented, with a heart as big as the sky. Love that mare.
    ~Another proud member of the TrakehNERD clique ~


    • #3
      Raleigh the WonderPony (I call him a pony, though he's technically a horse!) is a 14.3 hand Fjord. He's trained to 2nd level and I'm still learning training level. But wherever I take him, the judges love him!

      The first schooling show I went to, I showed Intro B and Training 1. The judge gave us a fabulous score for Intro B and we won the class. She could not say enough about what a willing submissive little guy he is, and his "work ethic". In our training level test, he actually jumped out of the arena when I asked for the canter. He was having a naughty pony moment, but the judge told us to come back in and continue. We got 2nd in that class. I almost felt bad. I think the judge was almost so blinded by my pony's cuteness, we could have gone in the arena, stood on our heads, and won a ribbon.
      I was afraid the judges would be biased against him because he's not a 17 hand bay warmblood, but it was just the opposite. She seemed to be thrilled to be judging something different!
      We won 2 blues at our first recognized show, too!
      We have another recognized show coming up on Aug 7th, hopefully our luck continues!


      • #4
        I don't think that is terribly small at all! My arab mare in 15 H which is supposed to be sorta tall for an arab, and my new andalusian gelding is right around the same height, maybe 15.1, though he may get a wee bit taller over the next few years, he is 5 years old now... but this in not an unusual height for an Andalusian at all, at least the old style, more traditional ones... they are good/tall enough for the Spanish School of Riding!! Your horse is probably juuuuuust right, and because she is a Fresian she probably appears much bigger just because she has substance, like my Andy (he seems SO much bigger than he really is).. I wonder if she will get a bit taller, some breeds keep growing through 8 years old and I think the baroque breeds in particular can be late bloomers, maybe more Fresian folk will chime in on this.

        Now you can't have a wonderful Fresian filly and not include pics for us!!! Congratulations on finding the horse of your dreams with a wonderful personality to boot.


        • #5
          My guy is only 14.3 and a QH to boot. He's never going to be a great dressage horse-we'll probably top out showing First Level, but that's fine. He's willing and fun and has a great mind. With him dressage is truly about the partnership more than showing, though I do several schooling shows a year. His first "real" show was this spring and he scored low 60's with a very tough judge-the winning Intro ride was under 70. He really wants to be a hunter, and while I don't jump him much, I do go to local shows and he cleans up in flat classes against more typical hunter breeds. He's steady as a rock on trails, too. Big horses, no matter how quiet, intimidate me. My horse may be small in stature, but he's huge in heart.


          • #6
            i have a shorty too

            My Friesian is 15.2 and I'm 5'6". He is now 6 yo and has really filled out this year. You are not too big for your horse.
            Friesians Rule !!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Carol O View Post
              I have a fabulous 5 yo Friesian Filly by Teade. She is wonderful! She is forward, willing, and sassy, but in a good way. I am an AA, so personality is very important to me too, and this filly is sweet! I love her and my trainer loves her, but... she is *gulp* only 15.1. I do not think I look too tall on her; I am 5'7", and she does not feel too small when I am riding her. While this fill is short, she is not small. I love this filly to pieces and hope to have many great years with her.

              Do you have a small horse story to share?
              shouldnt worry horses dont stop growing till 7yrs old so has time to make it bigger yet


              • #8
                I love my Ferrari! I have a 15.2 hand Hungarian WB (he's in my profile pic). He's just 6 last month, and I've been showing Tr and First this year, with scores to 74% at Tr (2), and 71% at First (4). I don't feel big riding him, no one thinks he's small until they see him up close, and I've had judges make very favorable comments.

                I'll be showing him at the Region 1 finals--we're qualified at both Tr and First, and I hope after this weekend we will be at MFS as well!

                Now that I've gone "smaller", I'm not sure I'll ever go back!
                From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by goeslikestink View Post
                  shouldnt worry horses dont stop growing till 7yrs old so has time to make it bigger yet
                  Its true: my friend's Wander mare grew another 3 inches between 4 and 7 years.


                  • #10
                    I had a 15H half Arab pinto mare who did very well in open, rated dressage competition in the 90s - beating many more expensive and taller horses. She got 9s for her free walk on more than one occasion.

                    I now have her two daughters who are also on the small side. They are both by Frohwind and the oldest is about 15.1 and has shown Training-Second, winning All Breed Awards from the Oldenburg NA at each level - and won most of her classes at second level. She had an injury and is 'behind schedule' but is schooling third now and hoping to show this fall. She is the most fun horse to ride I've ever had. I call her my 'little sportscar.' Tons of power in a small body!

                    Her youngster full sister is about 15.2 and won her OldNA Mare Performance Test with a premium score, and was high score mare at her inspection. I started her under saddle myself and she started showing at recognized shows this year and was Training Level Champion at her second-ever recognized show with a 71 and a 67.

                    I love my smaller horses - I am only 15 hands tall myself.
                    Donerail Farm


                    • #11
                      Ha, I love how everyone is talking about their "small" 15 - 15.2 handers - that's not all that small = ) My guy is 15 hands, but I thought there would be a lot of pony/horse lovers popping in to discuss their actual pony sized wonders.

                      I'm 5'7" and ride a 15 hand leopard appy. For some reason, his build makes him appear a good deal larger than that. He's very well proportioned, which helps, and he has a nice barrel that takes up my leg. I was shocked when I first met him and then put a rider on him - he honestly looks bigger with someone on him than off = )

                      He's been a dream since I discovered him in a shady situation a couple of years ago. He can jump the moon and he has gorgeous movement for dressage. My trainer likes to tell new people that comment on how cute he is on the ground, "just wait til you see him move! He's one of the best movers in the barn."

                      His size and sensitivity definitely require you to be extremely balanced and on your toes. He's very compact and can and will go anywhere you put him (even if it's unintentional, haha). Plus his conformation makes him think dressage work is no sweat, so he's got a great work ethic. If I were to pick out my "perfect" horse, it'd probably be 16.2, but I've been super happy with my little guy = ) My only wish is that he were a mare so I could breed him down the road. I'd love to have another 2 or 3 just like him in the barn.

                      Whenever I'm on him, people that haven't seen him before usually ask me about him - 1) he's a leopard, 2) he's a great mover (some people don't expect this from something with spots) and 3) I have a theory he was originally genetically engineered for cuteness and people literally can NOT resist him, haha. I always call him "my little man" and people are surprised when I tell them he's only 15 hands (I've measured him with several different sticks and tapes). They also can't believe I paid next to nothing for him because his last owners were fed up with him and were sending him to a not so nice auction if I didn't come get him - though, honestly, these days, I hear SO many stories like that.

                      I haven't had the disposable income to show him since I bought him (you can't have your horse and show it too, haha), but I'd imagine when we get around to it, his little horse spark will translate well to the ring.

                      His nicknames are "the backyard wonder," "the spotted wonder" and "my little man." He will respond to all three depending on what sort of treat you've brought him = )


                      • #12
                        I have a small horse--technically a pony since he is Connemara. His mother is 14.1 and dad is 13.2--so how I got 15HH is anybodies guess. He is my once in a life time guy--I bred him, was there when he drew his first breath and have started and trained him on my own. He has an USDF all breeds award, qualified for the Cosequin Breeders Challenge Colt/Stallion Championship as a Two Year Old. Last season (age 4) we started his show career under saddle. I showed him myself Training Test four to a 67.4 and there was just no better feeling that riding down that centerline on my homebred. He is ready to go 1st Level (but is un-shown this season) and doing some second level movements. He has been a real joy to own and ride--really fun guy, and don't tell him he is little. I have another guy that is 14.1 who is doing second level and schooling through 4th. Recently he scored a 67.4 at 2nd test 3 and was the 4th highest score for the entire show which was a three star- he also finished just out of the ribbon Rebecca Farms-Open Novice division-despite not feeling well--little guy with a big heart--pretty sure if he'd felt well he'd have finished top three. Later this fall he is going to be a Breed Ambasador at the World Equestrian Games in KY love my shorties!
                        Redbud Ranch
                        Check us out on FB


                        • #13
                          My 15 hand (and shrinking-well he is 27!!) Half Arab showed through 3rd level, up to last summer, helped my earn 5/6 of my bronze medal and held his own at open dressage at second level. He was out of a 14.1 mare!
                          RIP Mydan Mydandy+
                          RIP Barichello


                          • #14
                            i'm 5'9" all leg, and my horse is 15.1
                            as long as the barrel takes up your leg so that you can use it effectively; that's really all that matters in dressage "horse fitting"
                            chaque pas est fait ensemble


                            • #15
                              my mare is 14.1 welsh d and i do very well on her shes never lost any of her classes haha in mixed disiplines and at 18 she still got it haha love her to bits


                              • #16
                                I always boggle at the hugeness of the horses when I go into a dressage barn. In fact, I almost think that if I looked into a barn and saw ONLY huge horses, I would not want to board there.

                                My Morgan mare is a hair under 15 hands. She's off work with an injury now, but we did TL last year and didn't do too badly. I'm no great shakes as a rider, so if she comes back, maybe we'll get to First some day No one teases me about her size, largely because when she is fitted up, she resembles a small WB and she looks way bigger than 15 hands when she's ridden well. Should I need a "next horse" I would definitely want another Morgan. They are smart enough to be challenging, come in temperaments from quiet to very hot, and have very busy, fun personalities. Many go barefoot and if you find one that has a nice canter, the other gaits will likely also be good.

                                I am 5'1" and short-legged so 14-15 hands is perfect for me.
                                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                                • #17
                                  I love reading these!

                                  My stallion is 14.3. He was advertised/sold to me as 15.1, but it wasn't deliberate misrepresentation, she was using a tape instead of a real stick. I got him based on pedigree, video and photos, and hours and hours and hours of internet conversation, but he came from Texarkansas, Arkansas to Maine sight-unseen. I was a little taken aback when I first saw him--he was pretty slight of build at the time too.

                                  He was also only 5, and had a LOT more maturing to do. He was a little tricky to ride at first, as small and slight don't go with fat dumpy rider.

                                  BUT, he has been my most amazing challenge, journey and joy in the past 11 years. Showing SHIH, he has cleaned up nicely--against WBs. Not only is he small, but he's pinto, and... shhh.... he's 15/16ths Arab.

                                  My biggest thrill was the year I took him to Seacoast DSHB. 65+ horses there, and he won Ch. Stallion, Res. Ch. Mature horse (lost (deservedly) to The Most Stunning Trakehner Mare I have ever seen in my life!!!! ) and won Sporthorses of Color against two Silverwood Farm stallion offspring and a Candidus colt, in a class of 13. I had almost bought that Candidus colt instead of getting my guy, so that was thrilling.

                                  But also at that show, my guy's first outside bred foal, out of a 14h Morab mare, WON Colts of 2k, against all WB babies, including the Gr. CH Mature Horse (that amazing Trak) mare's FEINER STERN foal. For me, having been more in the WB world, that was *the* brag.

                                  He has come up from unbacked to working the P's, and is the first horse I have done that with MYSELF. He has put up with my mistakes, let me say--no, really, I didn't mean *that*, could we do it *this* way instead? and just been the most patient, kind, amazing horse.

                                  He is stunningly beautiful, IM(notso)HO. He was approved RPSI Book I (Sportpony) though I haven't kept him current due to funding.

                                  Because of him, and because I realized how much I love riding a 'right sized' horse for me (I'm only 5'4") I changed my breeding program to aim for the smaller sporthorse and sportpony.

                                  Here's one of my favorite "pony" shots of my guy: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/...e/df62ade7.jpg

                                  Dressed up and playing: (these two photos courtesy SweetMeadow Arts )


                                  The biggest horse on my farm these days is around 15.1. I haven't measured her lately, she *might* be 15.2. She and her full brother fit me perfectly. Their gaits are lovely and competitive--but I can sit them. They are so easy to get around a small court vs. the big guys.

                                  I am a big girl, and I used to think I needed a big horse--even thinking I needed a DraftX... but I have found I need a horse that FITS me and fills my leg. Baroque horses, with their carriage and deep barrels are ideal for me.

                                  As I hit other side of the hill agewise, the smaller horses are easier to handle. They are cheaper to clothe. They are all (knockingwoodmadly) barefoot and sound and easy keepers.

                                  My newest project is one of Daydream Believer's Colonial Spanish horses. She will finish up somewhere around 14.2 I think. FANCY as fancy can be. If you look at her with no size reference, she can pass for an Andi or Luso. Her movement is To Die For. As the Iberians in the US are striving for taller, more WB like builds, I will use her to cross with Andy & Luso to keep to the traditional smaller, but robust type. Some breeds are not meant to be 17h, and you lose a lot of type when you start to think you have to have that magical number in height.

                                  My Junior stallion should end up right around 14.3, he is out of a *Malachit daughter Trakehner mare ( Miss ya Kat) and is even better than his Da.

                                  I love all things cobby and baroque... Morgans, Welsh D's, Connies... There are not enough years for me to breed all the round, uphill big little horses I want to... Winding Oak Welsh's Brynn is on the short list of stallions, as is Cadence in Color (for a smaller mare) and I have my eye on a couple of Connie stallions... One of my students has the most amazing HUGE little Lippizan mare. 14h high, 14h wide. She moves like a dream.

                                  I'm soooo rambling now. There is just something in me that loves a big horse in a small package. Add spots... and well, I'm just lost...
                                  InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                                  Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                                  • #18
                                    He's retired (or may have passed on by now), but a friend of mind took her 15.2 QH to at least PSG. Definitely got his bronze and, I believe, her silver. She evented him (novice only) until he was about 11, then "got serious" about dressage. She struggled for a while, but everything finally clicked and he did quite well. His breeding was strange: Halter sire, racebred dam. They tried to race him, but he was...difficult. They tried him as a reiner, and he bucked his owner off. Then my friend bought him, and got along with him just fine. He ended up being equally happy as a "husband horse" as a "dressage horse."


                                    • #19
                                      i love goodpony's 15hh guy - he is *fab*!! eta - she also has a couple wee ones that are going to be amazing athletes... a certain filly that i would love to have in my barn!

                                      not yet ridden, but i just bought my next dressage partner.... a 2 yo Connemara - he will probably be 14.3 when all told.... he looks like a mini Andalusian.... very baroque and i get lots of compliments and everyone loves him to pieces.....

                                      i really enjoy watching ponies and small horses go. they are just so athletic and amazing for their size!

                                      oh! and the Euro pony champs were going on this week.... there are some SUPER ponies competing!

                                      eta again, to say - my very first real horse (was riding ponies prior) was an arab mare (homebred and was born on my 11th bday) she was an *amazing* athlete. i look back on the pics of her now and i am sad that i didn't know what i had and didn't have the knowledge back then to do more with her - she had amazing huge gorgeous gaits, a huge jump and a heart bigger than the moon. she was i think 14.3.. we did everything together (and i trained he all by myself too) and ended up eventing and that was my intro to dressage. my trainer said that the mare and i learned faster than anyone she ever taught before.... but it wasn't me - it was the mare .... i really miss that little girl.... she was a gem.
                                      Last edited by mbm; Jul. 31, 2010, 12:15 AM.


                                      • #20
                                        btw: this is one of the (many) Connemara's i am in love with..... Art Celtic Art i believe he is 15h?

                                        here is some dressage:

                                        you can see other vids of him there too. i just love how a small horse/pony looks !

                                        eta: here is a short clip from the euro pony champs ... starting at 1:40 is dressage... some lovely ponies!

                                        Last edited by mbm; Jul. 31, 2010, 12:30 AM.