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Judges, please weigh in: Adult on a pony?

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  • Judges, please weigh in: Adult on a pony?

    A friend is looking for a new horse to show in dressage.
    She is petite - under 5' - and was limiting her search to something 14h or under.

    My rated show experience is mostly H/J and it used to be judges would mark down an adult showing a pony as unsuitable, i.e. total picture was NQR.
    This also held true for kids outgrowing their large ponies.

    How would today's dressage judge view a senior-aged adult showing a medium to large pony?
    Last edited by 2DogsFarm; Sep. 30, 2010, 02:31 PM.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

  • #2
    I've shown a teeny-tiny (about 12.3hh) half-arab pony at First level, and it was never mentioned that I was obviously too big for him (though I am only 5'2"). That's one thing I've always loved about dressage... as long as you are obviously not hurting the horse, the generally held belief is that dressage benefits every horse (or pony!) so if it takes an adult to show a little guy, and the rest of the package is right (relaxation, rhythm, forward, etc) the size difference isn't a big deal.

    I remember a shetland stallion being shown in dressage... let's see if I can find his website...
    Vancouver Equine


    • #3
      That is what German Riding Ponies are for!

      Also, a couple of friends of mine (both on COTH) are also very petite and they ride ponies. One rides a haflinger cross and the other rides a Welsh Cob (actually he doesn't have his pony card, he's just 1 inch too tall ). Because they are petite, they are perfectly suited to their ponies. And I don't believe either of them have ever been judged lower because of the size of their horse.
      "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
      "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
      Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


      • #4
        I am an adult, I ride ponies, I do not get marked down. It's about the training and what the judge sees.
        It is rare to see a rider who is truly passionate about the horse and his training, taking a profound interest in dressage with self-abnegation, and making this extraordinarily subtle work one of the dominant motivations of his life.\"


        • #5
          Sounds like she is looking for a mount for her size, nothing wrong with that. I personally find it irksome when people think they have to ride a moose because they are a) old and b) compete in a certain discipline...

          German rideponies are like little WBs, so she finds one she likes (or another small equine for that matter, Nice welsh or so) more power to her.
          Originally posted by BigMama1
          Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
          GNU Terry Prachett


          • #6
            Nothing wrong with it at all.


            • Original Poster

              thanks to all so far
              I will be emailing my friend this thread

              I modified my Subject as I would like to hear from judges if possible
              *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
              Steppin' Out 1988-2004
              Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
              Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


              • #8
                I am a judge and do not have a problem with it.
                The only time it would even cross my radar is if
                I thought the pony was struggling - either with
                the rider's size or balance.


                • #9
                  Jaye Cherry is showing Chardonnay, a pony stallion, successfully at I1 maybe I2 even. She is not that tall, but not petite. Also Dory Breneman is showing Grand Prix on a maybe Welsh Cob, I think... So even trainers show ponies.


                  • #10
                    so um, if the "picture" is so important, esp. for H/J, how do tiny adult women get away with riding huge WBs and TBs? my own thought is if the rider can't see over the horse's back the horse is too big for them. Me being short I have found large ponies/normal arabs are the ideal mount.


                    • #11
                      Yes- total picture matters if it is extreme- 6' rider on 12h pony. However, there is no stigma against adults on ponies (like there is in h/j) if the adult looks appropriate on the pony.


                      • #12
                        There is a rider in my area showing a pony at I1 or I2. She's not super-short either. Her weight is appropriate for her frame and for the pony.

                        I wish I were shorter and could ride ponies. But at 5'9", jumping them can be difficult unless they have long necks. It's too easy for me to unbalance a pony, and I like to jump for fun.


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks again to all & especially dotneko for a judge's perspective.

                          I will now email this thread to my friend.
                          Looks like she may have found one - a Haffie cross.
                          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                          • #14
                            my 4'11 adult niece rides a sport pony, she is a fantastic mover and the judges usually comment they are a nice pair!
                            Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger


                            • #15
                              Lendon Gray rode 14.2 hand Seldom Seen to wins in GP and GP Freestyle at Devon in 1987.


                              • #16
                                This is SS's retirement at Dressage at Devon, 1987.



                                • #17
                                  I asked two judges recently if they would have a problem with me showing a pony.

                                  I am 5'5" and 112lbs.

                                  One said not a problem unless my feet were dragging through the sand and interfering with pony's forward.

                                  The other said simply as long as it is moving and doing the work no problem.
                                  “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                                  ? Albert Einstein


                                  • #18
                                    Spyder! What a great video!!!
                                    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                                    ? Albert Einstein


                                    • #19
                                      I compete two 13 hand ponies in dressage. One is getting ready to debut at 2nd level. I am 5'2" and most definitely an adult, chronologically at least. I have never been knocked down in score or criticized for it. There is also a lady in this area, taller and larger than I who competes on a haffie who is also in the 13 hand range. She's competing at third/fourth level and doing pretty well.
                                      Ranch of Last Resort


                                      • #20
                                        i hope there is no bias, as i have joined the pony ranks by purchasing a 2 yo Connemara who, last i measured was a hair over 14.2.... he is all pony and is so trainable! cant wait to get him out in public in a year or so

                                        (ps - exvet - he was everything we had hoped for - and more )