• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

The 15 Hand Dressage Horse

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The 15 Hand Dressage Horse

    I've been wondering why this height isn't more popular with the ladies for dressage? Many 4'11 and 5'1 riders are riding 17h warmbloods for dressage. I've seen some very nice stunning 15 hand horses that were gorgeous movers yet hard to sell because of the height. It's in between the desired pony or 16 hand height gap. So why get a 17h horse if you can something very nice and flashy at 15.1 hands?? Do people assume that a 15 hand horse isn't going to score as well as the larger horse? I don't see that point either because i've ridden some fabulous horses in the 15 hand range that had nice striding, shoulder, good extension and collection.
    Would love to hear your opinions on height for second level plus horses this size. They really seem hard to market for the riders past 1st or second level in the 15 hand range. Just from observation and reading wanted ads from small ladies looking for 16.2+hand horses.

  • #2
    my Dutch horse is just barely 15.3 (stretching upward) he is the best horse that I have ever sat on, we can do all the GP, and will show this next summer. His ones are effortless, piaffe the best. I am never going to get any horse over 16h again.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by mickeydoodle View Post
      my Dutch horse is just barely 15.3 (stretching upward) he is the best horse that I have ever sat on, we can do all the GP, and will show this next summer. His ones are effortless, piaffe the best. I am never going to get any horse over 16h again.
      He sounds lovely.

      Is it just the buyers that are interested in tall horses or are the judges looking down on smaller horses in the higher levels? I am trying to understand why petite women are looking for 16+ hands in wanted ads and why 15 h dressage horses are hard to sell. Are there any real good reasons to not wanting that height?

      Comment


      • #4
        Its all in the build of the petite rider and the horse. I am exactly 5ft tall and most would tell you at least 3 ft of that is leg. That is a LOT of leg to take up on a shorter horse unless their barrel is as well sprung as a barrel and those are not comfortable for me. The leggy 15hh horse leaves my legs swinging under their belly and fearing for their twiggy legs. I don't however like the 17hh giant as I am just not that springy anymore to make it from ground to saddle. (I'm working on it!)
        Also many of the ammy riders who want the 16hh plus also have an eye to the jumping ring and 15hh don't always jump as nicely or get the right strides the 16hh do.
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by leilatigress View Post
          Also many of the ammy riders who want the 16hh plus also have an eye to the jumping ring and 15hh don't always jump as nicely or get the right strides the 16hh do.
          I would be less inclined to think this. I don't know many serious second level + ammies that would be shopping for the sort of nice horse/movement that the OP is talking about who also jump. Now, I know quite a few who pop over a cross rail or jump a tree on the trail, but none that would care about strides, put together a course, show over fences, etc.

          The only thing I can think is that many of the second and third level ammies I know bought horses that had been there and done that- at least at those levels - with good scores. Therefore, the pool of horses they are looking at comes from the horses that a pro choose, broke, rode, and showed to second/third+. Maybe the height issue goes back to the pros?

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't know why there is a more difficult time selling them. I'm often told that there's an increasing market for this in between size because so many of us aging ammies want them/need them. I'm guessing from the initial post that the thread is more geared towards 15 hand warmbloods; but, I compete 2 mounts who are 15 hands. One is at PSG the other is just starting out at training level as a 4 year old. I have received very fair scores. They are very different movers with one being a 6 and the other being an 8 mover. Height has nothing to do with it. Still I've scored in the high 60s at third/fourth level with the 6 mover. Neither are warmbloods but despite that and being "shorter" they do just fine in competition. Of course I'm someone who also competes 4 ponies (13 - 14.2 hands in height) in dressage as well so 15 hands seems like a "real" hoss to little ole me.
            Ranch of Last Resort

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't get it either... My mare is a 15 hand Morgan and we get a lot of compliments for being a good match physically. (I am 5'1" and short-legged, and a little overweight.) The horse I'm taking lessons on right now is a 15.1 hand Oldenburg mare who is a pretty solid Third Level horse and just started showing at Fourth Level. Her owner is shorter than I am and they are a very good match.

              Don't some of the WB registries reject horses who are below a certain height? That would make it harder to breed/sell short WBs.
              You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Don't some of the WB registries reject horses who are below a certain height? That would make it harder to breed/sell short WBs.

                I noticed that breeders are sticking with the 16+ hand range for the warmbloods. But if there was a bigger market for the 15 hand warmbloods, then perhaps people would start breeding for that height and I would see more
                Heck, I watch plenty of dressage shows and most horses are in the tall height range the higher you go up the levels. There's usually some arab crosses but pretty tall too in the 3rd level tests. Seen a haffie too, they seem to be popular with some older folks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by leilatigress View Post
                  Its all in the build of the petite rider and the horse. I am exactly 5ft tall and most would tell you at least 3 ft of that is leg. That is a LOT of leg to take up on a shorter horse unless their barrel is as well sprung as a barrel and those are not comfortable for me. The leggy 15hh horse leaves my legs swinging under their belly and fearing for their twiggy legs. I don't however like the 17hh giant as I am just not that springy anymore to make it from ground to saddle. (I'm working on it!)
                  Most of the great dressage riders, though, fit exactly this way on their horses. Leg well down, slightly below the barrel even.

                  Now that I am riding a pony, I'm realizing that this is not an accident - you have far more influence over the horse when your knee is lower on the horse and closer to the widest point of the horse.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                    Most of the great dressage riders, though, fit exactly this way on their horses. Leg well down, slightly below the barrel even.

                    Now that I am riding a pony, I'm realizing that this is not an accident - you have far more influence over the horse when your knee is lower on the horse and closer to the widest point of the horse.
                    Ok so most short/petite women that I am talking about have long legs and that's why they are buying the taller horse. That is understandable. But I still see the horses being too big for some women. I've observed tiny women perched on huge horses and their legs are far from reaching the horse's barrel.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Took a while to convince a client to accept her 15 hand horse was the better dressage prospect than her 17+ hand horse. It took going to a show and doing very well...AND having fun, while feeling completely safe...to convince her the little guy is the better horse for her right now. The numerous positive comments she received on him didn't hurt either!

                      Judges and clinicians do not seem to care that he is small once they see how nice he moves and how willing he is...although I do admit he lacks that wow factor standing still.

                      She is about 5'10" and looks fine on him as he is very deep through his chest.

                      I am also currrently training a 15 hand Spanish Mustang. She is narrow, but my leg somehow hangs in this wonderfully comfortable way...I would have no qualms about showing her, or owning a horse her size if it was built this way...and I am 5'10" too.

                      I think that the key to accepting a small horse is that you are confident in their ability and realize that ability and rideability are key...and give up the impressive wow factor that a large horse has...even when it is just standing in the barn.
                      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It can be hard to find a shorter horse that has the basic training on board, I think.

                        Last time I was horse-shopping, one of my criteria was "not over 16 hands!" (I have, now retired, a 17.2 behemoth of a horse. It's a lot of real estate to keep looking good, to feed and clothe and keep sound, let alone to collect--poor chap didn't know where his back legs were unless he had boots on...)

                        I didn't deliberately want that size, but it was what was available at the time--my previous mare was 15.3 if she puffed up and was considered too small for me by my then-trainer. I thought she was about right.

                        Current horse actually measures at spot-on 16 hands--his previous owner swore up and down he was 17 hands, but it was obvious from the video and pix that he wasn't--or I wouldn't have gone to see him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I dunno, if the horse has great ridability, size is not that important, more how it fits the rider. I'm 5.6 and a half and I can ride/have ridden 15.1 to 17.3 without looking out of place. But I have a tallish upper body, so the horse must be built up a bit, and I don't like horses that are very narrow. That said, my TB is 16h and the little mare I just got is 15.3 at age 4, so will probably make 16 or 16.1, which is the height I feel most comfortable with.
                          "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I started shopping saying ideally I would find a horse between 15-15.2hh. I ended up with a long-legged 16.3. That was just a matter of finding the horse who was a great match for me, and happened to be taller than ideal, but on whom I could still effectively use my legs.

                            My mom's new horse is about 15hh, and when I ride her I still believe she is far closer to the ideal height for me. I think a lot of people have a preconception that they want a top horse, and therefore need a tall horse, but I think you can find quality in a variety of heights. I have never heard of a judge having any kind of bias based upon horse height in person, and don't think it makes much difference if the horse is still a nice mover.

                            Maybe I'll see exvet at a show whenever I decide to start playing at schooling shows with my mom's horse. I've already told her that's going to happen once my guy and I are competing at rated shows.
                            Originally posted by Silverbridge
                            If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My guess is that the market skews large because nearly everything you see in upper-level competition is 17+, and for that matter a very typical picture in upper-level competition is a tiny woman on an enormous horse. It is also possible that older women with enough disposable income to pursue an expensive, perceived-to-be-elitist sport like dressage either have aspirations to be very competitive, or want the type of fancy horse they imagine could be competitive, even if they don't intend to get there themselves. Kind of like older men who buy Porsches to drive to the grocery store.

                              That sounded a lot cattier than I intended it to. I just bought my first horse, a horse I wanted for my whole entire life ohmigod it's a dream come true, with whom I intend to train with in dressage. I am a tiny woman, and recently learned that I am old enough to be a "cougar" if I wanted to (much to my chagrin), so I am among the population of women of whom I speak. I have ridden some very fancy and very enormous upper level horses in the past, and although I really enjoyed them, when I had the opportunity to ride smaller, well-trained horses (a GRP and an Andalusian) I found that I was much more comfortable on smaller horses. Ever since then, I've wanted a small horse.

                              15 hands was actually my target height, and I set all of my searches to look for horses between 14 and 16 hands (so 14.1 to 15.3). I ended up buying at the top of my height range -- he is a giant Arab -- but it isn't because he's tall. It's because he's the coolest horse ever that anyone has ever met and I bought him because I want to hang out with him. I think he is going to be a BLAST to train in dressage, but I do realize that someone looking for a competitive upper-level prospect probably wouldn't have looked at him. (So what -- we'll show everyone!) I actually went to look at him in the first place because I looked at the ad and said, "nah, he's probably not as tall as they say he is" and was slightly chagrined to find that he actually IS that tall.

                              I have pretty long legs for my height. I am 5'1", my husband is 6' and he is always surprised that my inseam is only a few inches shorter than his (even given that women have relatively longer legs than men). People always tell me they thought I was taller from a distance. I'm having a really hard time believing that anyone around my height needs a 16+ hand horse to fill up her leg. I have video of me on a 14.2 hand pony I looked at (hard -- went back to see her twice) and I looked TOTALLY normal on that pony. She wasn't particularly round for a pony, either.

                              Big horses do everything big, and there are some things that are awesome about riding something that powerful and although I wanted a smaller horse, I can understand why some small riders crave the bigness.
                              MelanieC * Canis soloensis

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I think this is changing a lot. You're seeing a lot more people on smaller horses and looking for and breeding smaller horses. I am pretty tall and very long legged. My horses have been 16 hands and narrow on a good day. It's definitely harder in some ways to ride a smaller horse as you can't just sit there. My mare now is only 15.3, but actually so big in the barrel, she fits me better than the other ones did. This is a huge factor. I only look a little big on her.

                                I think the fad was huge horses for a long time and that is the carry over. When dressage was sort of just making it big, it seemed mostly small women on huge horses. In some ways it's easier, I think (not like I would know, really) to be smaller and just sit on a big trained horse. You don't have to work so much and can get away with being less balanced. I trained an 18.1 hand horse, and he was like that. But, in other ways, it had better be a very responsive horse, because you physically can't force anything. Debbie McDonald and Brentina are a good example of that.

                                I think the huge horses may also be going away a bit for soundness factors. You can only get so big proportionally and not start having the height and weight being a bigger and bigger factor on soundness. I don't know where everyone else is, but I've always seen smaller horses, and now am seeing a lot of smaller horses like Norwegian Fjords and some fabulous baroque smaller horses out there. If you're a smaller rider, you can get some kick ass smaller horses out there. But, like everything, as the fads change, pretty soon everyone will be going for smaller horses.

                                That said, I'm hoping the babies I'm waiting to grow up will be 16.2/16.3, which is a good height for me. I'm 5'9".

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  When I decided to look for a really nice prospect, I specifically was looking for 15 hands tops.
                                  I like to hack out when I can and prefer a horse I can hop off and on without needing a mounting block out in the woods.

                                  It would be silly to think that only a big horse can be fancy or a powerful mover.

                                  Out in my paddock right now, are 2 gigantic horses, one is a massive bodied 16'2, the other closer to 17, and lighter framed.

                                  Both my 15'2 mare and 15 hand gelding SO outmove both of them.

                                  What a settled on for my last horse and my competitive prospect is a Welsh, who will probably be a stocky 14'2, but the youngster moves like every inch of a 16 hand horse...lol

                                  I really do believe that much of it is that people just have the "bigger must be better" attitude about pretty much everything.

                                  I used to show dogs. What was standard for my breed 20 years ago, would seem runty nowadays.
                                  The dogs moved just as well at a healthier, more compact size; now they are larger with more health issues; but people just love to super size. =)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    In the GP ring, a 15h horse is at a disadvantage, it's for sure. Their gaits simply don't have the scope that a larger horse does, and some of the movements are much harder to execute well on a smaller horse (zig-zag, for example).

                                    Now, admittedly, my 15h horse doesn't have the *most* elastic movement, and we do get dinged for that, but there are things he will do very well, and often executes an 8 to get a 7.

                                    I even had a judge tell me that "if I squint my eyes and pretend he's a 'normal' size, he looks really good"

                                    I loff my little guy to pieces and we have had some very good tests, and will no doubt have more, but I wouldn't look for another horse at this size, because at the FEI level I think it is a bit of a handicap.

                                    My young horse is 16.1h and that's a perfect size :-).
                                    Liz Steacie
                                    Porcupine Hill Dressage
                                    Maitland, Ontario

                                    http://www.porcupinehill.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Sophie is a hair under 16 hands and a perfect height for me. I am a stout 5'4".

                                      If you are looking for a horse in the 16 hand range check out Irish Draughts and IDSH's. Supersize is NOT desirable and "undersize" is not penalized though there are some big guys out there
                                      I wasn't always a Smurf
                                      Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
                                      "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                                      The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        When I shop I tend to hit the 14.3-16hh range. I grew up riding QH ranch horses. To me 16hh is a HUGE horse and if he's so inclined can easily get out of my reach by lifting his/her head. I currently ride an absolutely stunning arab mare that is exactly 15hh. She's a 10 mover for dressage and has enough scope to clear the 2'6 courses at the schooling shows. I ADORE this mare and she is the right proportions for me BUT she is a witch to collect. Mostly cause her neck feels like its 10ft long(Halter bred on the top Endurance on the bottom) and she refuses to acknowledge she has a back end.

                                        But after 20+ years in the horse business unless I know the seller really well I will measure the horse or pony. I am never surprised to see the 15hh horse being passed off as 16hh. Or the 14.1/2 pony being passed off as 13hh.

                                        Dad offered this tidbit:14hh means pony 15hh means arab or QH, 16 is TB and 17 gotta be imported.
                                        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.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X