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Tall Riders and Their Mounts

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  • Tall Riders and Their Mounts

    First, let me say that I am a beginner and I don't mean for this topic to offend anyone. I just read this month's USDF Connection and the inside front cover really got my attention. It shows Debbie McDonald on Brentina and Adrienne Lyle on Felix. We all know that Debbie McDonald is a petite rider. However, her legs appear to be far enough on Brentina to give effective aids. I also believe that Debbie uses a lot of subtle seat aids when she rides. On the other hand, it appears that Adrienne Lyle is waaay too tall for Felix. Are riders' legs supposed to hang so far down below the horses' sides? I'm sure that Adrienne's primary means of communicating with Felix involves her seat as well, but it's just not a pretty picture to me. She looks too tall for this horse. Also, shouldn't dressage riders have some bend in their knees? By the way, I'm not implying that tall riders should all ride super tall horses, but there should be some consideration given to size and height when selecting your mounts. Any opinions?
    You either go to the hospital or you get back on.
    -George Morris

  • #2
    I'm not going to show a pony anytime soon probably except my daughters 14.2 H pony just to help her and him, but its not really to compete persay. I'm not that tall at 5'7 1/2 but I do have a lot of leg so I like them to be atleast 15.2 and can fill up my leg okay.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

    Comment


    • #3
      I love big horses, my main horse is 17.1, my 2 yr old colt is already 17.2. I am 5'7"

      My boys are both 6'+ - one rides a 17.2hh sport horse and one rides a 16.2hh mare and is training another 16.2hh mare. Most of our horses are 16.3+ and nothing in the barn less than 16.2.

      Its just our personal preferences but I do think my 6'2" son would look funny on a 14.2hh - 15hh horse.

      It just looks so much better when a larger rider is on a larger horse and I would think the balance comes into play too.

      Comment


      • #4
        It IS a prettier picture when horse and rider are physically suited to each other, but in dressage the emphasis is on training, not just the picture. Quite often ponies are shown by adults who are not perfect matches for them, size-wise. As long as the rider isn't overloading the horse/pony, it's not considered an issue at all.

        Comment


        • #5
          she is a lovely rider and winning...so I guess it's a good "pair". Felix is 17 hands BTW. Are you a jealous troll?
          Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by luv2ride113 View Post
            First, let me say that I am a beginner and I don't mean for this topic to offend anyone. I just read this month's USDF Connection and the inside front cover really got my attention. It shows Debbie McDonald on Brentina and Adrienne Lyle on Felix. We all know that Debbie McDonald is a petite rider. However, her legs appear to be far enough on Brentina to give effective aids. I also believe that Debbie uses a lot of subtle seat aids when she rides. On the other hand, it appears that Adrienne Lyle is waaay too tall for Felix. Are riders' legs supposed to hang so far down below the horses' sides? I'm sure that Adrienne's primary means of communicating with Felix involves her seat as well, but it's just not a pretty picture to me. She looks too tall for this horse. Also, shouldn't dressage riders have some bend in their knees? By the way, I'm not implying that tall riders should all ride super tall horses, but there should be some consideration given to size and height when selecting your mounts. Any opinions?

            You are correct - you are a beginner.
            ... _. ._ .._. .._

            Comment


            • #7
              Tall Riders and Their Mounts

              I just looked at the photos, and agree with the OP that this horse and rider combination appears (from the angle of the photo perhaps), to look a bit odd.

              It has nothing to do with her position, or the horses movement, but she looks very tall on a horse that looks almost pony sized. I understand that this is a horse that is 17 hands? Is Adrienne Lyle over 6' tall? I'm not trying to be difficult here, but your comment to the OP that she is a beginner was rather rude, particularly in view of this particular photo.

              She/he was just asking a question. No need to be cranky. Adrienne Lyle appears to have very long legs AND a long upper body in the photo. She looks to be a lovely and sensitive rider, but honestly, from a photographer's point of view, looks like she is riding a pony-albeit a very very lovely one.

              Comment


              • #8
                http://www.clubequestrian.com/photos...ship/2418.aspxhttp://www.clubequestrian.com/photos...ship/2418.aspx
                Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

                Comment


                • #9
                  Maybe it's just me but Lyle doesn't look too tall for Felix at all to me.

                  But in general, it doesn't matter. It may not be as pretty a picture but it isn't a big deal. I do think people give consideration to selecting horses, but sometimes that horse that is perfect in every way except he's a hand or so too small comes along and it turns out that height isn't that big of a deal after all.
                  exploring the relationship between horse and human

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm 5'6" with long legs and ride a 15.2 mare. My feet hang below her stomach. I deal with this by (1) using more seat than leg, (2) using more calf than heel, and (3) riding with swan-neck spurs. She's the only horse I actually own, so I can either deal with it or not have my own horse to ride.

                    Having ridden a wide range of heights, part of horse/rider compatibility has to do with barrel width...I've fit quite nicely on a narrow 17.3 guy.
                    http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...ncer/?start=20

                    Mares are like neutrons. If there are too many in an area, you approach critical mass. And then there are explosions. Loud ones.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      http://www.sporthorse.tv/video/e148f...f-8af3dbfe0ec8
                      Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No need to get mean or call names!

                        Lendon Gray rode Seldom Scene and Last Scene - They were connemara crosses and she's not a "short" woman.

                        There is a 5'8 lady in my area who is well known for showing PSG on her 13.1 hh Section C wesh cob

                        I'm 5'9 and gave up my 14.3 hh Arabian mare last year - not because of size but because of navicular. Sure I was a little tall for her but she didn't feel small, she could lengthen with the best of them and my weight was not a problem.
                        http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...1&id=665238181

                        I think it's just as odd to see a TINY lady on a massive horse. I saw a stallion ad this spring and I don't know much about the rider or the horse (Hexagon Louisville) but it seemed akward the other way.... The horse was just massive and the rider looked dwarfed in comparison.... I've seen other pics of the combination and they look like a nice pair too so the camera angle can change a lot.
                        The rebel in the grey shirt

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CosMonster View Post
                          Maybe it's just me but Lyle doesn't look too tall for Felix at all to me.
                          Me neither.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Lendon Gray rode Seldom Scene and Last Scene - They were connemara crosses and she's not a "short" woman.
                            huh? would you call her tall?
                            Lendon, how tall are you?
                            Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If the person is riding well what do you care?
                              Kathy Connelly is tiny as is Debbie MacDonald and both have done quite well. YIKES! I will have to let my 4'11 niece know that I don't care how well she is doing on that 17 hand horse she is not to ride him...just get off...people will talk!
                              Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I watched the video...all I can say is wow! I think they are a beautiful team and she is a very elegant rider.

                                I'm tall and I don't look petite on anything I ride! If I'm on a slab sided or smaller horse, I just have to close my leg more. I've always been told by the dressage crowd that I am lucky to have such long legs.

                                I think we all just got used to seeing 5' women on 17 hand massive warmbloods and it skewed our judgment a bit.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Well, I remember seeing Debbie ride Felix as a naughty youngster, back when he popped lots of wheelies, and she wasn't sure he was going to go anywhere! My, have things changed! I thought he looked like a nice large horse back then (says the 5'2" shorty who's largest horse is almost 17.2 (we didn't think he'd finish so big)), and he was quite the handful! Anyone remember that?

                                  That being said, I think Adriane is extremely tall, and she could use a taller and wider horse. In fact, I have one I could trade her that would take up her long leg better than Felix!

                                  Honestly? I think she makes him look small, which he is not.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think we all just got used to seeing 5' women on 17 hand massive warmbloods and it skewed our judgment a bit.
                                    Ya talkin' about me?

                                    I ride the 10 hand pony Hot Rod to the 17.2 hand Snortalupagus. I've learned to ride whatever comes my way. I prefer larger horses myself with medium width to it's rib cage, and not really the 15 or under handers. The 17.2 is wide and deep in the heart girth, and he really is a bit big, but he is not super long. I actually had a judge tell me I was too small for that horse! I was a bit offended, since I own him. I mean, what was I going to do, sell him just because he grew a bit too tall?

                                    I think it just really boils down to how effective a rider you are. It's not the size that matters in this case!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      A few pics....

                                      Lendon Gray & Seldom Scene...
                                      http://www.hudsonvalleyhorsesource.c...lk/lendon2.jpg

                                      Jo McCracken & Dragon's Lair Pink Perfection "Mollie"
                                      http://www.mobilehorsesupply.com/ima...m/Mollie-2.jpg
                                      The rebel in the grey shirt

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I think we all just got used to seeing 5' women on 17 hand massive warmbloods and it skewed our judgment a bit.
                                        That's interesting that you bring that up because I was just talking to my vet about this very thing. She made a comment about being happy to see that my mare was a "reasonable size" at 16.2 after I told her that I was her breeder. She said she thinks the trend for the bigger sized WB has swung the other way because she seen that a lot of her smaller female clients have difficulty with the really big horses. So we'll see if this is so.

                                        Comment

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