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A trail horse for me that is

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  • A trail horse for me that is

    NOT less than 16 hh??? I have been searching all sites trying to find a trail horse that would be suitable for me. Since I am tall I would like a horse that is over 16 hands. Everything I look at is 15.2/15.3 or smaller. I am used to warmbloods but most advertized trail horses are quarter horses. Any advice on where to look for a taller trail horse??? Thanks.

  • #2
    I did a search on dreamhorse.com and had 10 pages of results, maybe try there?


    • Original Poster


      some of them are a bit out of my price range and not so quiet but thanks!


      • #4
        Maybe look at some TWH's- there are lots in the 16h range. Although, even if you are tall- if you are going to be doing some serious trail riding- you might not love the tall after a bit.
        (From person who is tired of having to get off their 17.3 h trail horse to go under things that most everybody else fits under just fine)
        "Can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding"


        • #5
          define tall?

          Most tall riders will still ride a 16hh or less horse based on where they are riding and doing out there. A truly trall horse can be a royal pain in the ass.. this from a person who rides a 161.hh endurance horse, I was upset he got so tall when he was growing. And I cuss at him everytime I have to climb on and off to open close a gate in a race.

          If you have to get on and off a lot, do trails with a lot of tree coverage, heavy forestation etc you'll be cussing at a tall horse more so then you think.
          Go for a smaller horse with a barrel that fits your leg.

          Tall isn't always better. esp in heavy country riding.
          Originally posted by ExJumper
          Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.


          • #6
            What sort of trail riding do you do? 'Cause rainechyldes is right that there are times when being on a very tall horse isn't really to your advantage on the trail (ask me about the 18+ hand draft I rode a couple times...LOL).

            That said, if you're set on a taller horse you could check out a rescue like http://gentlegiantsdrafthorserescue....bleHorses.html
            The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
            Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


            • #7
              Don't discount any QH under 16 hh - try them out if all else fits. I'm a leggy 5'9", ride a 15 hh QH and do not look silly on her. She easily takes up my leg. It's all how the horse is built.


              • #8
                *Some* of those 15.3hh horses might actually have been posted by an owner who can use a measuring stick...

                I'm 5'10", with a 35" inseam, and have a 15.3hh Appendix that takes up my leg quite well and has plenty of power for jumping and rough terrain. I tried to sell her at one point, and you wouldn't believe how many people passed when they saw her because they didn't believe my ad and thought she was "too big" in real life.


                • #9
                  I'm 5'7" and my last 2 horses have been a solid 15.0 hands. I also find that very few people really know how tall their horse is. I can be riding next to someone and their horse will be noticably shorter than mine and they'll tell me their horse is 16 hands....

                  My foot is right at the bottom of their bellies. I agree with the others that tall horses aren't always as desirable.


                  • #10
                    I agree with all who say "don't discount the smaller (shorter) horses". Some of the very best "trail" horses I've had were 14.3 -15.1 --- with big bones, and big barrel. Maybe I'm just thinking about the trails around here -- with lots of trees that tend to fall across the trail. Being able to "go under" the tree is far more "fun" than getting off / getting back on -- or - going up the "bank" of the trail, and then back down.
                    Rough country seems to be the norm on a lot of trails around here (Ga) -- Give me a short "sturdy" horse any day to ride this type of trail. I guess that if you have access to a lot of "open" country, or trails that are maintained and kept free of debris, then the shorter horse may not give you an advantage over having a 16-+ hh horse.


                    • #11
                      My 6' tall SO rides a 14.3 hand SSH the best thing is how easy it is for him to get off and pick up my bandana if I drop it...Since me on the 16.2 Maggie mare doesn't really wanna climb down and shimmy back up . And yes, she really is 16.2, Scout's honor. Heaven knows I'd have been happy at 15.2, but she had other ideas.


                      • #12
                        I'm 5'10", and my horse is 14.3. She takes up my leg just fine, and we are much more manueverable on the trail than I was on my 16hh walking horse. I'll second the idea that nobody knows how tall their horse is. Everyone seems to think their horse is 15.2 or bigger, but most just aren't. You have to have a stick with a level to really measure a horse.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by katarine View Post
                          ...the best thing is how easy it is for him to get off and pick up my bandana if I drop it...
                          Chivalry is not dead!

                          I'm 5'8" and the two horses I usually trail on are 14.2h and 15h. Do have one over 16h, but he doesn't get ridden much these days. The older I get the more I like being closer to earth...for various reasons. A good friend bought a 3yr old trail mount a couple of years ago...he's currently 16.3h. She's no spring chicken, either, and gets a real workout climbing aboard...can't see it getting any easier for her as time goes on. She also came off from a spook in an arena last spring and cracked a couple of ribs. Not saying you don't break things falling from a smaller horse, but it's a heck of a shorter distance to travel when you no longer bounce as well.
                          Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?


                          • #14
                            I'm 5'9" and as I get older my horses are definitely getting shorter. My two trail horses are 15.2 and 15.3 hh., and as some have said, it's a lot easier to get on a shorter horse.


                            • #15
                              I have an honest to goodness 16h AQHA mare that is very round and muscular. I am 5-3" and pretty overweight and still look like a fly riding an elephant. She's a gorgeous dun too and is a great trail horse with lovely gaits. As expected, she's pretty hard for me to mount without a stump, small ditch, rock to stand on. And I'm so much taller on her than my riding companions that I get the spider webs in the face, as well as having to squash myself against her neck to get under lower hanging limbs.

                              You will find one, hang in there. Look for a foundation bred (a good one, not a fugly one) horse and you will get into the bigger, bulkier QH. In addition, you are more likely to get that "to-die-for" slow smooth jog and a smooth canter, with speedy smooth gallop too! If you are close to me, you could come try her on for size.


                              • #16
                                For a very good trail horse look for a TWH. They are breeding lots of big ones these days. Try several so you know what their gaits are like. They make VERY good trail horses. Also, something fun to learn how to do if you are new to gaited horses. You will giggle when you start to move out and just "sit" to their "trot" all the time. IOW you do not post to a horse which gaits. Ride the glide. I switched to gaited, much easier on my body. I have a Rocky, but they do not have any which are that big, or rather very few.


                                • #17
                                  Trust me, a tall horse can be a major pain..... I am 5'1'' and ride a stout 16 hand ranch QH. I look like midget up there! Having to get on/off all the time because I can't duck under stuff, gets really old. It's hard to reach down far enough to undo some gates, I have to look for something to use as a mounting block or at least a ditch or hill to stand him on. I ''can'' get on from flat ground if I have no choice... At least I can a couple of times. After too many times my hip starts to feel like it's separating in a bad way.

                                  My main trail ''horses'' are ponies. 2 are only 13.2, my endurance prospect is 14.1.. My little Qh. is 15.1 and I hope he is done growing. You have to remember when you look at a 15.2 hand horse, that it is only inches away from being 16 hands. If the horse is built to carry you, then height really isn't a big issue in a trail horse. I would base my decision more on temperament and soundness of body and mind. Good Luck!!
                                  Just cause you move to Texas, doesn't mean you are a Texan. After all, if a cat puts her kittens in the oven, It doesn't make them Bisquits.


                                  • #18
                                    I agree with the others, do not discount the "shorter" (under 16 hh) horses I prefer a smaller horse on the trail for sure. My boys are 14.2 and 15 hh. My horse before them was 16.1 hh and the difference it makes for getting on/off on the trail to do gates, lead them up hills, etc...is huge. I much prefer my smaller horses (though I am 5'4"...however my husband is 5'8" and he prefers them around 15 hh as well and he certainly doesn't look too big on our horses either).

                                    I also agree with those who said if you are dead set on a taller horse, look at some TWH's I have ridden a few and they are usually a bit taller and quite nice to ride. Once you get used to that nice gait it's almost hard to go back to a non-gaited horse LOL
                                    Play It By Heart (Player) ~ 1999 bay Arabian gelding
                                    Chall Struck WA (Little John) ~ 2005 chestnut Arabian gelding


                                    • #19
                                      Both of my boyfriend's TWH geldings are over 16hh.

                                      His "small horse" is just about 16hh (that's the naughty red-headed stepchild horse, who can be a handful but is a blast when his brain is working).

                                      The horse he rides primarily is seventeen hands. . .a big and beefy Pusher-bred gelding. Getting on his back from the ground isn't as much of an issue as getting over it.

                                      Both horses are trained to park out for mounting, which makes it easier when there are no stumps or logs available to use as a mounting block. Not to say that they're impossible to get on from the ground when not "parked," but it does make it easier.

                                      Having said that, my own "little black" TWH is about 15.1 and suffers from a serious case of "little man syndrome." However, he is my top pick when it comes to riding rougher trail because he is so steady-minded and sure-footed and with the kind of temperament that will do absolutely anything for his rider.
                                      Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.


                                      • #20
                                        I have to agree, I prefer a bigger horse. I don't want anything under 16hh, my current girl is 17.1hh.

                                        Maybe don't search for "trail horse" but search for family, or 4h or something like that. A lot of times people don't put trail horse in the attributes section. If you find a nice, quiet horse, it will do just fine on the trail (especially if they let you try it on the trail before purchasing) even if that hasn't been its primary career in the past! Good luck in your search. I might have a really pretty 16hh App mare for sale soon if you are still looking!