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15.1 hand sport horse - is eventing in her future?

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  • 15.1 hand sport horse - is eventing in her future?

    I have a little 15.1 hand 1/2 Trakehner mare that I THINK would be a good event type. I'm not sure if that is doable or makes sense for me, I am 5'9". I generally ride the bigger guys (16.2+) for the hunters, and then I like to play some with the large ponies and do the pony hunter gig with some of the local kids. In hunter jumper land the 15.1 size is just not very popular. My little mare is 5 years old, and I have not found the time to break her yet. I have been breeding for specific characteristics for the hunter arena and she is not quite within those parameters. So I keep passing her over and putting miles on the other ponies and horses.
    It seems like all the event horses out there are the big super size models, and there is not much of a future for a little 15.1 hand green model. I know that there are great stories about the little horse that succeeds, but that sure seems to be the BIG STORY because it was the LITTLE HORSE. Is it worth all the time and expense to bring along a horse like this for the eventers, or will she most likely get passed over due to size?

    I've got some photos and video of her on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8NIjV6OfZw

    I've thought of putting her in my sport pony broodmare band but she seems too nice to be made into an instant broodmare.
    Would enjoy feedback from the COTHERs.

  • #2
    Since shes only five and warmblood she will probably grow more, my friend's horse is 1/2 trek 1/2 tb and he grew at least three inches in his 5/6 year old years. Some just develop later. Plus, if she has the build to jump, it will probably say more about her ability than just her size alone. You have tons of people in eventing who arent interested in huge horses for many reasons, be it that they are small themselves, think they hold up better, or just prefer a smaller horse. My horse is 15.3 and built very proportionately; I didnt want anything over 16.1. It doesnt seem like you have anything to lose by putting a little time into her and if she does well, it will only up the price of her foals if you do end up breeding her.
    RIP Charlie and Toby

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    • #3
      Many years ago, when Mike Plumb was coaching Kim Marra, he was raving about her little pinto, wishing she was bigger so that he could ride her himself.

      That "little pinto" was Finvarra, and with Torrance Watkins, went on to win the individual bronze medal at some big event, either the World Championships or Olympics, I can`t remember which.

      The good little ones don`t know they`re little.
      http://www.tamarackhill.com/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Suzanne At Shadow Hollow View Post
        It seems like all the event horses out there are the big super size models, and there is not much of a future for a little 15.1 hand green model.
        Where'd you hear this? There are all kinds, shapes, and sizes of eventers, especially at the lower levels. There are many examples of smaller horses at the upper levels as well, as per this thread:
        http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=74259

        True, the market for a little, green, chestnut mare is not terribly robust, but that is the case for any discipline. I did notice that she was pretty game and clever over the jump in the video, which is appealing in an event prospect.

        So the short answer is that her size alone will not prevent her from being a successful event horse-- but there are a lot of variables in play.
        SportHorseRiders.com
        Taco Blog
        *T3DE 2010 Pact*

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        • #5
          What's her other half? She's really cute!

          My mare is 15.2 and my old mare was 15h even. She did a couple of Intermediates and 4' jumpers. Denny's right -they don't know they're little. Especially the chestnut mare types.

          Now, at 5'9" you may be too big for her, but I'm not! If I had stall.....

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          • #6
            She's cute! I like a smaller horse. I think though if you are trying to sell her not even started, well you are going to have a tough time. If you can get her started, w/t/c, jumping, trails, some little XC stuff, then you will have a much easier time marketing her as a potential eventer.

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            • #7
              She is *cute*. I'm in Louisville, so you can just send her right across the river now, thank you

              She reminds me of a mare my sister was competing last fall...except that mare was a 14 hand Quarter Horse. She was a dynamite little jumper and my sister (5'9", like yourself) had a BLAST competing her.

              I have a 15.2hh TB mare for sale as an event prospect right now...I've found it's a little harder to market the smaller ones, but with time and patience, there ARE people out there who like the smaller mounts. I prefer them smaller myself, despite my height.

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                I've wanted to get her started, I just cannot find the time. I do think she is game at the jumps, careful, not spooky, but not overly aggressive. I know getting them started is the best way to get them into a good home. With the economy so poor, I cannot justify spending the money to send her for someone to start either. And of course I am short on stalls and help, so I really don't have a spot for her. Very frustrating at my end, to be in this position. I might feel different if I did not see so much good in her.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by denny View Post
                  Many years ago, when Mike Plumb was coaching Kim Marra, he was raving about her little pinto, wishing she was bigger so that he could ride her himself.

                  That "little pinto" was Finvarra, and with Torrance Watkins, went on to win the individual bronze medal at some big event, either the World Championships or Olympics, I can`t remember which.

                  The good little ones don`t know they`re little.


                  You age is catching up...that was Poltroon...Finvarra was chestnut. Poltroon took part in the alternate Olympics in 80 and won bronze.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I bought a trak/tb mare that is 3 and is probably pushing 15.3 right now. She will be 4 in late May. I hoping for a bit more height--but if we don't get it, I don't see any problem with her size. The person I train with (Advanced level eventer, certified instructor) thought she was plenty big for eventing (I was concerned about it when I was considering buying her). I'm "vertically challenged" myself, so I don't need a big horse, but I was used to bigger. My Tb mare is 16.1 (not big--just medium) and my gelding before that was 16.3.

                    However, for her age, she seems to be very balanced, has a terrific canter and is completely game about jumping (has nice form o/f too). That is probably the most important part for a future eventer.
                    Last edited by slp2; Feb. 6, 2010, 09:57 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I'm 5'9" and I event a 15 hand (15.1 if he stands up straight) gelding. He's got the build to carry me, and he's plenty scopey to go up through Novice, which is all I really want. Even though I'm tall, I prefer the smaller horses. There's no reason she can't be a successful event horse.
                      life + horses
                      beljoeor.blogspot.com

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                      • #12
                        haha, See, I'm having sort of the opposite problem you mentioned, I've found that most eventers (at least lower level) are around 16h or less. Which makes it tough when you need a bigger horse to find one!

                        If you get her going I don't think you'll have any problems getting her sold, either as a eventer if she has the dressage and XC skills, or as a jumper. Really I think the hunters are the only ones who really get hung up on size, because you have to have that 17h horse to 'make the strides' even if you're only 5'2".

                        Honestly, in the Western events full grown men look perfectly fine on a 14.3h QH, so I don't think you'll have too hard of a time marketing a 15.1h nice mare.
                        You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

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                        • #13
                          You`re right, Poltroon. What the hell, after 55 years they all blend anyway!
                          http://www.tamarackhill.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think it's hard to ask if a horse will be good at somethingby showing a video. Is she cute and a great mover sure, but you need to start doing it and see what they can do. Poltroon is a great example and so is the mare that won Rolex last year. How about Teddy and a cast of thousands that are under 15.3?

                            You can breed forever, but it isn't until someone gets on and asks if the horse wants to do the task at hand. I think the right rider is very important as well, would the mare have won Rolex last year with someone else? Maybe not. . .
                            RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                            "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              She is absa-freaking-dorable, and I wish I lived closer to you. I am on the hunt for a smallish (15hh to 15.3ish, I'm only 5'3" and not terribly brave) low-level event prospect. My problem is, I want something quality, but have no desire to compete at Rolex And it seems like around here, if you aren't looking to take on the world, all that's left is... well... nothing I would buy.

                              Basically you probably aren't going to want to market this mare to riders looking for an upper-level prospect... but someone looking for a nice quality horse to show locally or in the lower levels will be thrilled with her.
                              Vancouver Equine
                              www.vaneq.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Eventing is a great sport for the little guys! I think for them to be most marketable sales wise though it is very important that if they are under 15.3 they be well broke and quiet.

                                My guy is 15.1 on a tall day and of ummm unusual breeding. Pictures here- http://www.coyotecreekfarm.net/Spot_On.html

                                He won a training three day last fall and ribboned at his first prelim. He is not even actually for sale but I have had people inquire about him and at a good price point! I think his best selling point is that he is very solid and sensible.

                                So yes, I think you can sell a small event horse. However, to get the most possible buyers and the best price the horse needs to be quiet and have a decent amount of experince. I think a "small prospect" will sell for less then a "tall prospect" but once they both start preforming things even out a bit. Just my opinion though

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by denny View Post
                                  You`re right, Poltroon. What the hell, after 55 years they all blend anyway!




                                  I have always felt bad for Torrance as she was the first lady rider to win a an IND medal for the US eventing team at an "Olympics", but as these were not an official Olympics Karen Stives got the credit in Los Angeles.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Except for you Snoopy, you`re amazing. You can remember every detail of things that happened decades ago. You should write the definitive history of USA eventing.
                                    No joke, ever thought about that?
                                    http://www.tamarackhill.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Denny, funny that...

                                      I seem to remember all the little things like:

                                      Bruce getting stuck under water at Bromont 76 where Cappy was standing on him (and the reins) and Bruce thinking he was going to drown right there.

                                      Tad Coffin having trouble breathing at Bromont because of the humidity as we was not allowed to use his inhaler.


                                      Maryanne Tauskey making the decision to retire Marcus when he pulled up slightly lame after a conditioning gallop and felt that as this was the first time he ever came up lame in his whole career and "he owed her nothing" she decided he was done eventing.

                                      Bizarre things I seem to remember....
                                      Last edited by snoopy; Feb. 6, 2010, 04:01 PM.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by WishIWereRiding View Post
                                        She's cute! I like a smaller horse. I think though if you are trying to sell her not even started, well you are going to have a tough time. If you can get her started, w/t/c, jumping, trails, some little XC stuff, then you will have a much easier time marketing her as a potential eventer.
                                        I agree! Little is not an issue in eventing especially at the lower levels, and many of us older (ahem) riders prefer a little horse over a monster
                                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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

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