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Am I too heavy to ride a pony?

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  • Am I too heavy to ride a pony?

    Hi,
    We recently bought a 12.2 hh, med build, welsh cross for a little girl on our farm. The pony is generally a very good boy, but sometimes has days where he needs a little tune up. I think he would benefit from having an experienced rider hop on him every one and awhile. My question is: At 5'9 and 127lbs, am I too heavy to get on the pony for a very light school (no jumping and very little cantering) when he needs it?

    Thanks in advance!!!

  • #2
    I personally do not think so. I mean 12.2 is pretty small, but you really are not that heavy. Plus you won't be jumping, just flatting.
    I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.

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    • #3
      I dont think you are too big/heavy. My pony that I event at BN is 13.2 and I am 5'2'' and weigh 148 lbs. I did at one time weight 172 lbs and we did fine then. I also show him first level dressage and get decent scores.

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      • #4
        Add me too the "not too big" camp. I'm about 5'6" and a bit heavier than you and while I don't jump smalls, I've hacked plenty of them.

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        • #5
          I ride a 13.2 pony, I am 5'5" and can be any where from 125-135 depending

          I ride the pony on trail rides, do w/t/c and jump round a 2'6" course. She seems to handle it just find. So you just schooling this one is probably no problem at all.

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          • #6
            I say probably no
            Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors

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            • #7
              Nope. I'm shorter and more square than you =) and I have had to tune some smalls. Remember,their original job was to pull coal out of the mines or lug wagons around ( I think my mini just had a heart attack at the thought of real work.....)
              Come to the dark side, we have cookies

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              • #8
                Not at all. I'm shorter than you but roughly your weight and I've spend many, many rides schooling rotten smalls. Just hike up your stirrups and tune the little bugger.

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                • #9
                  Just do be aware that when the proportions are so different you may or may not have severe balance issues (if you are...say...long backed and tall yourself) and if said small is a back cracker with a short-ish neck you may look like a fool as you get jumped out of the tack by a kids pony.

                  Just sayin' Not that it ever happened to me...or anything.

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                  • #10
                    No you're fine. I used to school a 13.1 POA 3' - 3'6 and I was 5'8 and 135 lbs.
                    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OneGrayPony View Post
                      Just do be aware that when the proportions are so different you may or may not have severe balance issues (if you are...say...long backed and tall yourself) and if said small is a back cracker with a short-ish neck you may look like a fool as you get jumped out of the tack by a kids pony.

                      Just sayin' Not that it ever happened to me...or anything.
                      HAHAHAH I'm 5'7" and rode a small medium (13hh ish) the other day and could not keep my leg down over fences for the life of me! I felt like such an idiot on a tiny pony over 2'!!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OneGrayPony View Post
                        Just do be aware that when the proportions are so different you may or may not have severe balance issues (if you are...say...long backed and tall yourself) and if said small is a back cracker with a short-ish neck you may look like a fool as you get jumped out of the tack by a kids pony.

                        Just sayin' Not that it ever happened to me...or anything.
                        HA! Yeah, you're probably not too heavy, but the height thing may be a problem. I was about your weight in college, when I went to visit a friend who'd been riding some Welshes where she was boarding. I got to hack around a pony who was a lovely medium, and we were fine to walk and trot, but I asked for a canter, and was somehow left standing on the ground as the pony went on around the ring I'd been riding much bigger horses, though, so it was a big adjustment; if you've been riding something not so big yourself, it might not be as problematic.
                        A Year In the Saddle

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                        • #13
                          I doubt weight's a problem--I weigh more than you and I rode a 13.1 (flatted w/t/c, not jumping) but I agree the height and proportions might be at the least, a surprise! The pony I was on was fairly round-bodied, so the leg wasn't as much of an issue, but that short little neck after being used to 15.3+++ Lucky in front of me was an adjustment.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by aadams89 View Post
                            Hi,
                            We recently bought a 12.2 hh, med build, welsh cross for a little girl on our farm. The pony is generally a very good boy, but sometimes has days where he needs a little tune up. I think he would benefit from having an experienced rider hop on him every one and awhile. My question is: At 5'9 and 127lbs, am I too heavy to get on the pony for a very light school (no jumping and very little cantering) when he needs it?

                            Thanks in advance!!!
                            It's more that it will be very easy for you to unbalance the pony, it also will take pony very little time to be very good for you & slip back into his usual pattern with his little person.

                            If possible, also find a similar sized kid to help keep pony schooled.

                            Obviously if little person starts every/most rides with trainer & then continues to ride pony mostly when trainer is in the arena/close by, this will have more general application; & if little person is a good match for pony, frequency of lessons can drop off quickly.

                            So much depends on the pony, friends have a POA & even after 5 years with an excellent trainer & tune-ups as needed, he still makes sure every ride that his rider is up to snuff
                            But at the same time, he is very forgiving of the novice littles & works to keep them balanced up there (he is a much nicer pony when he works twice a day).

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                            • #15
                              Yea, ditto to the balance thing. Shorter bodied horse means less room for you up there!

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                              • #16
                                I see other people have touched on the balance thing, and the general lack of horse underneath you. I find my legs waving around in the breeze a lot when I ride our pony who is supposedly 14 and change but I've never measured him and I suspect he's more like 13 and change. There's no barrel to take up my leg and it's a bit different.

                                And they've touched on the fact that ponies are quite smart and will be very aware of the skill levels of their various riders.

                                I'd say you are better off with a very good small rider, at least the pony won't be so quick to assume that all small people are marks.
                                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                Incredible Invisible

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                                • #17
                                  I'm 5'8 and 143 and have ridden DD's 12.0 hand pony we used to lease and her 13.0 hand pony we own. I don't like to do it, but have done it. You're fine

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Thanks for the replies! I'm not planning on getting on him much, but just wanted to make sure I wouldn't squish him! I have an adult friend that is 5'1, who I'm hoping to recruit for this job.

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                                    • #19
                                      My friend has a stocky 13-hand pony that she bought for her son. Until he's big enough to ride solo, she rides the pony and sits him in front of her. The two of them together weigh about 175, and the pony does just fine. Like others say, it's the balance, not the weight, that will be the challenge.
                                      RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

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