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Short Horses in the Hunter Ring?

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  • #21
    If you like the horse? Buy her. BUT buy what you see at a price that reflects what you see. Not assuming she will grow 3" a d make the honest 3' lines and fences at a quality rated if that where you intend to aim her.

    Bit of a reality check in what judges are using in today's AA ring- they want them almost walking the lines and if she needs to go more forward to open up the step? It hurts you in top competition.

    I showed a 15.3 Adult Hunter AA and she did well enough moving forward to get the lines up until about 2007. Then we were outnumbered by those just loping the lines and dropped off the radar. It is what it is. I haven't seen much indication of anything changing in the classes I have been watching.

    You know, I don't think there are any carded 15 handers in the A/Os, most of the smaller ones are 15.3. Likewise with the AAs.
    If OP realizes her trainer is right to have some doubts and the price is right? Maybe worth a shot to take a chance but be ready with plan B.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    • #22
      Go for it! I'm a little envious...at 6' tall I have to pay a premium for height. I wish I could shop in the under 16h department But yeah, concur with above...if a 14.1h pony can do the 3' and get the strides then no reason why the 15h horses can't. I like the point someone else made about the smaller ones making a more attractive jump at the lower heights.
      The big guy: Lincoln

      Southern Maryland Equestrian


      • #23
        Another vote for the smaller horses! My daughter's children's hunter is 15:1 on her tip toes - interesting - she is a Voltaire granddaugher ( by Forever KWPN ) .

        No challenges making the lines - actually the opposite - can leave out a step when she gets rolling. If things go well this year the plan would be to do the small juniors next year.

        Actually just contacted someone with a small Voltaire grand-daughter for sale.

        I'm 5'1" - my daugher is 5'5" ( all legs ) and the size works for both of us.

        Are you able to post pis? Would love to see her.

        The fact that her height could most likely be attributed to her being a twin in a bonus - down the road she could have value as a broodmare.


        • #24
          short horse

          Originally posted by RottiMom View Post
          She is by Voltaire frozen, and the mare is older but has KWPN papers (not sure what that means exactly, I think its a type of Dutch Warmblood?) Her breeding is wonderful for jumping, and I just am in heaven riding her gaits. She was a twin that was missed on initial exam in pregnancy, but the other twin reabsorbed within an acceptable timeframe. They feel this is why she is small, although she is very healthy.

          I do attend WEF with my horses, although I have yet to work up the courage to actually show them myself And yes, she IS that nice. Just short haha!

          Luckily I dont need to loose weight, I fear "rusty stirrup" rider is the best way to describe my age and just dont have the body I did when I was 20. I consider myself very fit for my age, Im just not that lean mean green-bean I once was. However, treadmill may have to come out from storage
          Since she is a WB, and a twin...she may grow. In that she is by Voltaire....I doubt if you will have trouble making the lines, especially if you say she has wonderful gaits.


          • #25
            One of my best hunters is a 15.3 Ottb !! Some of the bigger shows now even offer a small hunter division-requirement is to be under 15.3 I think! Also in my experience I think the lines feel easier if the jumps are up a little higher....it doesn't feel as forward and going like it does jumping over 2'6 or lower

            I also wanted to add that my 15.3 horse has a bigger stride than one of my 17h horses


            • #26
              I would have two conditions on a horse that size 1) price is right and 2) QUIET brain. I emphasize the second because oncee you've made her up if she isn't going to make it as a 3' horse, smaller horses that are quiet and tolerant are marketable to the up to 2'6" crowd.


              • #27
                I have a coming 5yo, 15.2H Hungarian Warmblood that literally lopes the lines. We took her to the VHSA Finals and she left out a stride on the last line after an other-wise perfect trip! I purchased her to be my A/O Hunter (I'm only 5') and I wanted something that would win the hack and over fences. This filly does both...and has the BEST brain! We're toying around with the idea of selling her since I'm not going to be showing like I thought I was going to be able to. Honestly, I'm not doing a huge discount due to her height. She makes the strides better than many big horses and because she is a touch on the small side, jumps the heck out of the fences (yet has no problems schooling 3'6" plus). Take Jupiter for an example. He is on the smaller side, but is a "10" in every way.


                • #28
                  Sounds like you have already made up your mind. Get her.


                  • #29
                    Good luck! My 15.1 mare does 3'6 with ease and makes the strides. She is not going hell bent either!
                    Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                    • Original Poster

                      So we put an offer in on her, pending a vet check. However there are apparently others also interested and they are taking offers until Monday night. Kind of feels like buying a house! I wonder if the sellers are using the "low price" to encourage higher bids. We shall see!!

                      Rode her again this morning, and perfection. I really like her. That barns trainer brought out a measuring stick and she stands just slightly over 15.1hh, she feels she would have no doubt in her mind that she will finish 15.2hh+.


                      • #31
                        My young one (2.5 right now) is barely 15hh, I think she will finish 15.1. She also has a huge step so Im not concerned. It will be a change from my other horses who are both over 16hh. Im actaully very much looking forward to a smaller ride! I plan do to with her whatever she wants, she is certainly fancy enough to be a hunter but if she wants to do jumpers whenn she's ready Im game for that too!

                        She is a voltaire grandaughter, must be something in the genes that runs small. At least they can jump! She has no problem clearing the 4'6" fence!!

                        Best of luck with your offer!


                        • #32
                          Please let us know what happens! And of course, post pics


                          • #33
                            I have a small hunter who I have to whoa down the lines with!!! My Voltaire granddaughter ( my other hunter) is huge however!!!


                            • #34
                              SMALL HORSES IN SHOW RING

                              Keep in mind large pony hunters (13.3-14.1) jump 3' courses and the distances are set for a 11-12 ft stride so there is no reason why your 15.2 hand horse couldn't do the 3' AA's.

                              One of the horses I ride is only 15.1 and when the fences are bigger the easier it is to make the strides. Since he is a smaller horse he is more impressed by the size of the jumps and actually jumps much tidier and more expressive then some of the 17 handers who just "step" over the fence. Also, he wins the hack a lot....

                              Years ago I rode a 15.2 hand paint who had a super jump and a huge stride, he won everywhere.

                              A good judge is looking for eight perfect jumps, seamless lead changes and a happy expression, regardless of the size of the horse.


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by iridebays View Post
                                Keep in mind large pony hunters (13.3-14.1) jump 3' courses and the distances are set for a 11-12 ft stride so there is no reason why your 15.2 hand horse couldn't do the 3' AA's.
                                I was speaking of the bigger AA shows where the 3' lines are set more at and honest 12' with some pushing 13' and they do not use the same course as the Ponies without ever moving the lines.

                                And many 13.2-14.2h Ponies can't make their lines either, that's why Division Ponies cost so much more.

                                If OP likes the mare here and she has added the info it sticks at 15.1? She'll probably be OK in all but the elite level competitions assuming she does not appear to be working harder then the bigger horses, especially in combinations.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                • #36
                                  I'll echo everyone else who says it has everything to do with the size of her step.

                                  I had a 15.1h mare who could lope the lines better than my 17h horses (though we did the jumpers with her, not the hunters). I had a kid take her to a show early in the year and told her to leave a stride out of an 8-stride line (dead on 8, set on a 12' step) in the jump-off of a 1.10m class. She did it in 5 without looking like she was galloping (though the jump out was an awfully long distance!). My mouth was hanging open when they crossed the finish line. That was the moment that I knew she wasn't going to have a problem at 1.40m

                                  What was funny was the number of time I'd hear people at the back gate saying, "did you see that tiny mare do that in a 5? We must have walked it wrong...." Nope. Tiny mare had a massive step!

                                  With that being said, she was definitely an exception to the rule. My 15.3h mare struggled big time over the big courses because her natural step was somewhere between a 10' and 11' stride. I think of that as a more normal expectation on a smaller horse. And as findeight pointed out, it can be an eye-opener to go to a big AA show and realize that a 13' line is a different beast than a line set at 11.5/12'. And not because the horses *can't* do it, but because they have to hustle a bit more to make it and that hustle can drop you out of the ribbons.

                                  To the OP - good luck and please update with pics if you get her!
                                  Flying F Sport Horses
                                  Horses in the NW


                                  • #37
                                    I agree that it all does have to do with stride. My 15.3 hunter has a large stride then my 16.3 hunter and she also has a huge jump. She has no problem with the lines at WEF and at local shows I struggle to not leave one out!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Still waiting to hear if my offer was accepted. Not a patient person!


                                      • #39
                                        See the "Keeping with the the Kennedys" article in the Chronicle this week. Ebony is pictured over a 4ft oxer from the Derby finals and he's 15.2. Does the A/Os.


                                        • #40
                                          My mare is 15.1 and I'm 5'4. I prefer a smaller horse, closer to the ground My mare is on the short strided side but gets the strides if I push her without an issue. I'd never pass up a quality horse because of height, hope you get her!