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Short Horses in the Hunter Ring?

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  • Short Horses in the Hunter Ring?

    Hi I have a question, I have the opportunity to add another horse to my collection. She is a really really pretty mare, only 4 so has a little more growing to do but not much. She is one of the nicest movers my coach has ever seen and although she is only jumping 2'6 right now she is SO wonderful to ride. I love the way she feels. She does make the horse strides ok but we do have to keep a more open pace. It doesnt feel like she is running though. She is 15hh, they feel she might grow up to be 15.1 but 15.2hh is pushing it. Im not short but not tall (5'5) and Im not as lean as I used to be either. I do feel a little big on her, but im used to my other horses who are much larger.

    I will be retiring my old guy after this season and the younger (old) one is just not clicking with me yet 100%.

    I do show with a barn that does the A circuit, and the coach feels she is quality enough but worried about her size.

    Should her size concern me? She is a steal of a deal because of the height. She wouldnt be for resale, but at the same time I dont want to have a horse of her quality not showing either because of her height.

  • #2
    I would pass but it just depends on how high you want to jump eventually. If you are looking to do 3' or higher than no, I would not buy her. If she already has to move to make it down the 2'6'' lines than she will really have to move up to make it down the 3' lines. It you are just wanting to stay at the 2'6''-2'9'' level then she might be fine. She does sound cute though!


    • Original Poster

      I dont think she will have a problem making any lines, she is very willing to move forward. however, I do not do 3' so I cant assume. Eventually I would like to do the 3' and I do have another horse who is solid at that height (he's a step down 3'6 horse) but right now Im at the 2'9 level. I am hoping next year to do 3'.
      She is so cute, so flashy and just such a gorgeous mover and jumper. I wish I grabbed video!


      • #4
        I have a 15'1 mare with a short stride, if I keep her stride open then we can make the horse strides just fine. She was very quick so we didn't do hunter forever, although we did place fine most of the time. We switched her to jumper and she was very successful there and was fine in lines and we competed up to the meter jumper classes very successfully. The only time we have a bad round was when I let her get under paced so as long as you are able to pay attention to the horses stride through your lines and can maintain it then it shouldn't be that much of a problem. It just depends on where you want to go with the horse.


        • #5
          I would never discount a horse based on size. I think you will find that most 15hh horses can get through a 3' line just fine. My guy is 15.1 and we've done 3 ft without problems.
          come what may

          Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


          • #6
            Meet my 15.2 adult hunter from last summer! Not proud to admit this, but we actually took out a stride in a line AWAY from home at a show. (In her mind, she's at least 17 hands)


            • #7
              You're fine. If she's flashy and you can control her stride then you'll be fine. There are 15hh horses doing the small Jrs. right now and cleaning up so at 3' you should be fine.
              My Horse Show Photography/ Blog


              • Original Poster

                Thanks..Im still a little up in the air. Coaches comments was that if she was 2" bigger she would have to fight me for her. I suppose she could still grow a little? She just turned 4. Im really a novice rider, so she would be my coaches horse for at least a few years, but considering how young she is I felt so comfortable on her! She really took care of me and she did it with style too!

                Wonder what hubby will say?


                • #9
                  She might grow more than you think. I swear my mare has grown maybe 2 inches between 6 1/2 and her 8th birthday. No joke! She's taller than I am, so she's about 17.1-17.2.
                  Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                  • #10
                    What breed??

                    She might grow, she might not. If you like her, buy her as she is. If she grows more, then yay bonus!

                    You could use it as motivation to lose weight too . I gotta admit I'm considering getting a project pony when we move, to make me lose that 10 to 15 pounds I need to lose.
                    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                      You could use it as motivation to lose weight too . I gotta admit I'm considering getting a project pony when we move, to make me lose that 10 to 15 pounds I need to lose.
                      Gosh, I love horse people!!! New pony as motivation...

                      Anyways, if she can make the stride and you aren't planning on going to WEF or something that size, I would get her!
                      Last edited by maigenesis; Mar. 10, 2013, 12:05 AM.


                      • #12
                        I've seen horses grow as much as a hand, and as little as nothing in their 4-5 year old year, so it's veriable. My opinion is if YOU like her, buy her. If MY 14h pony can make a perfect 12' stride without effort, then a 15h horse can do it to. That said, I've never been an A hunter rider, and probably never will be!


                        • #13
                          Remember Large Ponies jump 3ft and most of the time, even at rated shows the distances aren't changed between the larges and the 3 foot children's or Adult hunters, so if a large can do it, so probably a little horse.


                          • Original Poster

                            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


                            • #15
                              If she's that nice and you feel good on her, get her and hope she grows!!! If in a few years you still find she's short, you can lease her out or sell her - or just show off your short, lovely mare in the hunters! i

                              I'm just not one to pass up a nice horse when the size is off by a couple inches and everything else is right... Guess that's why I'm riding a giant beast, because I love everything else about her! Too bad we can't average those heights...

                              EDIT: p.s. Hmmm, Voltaire, I was looking to buy a young Voltaire daughter until they took the lovely beast off the market. Another reason to get her!
                              Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                              • #16
                                I had a friend who had a whole string of ~15.2H-15.3H A show hunters in the 2000-2003 timeframe. They had enough step for the AA and A/Os. One thing they all had in common was spectacular jumping form. Brilliant! Remember when that was what judges wanted from a hunter? Its coming back. If she's got a great jump and a big enough step then get comfortable with the hand gallop and go for it.
                                You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!


                                • #17
                                  Here's my 15.2h hunter. I think this is a 2'6" class, but if the mare can make the strides and you enjoy her get her. The little horses actually have to put in a "bigger" and therefore fancier effort than some 17.2 hand behemoth. http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g6...404904_n-4.jpg BTW, the jumps are all pink because it was the annual breast cancer fund raiser show.


                                  • #18
                                    Stride length is much more important than size. A short strided 16.2hh horse having to book it down the lines looks worse than a long strided 15.2hh horse loping the lines.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by equisusan View Post
                                      One thing they all had in common was spectacular jumping form. Brilliant! Remember when that was what judges wanted from a hunter? Its coming back.
                                      I hope so because that is how I plan to show my OTTB this year screw the "lines" and "slow and prepped".
                                      Friend of bar .ka


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by northerhunter View Post
                                        Meet my 15.2 adult hunter from last summer! Not proud to admit this, but we actually took out a stride in a line AWAY from home at a show. (In her mind, she's at least 17 hands)
                                        Great picture! I love the smile!

                                        I agree with everyone saying as long as you can make the strides, who cares how tall the horse is!