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Really? UPDATE: Somewhat irrelevant picture added.

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  • Really? UPDATE: Somewhat irrelevant picture added.

    So today I took a lesson with a new trainer in my area. She is young, but seems to know what she's talking about. However, she said something to me that has me kind of baffled. I was riding my 16h anglo arab who is of a medium-ish build. She told me that I was too big for him and really need a bigger horse. I'm 5'8" and a size 6/8 in street clothes. Am I really too big for him? Keep in mind that I am not going to show this horse above the very local level...ever. I bought him because he is amazingly fun to ride. So I don't really care if I appear slightly too large on him - this may be the case and I'm okay with that. However, am I too big to be riding him safely? Trainer seemed to think so, so I thought I'd bring it to COTH. What do you think?
    Last edited by SaturdayNightLive; Sep. 11, 2009, 11:51 AM.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris

  • #2
    We need a photo! Sounds like it should be a good fit though.


    • Original Poster

      Sadly I don't have any photos of this one. Not yet anyway. I'll work on it though. In the meantime, I'm just trying to figure out if I am going to hurt my horse in any way by riding him. Like I said, he's 16 hands, probably 1100 - 1200 lbs.
      "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
      -George Morris


      • #4
        My mare was about 16H if not a tiny bit shorter and I am 5'9. She was a somewhat "stout" mare and I did not look too big for her.

        And you are a size 6-8? Come on - for a trainer to tell you that you are too big? I would question the trainer's sanity.


        • #5
          NO NO NO you aren't going to hurt your horse by riding him. He would probably be fine if you weighed 200 pounds and your feet were dragging the ground.


          • #6
            Originally posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
            Sadly I don't have any photos of this one. Not yet anyway. I'll work on it though. In the meantime, I'm just trying to figure out if I am going to hurt my horse in any way by riding him. Like I said, he's 16 hands, probably 1100 - 1200 lbs.
            Good lord. Hurt him?? Not unless he has kissing spine or something.

            It's a "look" thing, which I think is stupid. Ever see the size of kids on their ponies in the UK? They sure are not "sadly outgrown" at nearly the rate they are here. Ever take a peek at those big tall cowboys on the real classic style cutting and working cow horses?

            I'm 5'6" and not a stick insect in size, and I feel very comfortable on my horses, who range from 14.3 to 16 hands, although my filly is headed towards 17!


            • #7
              I had a trainer once who told me the same thing. I was only around 16 years old at the time, 5'7" and it was a 15.3 TB. Well my parents and I followed her advice and it was a big mistake because that horse was awesome in so many ways. Looking back at photos I did not look big on him at all and he was a very safe horse that took care of me. If another trainer ever told me again that I was too big for a horse appearance wise, I'd walk away.
              Owned by an Oldenburg


              • #8
                If he's skinny and you're tall, maybe it looks a little off, but I don't see how someone who's a size 6 could actually hurt the horse. Is she afraid you'll overbalance? Sorry, it just seems funny that anyone of average weight could be considered too 'big' for a 16h horse.


                • #9
                  I think it depends on what you want to do. Arabs are generally a little smaller but strong and can carry more weight.

                  If you are tall on your horse ( 5.8' could be tall if your legs are long and he is a slight and narrow horse) it might not be as pretty a picture in a show setting as if you were riding a larger horse.
                  If you like your horse and are not aspiring to show a lot you are fine. If you do want to take him to shows and think your legs are a bit long for his body try just going up with your stirrups a bit for the jumping or even using a thick jumper type pad underneath your shaped pad to give your legs an extra inch along his side for the flats if you do hunter/eq stuff.

                  If you are just pleasure riding and training mostly to have a good time you might want to keep yourself a tiny bit more upright over bigger jumps if you have a long torso rther then a long leg. He'll most likely let you know what he is comfotrtable with, your trainer is concerned with you look at shows. (or she could be trying to sell you a horse) LOL
                  Timothy, stop lurking


                  • #10
                    BS! Maybe if your horse is narrow and you have long legs and you were aiming for big time eq finals. But healthwise? Yeah right. The entire western world would be in big trouble-all those big cowboys on those barely 15hh quarter horses.
                    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                    Phoenix Animal Rescue


                    • #11
                      Sounds like your new trainer is trying to sell you a new horse.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kitsunegari View Post
                        Sounds like your new trainer is trying to sell you a new horse.
                        I agree. Overweight riders can seriously stress the muscles, back and tendons on a horse IF they aren't strong and well balanced, but other wise, I wouldn't worry, if you are a good rider. I guess any rider can harm a horse because they are poorly balanced and cause the horse stress by tipping off to one side or something, but your weight (I assume you're about 145) shouldn't bother the horse per se.

                        Try agreeing with her just for fun, or saying "Gee, ya think?" and see if she tries to sell you a horse. You can always say "Well, thanks for the lessons, it was great".
                        Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                        • #13
                          Whoa a little here.

                          It could very well be that new trainer has a horse in mind for OP. But if this is the first thing that pops up in your mind then you might want to do a quick attitude adjustment.
                          Yes, I also mentioned it in my last post but in the end and as an afterthought. Asa trainer my first thought was as to how to make it work for OP in a competitive situation. I train at a show barn and my mind drifts towards the showexperience.

                          It could be that new trainer has her showclientel in the back of her head and is simply referencing her experience out on what might happen at a show. Riders that are looking too tall for their horses seldom pin as high as they could have on a horse more suited to their size. *shroughs shoulders*

                          My barn is a competitive show barn. We have a lesson program but 95% of your boarders wants to compete.
                          When a new boarder look us up we presume that they want to compete since that is what we do. We will give our assesment based on those premises. If the proispective boarder is more of a hobby rider they will probably be happier somewhere else. Sometimes we have a friend of a boarder move in becasue they know somebody and are close by. They are not looking to be competitive but our initial assesment will stil be for somebody who wants to do shows since that is what we do.
                          If the rider tells us that they are not really looking to win at shows or even go to shows at all outside of recreational in house or small unrateds we will adjust the expectations, lessons and training sessions to reflect this but we will need a heads up from the student.

                          If OP goes back to trainer and says look, I have this horse. I love him to pieces. I want to do 2-3 small shows every years and I want to go to have fun and compete against my last show not the others. If this trainer comes back with adjustments to make this scenario happen once she knows the goal of her student. I like her.
                          If she insists that OP is too big or makes snarky remarks to the fact in lessons even after knowing the goals of OP then it might be time to look around for a different trainer.
                          You have to remember that young trainers are sometimes a bit single minded and over zealous. If she listenes to your goals and gives you something goog from each lesson. Stick with it!

                          If you like the trianer
                          Timothy, stop lurking


                          • #14
                            Try jacking your stirrups up and then see what she says.


                            • #15
                              Repeat after me: I really love this horse, he's fun to ride, and I love to get to a couple of shows and enjoy the process.
                              Now, for every time the thought of this trainer saying something negative about this horse that you enjoy so much, remember that 100 of us here think that trainer is a silly, spoiled child who always had the sizes and colors and breeds of horses that her parents bought because some trainer "made them" buy them.

                              You could weigh 220 lbs and this horse would carry you just fine, and jump simple hunter courses. You sound like a fit, sensible person. Tell this trainer (if you decide you like the lessons) that you love this horse, and want to enjoy him for all the reasons you told us. Your horse sounds perfect for you, and your reasons for riding sound terrific! Enjoy!
                              What would you try if you knew you would not fail?


                              • #16
                                If you are tall through your torso it absolutely could be a safety issue. If you accidentally lean up your horses neck at the base of a jump and you are very tall above the saddle this could potentially really unbalance your horse on takeoff. Think Christopher Reeve. IMHO he was too toptall for the size of the horse he was riding to jump safely.


                                • #17
                                  Repeat after me "Well bless your heart."


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
                                    However, am I too big to be riding him safely? Trainer seemed to think so, so I thought I'd bring it to COTH. What do you think?

                                    You're absolutely not too big, and definitely NOT going to hurt him! Will you make a perfect eq picture? Probably not, but at local level shows, it will hardly matter, and using those standards, a lot of male professionals look "too big" for the horse they're on.

                                    I'm 5'10", size 6, and ride a 16.1H TB. I've been riding her for two years, and not only has she had no ill health reprecussions, I've never even once heard "you're too big for her" even from the fancy hunter trainer we were in training with for a few months.

                                    Being a good Virginian, I'll second Pirateer's advice: "Well bless your heart!"
                                    A Year In the Saddle


                                    • #19
                                      Don't let her fill you with doubt on this matter. It's handing her control over something she has no business in. Remind her that you are asking her to teach you and your horse, not to find you a new horse.

                                      The Pony Club Manual 1 offers suggestions about rider size vs horse size, by the way, but I would take it with a heavy dose of salt if you like your horse and feel good on it.
                                      Looking for horse activity in the Twin Tiers? Follow my blog at http://thetwintiershorse.blogspot.com/


                                      • #20
                                        Then I would be too big for mine. I would set your new trainer straight right from the get go.