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Any adults successfully downsize to a pony?

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  • #21
    At the first GDCTA schooling show which we attended, for two rings over two days, the high score of the show was a German riding pony with a 5' 0" rider. They were a perfect fit and they kicked butt and took names. Go for it!


    • Original Poster

      Wow--great replies!

      Thanks guys! I love to learn about your ponies. And to those who posted pics of your ponies--they are fabulous! And Bluey, your advice here is spot on:

      "I think that, when you find the right horse for the kind of rider you want to be today and the kind of horse you feel the most comfortable with, the size won't matter that much, within reason.
      There are plenty of very nice, quiet smaller horses that are not ponies.
      I would not be stuck too much only on size or kind of horse/pony"


      • #23
        Pony rider here!

        The older I get, the small my horses become...

        I have a stocky 13.1 h POA mare that is simply the best! Most willing attitude to try something new. She is my trail pony and there isn't anything she won't do if I ask if it is safe.

        Best of all, we go out all alone without other riders and it doesn't even faze her.

        MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


        • #24
          Po !



          • #25
            Define successful.

            Edited to clarify: I wrote two books about being an adult rider on a pony. I suspect that I don't fall into the category of "successful."
            Chronicles of the $700 Pony
            The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony
            www.blithetraveler.com <-- My Blog


            • #26
              Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
              And Phoebetrainer...love your pony! Holy grabby hands...want!
              You're most welcome and thanks - but which one? Actually, that doesn't matter because neither of them are for sale! Bay one is full size pony and is currently being ridden by a young boy. I will breed from her at some stage in the future.

              Little wee pony is awesome.

              For me, the only disadvantage of a pony is keeping the weight off them. I end up giving them as much work as the big horses and no feed!


              • #27
                Any taller riders successfully made the switch? I'm 5'9, about 140. I'm hoping to get a pony between 14.0 and 14.2. I know a pony could carry me, just wondering if I can make it work without looking rediculous.
                For the horse color genetics junky


                • #28
                  I am late to the party . I bought a 7 year old, 14.1 1/2 hh with size 3 front feet and 2.5s behind, Welsh Cob Section D at the end of the year 2009 who was something of a trainwreck and completely spoiled . But I was having a really hard time finding a high quality pony that would fit me body wise and tempermant wise. I am 5'6" maybe 130 lbs..

                  I was downsizing from a 17.2 hh TB as a competition horse (who got killed during hunting season right before we were ready to start competing). I had another horse, but not of the same caliber.

                  I did want to be able to do competitive dressage with him, but trail riding was an absolute must also. I had hoped to be able to jump him, but we've pulled that off the table except for cavaletti and gymnastics. Not worth it, he is too heavy. Competitve trail is definately on the table.

                  I have spent the last 2 1/2 years retraining him, putting a major set of manners on him, getting him healthy and working off of my seat and listening to my aids, bending and all of that, but no speed work yet.

                  I adore him, although because he was so spoiled and smart, he can be intimidating ... and he knows it. We have worked a lot of that out. Very carefully .

                  So, if things continue in the positive direction they have been I expect that he will turn into a well behaved pony that I can truly enjoy minus all the pony_tude.

                  I definately think ponies can be a great downsize, especially if you are light enough for the pony you want.

                  They are very affectionate and sensitive and little athletic powerhouses.


                  • #29
                    5'9" and 140 .... connemara, welsh cob or a cross with a TB ...

                    ... some haflingers, and fjords, I think although I hear they are more horselike in their attitude, but several tall women compete with them in dressge and look fine. Oh, and they win over the 17+ hh WBs.

                    Dressage FEI Grand Prix Freestyle - Starwars TOF

                    Haflinger reining Arramon-D


                    • #30
                      Yes indeed... sold my 15.2 h mare and "stole" my daughter's 14.1 hand pony when she moved up. I'll probably never buy another horse!


                      • #31
                        I have a 15.3h TB mare, a 14.2h Haffie gelding, and a 13.2h mutt pony(not mine but get to ride) My favorite, the mutt pony! I love them all but my confidence is much better on the smallest one.

                        I am 5'4 and 132 lbs. All three seem to fit me but just differently.

                        As far as successful, check out Star Wars TOF, not sure how big but regardless that is an awesome Haffie!!

                        me on mutt pony

                        My friend who is a few inches taller than me on the Haffie

                        sorry to repost Star Wars video
                        Last edited by bizbachfan; Apr. 15, 2012, 11:26 AM. Reason: reposted vidoe


                        • #32
                          Some kids outgrow their ponies--I never did

                          I'm 4'10" and ride a 13.1 Welsh-Arab gelding. He's the same size as the pony I had growing up and is as high off the ground as I ever intend to be again. I did the big-horse thing in my 20s and 30s, but now that I don't bounce nearly as well as I once did, there's no way I would go back to anything that big. We foxhunt and trail ride and he's a blast.


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by jetjocky View Post
                            I'm 4'10" and ride a 13.1 Welsh-Arab gelding. He's the same size as the pony I had growing up and is as high off the ground as I ever intend to be again. I did the big-horse thing in my 20s and 30s, but now that I don't bounce nearly as well as I once did, there's no way I would go back to anything that big. We foxhunt and trail ride and he's a blast.
                            You are an inch shorter than I am.
                            I don't see many adults shorter, being the size of many ten year olds.

                            Sure handy to be able to ride all sizes, is it.
                            One question, how come we didn't use to give a horse's height any thought when younger?


                            • #34
                              Define successful.

                              Lovin' what you ride and ridin' what you love.

                              Ranch of Last Resort


                              • #35
                                Exvet, who is that?


                                • #36
                                  My pony is 14.2 and may not be a driving horse as intended.
                                  I am 5'6 and weigh 150 and ride in a 17.5 seat. I find the saddle sits a bit too far back on my pony.
                                  I am sure he can handle the weight, but I don't like where the saddle sits so far back on him.
                                  Does anyone else have that issue?

                                  The woman who has been riding him is 5'2 and weights 120 and rides in a 16.5 saddle and they look perfect fit.
                                  save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                                  • #37
                                    I would love to ride a pony again, if I had access to one that didn't make me look ridiculous :-) I know they're out there, but at 5'9" and change,, i already look borderline too long on the 15.3/16hh tb I ride. Granted, he isn't built like a linebacker.... But that's the type of pony id need! (Oh, naming inspiration there too, tank like ponies named after the last names of famous linebackers)

                                    Loving all the pictures with this thread :-)


                                    • #38
                                      Exvet, who is that?

                                      Gallod Morgan Henry aka "cutie patootie" most of the time or "stinker pony" on the few days his ponytude comes out. Actually he's turned into quite the solid citizen.
                                      Ranch of Last Resort


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by fivehorses View Post
                                        I am 5'6 and weigh 150 and ride in a 17.5 seat. I find the saddle sits a bit too far back on my pony.
                                        I am sure he can handle the weight, but I don't like where the saddle sits so far back on him.
                                        Does anyone else have that issue?
                                        Yes -- my mare is 14.2 or 3ish (never sticked her on level ground), short backed, with a scapula that goes way back.

                                        Finding a saddle was a huge PITA, but not impossible. The length of the saddle between brands can vary, even at the same seat size, so while your 17.5" may be a bit long for him, you might be able to find another 17.5" that would fit him.

                                        If you check out the dressage forum, there have been several threads in the last few months about finding a saddle to fit a short-backed horse; if you aren't looking for a dressage saddle, the brand names won't help, but there are a lot of comments on what to look for in panel shape, etc.
                                        She Gets Lost


                                        • Original Poster

                                          Haha--Reynard Ridge-I read your first book about your pony--it was hilarious! I consider you a successful pony rider!! (have to get the second one)!

                                          When I said "successfully", I did mean happy with the choice and having a great relationship with said pony! I don't compete-I'm really just interested in a fun ride where I can work on some low level dressage, pleasure, plus do trail riding. I can see how riding a pony or smaller horse could be a problem for an adult competing in the hunter jumper world since strides are so important, as well as finding the right horse/pony for each division. Fortunately, I don't have to worry about that.

                                          Twenty years ago when I bought my first horse (a 15.2 hand Anglo Arab gelding), I also didn't think much about size. Somehow over the years, the aging process and some nasty spills have convinced me that it might be better to be closer to the ground. (I still can't believe I used to be able to mount my guy from the ground back in the day).

                                          My current horse can be a tricky ride and demands precision, which has taught me to be a much more effective rider, but there are days when if she decides to blow off my aids, say for turning, it can get ugly and frustrating. Plus she has a tidy spook in her (think split second QH spin and take off) that can be a bit unnerving.

                                          The pony I ride has a more forgiving personality and just feels more comfortable to me. I am 5'3" and weight 100 lbs. When taking lessons over the years, I did get to ride a lot of the ponies because not too many adults could. I never complained

                                          There are so many great ponies out there--I love the Welsh and Welsh crosses, the POAs, the Connemara's, and the mutts, to name a few. And from the posts and pictures I've received in this thread, sounds like many of you have successfully downsized!!! And to the ones who are taller and wondering whether you could fit on a pony, I say yes! As others mentioned, there are sturdy breeds out there that can easily carry adult--Haflingers, Fjords, section D cobs, Icelandics, to name a few. I also belong to a forum based in the United Kingdom, and there are tons of adults over there who ride ponies!

                                          Thanks again for all your great responses. P.S. I'm actually checking out a 14 hand POA next week!