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The "I Want a Pony" Thread or "How Small do I Have to be" Thread

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  • The "I Want a Pony" Thread or "How Small do I Have to be" Thread

    Dear All:

    Disclaimer - please do not hate my for saying I'm too thin - I would hate me, too, if it were not for the fact that I am on the thinner side of healthy due to a really horrible divorce (stalking, cheating, the whole gamut).

    I have a robust 15.3 hand Appendix who fits me perfect. I am 5'8" (probably a tall 5'7", but 5'8" sounds better) and about 112#. I "should" be 135# according to my doctor, but have usually hovered around 125#. I like to be thinner since I've had rheumatoid arthritis since my teens (I'm now closing in on 37). My height is mostly leg, at least that's how it appears from the way clothes fit.

    I know that the barrel size of horse/pony is most telling on how short a pony could handle me, but how small could I go? I saw this gorgeous gray gelding pony (not sure what breed, but he was pretty refined) that made me *swoon*. How hardy are these little guys? Could a 14.0 hand pony pack me around? I mean, one that isn't built like a mini draft?

    Thank you, in advance, for not throwing darts at me.

    Tracy (Ace)

  • #2
    I'm roughly the same height, but heavier, yet was wearing a size 6 before this pregnancy. DD has a 14.1 Appendix QH mare, that looks way more TB than QH and I feel fine on her, look okay on her, and she has yet to collapse on nay ride we have ever been on.

    I have always liked smaller horses. My preferred height is 15.1 to 15.2 with enough barrel to absorb my leg. Good luck with the new pony!
    Originally posted by The Saddle
    Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.


    • #3
      Absolutely. I have a haffie/qh cross who is about 14/14.1. He's not super wide, so I didn't have to get a custom saddle. I'm 5'4" and about 135, and he packs me around just fine. He packs around taller/heavier than me, with no issues.


      Do a search for adults on ponies, on here, and you'll find many of us on ponies.


      • #4
        Oh, sure, a pony could handle your weight! With those long legs, a pony with a wide, deep barrel might be a better fit than a narrow pony. You'd just have to try the pony out for fit.

        One of my previous horses was a 14.1 Arab with well-sprung ribs. I'm 5"4" and weighed around 135 when I had Guy.

        My rancher cousin had a small QH mare and they got along fine. Blue was probably just shy of horse-sized, Cousin Henry was 6'1" and 180 lbs or so. She was stout, so no problems. As light as you are, I don't see a problem, unless the the pony is VERY lightly built. I think size for size, ponies are stronger.


        • Original Poster

          I did read the adults-riding-ponies thread recently, but I guess I assumed either a) everyone is smaller than me (shorter) or b) everyone has a heavier boned pony than I was oogling. Ogling? However you spell that. Spacytracy - you are quite small, but a good 4" shorter than me!!!

          And RB - you are too funny. "has yet to collapse on any ride..." I bet we look about the same size (I have hollow bird bones) - before the pregnancy of course.

          My Appendix is a war horse - has muscle for miles - more QH than TB - chunkiest, muscliest horse around. I guess I thought anything less than a davenport would be horse abuse.


          • Original Poster

            Oooh! Three Figs - I like to hear that. Recently someone posted a (heinous) CL ad that showed a 6' plus "cowboy" on a young horse and it was (or looked like) pony abuse. I guess that stuck with me....plus I used to always mount from the ground - only recently found out that puts undue torque and strain on a horse's back. Now I'm frightened to hurt said horse/pony at all turns!


            • #7
              Obviously there are plenty of ponies that can carry your weight. The question or key here is the particular pony or "type" you're interested in. Quite honestly you're going to have to go try a few out to be sure what barrel size/bone structure/type you find most comfortable to ride (or more importantly, not). I am short and can ride most ponies but there are some types/frames that even short waisted fire plug built little ole me feels as if I'm going to topple over if I shift my weight. I don't really like having to find the pony underneath me in order to put my leg on it (and I ride two 13 hand ponies without trouble but they are built like brick sh!t houses). Those are my preferences. You might find out differently and can then base your decisions on experience. I certainly wouldn't worry about weight or length of leg given what you say, it's all going depend on how well you are able to maintain your center of gravity.
              Ranch of Last Resort


              • Original Poster

                Good point, exvet. I've always been leery when riding a "too narrow" horse. My sister's horse was like riding a razor blade - a gentle breeze and you'd be blown over. I can think of worse things than going out and riding a bunch of different ponies to see which ones might be suitable.


                • #9
                  I've ridden my 14.3ish mare when I have weighed up to 170/180. She goes the same as when I weigh less.

                  Her problem, though, is that she does not have a particularly deep girth, so she doesn't take up a lot of leg. I'm 5'3" and not particularly long legged, and tend to keep my dressage stirrups a hole or so shorter than might be ideal, because otherwise I feel like I start losing contact with her sides.

                  On the other hand, my gelding string tests to around 14.2. Riders with long legs will do just fine on him, because he's built like a tank. However, riders with long torsos will probably look goofy on him, even if he takes up their leg, because he has a very short neck (unless the neck fairy comes...). I'm not worried about him being able to carry my weight either.

                  It's really not just the pony's height, or their ability to carry weight, or even how deep their girth is. It's their whole build in relation to the rider.
                  She Gets Lost


                  • #10
                    My barn owner has been having my 175 pound 5'9 husband helping her break a 12.2 medium build pony. He looks ridiculous onboard, but the pony handles the weight just fine for training sessions. My 125 pounds are nothing to this pony, and my shorter legs are more in proportion to the barrel. The barn also has a 13-ish hand sturdy haffie cross. I wouldn't hesitate to have the haffie tote either me or hubby on an all day trail ride.

                    I think a lot of people get freaked out the first time they get on a pony and look down on that short pony proportioned neck. You feel like the slightest stumble will send you sailing between those tiny little ears. It's an illusion. Close your eyes and concentrate on the way your seat and legs feel instead.


                    • Original Poster

                      Okay, carp. I feel better now - plus everyone else who says ponies are capable of handling more weight than I give them credit. I'm stoked to try one of these little guys out! A few years back, I hopped on a horse who was maybe 15.1 or 15.2, but of more slight build than my Appendix. I thought I'd break him! He trucked around just fine...so as long as it's not horse abuse...look out little ponies! I'm on a mission...


                      • #12
                        I never liked riding really narrow horses, felt like the slightest wiggle and I'd come off. So it's not the size Per se, but the width.

                        My friend rode my horse who is about 5'11" and she did fine. Actually didn't look too ridiculous.


                        • Original Poster

                          Same, spacytracy. My sis had a horse who was around 16'1, but narrow as a, a...something crazy narrow! I *hated* riding him (though he was a sweet, sweet boy) because he felt so unstable. I've just casually surfed through a few craigslist ads and now I'm itching to get out and try a few ponies for a spin. So. Darn. Cute.


                          • #14
                            I'm 5'6 but weigh - ahem - a bit more than you do. I just bought a 13.3 Fjord!! He is stout, broad, and full of himself, and doesn't seem remotely ponyish. Click on the link in my signature line for lots of views of us together. I do think the key is in how they're built. Like you, I don't like to ride a narrowly built horse of any height.
                            I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                            • #15
                              Your weight will be fine. Your height will definitely have an effect... but let me tell you, you will learn about the importance of not throwing your body and about keeping your upper body quiet and still.

                              I adore my pony; an excellent decision for me. She has made me a better rider and I've had a heck of a lot of fun.
                              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                              • #16
                                I bought my stepkids a pony, who we think is an icelandic or icelandic cross. She is 13 hh. My mom rides her (5'8"), I ride her (185 lbs)-everyone rides her. She takes up leg, and is happy to tot around with us all day.
                                ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
                                ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
                                ~Vet Tech Student
                                Mom to : 2 Horses, 4 Dogs, 2 Cats


                                • #17
                                  My Fjord stallion is shown by a professional who is 5'9". He is 14.1 and performs very well at recognized horse trials. I have no problem riding my Fjords which range between 13.1 and 14.3 hands.

                                  There is one big issue with ponies that nobody has brought up yet. The gait is very important. It is no fun to ride pony gaits. I find no joy in posting a thousand beats a minute. I have no wish to tranter. I appreciate that some horse have awful gaits too, but I think the bigger stride makes it easier to tolerate. I am at the age now when my needs can't take rapid fire posting.

                                  So yes, adults can definitely ride ponies, but there will be much greater happiness if it's a pony with horse gaits.
                                  Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
                                    There is one big issue with ponies that nobody has brought up yet. The gait is very important. It is no fun to ride pony gaits. I find no joy in posting a thousand beats a minute. I have no wish to tranter. I appreciate that some horse have awful gaits too, but I think the bigger stride makes it easier to tolerate. I am at the age now when my needs can't take rapid fire posting.

                                    So yes, adults can definitely ride ponies, but there will be much greater happiness if it's a pony with horse gaits.
                                    Took the words right out of my mouth! I'm 5'9" and 160 lbs. and my first horse was a 14-nothing bulldog QH. I didn't know any different at the time.

                                    For a lot of folks on this board, I maybe still ride a pony. But I will say that my 15.1 performance QH compared to my first pony is like the difference between a Cadillac and a VW bug. Now the short-necked, short-strided pony feels like the road is slapping me in the face and beating me to death at the same time. He's still cute as all get-out though.
                                    I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


                                    • #19
                                      I am 5-8 and have long legs. I hover around your weight range as well. My main riding horse is a 13.2 pony. I can wrap my legs around him bareback but he weighs 900 pounds and packs me around with no problem.

                                      Go to rodeo and look to see how big the cowboys are in size to their horses. I have seen a 14.1-14.3 horse pack around a 250 pounds cowboy with full tack all day long no problems.
                                      Pro Slaughter
                                      Anti Parelli


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Ah, Ironwood! I hadn't even thought of that! I did ride one guy who was around the 15.0 range who had a sub-par trot, but nice enough canter. My Appendix has a wonderful, big floaty trot - so I would miss that. I'll be sure to test out those gaits before falling in love with a cutie. Not long ago I was riding some big boys - full-bodied 16-16.3 hand geldings who just didn't steer all that great. Part, of course, was rider error, but part was that it's harder to turn a staionwagon than a zippy sportscar. I'll start testing out and see if I can find a happy medium. Thank you for all the input!

                                        Oh, an aucowwy--I think part of my worry is I always think it looks like horse abuse with those big cowboys sitting on 14+hand ponies, but clearly the little guys are stronger than I give them credit.