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Adults riding ponies/honies?

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  • Adults riding ponies/honies?

    In February I got an adorable tri-color pinto mare from AC4H as a future mount for my daughter. My daughter is only 3 and is going for her first riding lesson this weekend. I know it's going to be a while before I put her on the pony- pony is only about 5 years old and is 14.1 so not really a good match for a tiny 3 year old right now

    Anyways my point of the story is that I am going to be doing most of the mare's training and getting her "out there". As soon as it stops raining I am stopping with the excuses about why I shouldn't ride her and I am getting on and seeing what I am up against. I want to expose her to as much as I can so when it comes daughters time to ride her, everything will be "old hat" so to speak. That means taking her to local shows, maybe some hunter paces, trail riding etc. Will people think I am crazy for riding a pony? I mean I am 5'6" and not as skinny as I used to be but with tack will not be exceeding the old 20% guideline. She is not a chunky 14.1, but sturdy enough where I don't feel I will get in her way. I also have a "light" seat and am well balanced.
    My horse is chronically lame so I don't have anything to ride at the moment and can devote a lot of time and work into this little mare.
    I guess I am looking to hear from other adults that are riding other vertically challenged equines, what you do with them and how you are received by other riders on "normal" size horses.

  • #2
    It seems here in fla it is accepted very well. There are breeders of Weser-ems (GOV pony book) that compete all over. Here is one breeder http://www.germanridingpony.com/ AS long as you dont look outsided on her you sould be fine

    PS there is no such thing as a tri-color pinto. It is a bay tobiano or buckskin (if it is a dilute)
    Draumr Hesta Farm
    "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
    Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm


    • #3
      We have a maybe 14 hand "pony/hony" that is supposed to be a Spotted Saddle Horse. She is black and white and a real sweetie. My hope is to take her fox hunting. I am 5'3 so won't look too odd on her. However, like your weather up north, we have had rain off and on for a couple weeks and everything is muck.

      Seems I have read on many BBs that older adult women (me ) are going more for small horses and ponies as they are just easier to deal with for the most part. I suppose in dressage and eventing size wouldn't really matter.

      Good luck! I love pony 'tudes. Bless their evil little hearts! The one I talked about above will stand in the round pen and soundly chew us out if dinner is late!


      • #4
        I see absolutely nothing wrong or odd about it. No excuses or apologies needed - just ride your pony and enjoy her.


        • #5
          I'm a hony owner / rider!

          I've had my 14.3h Arabian for 7 years now. After living in a backyard barn for several years (to fix some health issues), I just moved him last week to the bigger facility (where my trainer and other, bigger horse are). Hony does dressage - solid 1st, was schooling second, hasn't done much more than trails and some light w, t, c rides in years, though. It's going to take some conditioning to get him back to his previous level of training and fitness. Before his "vacation," we did just fine at shows. I don't mean we were always the best, but we were always fairly scored. FWIW, I'm 5'4" and not as skinny as I'd like to be... but I have the assurances of my vet that my hony can easily carry me and then some. I do intend to drop a few pounds before we go to some shows, but that's because of my personal fitness goals, not because I feel we'll be scored differently.

          The barn I board at is mostly h/j people, as I do that, too. Hony has only been there a week, but so far the reaction has been "Aww, he's so cute, but I wasn't expecting him to be so TINY!" Not sure if it's because my other horse is a big bodied 16.2h or if it's just less common to see adults on honies or if I'm just in denial and he really is a mini horse that I am crushing to death with every ride. The first day I moved him to this barn, I took him outside to hand graze not far from the ring. A kid on a pony pointed to us and commented to her trainer "But he's SO TINY!" I *almost* said back "yes, but his ears are still big enough to hear you!" I have to say, though, I haven't gotten any "nasty" or inappropriate comments. Most people just think he's cute and probably ARE surprised that he's 8 inches shorter than my other horse!

          There is at least one other adult who owns and rides a pony (smaller than mine -- maybe actually a medium). She's a very petite adult and I think she fits this pony perfectly. They are a great team!

          Seriously, though - sounds like you're just fine on this pony and I think you should go have fun with him!
          Last edited by Phaxxton; May. 8, 2009, 09:00 AM.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Nootka View Post
            PS there is no such thing as a tri-color pinto. It is a bay tobiano or buckskin (if it is a dilute)
            Really? I've always heard bay and buckskin pintos referred to as "tricolor."

            Also, could be a bay or buckskin overo, no?


            • #7
              I foxhunt & trail ride my 14.2 mare and 14.3 gelding. Sure, I don't create the "Currier & Ives" image but dang, I'm having a blast. Good luck with your lil one!


              • #8
                Originally posted by Halt At X View Post
                I guess I am looking to hear from other adults that are riding other vertically challenged equines, what you do with them and how you are received by other riders on "normal" size horses.
                First of all, small horses are NOT vertically challenged. They are PERFECT sized in my opinion. Most horses are way too tall IMO. Just because you call them "honies" (which I find insulting) doesn't mean their perfect smaller size isn't treasured by some other people.

                Sorry if it seems like I jumped you on that but I truly do prefer horses under 15 hands and find it offensive when people talk like there's something wrong with smaller horses. They are perfect sized to many of us. If they aren't perfection in your eyes, at least don't talk bad about them.

                I have ridden my 14:2 hand stallion in expos and in front of some very large crowds at international venues like Kentucky Horse Park and the Equine Affaire. I am 5'4" and there are plenty of pics of me on my stallion's page:


                I have NEVER had one person say that I did not fit him or that I looked "funny" on him. They are usually too busy admiring the horse to put down his size. Truly a good horse is never a bad size either.

                If they were to say anything bad, I'd put their rantings down as ignorance or insanity since they've never sat on the back of a Spanish Mustang.


                • #9
                  Yup! i have 2

                  One is my mare..she is a 14.2 standardbred. We haven't shown much due to cost..but i am hoping to get her out this year. I'm 5'6'' Here's us at her first show..in the downpour (it wasn't supposed to..sigh..) and she was NOT happy. lol. http://rivendellhorsefarm.com/84.jpg

                  And my honey is my lesson pony. He's roughly 15h and is a paint. This is him as a 3 year old. I dont have any pics of me on him now (my parents are not thrilled when i bug them about that. lol. http://rivendellhorsefarm.com/cowboy.JPG

                  My boarder is about 5'8'' or so and she has a 15/15.1 hand morgan.



                  • #10
                    Here is one of my favorite essays for ponies and small horses!

                    I Rode Ponies and More!


                    I ride ponies because heart is not measured in hands.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nootka View Post
                      PS there is no such thing as a tri-color pinto. It is a bay tobiano or buckskin (if it is a dilute)
                      I dunno, I get a better picture of a bay or buckskin toby with black points from the commonly used tri color term then the textbook definition when the poster is trying to describe a horse I cannot see.

                      It may not be theoretically correct but it sure describes the horse to about 90% of horse people that usually use it and understand what is meant.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                        First of all, small horses are NOT vertically challenged. They are PERFECT sized in my opinion. Most horses are way too tall IMO. Just because you call them "honies" (which I find insulting) doesn't mean their perfect smaller size isn't treasured by some other people.

                        Sorry if it seems like I jumped you on that but I truly do prefer horses under 15 hands and find it offensive when people talk like there's something wrong with smaller horses. They are perfect sized to many of us. If they aren't perfection in your eyes, at least don't talk bad about them.
                        I think you are being a tad bit over-sensitive. I LOVINGLY refer to my Arab as my hony and have no plans to stop doing so. It's not derogatory or insulting as far as I see it. I don't think getting defensive about what we jokingly call our beloved small horses does anything to advance the fact that they are still fantastic horses.


                        • #13
                          Sorry...but I do find it offensive. Small horses are horses too...not some cross between a pony and a horse or a "hony." Maybe I am being too sensitive but I'm sick of people thinking a horse has to be 16 hands to be a horse.


                          • #14
                            I ride my 14.2 Mustang gelding on trails and I'm about 5'4" and 135 lbs (would love to lose 10 of them-sigh). When I first started riding him (after riding horses of 16 to 17 hands) I felt really unbalanced and weird. But I have gradually come to feel very comfortable on him and he is a really fun trail horse. I "adopted" him as a weanling and had hoped that he would end up about 15 hands (like his dam) but I have found that there are some definite advantages to small horses: easy keeper, close to ground for easy mount/dismount, easy to handle on ground, light legs and feet to pick up, etc. I don't think twice about his size till someone says 'he's so little". But having struggled to do dressage with some huge warmbloods when I was younger, I just love that I can so easily influence him with a little shift of weight or bit of leg. At my age (63) downsizing is a good thing!
                            P.S. DB - I luv your stallion and you look great on him!


                            • #15
                              My family has been breeding ponies since the early 60s in Ireland - started by my Grandpa (hope to be a 3rd generation breeder some day) he used to joke that I came 'pony-sized' (I'm 4'10) and often used me as the 'pony measuring stick'

                              Love the ponies - perfectly sized for me (and most adult women! I would argue) you don't need a 16++ hander to be competitive or thought of as 'legit'.

                              Coming from Ireland they still favor the 'handier' sizes 15.1-3 and I only personally know of one horse that is over 17 hands (his owner is 6'2 though so they are a good fit)
                              *The Quietman ~ Irish Approved Gr.1 Stallion
                              Like Us on Facebook


                              • #16
                                I'm 5'8"; my mare is 14.2. (Well, she might be a hair over by now - I haven't sticked her since she was 4, and she's 6 now. She certainly isn't more than 14.3 now, though.)

                                We wouldn't make it in the hunters, but for dressage/eventing we do fine.

                                Count me in with the crowd that says the over-emphasis on size in horses today is just plain silly.
                                Proud member of the EDRF


                                • #17
                                  I'm 5'5" and not the skinniest and I absolutely love my 14.1hh grade TWH and my 14hh Paso Fino! SO much easier for me to get on and to deal with

                                  My TWH Belle got lots of attention at the Mounted Police Clinic when she proved that she could do anything the big horses could do and with a better turning radius
                                  ~ Shannon Hayden ~


                                  • #18
                                    You are going to have a blast! I looked up the pictures you posted when you first got her - she's a cutie.

                                    Little paint pony o'mine is 14.nothing hh - although nobody believes it when first meeting him. He seems to take up a lot more space than that. He's in training right now, being brought back into work - as am I. My lesson horse is a towering 14.2 hh Arab-aloosa, so I won't have much of an adjustment.

                                    RI says in another week or two Quanah and I will be ready to begin working together. We plan to trail ride, do some hunter paces, and maybe some schooling shows. Quanah loves jumping and showing - anything where he's the center of attention. (I don't know where he gets that from.)

                                    Oh, and I'm 5'9" and 150 lbs. But I don't feel too big on him and never have. Years ago in lessons I was always put on TBs and Appendixes because I'm fairly tall, but to me big horses feel a little clunky. Ponies are quick as cats and nearly as sure-footed. I love 'em.

                                    Your daughter is a lucky little girl. By the time she's big enough to ride, she'll have a very pretty been-there-done-that pony. I bet y'all wind up playing tug-of-war with her, though.

                                    We will expect more pictures.
                                    I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


                                    • #19
                                      I ride a 14.1H Arab dressage (at lower levels--not his fault!) and the judges love him. I'm looking for a small trail horse that's a bit quieter and am having a hard time finding anything below 15H and that's too tall for a short older lady. I'm going to look at a 13H pony this weekend. Talk about feeling like you've gone too small! Where are the 13.2 to 14.2 old guys who'd just like to mosey down the trail?


                                      • #20
                                        I am 5'10" and showed a cute little 14.1 or 14.2 pony last summer - I am sure I looked tall on her, but I didn't care - it was a good "get out there" experience for myself and the pony (we just did the walk-trot flat classes).

                                        This year, I am taking the horse I am half-leasing to some shows (first one is tomorrow!) - he is a Haflinger, but grew too big to be a pony. He is probably 15.1 or 15.2. He takes up my leg just fine (he's not scrawny, that's for sure!). He rides just like a big pony!

                                        I am excited for the season, and don't see any reason adults can't ride ponies. Get out there on your pony and have fun!