big horse people...I have a question

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yankee_minis

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Okay, I don't want to start a war here. And I don't want to open my daughter up to tons of criticism here in this public place.

But we have this wonderful QH and I'm afraid that my daughter is too big for her. She is concerned too. This horse is so well trained, we hate to part with her, but we've got to do what's best for the horse. We can only have one full sized horse, and my daughter isn't going to get smaller. The horse is young enough to take it now, but in the long run it won't be good for her.

We have conflicting opinions here from different horse people.

I have a couple videos and I was wondering if people would like to look at them and tell me what you think.

Please PM or e-mail me and I'll give you the links to the videos.

Thanks!
 
T

Triggy&Blue&Daisy Too

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Even without seeing your daughter or the horse this kind of question is fairly easy to offer this suggestion. The best rule of thumb I've found over all the years I've ridden is that the rider and equipment should never exceed one third of the horse's weight. That is strictly for the horse's health and safety of the rider.

My mare is big and broad at 16hh and 1250 lbs so someone weighing even a significant amount more than I do, and I'm not tiny, is well within her comfort range including the 45-50 lbs of equipment I use on her.

If it's only a matter of esthetics, like a short horse and a rider with long legs, then it's all a matter of preference. I've seen some leggy cowboys on tiny 14 hh QH and while it looks a bit unusual both horses and riders look like they get along. Not everyone looks good on every horse but if it's only esthetics and if as you said, you have a great horse, if I were you I'd let them be a match and enjoy eachother. Being tiny on a huge animal looks ridiculous to me too like a pimple on an elephant's behind but as long as your happy how it looks is unimportant. I was at a horse show a few months back and there was a tiny child, looked about 5 but was probably a lot older, riding a HUGE percheron. The little thing was a superb rider and was the talk of the show grounds.
 
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chandab

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Well, I own a 15.2H half-arab gelding, he's about 1100 pounds and I've owned and ridden him for 19 years (mostly trailing riding and a little showing) and he handles me just fine. I'm 5'10" and I'll not share my weight (too much). My 15.2H APHA mare is 1150 pounds and doesn't have any problems with me. I'll be starting a 15.1H AQHA gelding in the spring, he's 4 years old and I think he'll be just fine with me. I have a really tall 2 year old (coming 3) AQHA gelding that I plan to take it easy with, but that is only because he is so tall, so young that I don't want to hurt his joints (he'll be started under saddle this upcoming summer).
 

minimule

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It's really hard but if you both feel like she is too big, then she probably is or will be very soon.

I outgrew my best mare ever but gave her to my friend's 9 yr old (at the time) to learn responsibility with. They did great together and had a happy 7 more years before she left us all.
 
L

Lisa-Ruff N Tuff Minis

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I htink a horse can be more comfortable then we think carrying weight of course what and how it is used is a huge part of it as well
 

Leeana

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I'm just a bit heavy and i use to run barrels on a 15.1HH QH/TB cross. He handled me great.

My mom though is allot heavier then me and really wanted to learn to ride. One of my dads friends had his horse here for a couple days before taking it down south and he got my mom to ride him. He was about 15HH (maybe a big more) but BUILT BUILT BUILT!!!. He handled mom fine and she road him about 4 times out here. I think its more if the rider goes on confident then you will be fine. If you get on thinking 'oh im huge, he is going to buck me off and blah blah blah' ..then you wont get far. Thats just how i think it is. I mean im going to use common sense and mom is to ....we both know she isnt getting on a 13hand pony or anything like that but its all about confidence i think and how you handle yourself in the saddle. Moms taking some lessons next summer though.

But when all else fails use the 25% thing. Works great, i dont usually use it exept on the ponies (i only do 22% on my minis) but i guess if you had any worried it would work. My problem is im not good at guessing horse weight so it was pointless for me to us it. Im always about 300 pounds off when i guess the horses weight ...
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Leeana
 

tigeresss

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I've always been told time and time again that the rule is that a horse should only carry 20% of its own body weight this includes the weight of the saddle.
 

Jill

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There's a formula you can use where you measure the cannon bone and then do xyz, but I'm not having any luck finding that formula this morning...

I know though it has all to do with the build of the horse not the height. And, for me (though I'm not a great rider), it has to do with how much of my leg the horse takes up. A "wide" built horse takes up more of my leg and I look better on it than a narrowly built horse even a hand and a half taller.
 

rabbitsfizz

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It really has nothing to do with size (this coming from someone who has never outgrown anything !!) It is weight and balance that count. If your daughter is merely too tall for the horse I would talk it through and decide between you. If she is too heavy, there is no choice.
 
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Shari

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Janes right.... bigger sized horse doesn't mean it can carry more weight.

I ride a 12.3 hand,, stout Icelandic horse. She has no problems at all carrying my weight.

I may look different because I look too tall for my horse.. per the standard American's eye. But I don't have a problem with it.
 

Heidi

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rabbitsfizz said:
It is weight and balance that count.
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Balance is a key issue.

Think of the difference of picking up a child when it is awake and 'helping' you and when it is asleep and a 'dead weight'.

If a rider is balanced and 'helps' the horse rather than lolling all over it, I don't think weight is much of an issue. It is far more comfortable for a horse to carry an overweight rider who rides in a balanced manner than a lighter rider who is constantly leaning and swaying all over the place and causing the horse to make many adjustments to keep itself balanced.

Generally, I would go by 25% of horse's weight for carring rider/tack, but you have to keep in mind the build of the horse and its' legs. Some horse legs are just to delicate for heavy riders. If you can sit on your horse, fully tacked, and the horse's front pasterns don't have a marked incline to their slope from when they stand naturally, I'd say the horse would do okay.

Heidi
 
L

Lisa-Ruff N Tuff Minis

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Heidi i agree.. I have seen many a rider in the 240+ lb size jumping there horses and doing it well I might add. It isnt as easy but a 200+ size good rider is going to be easier on a horse then a 170lb bad one.

I have always found it a bit ironic that people will be the first to say hey that is to much weight to put on a horse you are to heavy to ride ect.. but those same people dont see anything wrong with a mini pulling 2 adults (usually not small adults but a total of 350-400 lbs in a cart ) and never think twice about it. I do realize there is a difference in pulling vs carrying but you never hear those people saying assuuming you have a decent cart that is balanced and a horse that is truly fit ect

I am not saying all minis or horses should be ridden or carry alot of weight but it is always a bit ironic to me that in one thread we here horses are tough they are meant to be outside, meant to live in weather conditions, meant to not be stalled and or clipped but... surely not tough enough to carry weight
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yankee_minis

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Thanks for all your replies. Here are a couple links to short videos I took of Sarah riding Kya. The only pictures I have of her on Kya are ones where Kya has leis wrapped around her hocks as part of a Halloween costume.

The video may be choppy depending on memory on your computer. Close other programs and it might get smoother.

Kya is about 7 years old.

www.bitoblue.com/kyatrot4a.wmv (1.12Mb)

www.bitoblue.com/kyachangeup2.wmv (1.5Mb)

www.bitoblue.com/kyachangeup1.wmv (1.09Mb)

Remember. We're trying to do what is right for Kya, so please be kind to her humans with your replies.

p.s. She meets the 25% rule as far as I can tell.
 
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Heidi

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Your daughter is a GOOD rider and Kya is carrying herself and her rider just fine. I could not see any excessive pastern sink, even at the canter. Your daughter has a good seat, not bouncing all over and at the canter she casually raised her hand to tuck back her hair...that speaks of confidence and good balance to me. The horse looked perfectly happy doing her job, she carried herself well, was balanced and has good reach under herself and good collection. I liked her low (comfortable) head set. If she were uncomfortable she would most likely raise her head and hollow her back.

I think they are just fine. Tell people you appreciate their concern but they need to MYOB. Your daughter is definitely NOT overweight.

Heidi
 
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rabbitsfizz

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I'm going to disagree I'm afraid. Your daughter is sitting too far back, which is caused by the saddle and the fact that the mare is a little short backed. Thus the swishing tail and back set ears. I'm afraid I do not see a happy horse, nor one that fits your daughter any more. I would sell her and buy a bigger horses, everyone will benefit .
 

tagalong

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Well... fixing a few things equitation-wise would help both parties...
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Your daughter needs to bring her legs back under her seat more - and not have them that far out in front... that makes her sit back on her pockets like an old cowboy and puts her weight further back on the mare's back and not over the center of balance. Kya is not a stocky type of QH... so shifting the weight forward will help her. The tail wringing when she is asked to push off one hind leg into the canter gives a hint that she is not relaxed or balanced - as does how heavy she gets on her forehand when on the right lead for a couple of strides. The faster trot going left to lead into the left lead looks a bit stiff and resistant - she may be hollowing out her back very slightly..

Anyway - bringing the rider's legs back - and the weight off the cantle of the saddle and the mare's loins - will make everything smoother - and feel better for Kya.

After she is ridden - check her back... run your fingers down each side of her spine with pressure... just to make sure she does not cringe a bit or flinch. If she finds finger pressure uncomfortable - that will tell you that riding weight is not working as is...

Just trying to help Kya... I help teach at a Therapeutic Riding Center... where weight on our older horses is always a concern - and we work to help both horse & rider find their balance together.

Heidi... there is no true "collection" there. It is not being asked for - so that is fine... Collection is round, gathered, pushing through from the hindquarters through the back, over the neck and into the bit. Not what Kya is doing... she is simply doing a soft little jog as opposed to being asked to lengthen stride and do a more forward trot... and is being ridden off her halter as far as I can see. She seems to be a very well-mannered litttle mare.

You daughter does not bounce all over the saddle and seems to have quiet, giving hands - that is nice to see!
 
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Heidi

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tagalong said:
Heidi... there is no true  "collection" there. It is not being asked for - so that is fine... Collection is round, gathered, pushing through from the hindquarters through the back, over the neck and into the bit. Not what Kya is doing... she is simply doing a soft little jog as opposed to being asked to lengthen stride and do a more forward trot...
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"Collection is round, gathered, pushing through from the hindquarters..."

I thought that was what I was seeing her do when she was cantering. She did not appear all strung out, she was keeping her hind legs under herself and moving nicely. I do understand that her jog was just a jog and that was not collected. Neither do I think that the canter was a "rider" collected [when discussing proper collection] canter but I felt the horse was carrying herself well and in a good manner.

I also felt the rider had good balance. She wasn't flopping all over the place, she had a solid seat that wasn't bouncing.

h
 

tagalong

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Heidi said:
She did not appear all strung out, she was keeping her hind legs under herself and moving nicely.  I do understand that her jog was just a jog and that was not collected.  Neither do I think that the canter was a "rider" collected [when discussing proper collection] canter but I felt the horse was carrying herself well and in a good manner.
Well - there is not a lot of self carriage in the collected sense there - she is travelling okay... but not collected. On her right lead she gets heavy on the fore for a few strides... which is not the way she seems to carry herself naturally - she may be uncomfortable and trying to stretch a bit... ?? That was why I suggested checking her back with some firm finger pressure.

Also check SADDLE FIT!! One size does not fit all...
smile.gif


The trot going left does look a bit rushed and hollow to me.... yankee - did Kya just get shoed or trimmed - or have her shoes pulled, perhaps?? She looks a bit "short" in front in the faster trot going left...

Rider is good at following the movement with her seat and back... and quiet hands as I said. We just need to get the rider's weight forward off the pockets and more in alignment with Kya's center of balance.....
 

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