Small children with large horses

SummerStorm

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I want to know - I really, really, really do - why some children at the age of 12, 5 stone and 4'10" demand, and get, their 16.3hh 5 year old Dutch Warmblood as the next stage after a 17 year old 12hh Dartmoor pony.

It's something I've been thinking about for a while now as recently I have been noticing a lot of children years younger and a heck of a lot smaller than me sitting on these 16hh+ horses that are clearly way too big for them and I really can't find a sensible reason as to why they are doing it
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Is there something I'm missing in that seeing a kid ride a 17hh, out of control, clearly too large thoroughbred is somehow better/cleverer/more impressive than a kid on a 13hh Heinz 57 pony that is well ridden, well behaved and the right size?! I have been truly staggered on occasions at these 5' 13 year olds who have horses that they can barely reach to get a saddle on, let alone get on the thing from the ground on their own and that's all before they get to the minor problem that the rider's legs make it past the saddle flaps by what looks to be a few inches...?! Is there a rule now that says all small children need to go from 11.2hh, 10 year old pony club ponies to imported, 17hh, baby warmbloods? Because on several occasions, I've seen what looks like an accident waiting to happen as kids go from super little ponies, bypass the 14 - 15 handers and instead go straight onto these massive younsters that they look like a pea on a mountain on...
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While I have absolutely no problem with the children who are taller or need, for whatever reason, a larger horse but I truly cannot understand why there are massively overhorsed little children on 17.1hh showjumpers entering the 1'6" class at local shows. I'm not joking - I have entered classes at childrens shows where I have been on one the smallest ponies there. That wouldn't concern me if I was sitting on a shetland but when I'm on a 14hh NFx...

When the children can handle the horse I'm all up for it but when they're just being dragged around the yard openly admitting that they are scared of it and would rather get back on their little Welshie something seems just bit wrong somewhere imho.

Thoughts anyone?
 

Tia

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This is something which happens an awful lot over here. When I first came over I thought it was rather odd, but now I barely notice and I have to say I don't care. Whatever suits them is fine by me.
 

Skhosu

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It avoids having to sell on the 14-15hh and also reduces expense. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I've only ever had two sizes of ponys/horse, 14.2 and 17hh.
 

lexiedhb

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I think its down to the parents, who 9/10 are non horsey thinking if they by their little darling a young big horse they will never grow out of it so they dont have the hassle of changing horses every few years!!
 

SummerStorm

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When they're in control it's fine but it's just when they are standing on two upturned crates to tack up and are then carted out the areana when they finally do scamble on that bother me!
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I could well just not be used to it as all of my friends have owned ponies/small horse but it certainly has caught me by surprise on a few occasions out competing when I end up stuggling to see/talk to a tiny little 10 year old once they've mounted!
 

WishfulThinker

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When I was 12 I was riding 17.3hh horses, but then again I was 5ft7 and weighed 10stone!!
But I have to admit I don't get why parents do give in and buy horses that are clearly too big. It's hit or miss as to whether the child can control it. I would be worried that if an accident happened insurers would question the suitability of the mount and maybe refuse to pay out.
 

GinGin2

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My VERY NON-HORSEY parents were very responsible when I was growing up and took advice from people they knew and trusted in the equine world. Even that went wrong once!!

It does seem a bit mad, as it can't be practical having a horse that big when you're little - for a start!
 

Toby_Zaphod

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I think it's dangerous when the parents of the child are non horsey.....they seem to apply the same logic to buying a new horse as buying a new school blazer......."they'll grow into it eventually!"
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Scruff

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I was 5'8" at 12, and still on my 12.3hh Heinz 57, and then at 13 moved up to a 16.2hh TB x Hanovarian mare. I wish I hadn't, although she was a fabulous mare and I'd love to get my hands on her at the same stage now.

Although I was tall and looked fine, I just didn't have the strength to hold a big-striding, powerful horse together properly. I also got dragged all over the place when I was on the ground.

It also meant that I had to compete in adult classes rather than against children of my own age, so I became very dispirited, as I couldn't hold my own against adults with years and years of experience (and probably more talent than me anyway). It took years for me to regain my confidence in my own ability.

I've really noticed the difference being an adult on that size horse - I have more strength in my seat and legs to hold the horse together, and more upper body strength for when she gets wound up on the ground.

I'd always rather a child look leggy on a smaller pony for longer - most who think they have outgrown their ponies are only going by aesthetics anyway - at 5'8" with 34" inside leg, I still look fine on a 14.2hh lightweight, so why would almost any child need anything bigger?
 

amandathepanda

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Quite frankly it terrifies me seeing some of these kids. I ride a 17.1 warmblood who can be stroppy, stubborn nappy & bolshy just because he knows he is a hell of a lot bigger and stronger than I am. I am 5'7" and 29, I have professional training several times a week to be able to keep my horse submissive and he still isn't easy. I have over 20 years experience, am BHS qualified and am used to riding young horses. How on earth are kids meant to ride horses like this? When I went through pony club, kids tended to jump from 12 hand ponies to 15 hands, even then it seemed too big a jump for many to cope with safely. Personally, I would much rather see a child that is tall & skinny ride a pony they feel safe on even if they are a little bit tall on that pony until they have the ability & strength to ride big horses properly. I can't help thinking kids miss on out on so much fun by going on to big horses too soon - you can't do gymkhana games on a 17 hand warmblood as it isnt practical, nor can you do half the fun things that I used to do on my 14 hand arab x welsh as I used to be able to take him anywhere & everywhere & have a go at jumping anything - safely!!
 

lexiedhb

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[ QUOTE ]
lol...
I uh....still need a decent mounting block to get 17hh!

[/ QUOTE ]

LMAO... you're not alone on that front!!
 

Onyxia

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[ QUOTE ]
I'd always rather a child look leggy on a smaller pony for longer - most who think they have outgrown their ponies are only going by aesthetics anyway - at 5'8" with 34" inside leg, I still look fine on a 14.2hh lightweight, so why would almost any child need anything bigger?

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Bloody hell you have long legs!
I'm 34 inch inside leg to but am 6ft.

Anyway, I think people rush to get onto horses now.IME ponies are seen as the equine version of the old banger you get for your first car-great to learn with but get something bigger/better/flashier ASAP.
Such a shame, personaly I prefere ponies and if/when I buy another horse I will be looking for a big native

Even though a young teen wont NEED anythingbigger then 14/15hh, if they can handle it and it's what they want fine, but most would e better off with a nice pony.
 

Scruff

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[ QUOTE ]

Bloody hell you have long legs!
I'm 34 inch inside leg to but am 6ft.



[/ QUOTE ]

Yep, I'm a stumpy on stilts!
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loobylu

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I love ponies/ small horses. I'm 5'6 and reasonably light weight so still regularly ride 13hh but equally I don't look ridiculous if I hop on a friend's 16.2. Good eh?
I was in Kentucky in the summer for the USPC champs. I have to say that as tia said, horses are alot more common over there. Only in the games did I see 'proper' ponies and they were certainly bigger and chunkier than our games ponies over here.
It's a personal thing. You do get some awful sights but I have a friend who is 5' nothing and must weigh about 7-8 stone...she has a 16.3 strapping beast and has no problems. (She had hilarious issues trying to bridle him when she got him but she's worked on it and he's now much more ameanable.)
 

Caty_A

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[ QUOTE ]
I think its down to the parents, who 9/10 are non horsey thinking if they by their little darling a young big horse they will never grow out of it so they dont have the hassle of changing horses every few years!!

[/ QUOTE ]

spot on
 

Christmas_Kate

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
I'd always rather a child look leggy on a smaller pony for longer - most who think they have outgrown their ponies are only going by aesthetics anyway - at 5'8" with 34" inside leg, I still look fine on a 14.2hh lightweight, so why would almost any child need anything bigger?

[/ QUOTE ]
Bloody hell you have long legs!
I'm 34 inch inside leg to but am 6ft.


[/ QUOTE ]

OH is 6'4 and only has 32 inside leg!!
 

clarejones

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Well i am 5ft 6ins 27 years old nine and a half stone and ride connemara ponies and i love it i have had horses, big horses, but i enjoy riding and working with the connies, i love it when we do better in the dressage than some of these big flashy horses!! lol
 

Miss Tipps

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When it comes down to it - any horse or pony, 12.2 or 17.2 is stronger than a child or an adult and in many situations could do a lot of damage.

When I first got my current boy, a 16.2hh ISH, he was rude and pushy on the ground and downright scary in the saddle. My daughter, then 15, rides him also and she, just like me, would get carted from one end of the school to the other. He's an angel now and I would trust him implicitly with a child on his back.

However, as a 15 year old myself, I was small and slight (just like my daughter). On the yard where I kept my horse I was always asked to take on and reschool the 12-13hh ponies who, completely destroyed by their stroppy child riders, had taken to bucking, bolting and any other method they could think of to get rid of the annoying person on their back. They were every bit as dangerous as my newly acquired 16.2hh ISH.

I agree that there are children out there on way big horses, neither doing justice to the other, but I don't think its really anything to do with size.

Horse or pony it is physically stronger than a human and can be a dangerous lunatic in the wrong hands and thats the key. A relationship with a horse is nothing to do with physical strength, its to do with understanding, caring and compassion for each other and any person and any horse, regardless of size or age is capable of that.
 

rara007

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Sorry big horse lovers, but we have been their got the t-shirt and ponies are easier to deal with, more 'healthy' and cheaper to keep, and you can have just as much if not more fun with them. Unless your really are aiming for top level ridden competition, or are over about 5"5 then ponies are much better IMO.
 

CastleMouse

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I'd just like to add "my bit"... Castle is my first pony, he's only 12.2hh, and I would have really loved to have kept him for the rest of his life if I hadn't hideously outgrown him and wasn't too old for 128s
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I'm 5ft 4, Ali is a 16.1hh Danish Warmblood is 10 years old. I'm in my first year in juniors, although I still have until my 16th birthday in ponies. The reason I didn't buy a 14.2hh pony was because I'd have to sell him on 2 years up the road, which IMO, would be a waste. With a horse I can do juniors and young riders. Ali may have a few quirks, but he is a lovely lad and even though he isn't the easiest ride I get along well with him, and can manage him.
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Me on Castle...

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And on Ali...
 

claireross

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I think things have changed over the years. Me and all my friends were riding 13.2hh ponies until we were at least 16yrs, yet when I take my daughter to pony club the majority of them are on 15.2hh plus horses.

I do think people over horse their kids because no one wants a pony for 1-2yrs when their child'a having a growth sprut. I know I have pretty much decided that I won't be able to part with my daughters 12hh pony when its outgrown.
 
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