What height horse for me?

Joined
12 August 2018
Messages
8
Im looking to buy my first horse and i'm wondering what height would suit. I am 5'11 so would 15hh be too small im not sure. Thanks :)
 

Theocat

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 November 2010
Messages
2,624
What height do you usually feel most comfortable on?

Some horses take up the leg better than others, so one at 15hh might be fine and another won't suit you at all. But you do need to feel comfortable, and that means being able to use your legs effectively, so you need to be honest with yourself about what "fits"!
 

Pearlsasinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 February 2009
Messages
21,417
Location
W. Yorks
I am 5'8" and have ridden everything from a 14.3hh to a 17hh, it really depends on the horse's barrel whether you 'fit' or not. Our little cob took an 18" saddle and very definitely took up the leg!
 

Shay

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 August 2008
Messages
5,999
Your height is only one part of the equation. Your weight is relevant - if you are long and skinny you might suit a very tall equally skinny TB type. If you are heavier you might need a weight bearing type which will take up more of your leg (ans so be shorter). If you are long and skinny you might feel unbalanced on a narrower horse even though it is well able to bear your weight - you might do better with something with more heart depth.

What you want to do with your horse is relevant too. If you want to do dressage the you might be better with a suitable type but WB at the base. If you want to jump / event something sports horse like underneath will help. If you want to do endurance something lighter but still tall enough to carry you comfortably. If you want to hack / hunt something more solidly set would suit better. Do you need / want to mount from the ground? That makes a difference. Your height alone is a very small part of your equation I'm afraid.
 

Goldenstar

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 March 2011
Messages
29,483
I am five feet five .
I feel slightly under horsed on a 15.3 and ok on a 16.2 .
But I am happiest on a 16 or a 16.1 .
Having said I have had much bigger horses and enjoyed them .
 

Micky

Active Member
Joined
11 July 2013
Messages
1,308
Location
Top of the world
I’m 5’8 and have a 15.1 cob x who is ideal, enough barrel to take up leg. I tried the same height but a lighter framed horse and I felt too big..ideally I would have preferred somewhere around 15.3/16.1 but wasn’t meant to be. Low level cross country, jumping, pleasure rides, dressage, showing..we’ve done all that..as long as you feel comfortable and like the paces/strides of the horse plus temperament, that’s good. You will know when you’ve found the right horse, irrelevant of its height. (To a degree!)
 
Joined
9 February 2009
Messages
442
I am about 5'8 and long in the leg, and feel pretty big on anything under 16.2 unless its fairly well built. I mostly ride event horses though so not sure how I would feel on a smaller but more cobby type.
Best advice is to try a few and see how you feel!
 

Cortez

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 January 2009
Messages
8,124
Location
Ireland
It depends....on your build, on the horse's build, on what you want to do. This is me (5'9" & long in the leg) on a 14.2hh chunky Friesian cross:
Fern in armour.jpg

....and a 15.2hh finer built PRE cross (see where the legs are?)
Boyne1.jpg
 

Tiddlypom

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 July 2013
Messages
8,162
Location
In between the Midlands and the North
It does very much depend on the horse's build, and the rider's.
I'm 5'10.5". This is me on a 15.1hh section D who did take up my leg quite well.
image.jpeg

And a 15.2hh Tb/section D who didn't...

image.jpeg

I do feel better suited size wise to my current horse, who is a chunky 16.1hh IDx.

image.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Joined
15 December 2018
Messages
56
Location
Wales
I'm 5ft11 & about 11.5 stone & my Section D is 14.3hh/15hh. He's built like a tank & takes up my leg well! I've had a 17.2hh TB type who I looked no better on as it was like sitting on a knifes edge lol! Depends on the breed a lot!
 

tallyho!

Wearing a headscarf intriguingly....
Joined
8 July 2010
Messages
13,589
I am five feet five .
I feel slightly under horsed on a 15.3 and ok on a 16.2 .
But I am happiest on a 16 or a 16.1 .
Having said I have had much bigger horses and enjoyed them .
Really?? 5'5 and a 15.3 is underhorsed?

I tease... tongue in cheek :) :D

When I was 20 I too felt underhorsed on a 15.3 (I'm 5'6) it was like riding a pony. I had a 17.3 at the time :D:D. I seem to have gone down a hand per decade as I now think 15.3 might even too big :D:D:D... by time I'm 70 (please God let me still be riding) I'll be on a 12.2 :D:D:D

I guess it depends on how you feel as well as height/weight/discipline/horse etc
 

Red-1

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 February 2013
Messages
6,858
Location
Yorkshire
Really?? 5'5 and a 15.3 is underhorsed?

I tease... tongue in cheek :):D

When I was 20 I too felt underhorsed on a 15.3 (I'm 5'6) it was like riding a pony. I had a 17.3 at the time :D:D. I seem to have gone down a hand per decade as I now think 15.3 might even too big :D:D:D... by time I'm 70 (please God let me still be riding) I'll be on a 12.2 :D:D:D

I guess it depends on how you feel as well as height/weight/discipline/horse etc

Ha, this is me too :p. My first eventer was over 17.1, my work horses all over 17hh too.

Then a 16.3 (that subsequently became OH's horse), then a 16,2, then a 16.1 (gift horse) and last one a 16hh (love of my life!). Some were concurrent and this was over many years.

New one was only 15.2 then I got her earlier this year, but has made 15.3.

I had not realised what a steady progression down the heights it has been.

This last one has done me a favour, as at 5'7 a 15.2 was fine, but middle aged spread had crept up on me, and I have lost a stone and a half in 9 months, and going down to get to fit her!

Even when she was 15.2 I needed a mounting block, whereas in my youth mounting a 17hh + was easy easy from the ground.
 

tallyho!

Wearing a headscarf intriguingly....
Joined
8 July 2010
Messages
13,589
Tell me about it Red! Honestly, I came off hunting on these beasts many a time and just swooped back on without a thought :D

I think all those times hitting the deck have taken it's toll... mounting from the ground? I did try that in the school after a c-section and I lost balance, hopped backwards and fell on my backside underneath the horses neck. SUCH a pretty sight. I think even my mare was embarrassed.
 

Cortez

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 January 2009
Messages
8,124
Location
Ireland
Ha ha, that's funny isn't it? I too have had a steady downward spiral in the heights from 17+ handers (one was 18h!) to my current 14.2 - 15.2 range (and I think the 15.2 is huge). It was also something of a fashion for a while to ride enormous horses, I think, but really it's so much easier to do EVERYTHING with a middling sized horse - from feeding to getting on and off. When we had the 18h horse we had to get a bigger lorry, tailor made rugs, bridles, everything. he was a sweetie, but I won't have anything over 15.2 again.
 

Tiddlypom

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 July 2013
Messages
8,162
Location
In between the Midlands and the North
Although my current looong 16.1 IDx mare suits me well, I'm going to have to learn to fold myself up again if I take up the ride on my 15.2hh homebred sports horse mare. She's not really big enough, but since her loan crashed and burned I'm left with her here. She's a similar build to the short arse chestnut in the middle pic above, although with a more level back profile. Her ears are going to seem very close after Tammy...

I'll be back on the post Christmas diet for sure, though.
 

Leo Walker

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 July 2013
Messages
8,441
Location
Northampton
Ha ha, that's funny isn't it? I too have had a steady downward spiral in the heights from 17+ handers (one was 18h!) to my current 14.2 - 15.2 range (and I think the 15.2 is huge). It was also something of a fashion for a while to ride enormous horses, I think, but really it's so much easier to do EVERYTHING with a middling sized horse - from feeding to getting on and off. When we had the 18h horse we had to get a bigger lorry, tailor made rugs, bridles, everything. he was a sweetie, but I won't have anything over 15.2 again.
I have slowly downsized as well. I think 14.2hh is a good height. Big enough to carry and adult but small enough to usually be tough and sound.
 

Surbie

Active Member
Joined
27 July 2017
Messages
542
I have a 15.1hh cob and am 5'9 with 32-33" legs. He does take up the leg nicely - my stirrups are a hole shorter than normal here as we were hacking out on a very windy day and he felt like a coiled spring!

Archie & me (2) December 2018.jpg

It depends....on your build, on the horse's build, on what you want to do. This is me (5'9" & long in the leg) on a 14.2hh chunky Friesian cross:
View attachment 28248
Cortez - that is just WOW!! I would so love to do that! I've been trying to convince Arch he could be a charger...
 

Cortez

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 January 2009
Messages
8,124
Location
Ireland
I have a 15.1hh cob and am 5'9 with 32-33" legs. He does take up the leg nicely - my stirrups are a hole shorter than normal here as we were hacking out on a very windy day and he felt like a coiled spring!

View attachment 28313



Cortez - that is just WOW!! I would so love to do that! I've been trying to convince Arch he could be a charger...
If that's Archie, he would be a spectacular charger - just the right type. Here's an old pic of a cob I had many years ago: he LOVED being a warhorse :) Best rear.JPG
 
Joined
28 August 2018
Messages
8
I’m 5ft3/4 I have a 16hh cob x thougherbred gelding and a 15hh ish Connemara mare, I truthfully prefer the height of the smaller one but I fell confident and comfortable on the 16hh but wouldn’t on other horses
 

blitznbobs

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 June 2010
Messages
3,885
Location
Cheshire
I’m 5 ft 5 and have a 15.2 and a 17.1 and I don’t think I look wrong on either - I generally prefer big horses (my 15.2 is a hw cob) but there are more out there that prefer little ones - as long as the horse can carry you and a saddle that fits your legs I doubt it matters... weight is more a factor than height.
 

kc921

New Member
Joined
25 October 2018
Messages
27
I am 5ft 11 and have owned a 14.2chunky cob and i now own an ex-racer 15.3 TB. It depends on what you feel comfortable on to be hoenst :) I have ridden 14hh as well and even smaller!
 
Top