Too big!

I often find myself wondering why everyone thinks they need such a big horse? I am 5’5 so I am not extremely short but I do have short legs and very short arms. I feel right at home on the shorter compact horses and when I get on these giant horses I struggle to really find a comfortable spot. I can ride them but I just don’t ride them as well as I do a smaller horse.

It does seem to me like people don’t even want to consider horses that are smaller than 16h. I showed horses to someone this week who was maybe 5’9″ but as skinny as can be and she said she needs a really tall horse because she is so tall and doesn’t like to ride anything that isn’t at least 16.1 and big bodied.

I suppose we all know our own likes and dislikes but I do think that narrowing your search criteria excludes a lot of neat horses. Maybe I should just be thankful that I like the shorter horses that nobody else wants 🙂

I was talking to Allie last night and told her that I think Diamond H is just too big for me. I like horses like Kiss a Monster, Shine my Shoes, Calabria Rose, Escape by Sea and even a taller but compact horse like Mort Robbins. Horses like Cool Casey and Diamond H makes me feel like I am always struggling to get my leg around them and not just sit up on top of them. Then again people get on my horse who is a 15.3 h conn/tb and think he feels so short every where. You better not jump up the neck on him because he just doesn’t have a long neck to hold you up 🙂 Riding him is like sitting in some sort of advanced sportscar where everything is at the touch of your finger. His turning radius is really cool and he is just easy to ride.

Anyway..totally rambling but this point was driven home this weekend when I took Diamond over to my mom’s farm to ride. Mort threw a shoe and Diamond needed to be reshod so we headed over to meet the farrier. What good boys they are to just get unloaded at a random barn, hang out in a stall, get feet done and then get ridden. I didn’t ride Mort because I had to get back to teach a lesson but we did have fun with Diamond.

Diamond is coming along and I have been doing a bit of lunging with him to start to introduce the concept of working over the back. He is smart and picks it up quickly and his nature is to try anything that I ask of him which I just love about him.

My mom is getting the base of her ring fixed up so there are random piles of sand all over and it’s a looky place in general. I knew Diamond wouldn’t care because he is just that type of horse that doesn’t really get bothered by much. I rode him first and then my mom came out and wanted to get on him. Then she just kept riding and riding 🙂 He really liked him and thought he was totally her kind of horse which I already knew. She likes the big horses and she rides them much better than I do.

Diamond was super good and did some really nice work. He is starting to muscle up and get stronger behind. I am having to ride him pretty forward to get him to stretch into the contact but that is just a temporary thing. Once he learns to soften then I will be able to slow it all down again. He just isn’t strong enough to push into the contact in a slower tempo.

See all his new muscles!

Here I am warming him up

We took a bunch of pictures and almost all of them look great (at least the horse does!) which is what I look for to see how they are progressing. I would like him to be a bit stretchier but that will come. Sometimes you have to teach them to connect first before you can get stretchy.

Mort is doing super well! I have been just doing some basic lunging with him to show him how to use his body and slowly work his muscles. I plan on riding him today if I can walk after the workout that I had at the gym this morning 🙂 I have been working out at a gym called Crossfit which is basically a very intensive workout using free range of movement. Squats, lunges, sit ups, pull ups, chin ups, presses, sprints and so much more. I am just getting started but the neat thing about this program is that it is instructor lead and all group sessions which makes you accountable to the group and pushed by the instructor each workout. There is also a lot of work with sand bags, keetle balls, tires and other things that I probably don’t want to think about yet. I need to get in better shape and lose a bunch of weight so I am making time for it. I really do have a crazy schedule where we take care of horses in the am, go to work and then come home and take care of horses and ride 3-4 horses a night. Kurt is taking care of the horses in the morning so I can hit the gym.

I got a chance to go to our C-Ville layup farm and see all the horses this weekend. They are looking great! We have some really lovely horses that I am so excited to get going. Now we just have to sell those currently in the retraining program so we can bring a new round of horses in.

I am getting lots of emails about the horses for sale now that spring is here so I anticipate some turnover soon. I brought Bushy’s Yield to my farm as someone is coming to see him on Saturday. I hope to ride him today but did spend the weekend giving him a bath, clipping him up and shedding him out. HATE shedding season 🙂

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4 responses to “Too big!

  1. The size thing is sort of funny – I used to definitely have a preference for big horses, till Allie stuck me on a bunch of smaller ones. They’re definitely easier in a lot of ways for me, though I still prefer a long, slow stride. Riding Rosey was sort of hard for me because I felt like her steps were coming sort of quick. Cadence is really a perfect fit – her build is petite (even at her height), so she feels like riding a smaller horse. But her stride is long and easy so I never feel like I’m posting at a million miles an hour. heh. 😉

  2. I actually noticed that you looked a lot smaller on him in your flickr album! How tall is Diamond H? I don’t *mind* a tall horse, but I much prefer a horse who isn’t as big in general. Of course, my horse is 16.3hh even though my ideal when I started shopping was 15-16hh. But then again, he’s 2/3 legs and 1/3 body as far as his height goes, and I actually can use my legs on him ok. My last horse was a 16hh QH halter horse back when halter horses could still move. He was the most powerful horse I ever rode, and he was also HUGE. The only horse I ever found who his girth fit on was a 17+hh Percheron cross at school. Yet it barely fit around my horse.

    I really love how you work with the horses. I keep hoping you’ll end up with the horse who’s the right match for me because 1) I have a vet friend who lives close enough to check them out for me (and who understands enough she’s not going to eliminate a horse for an old injury if it’s not likely to affect performance as a dressage horse) who I can also stay with to visit… but also 2) because of how you ride. Being in dressage, most horses I see marketed as dressage horses have their noses tucked way too far in. Yes, horses often go through a phase like that, but it seems a lot of people are fooled that horses are using their bodies correctly when they do that, instead of doing the work you do to teach them a different way of carrying themselves than the time on the track. I appreciate correct riding, and only want a horse who has most recently had correct riding (or none)!

  3. Diamond is looking gorgeous! Alos looks like he’s getting the whole “contact” thing really well. 🙂

  4. Diamond is looking fantastic! Being 5’2″, I really dig a small horse:)

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