The Little Guy

I have never been “the little guy” in any group.  I’m an easy 5’10” and wear heels for work a good portion of my life.  And I was almost 5’8” in 7th grade, so being the giraffe was always in the cards.  In line with that, since I can remember I’ve been riding large horses.  To some degree it was the hunter/jumper complex that bigger is better.  The rest was simply finding a horse that my 36” long inseam didn’t miniaturize.

My history is a series of 16hh+ horses.  As follows…


16.2hh gelding


16hh+ gelding


16.3hh gelding


17hh+ hand gelding


PC: She Moved to Texas, her wonderful Simon


16hh+ mare

I remember that buying O, at 16hh was considered “smallish” for me.  You can see in the picture just above that obviously the mare was plenty big.  But it’s a culture thing in Hunters.  People seem to love the giant, rolling stride horses.



Then I started riding this mare.  Dee is just over 15.1hh (I think), and while I love to call her shorty/mini/pony/hony there is nothing this little horse can’t do.  Our lessons do nothing to challenge her; she’s sporty, clever and cute on the flat.


15.1 rockstar

And in being so, she has totally changed how I see horses.  How I see any future horses.  I’m not going to shrink anytime soon, so being tall will always factor into my rides.  But, if that means that maybe I just need to be more careful with my upper body at the fence-I don’t see any problems with that.

So for the first time in my 20-odd years of life, I’m the little guy.  Or rather, we are.  I’m choosing to embrace it, laugh at it, and then continue on my merry way.  I have no great ambition to challenge the bigger is better hunter complex, except in my own mind…and perhaps those who love this little horse as much as I do.

23 thoughts on “The Little Guy

  1. Embrace the little horse! 😀 Like you, I am tall (5’9), but my height is all in my torso! I have stubby little legs, so I find myself more comfortable on the small horses than the really big ones. Moe is 15.2 or so, while Gina and Candy are right around 16-16.1. Those 16.3 or 17 hand whopper horses make me feel like I’m driving a bus. 😛

  2. I like a big fat hunter as much as the next guy, but little horses can be pretty cool too! Especially in the hunters, the smaller horses tend to jump in better form as the jumps go up, simply because they have to try a little harder. And hey, Val is only 15.2ish, and we get in trouble for leaving strides out alll the time. Lol.

  3. She’s adorable! You and I are about the same height and I used to be on the large horse bus too, until I bought Beefheart (he was 15.2). Sometimes the smaller horses feel like a sports car compared to larger horses. They can be so much fun! I’m glad that you’re enjoying riding her.

  4. I am 6 feet tall and find myself enjoying horses on the smaller end (both my young horses are around 15.3ish and I’m used to Apollo’s 16.2/16.3ish). They are easy to mount and the ground doesn’t seem so far away haha

  5. Speaking from the perspective of someone whose 16.3 hand gelding decided under no circumstances would he cross the very narrow stream brought about thanks to California’s persistent rains (and I had to hop off and lead him over), I can see the advantage to having a shorter horse. I had to hand walk him on the trail until I could find a sloped section of land to position myself upon to be able to have him lower to reach the stirrup.

    Also, I heard from the mouth of Flexible’s groom (yes, Rich Fellers’ Flexible) that Rich likes the smaller horses because he believes they hold up better over the long haul. I wish I could remember how tall Flexible is because she told me, but alas that was a few years ago and I forgot.

    • Wow, that’s so cool! I will openly admit that I love the big guys still, but having Dee in my life is expanding my options significantly! A smaller horse definately has it’s perks. Google thinks he might be 16hh? Still so neat considering how giant a lot of the Prix horses are. Rich Fellers is a tall guy too!

  6. Funny you posted this. A couple weeks ago I got on my friends horse, thunder who I rode consistently while friend was preggo, to try out her new saddle. I went from Pal, my 16h (beast), very full she was, to Solo, who is a dainty (while just two and a half) 15.1, to thunder who is 15.3ish. I felt like I had just gotten aboard the CN tower! I had a complex at first and while Solo sticks at 16h, I worried how big he would be. Now, I am starting to like his size and knowing he will grow is even better. I admit us hunters like size😋

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