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Re: [RC] Horse Size - Laney Humphrey

I think you've gotten lots of good advice about horse height, now we can start educating you on horse age!  Eight is by no means to old to start endurance.  In fact many people would say that's about the perfect age because the horse has finished growing so no growth plates to damage and it's brain is ready and eager to learn a job.  There is nothing wrong with beginning to work with a 4 year old either, you just have to go much slower since the horse is still maturing.  4 year olds can compete in Limited Distance rides.  5 years of age is the youngest horses can compete in endurance rides.  Just as with height, I would never let a horse's age stop me from trying.  There are lots of horses that don't begin their endurance careers til even their teens and they do fine as long as they are carefully and lovingly ridden.
Have fun; sounds like you're in love with the bigger horse - that's a great start!
and Arrow Dynamic, a Spanish Mustang
----- Original Message -----
From: Kathleen
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2006 7:15 PM
Subject: Re: [RC] Horse Size

Thanks everyone for the advice!  Everyone has brought up so many good points.  The horse in question is a mustang.  He looks a lot like an Arab to me.  I can't quit thinking about him!  I think I'm going to have to go for it.  I believe he would be a great start in endurance for me.  And I think he's gorgeous. 
I have a mustang now that is 14.1, and he is the lean muscular type.  He is built sort of 'arab-ish' too, but he is already eight.  Is that too old to take up endurance?  I think his talent will be as a hunter/jumper.  This other gelding is four, which is the right age to start working with an endurance horse, right?   
Thanks for all the info.  Reading these posts gets me so excited about endurance, and helps keep me on track with my goals. 
----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Sidio
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2006 6:57 PM
Subject: RE: [RC] Horse Size

Height doesn't matter.
A few years ago, I was in the market for a replacement horse. My old horse had gotten old and passed away. As a 6 foot tall, 170-180 pounds plus clothes and  tack rider, (last couple of rides we tacked out at 220-225. I am still trying to figure how my saddle got heavier).  I had always owned horses that were 15.2 -16 hands tall. I was also partial to the well built horses too, 1000-1100 pound range.
I had been away from endurance for several years, and was really just looking for a trail horse.  I tried out many gaited horses, but didn't find the horse that clicked for me. My last two horses had been an Arabian and  an Arabian/Saddlebred. They had given me 20 plus years of great riding. So I found myself going to the Addis Arabian horse Auction in Oklahoma City.  After studying the catalog, I went from stall to stall looking for my next great riding horse. I told my wife he would be 15.3 hands tall, about 1050 pounds, size 1 or 2 feet, 5 years old and preferably grey. One of the horses on my check list was a 7 year old grey gelding  who was standing in a stall with a big hole in it. He looked like a 12 hand pony. The owner led him out and he wasn't all that much better. He  barely hit 14.3 hands tall He weighed about 800 pounds and was narrow made in the front and back. Besides having skinny legs ( 7 inches around?) his feet were size 000. My wife started to walk away, but there was something in his eyes that I liked.   Later that day I saw him being ridden in the arena, and then saw how he acted to be tacked up. Again there was something about him that caught my eye. To my wifes surprise, I moved him up to #2 on my wish list.
Well you can guess the rest, He came home with us. Along with  another of my choices who was 15.1 and growing, bigger feet etc etc. The second horse was a much better physical speciman in most peoples eyes. But after one day of being around them both, I decided to stick with my little  gelding.  He had never been on trail  and had spent his life not being a successful hunter jumper. After a few months of trail riding, I realized he might enjoy doing enfurance .  He does. We bond well and communicate well as a team.  When I see the pictures of us at a ride, the macho/John Wayne part of me cringes.  He look so small  and skinny and I look like a grown up riding the kids Shetland pony. (see the July Endurance News  Lighter side article, The bottom photo is us.) . But look at his record. (KMA Chazz Piper). He is doing great and we are enjoying the heck out of it.
If you were wanting to be a top National rider and be on the international team, maybe you would need to be more choosy about size  and build.  But my best advice for you is to find someone  whose personality you really like and select that horse (assuming it is sound). The two of you will spend a lot of hours in each others company, and you might as well enjoy being together.
Paul N. Sidio
Spokane Mo

RE: [RC] Horse Size, Paul Sidio
Re: [RC] Horse Size, Kathleen