Have You Outgrown Your HorseHow do you know when your horse is too small for you? Quite simply, when your horse can't carry you comfortably, you've outgrown him. Of course, there are ways to outgrow a horse well before he feels physical discomfort. So how do you know when it's time to upgrade to something a bit larger?
There are instances where your horse can handle your weight just fine, but you are simply too tall for your horse. How to tell? Well, if you are jumping over obstacles and your feet are banging on the rails, you are most likely too tall for your horse! But what about that same rider and horse who don't jump? If the horse can still handle the weight of the rider, whether or not the rider is too tall for the horse is a matter or aesthetics. If you are showing your horse and feel that your size is going to affect the outcome of the competition, that's a good reason to get a larger horse. Ask your instructor, a judge, or someone who is well-acquainted with your discipline to give you an honest assessment of how you fit your horse and whether or not that will have any bearing when you show your horse.
Which brings us to the fact that whether or not a horse fits a rider often has more to do with certain trends than it does with whether the horse can actually carry the rider. Today's fashion, for example, dictates that humongous horses carry tiny riders. Some people feel that a horse is too small if the rider's legs go more than halfway down its sides. On the other hand, disciplines like Western riding, endurance riding, and competitive trail riding focus more on the horse's ability to carry the rider, and not how the rider looks on the horse.
When deciding whether you've outgrown your horse, ask yourself a few questions. First, ask yourself whether your horse is comfortable carrying you.
If you are showing your horse, ask your self if the size of your horse, compared to the size of you, might negatively impact competition results. If there is a size-related reason that you feel is going to hold you back, it may be time to get a larger horse.
Finally, ask yourself whether you want to compete and ride with your horse, or whether you want another horse. Sometimes, it may be all about competing with a particular horse, and the outcome may not be all that important. In other cases, the outcome is most important and the horse is just the means to the end. There is no right or wrong answer, and the answer will vary from rider to rider.
In some cases, outgrowing a horse has nothing to do with size, but has to do with how far a particular horse can take you. If you are a rider who is improving and is ready to move on to the next level, you may need another horse to get you there.
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