Pony questions from someone with little experience.

FindingMyWay

New Member
Apr 1, 2015
27
10
3
United States
I've ridden a pony two or three times in the past--he was a Connemara, 14.2 hands--and he had what I call a "jackhammer trot." I posted just fine on the horse I rode before him, but then my instructor put me on this pony and I started bouncing all over the place! I simply couldn't figure out how to post to his gait.

I know ponies have a reputation for being bouncy, but is it common to find ponies with smooth trots, too? I always assumed the bounciness had something to do with their shorter legs...I like the idea of riding a pony because I'd be lower to the ground, but I hated feeling like I was about to come out of the saddle at any moment!

I also wonder how small of a pony I could ride without hurting him or her...I'm 5'5" with short legs (I always have to buy pants in petite sizes or they're too long for me). I usually weigh somewhere between 140 and 150 lbs., though I've started losing weight recently...Are Shetlands out of the question? :D
 

chev

Moderator
May 7, 2002
10,840
1,171
113
right here, right now
I wouldn't go for a Shetland, once you've figured in the weight of tack as well I think you'd be pushing it. It would have to be a full height (42 inches) and I still think it wouldn't work.

I'm also 5'5" and roughly the same weight. The picture shows me on a section a mare when I was a lot thinner and lighter but I only ever got on her if she was taking the mickey with the kids. Forgive the crappy position! She is a shave under 12.2hh. A full up Shetland would be 10.2hh.



If you really want to ride a pony have you thought about Welsh section C, fells, Dales and so on?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Trewsers

FindingMyWay

New Member
Apr 1, 2015
27
10
3
United States
Yeah, I figured a Shetland would probably be way too small...I just wanted to know the smallest size I could get away with riding. :)

Dales and Fells are very hard to find here, unfortunately...I've seen a lot of Welsh ponies and Connemaras for sale, though, including ones that are part horse (often Arabian). POAs, too.

Oh, and what about the trot? Is it going to be a challenge to find a pony with a smooth trot?
 

squidsin

Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2013
5,149
2,125
113
Depends on the pony! The smaller they are, the bouncier their trot is likely to feel for an adult. I have a pony and she has a smooth trot but she is 14.2hh so nearly a horse.
 

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
54,774
15,713
113
52
On an island
My connie has a very bouncy trot which took me a while to get used to after learning on cobs. However, once I did get used to it, I very much enjoy it. I've not really ridden any other ponies - I know our J had a lovely smooth trot but at 16.2hh a bit far from the ground!lol
 

chev

Moderator
May 7, 2002
10,840
1,171
113
right here, right now
It depends on the individual whether or not they're bouncy. I had a TB mare who practically pinged me out the saddle in trot. The cobby mare I ride now has a lovely easy trot to sit or rise to. The cob I used to ride had a really bouncy trot. The more a horse works from behind the bigger the paces get too.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,314
14,720
113
40
Suffolk, UK
The rule of thumb is that the rider and tack must be less than 20% of an adult horse or ponies own bodyweight, although if they are fine built its probably more like 15%, but being up to max weight all the time is likely to reduce the working life of him/her so better to stay well under that if you can.
So if you are 150lbs and you saddle & pad weigh 50 lbs (assuming western tack there) your equine would need to weigh more than 1000lbs, which is likely to put you in the realms of stocky ponies or small horses.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
18,923
6,893
113
61
Surrey Hills
When my Connie is going sweetly his trot is so smooth that I can easily sit it bareback or post to it bareback if I prefer. When he is rushing or hollowing his back I couldn't sit to it for anyone's money! So even the same pony can vary from one trot to the next.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kite_Rider

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
8,326
1,744
113
London
How do you post bareback Jane? I rode a new horse bareback today - whose trot is somewhat bouncier than my old share but it didnt enter my head to rise to it.
 

eml

Moderator
Apr 29, 2002
12,796
1,206
113
Leicestershire
www.ivanhoeequestrian.net
Just allow the movement to push you forward and upward instead of absorbing it through your back. Most people find that a small incline forward will cause then to rise automatically. Do be aware however that the horse causes the rise do not grip with knees and force it as we did years ago to strengthen our knee grip, that produces all sorts of other problems!!
 

FindingMyWay

New Member
Apr 1, 2015
27
10
3
United States
You've all given me a lot to think about. I've got a better idea of what would and wouldn't work now, so thank you very much for sharing your thoughts!

Jessey, I really appreciate the "less than 20%" explanation. That's useful information...For some reason, I tend to think of equines in terms of height and not weight.

I'm a long way from getting my own pony or horse...Until then, I suppose I could explain my concerns to an instructor or trail riding guide and ask them if they have any beginner-friendly, small horses or large ponies with a smooth trot.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jessey

Wally

Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
35,300
4,394
113
I have been riding for over 40 years and have just had to learn to ride again. SERIOUSLY.

For the last 30 I have been spoilt with an armchair Haflinger whose trot and canter were smooth as silk, and then old fashioned Icelandics with easy tolts and trots so rising trot never actually got me leaving the saddle. any posting was a gesture.

Now I have bought a modern, competition Iceandic who has massive elevation in his trot and I have had to relearn to ride a big, elevated trot.

A Shetland of 38-42 inches would carry you no bother, and at your size you'd be in demand here to ride the ponies that need schooling ready for small kids to ride, but down south you'd get funny looks and it wouldn't be a practical mount for you.
Conformation plays a massive part in whether a horse will have a comfy trot. Upright shoulders and short pasterns will make for a choppy bone shaking trot, long pasterns, good sloping shoulders make a more comfy riding horse.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kite_Rider

FindingMyWay

New Member
Apr 1, 2015
27
10
3
United States
Wally: I've seen Shetlands pop up for sale around here, but I'm not sure if they were the British-style Shetlands you're referring to or the more refined American version...I assume that the latter might have trouble supporting someone my size. I don't intend to do anything more than walking and trotting/jogging, though, so I don't know if that makes a difference.

Thanks for the confirmation tip, too. That's valuable information.
 

Wally

Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
35,300
4,394
113
This is a true to type Island pony


and this is a friend riding him, She's about 8 and a half stone and about 5 foot 4. She could ride him for miles and he was happy as anything.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Jayne and Trewsers

Wally

Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
35,300
4,394
113
I think it came with a caption, but I can't mind what it was now, something about over doing the groping jelly
 

FindingMyWay

New Member
Apr 1, 2015
27
10
3
United States
Wally: The arm in that picture shocked me so much I almost forgot what I was going to say! LOL.

Anyway, your friend and the pony seem to be a good match. I definitely wouldn't be too tall for a pony that size, then...
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
R a few questions in how to keep my pony cooler? Horse Care 11
Snowyboy Been a while but got pony viewing questions! Cafe 18
CheriFen questions to ask when buying a new pony Adults who ride Ponies 0
H Pony club questions Cafe 2
D Moving pony lot's of questions!! Cafe 20
Vicki&Milo Milo the wonder pony-videos, photos and questions (and a [long] happy post for once) General 9
T Few questions on Gypsy Cob Pony *long post* Adults who ride Ponies 14
simons-mum New Pony questions and long awaited pics! Adults who ride Ponies 23
8-legged-pony A few questions about new pony.. Adults who ride Ponies 12
D Welsh Pony questions Breeds, Colouring and Genetics 2
notpoodle more aerosol pony questions! Horse Care 5
alwaysfallingof Pony going bald - questions about mites! Horse Care 15
Jane&Ziggy Snotty nose pony Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 6
MrC Good Pony week Cafe 16
CharlottePrebble First pony Cafe 13
E Re injecting pony Cafe 1
E Aggressive pony on injection Horse Care 18
Huggy Friends new pony (probably!( Cafe 7
W Would you buy a 15 year old pony? Cafe 26
Tots N Dots Pickle Pony Cafe 11
MrC Pony party take 2 Cafe 16
H Pony not working when other horses are around. Training of the Horse and Rider 4
E Age, weight, loss of confidence and pony issues Confidence Club 12
Jane&Ziggy Drony pony Cafe 14
Huggy Anyone remember the "Win a pony" competitions in comics? Cafe 14
M What is the best saddle for a fell pony Tack & Saddlery 5
P I need help on figuring out the height of my pony!! Cafe 6
whenyoufeellikeyourflying disabled rider and pony club Cafe 2
S Squishing pony Adults who ride Ponies 2
P New pony kicked me - help! Older Riders 17
floppy Wintec pony saddle too big Tack & Saddlery 8
E New pony in paddock!!! Horse Care 7
Z New pony arrived with strangles now has purpura hemorrhagica Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 34
Izzy321123 What is the smallest pony I am safe to ride Adults who ride Ponies 12
Jane&Ziggy 4 dimensional pony accesses all areas Cafe 6
Native Lover Pony that wouldn’t pick his feet up..... Hoof Care 2
whenyoufeellikeyourflying HELP!!! Where to find a pony for camp next year Cafe 6
whenyoufeellikeyourflying Joining pony club as a beginner Cafe 4
mystiquemalaika Unicorn pony, Harry, Hack 1000 miles challange and life x Members Diaries 26
laawlerr Sharp Pony! First Timers 12
Loveslayla Needy pony Cafe 7
domane I went pony shopping (pics now added) Cafe 12
EmsandBluexx bringing on a young jumping / event pony Competing 10
Native Lover 54 and still haven’t grown out of my pony Adults who ride Ponies 3
Sam_and_Cleggy Pony getting a bit pushy First Timers 8
whenyoufeellikeyourflying Tack to fit a 14.2 hh pony and petite eight year old Tack & Saddlery 7
Sam_and_Cleggy What turnout rug for cob pony with fresh irish clip Horse Care 20
Sam_and_Cleggy What are your top 3 tips for a first time pony owner?? First Timers 51
kimbo1069 Pony club First Timers 6
Jessey Pony party Cafe 15

Similar threads

newrider.com