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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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How small is too small?

Dear Franklin,

I just bought a horse with a week trial period. I rode him all week with no problems. The 8th day I rode him he laid down with me while riding. When I went to mount him again he kept turning his back end towards me and wouldn't stand still. I read your solutions on laying down while riding and will try them when he tries it again.

But I am not sure what to do about the mounting problem. Also he is a small horse (or should I say large pony), I measured his weight at approx. 910lbs and height around 14 hands. I weigh 155, my saddle around 25 pounds. I am wondering if maybe I am too heavy for him, if that could be a part of the problem.

Thank you, Paula

Hi Paula,

I think, perhaps, you are boarderline too much weight for the pony. 14 hands is not that small, but depending on the build of the pony, you may be pushing its comfort level. Resistence to be mounted could be from not being comfortable with you on his back. Some of that could be improper saddle fit, teeth, or a number of other physical malady possibilities. That combined with marginally too heavy weight could be contributing to that situaion. A horse laying down when ridden can come from a number of causes as well. Too much weight on too hot a day. Not enough contact from the rider on a hot day (some horses will lay down with children on their back because there is not enough 'active' riding going on). Again, 14 hands is not too short a horse for you generally. But, he would need to be stocky with nice big bones and well muscled. Many Arabians are his size and carry 200 + pound riders. But I don't think it is great for the horse. Evaluate his build, make certain you have very well fitting tack, check for any potential physical problems (vet check pre-purchase exam) and make an informed and thoughtful decision. Please consult my 'help center' archives for assistance with the mounting problem. There is a lot there on that topic. There are a lot of good horses out there. Make certain this is really the one for you. Good Luck.....

Sincerely, Franklin

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