Sunday, October 28, 2007

How big are my horses?

I've had Blue about four years now (how time flies when you're having fun). I had never measured him at the withers, but I've always assumed the local horse trader was right when he estimated him to be 16 to 16.2 hands. A hand is four inches, so that would be sixty-six inches tall at the withers. Because he seems like such a huge horse, it sounded right to me. After all, I have to get up on something to mount him. Of course, I do have bad knees.

Yesterday I had Cliff get out the tape measure to see how tall Libby is; I had guessed her to be fourteen hands, and that's exactly what she is. I'd really like her to grow to two more inches taller, but at 2 1/2 years of age, this may be her full adult height.

"Let's measure Blue while we're at it," I said.

Cliff made sure Blue was standing squarely, and measured twice. He's only fifteen-two. All this time I've been wrong about his size; he's four inches shorter than I thought.

I'm not going to tell Blue, though. I'd hate for him to get a complex.

Back to Libby: she seems not to have quite enough withers to hold the saddle in place when I'm mounting. Once I'm on her, the saddle stays put just fine; but it's hard to mount her without the saddle slipping sideways in the process. It's nothing I can't deal with, it's just a thing for me to puzzle over.


The Guy Who Writes This said...

Donna, are you using what I call "suspenders"? Which is breast straps that hook to the front of your saddle , go across her chest and attach to the girth. It really adds to the saddle stability for mounting and dismounting. I've also had a better fit by using a Weaver girth rather than leather straps.

Donna said...

Guy, my grandson suggested a breast strap too. I know that would stabilize the saddle while riding, I just wasn't sure it would do any good while mounting her. It wouldn't hurt to try.

Astaryth said...

Just a couple of quick thoughts... since I can't see the saddle/fit I'm just taking a shot at a couple of common problems:

The breast strap, combined with a wider girth might help. If you are using a 'string' girth you might try one of the synthetic ones (but be careful and watch for girth sores, some horses are sensitive to these... that's why I -try- to stay with cotton). Also, if Libby is a bit smaller than Blue it might be she is 'slimmer' to... The saddles gullet might be a little wide for her and that would cause a slippage.

Still, as long as you deal and Libby seems happy I wouldn't worry too much.

Donna said...

Astaryth, I use a different saddle on Libby (my grandson's saddle), and it seems to be a pretty good fit. Yes, Libby is happy about everything except the part where I tighten up the girth. Then she dances around right from the start... unless I give her a treat first. LOL. Then she's fine. She stands for me to mount her, seems comfortable when I'm riding, etc.

boardster said...

Hi Donna,
I just posted a comment to one of your July entrys. Not sure how far back in the archives you check for comments, but judging by the way you are attired in the pic with the horses you might benefit from the info there!
Just teasing of course, but my wife and I did our stretches this morning and had an entirly barefoot day again. It was worth it!

Midlife Mom said...

That is a hoot! Don't tell Blue though, he would be crushed to think he is shorter then he thinks! You know, a guy thing! My biggest is Buddy and he is 15-3. That's a good size for me as I am a sturdy Maine woman! ha! I would feel bad to ride anything smaller then that. Just got back from seeing my guys and they are doing great. I almost bawled though when I first saw them as I miss them being here at home.

Desert Wind said...

I like your blog. I have been blogging for some time but got bored with it and stopped but with what I have seen here maybe I will give it a try again. I, too, have horses. My most recent were two homeless babies from your state of MO> You can see them and hopefully some more of my blog at

Pony Punk said...

Hi, I just happened across your blog on a google search, and I know this post is old, but when I first got my TWH horse filly, she was 14.2 and 2 1/2, and now she's five years old, and 15.1 hands high, so your Libby just might grow some more. :D