Saturday, March 31, 2012

Back the right horse

So, Hilary Clayton hangs out with physical therapists and people in human medicine at the university where she works, and they talk shop and share viewpoints. Her PT buddy says:

"The worst thing you can do to your hips is to ride a horse that is too wide for you." HC tells us there is no reason to buy a horse that's wide, and no reason not to buy a narrow horse, especially if he feels comfortable to you. In dressage, she says, we don't come anywhere near reaching the limits of a horse's aerobic capacity. Buy a horse that fits you.


  1. OK so I'm dying to know, what does the PT specialist consider too wide. Is there a particular hip angle?

  2. Never actually thought too much about this. And how can you tell if you buy a young horse?

    So, now we have to fit our saddles and fit our horses too? Interesting concept.

  3. All I know is if I show the above picture to Eldest, she'll be plotting how to get her own dressage Clydesdale even if that's not a comfortable ride for her!

  4. Amen!

    I know so many girls/women who want to ride huge horses. Admittedly, I used to be one of them, but a 14.1 Haflinger showed me the light. My slap-sided, 15-hand QH fits me just fine. :)

    Thanks, Hilary Clayton!

  5. Eh ... I think there is a little too much constriction here in thought. The narrower horses are going to bust another part of you just as sure. Here's another thing: None of my wider-breadthed, thicker-legged horses ever came up dead lame as often as the narrow, slab-sideds. So ... it's a trade-off. I've been riding my extra-wide-withered Friesian cross for over 8 years now and have never had any problems unless I came off and hit my helmeted head on something hard. Matter of fact, it is like riding a cozy couch and so VERY smooth!!!! Some of the narrower ones make me feel more secure and some just make me feel like there is no horse under me at all. Others are like riding a broom that "jackhammers" my knees. So, again, I say "eh." There are already enough things to worry about when searching for an appropriate partner and I hate to see the wider horses put aside solely for their wideness ...


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