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8 struggles only short riders will understand

From being on permanent lookout for the nearest mounting block, to being mistaken for a child, here are just some of the problems faced by the vertically-challenged riders among us…

1. It doesn’t matter how much you let down your stirrup, there’s no way you’re going to manage to get on your horse from the ground. But you can relax in the knowledge that all the hours spent teaching your horse to sidle up to the nearest gate, fence, fallen log or whatever item you choose to use as a mounting block were well spent.

2. You couldn’t live without your hole punch — it’s an essential piece of kit for the stature-ly challenged. Your stirrup leathers have an extra eight holes on both sides and you have to knot the ends to stop them from flapping widely in the breeze.

3. Finding long riding boots that fit is a nightmare for the short-legged. Most of them cut you off – painfully – at the back of the knee, even when you’ve got a pair of extended heel raisers in place.

4. Jodhpurs, breeches – in fact, all trousers – are an issue too. It’s not that you’ve got fat ankles, it’s just there’s at least three inches of excess material tucked away inside your boots.

5. No, you don’t have aspirations to be a jockey, thanks very much for asking.

6. It is kind of handy that you can ride a pony without causing a welfare issue — but the novelty of being asked to school every naughty pony in a 10-mile radius wears off after a while. As your latest cheeky mount wheels out his best bucking bronco impression just for you, you reflect that it would be nice to ride something bigger than 14hh once in a while…

7. But when you do ride something over 14.2hh, everybody double-takes when you’re out hacking, wondering why some overly-ambitious parent has put their child on such a huge horse.


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8. And who thought it would be funny to give you the highest saddle rack in the tackroom? Although on the plus side you’ve developed incredible abs from having to lift your saddle over your head after every ride while simultaneously trying not to drop it on yourself.

Are you a shorter than average rider? Let us know what you deem the pros and cons by emailing hhletters@ti-media.com with your name and nearest town for the chance to be featured in the letters page a future issue of Horse & Hound magazine…

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