Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hola- Getting Older but Not Growing Up(ward)

I used to refer to my horses (all above 14.2HH) as "ponies". I'd say, "I'm going to feed the ponies"... "Going to ride my pony"... "I love my pony". I think I jinxed myself. I now have a two-year-old pony. Pony... as in a horse under the height of 14.2HH. Hola is tiny. Teeny tiny. 13.3HH and very fine boned 700 pounds. The vet said she would make a great anatomy horse as you can see and feel every bone and tendon. I was really holding out hope that she would be one of those late bloomers you hear about. I told myself I wasn't going to worry. But I was worried. So I did some more looking in to her pedigree...

 Abby, Hola's mom is 14.2HH but a brick shithouse of big bone and muscle. JJ, her sire, is 14.2HH and finer boned but still a solid enough 900 pounds. I understand her being small but this small?

Abby is an own daughter of Rooster (Gallo Del Cielo) who is the #5 All Time producer (in $$ earned) of Reining Horses. Him, and his full brothers Grays Starlight and Paddy's Irish Whiskey (both top 20 all time producers of cutting and reined cow horses) are all built like Abby- short but by no means small. On the bottom side of Abby's pedigree is an AQHA world champion cutting horse named Rosie O Llama by Freckles Playboy (15.1HH)  (x Doc O'Lena)... now Doc O'Lena was a small horses so maybe that could be it? Below that is another cutting champion named Shorty Lena... Shorty? Ahh-Huh! You think it would be easy to find out how tall a horse named Shorty Lena is but no such luck... But, he is also Doc O'Lena bred so... could be but looking at the photos none of these horses looked particularly small.

Finally, I looked at Hola's topside. Her sire, JJ I have seen in person so I know he is not at all small. But what about his sire Topsail Whiz...


Topsail Whiz is the #1 all time producer of reining horses. I watched a video that shows him walking out of the barn with his owner. I also was able to see a handful of his top earning sons in the show pen. I took special notice of just how those saddle pads were fitting and how far the riders feet were hanging below the belly. These horses are little... really little... Turns out Topsail Whiz was only 14.1HH. Teeny Tiny... But they rein. They rein so freakin good that Topsail Whiz's get have earned over 8 million dollars and a large percentage of horses winning in the NRHA today are carrying his blood.

So I am no longer worried about Hola's size. She just happens to look a hell of a lot like her grandsire Topsail Whiz in size, color, conformation and- hopefully- athletic ability. I guess my PONY is about as big as she needs to be.


  1. My mom always swore she'd never have a horse under 15 HH but her Appaloosa is 14.2, tiny for us, especially compared to my beefy Quarter. I think if he was any bigger, we'd be in trouble because he has a 'tude like no other. :)) Those small horses make up for their size though. They make the best reiners and etc. The big horses just can't do it as well because it hurts their legs and they are too heavy! After getting into reining, I realized how nice the smaller horses are, even though I wouldn't trade my oversized Quarter for the world. ;)

  2. As long as she doesn't act like a pony you're safe! So she's a little small, great things come in small packages... You just can't get any taller now. :)

  3. Oh yeah, those reining folks seem to like 'em small. When I bought Dee the trainer actually seemed apologetic about her being so big for a reiner (she's around 15 hands lol). Page was under 14 hands!

  4. One of the best horses I ever raised/owned was 13.3HH, 800 pounder. LOL. He was the neatest little gymkhana horse I have ever trained. Obviously he could get outrun on the big barrel patterns, IF the ground was deep...but he kept up if it wasn't and he smoked 'em at the indoor arenas. He ran a 23 second pole pattern (which was really fast for the 90's) and was absolutely unbeatable in keyhole. He was also an incredible little breakaway horse and we even heeled on him a little bit, which he was good at, but I didn't want him to get jerked a lot, so we kept that to a minimum.

    The only thing I ever had to take into consideration when I was gaming on him was during the dismount events. He could stop so hard and was so little that I had to remember not to 'reach' for the ground. It was right there and if I dismounted like I had to reach down to touch ground, I would launch myself. LOL.

    Also....You do need to remember that Hola IS just a 2y/o. She could easily grow another inch and will probably put on another 100 lbs as she matures. However, Dynamite has always come in small packages! :-)

  5. That's funny, I always refer to all my horses as ponies, no matter the size!! Like BEC said, she IS only 2. She will grow a little more and fill out. I have had Rio for a year now and she is 2 1/2 yrs old. I swear that girl has not grown UP, not even an inch. She is about 14hh. But she is really filling out and getting stocky. She might not get very tall, but she is gonna be one beefy girl. And I see her having a lot of reining/cutting potential!! They like 'em short for that!!