Teeny Tiny Rider / Enormous Horse : Will Seven Steps Ever be Enough?

When I was two years old but not yet 2 feet tall, they put me on an enormous horse of about 18.2hh. A teeny rider started a love affair with humongous, enormous horses.

Photo courtesy of Katie Eccles

I moved to France with no command of the language. My only option to find work was to use my only other marketable skill. Horses. My first “client” was a teeny Falabella horse. No problems climbing aboard there. I didn’t ride him.

Henry riding Bob
Photo courtesy of Helen Hustings
3-month-old Tilly on Second City 
Photo courtesy of Hayley Mather

The second was an enormous horse. A 17.2hh Appaloosa stallion. One extreme to the other.

Erin on Steely 
Photo courtesy of Rebecca McKay

At first, for mounting this horse, all I had at my disposal were large round bales. Up I would clamber. Tao (for that was his name) would wait calmly. “Ok. The Teeny Hooman is being weird again.”

Lyla-Mae riding her Horse Puzzle

Then the third horse arrived. A giant Percheron mare standing at 19hh! I invested in a sturdy purpose-built block. Fine. Until you have to dismount while out riding.

Another photo of Percy and Ruby

Unless you want to walk all the way home, get clever if you want to get back aboard your enormous horse.

Teeny Belindy Davis
with her Caspar

I asked the members of the enormous Facebook group, Horsey n Over Forty n above, how they re-mount their horses when there is no mounting block to hand.

June Ison aboard her enormous Freddie


  • Gate, fence, or wall
  • Trailer or car fender
  • Car hood
  • Chest freezer (yes, really)
  • The backs of 2 men (wow! Seen on an advert, apparently.)
  • Get onto a teeny horse first


I have used this method frequently. In rural France, almost every road or path has deep drainage ditches on both sides. Park enormous horse. Teeny rider climbs aboard.

Even the most flighty horse does not appear to have a problem going into the ditch. Especially if you let them graze towards the trench. They eat their way into the hole.



This only works if you have extra long stirrup leathers. Also, I think it only works on an English-style saddle.

And there is one further problem for the real shortie. Sometimes, this method only gets you high enough up the side of the horse to be at a taller rider’s starting point.

Then on completion of this mountaineering exercise? One still has to remember which hole to choose for the correct length.

This last problem, however, has a solution in an ingenious invention – The Hunter’s Leather:

Hunter's Leather for short riders


Hunter's Leather neither teeny nor enormous


Hunter's Leather neither teeny nor enormous

Horse Riders

Photos courtesy of Penny Smith


Many horse riders in the group chose a variation on this theme. Although a fabulous suggestion, this one may require a little preparatory training.

Perhaps I will give this suggestion its own article.


When delivered professionally, a leg up is very helpful. A thing of beauty, even.

With impeccable timing — on 3 or after 3. Not in the split second between them. The correct leg is grasped so the teeny rider lands facing the correct direction.

And the correct amount of force so the teeny rider neither hits the enormous horse then slides back down. Nor sails off into the air to land the other side.

There is a local riding instructor who puts teeny children on enormous horses. He throws them up there. Brilliant! A proper 70s disregard for health and safety. Like when I was a kid.


Good for a dismount, too. I know a very nervous lady (not teeny) who has grabbed a passing branch frequently to get off her horse. Not stylish. But highly amusing for the rest of us.

But for mounting an enormous horse? Unless it is a flexible yet firm tree. That your enormous horse can get under? This is asking for a poke in the eye with a sharp twig.


One does not come across random, abandoned teeny trampolines while out riding. But what a fabulous replacement for the traditional mounting block back at the yard.

I have included this idea because of a YouTube video I must share. And have to try out at some point.

And I will video it too. Perhaps it will be an enormous success.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Teeny Jack leading the enormous Rosie
Phot courtesy of Sarah Drummond

1 thought on “Teeny Tiny Rider / Enormous Horse : Will Seven Steps Ever be Enough?”

  1. During my apprenticeship, my jumping horse was a 19.2h warmblood stallion. (Yes, really. He was humongous.)
    Never forget the first (and last!) lesson.
    “Get up there” my boss says.
    I look for a mounting block. I’m 5’2. In heels.
    “Nope. Get UP there.”
    I begin to lengthen the -jumping- stirrups, because… no way. I was flexible, but I was not *that* flexible.
    “Nope. Get UP there.”
    Oh for God’s sake!! How??? (And easy for him to say. He was 6’6.)
    What followed was a comedic monkey climb with lots of “Unnnghhhh” and groaning… I still don’t know how I got up there, but I got up there.
    That stallion was a saint. He just stood there and let me wriggle myself up without moving a muscle.
    Now, I’d been jumping prior to this, but they were doing “advanced” stuff. And sent me over a 2m wall.
    Up wasn’t the problem.
    Down? Scared me half to death, and it was the end of me ever jumping again. (I have a fear of falling from high places.)
    God knows there is NO way I’d even get up there with a mounting block these days, I have no idea how I did it without!

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