I just got my first horse, an American Paint Horse. He is barely 15h. I did what you and many other trainers advised. I bought him b/c of his soundness, temperament. Not to mention that he is so cute!
But, my question is this… I want to start him in Paint shows soon. I ride hunt seat. I have been told that the judges will not even look at us b/c of his small size. I’ve been told that the judges only want bigger paints if being ridden English. Have you ever heard of this? I have been a spectator at a couple of Paint shows here in my area (middle GA) and darn if I didn’t find that the Paints being ridden English were bigger. What do you think?
The English classes are traditionally for taller horses because they are hunters, and it is an advantage to have a taller horse with a bigger step/stride to get over a hunter course. Smaller horses are traditionally working horses, cutting, reining, and cow horses. It would not work well to have a 16-hand cutter, or a 15-hand hunter. However with that said, it is not out of the question to have a 15 hand English horse, if he is a good mover and covers the ground well. Nothing is written in stone, but there are these reasons that height plays a part in their performance. Just go show your horse in all the classes and have fun, and concentrate on what he does best