To Heavy to Ride Horses?

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To Heavy to Ride Horses?

This is a discussion on To Heavy to Ride Horses? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        06-23-2013, 11:23 AM
    To Heavy to Ride Horses?

    I will be moving soon, and I will finally have room and money for my own horse! I am looking at smallish pony's, that are friendly, and easy keepers. So, I came to look at the Icelandic Pony. It seems to be a perfect pony for me. Small, friendly, good-natured, with considerable stamina. (or so I am told) Apprentily you can also keep them outside all year long. Now I am worried about my weight. I am a fit woman and am pretty wide around the shoulders. My legs aren't the skinniest either. My weight adds up to a 155 pounds. Are Icelandic Ponys to small to carry me?
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        06-23-2013, 11:27 AM
    A troop of them rode across Canada to Gimli Manitoba and several were ridden by riders who appeared to be at least 6' and likely around 190 plus gear. When I watched part of the videos, those ponies were often motoring right along and seemed bright and alert.
        06-23-2013, 11:52 AM
    They carry 6' and up male riders all day long over rough terrain...nothing to worry about
        06-23-2013, 12:14 PM
    You aren't that big, I say go for it. You would be surprised as to the weight a pony can carry and never blink an eye.
    FaydesMom likes this.
        06-23-2013, 12:23 PM
    You're totally not too big for an Icelandic!
        06-23-2013, 02:18 PM
    Green Broke
    The standards for the breed are of a horse (Icelandic language has no word for pony) between 13/14 hands, and 730 to 840 lbs.

    At 155, you are not counting a saddle/pad either. Which could put it up to 180 or so?

    Which could be fairly close to 1/3 of weight of horse in other words. To me? That is too much.

    Another consideration, if you carry much weight in thighs/hips/rear end, is your saddle fitting you and not also being too long for the back of the horse.

    Baby Huey is shortbacked, and that does present a problem as the saddle I really need to fit my rear is going to be too long for his back.

    Also, if you can only have one horse, due to land/budget, I would be thinking ahead to wanting to ride more and in various settings too, and if the size would be troublesome then.

    And I know that many people see no trouble with weight of rider being a problem for a horse, but I do. Whether it is a big barreled cowboy on a small horse, or an obese woman on one, is the same to me. Just because you can, does not mean you should.

    I'd look at other breeds too I think, if it were me.
        06-23-2013, 08:38 PM
    Hmmm...I weigh 175, so a bit over 200 including saddle. My heaviest horse weighs 900. Trooper's weight was estimated at 835 (14.2 hands). Our BLM mustang pony probably weighs under 800...maybe closer to 700.

    The pony can carry me without showing any signs of discomfort for over an hour, but I honestly feel bad about asking him to do so. The other two have no trouble with my weight, and I ride them with no feeling of guilt.

    Here is an old thread where the issue of weight & horse was discussed:

    Articles on riders weight effecting a horses soundness?
        06-23-2013, 08:48 PM
    Super Moderator
    Icelandics are like Fjords, they carry more like a horse than a pony. You are NOT too big.

    However, assuming that they are a very easy horse to work with because they are small might not be so accurate. They can have a lot of smarts and personality packed into that little body, and are not necessarily a good match for a first time horse owner.
    bsms and deserthorsewoman like this.
        06-24-2013, 12:17 AM
    They're energetic and forward. Not bred for just plodding along.
    As for weight, very recent research showed ponies this size can safely carry up to 29% of their weight before they show gait anomalies ( measured).
    Lots of them are gaited, so you better make yourself familiar with that. It's FUN!
        06-24-2013, 12:31 AM
    As far as I'm concerned, I don't really look too much at the height or weight of a horse before deciding if someone is too big to ride it. The conformation of the horse is what's important. A small horse with a short/strong back, thick leg bones, big feet, a big barrel, and well angled shoulders/hips/pasterns will be able to carry more than a larger horse with stick legs, tiny feet, straight shoulders/hips, long pasterns, and a long/weak back.

    Most ponies are more compact and hardy for their size than other breeds so a 13 hand pony may be able to carry the same weight more comfortably than a 15 hand thoroughbred, depending on conformation.

    I'd say that you are not too big for the breed in general, but I would advise you to look at the larger sized critters in the breed and avoid the smaller ones.

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