How Much Weight Can A horse Carry?? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Speed Racer
  • 1 Post By Elana
  • 2 Post By Joe4d
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 11-18-2012, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Northeast Georgia
Posts: 15
• Horses: 1
Red face How Much Weight Can A horse Carry??

How much weight in % can a horse carry including tack and rider? I can't remember if it is 10% or 20% of his body weight.
Bryerhillfarm is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 Old 11-18-2012, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
Posts: 16,404
• Horses: 3
The general rule of thumb is 20%, which includes weight of the tack as well as the rider. That's just a very general rule though, and can be affected by how the horse is built as well as the physical fitness of the rider.
Clava likes this.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
Speed Racer is online now  
post #3 of 7 Old 11-18-2012, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 13,588
• Horses: 2
Originally Posted by Bryerhillfarm View Post
How much weight in % can a horse carry including tack and rider? I can't remember if it is 10% or 20% of his body weight.

They debate of the century

Breed, Conditioning, Age, Length of Time Ridden, Expertise of Rider, Etc.

Some use the 20% rule, some 25% .... so many factors are involved


May all your Trails be happy and safe ones

SouthernTrails is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 11-18-2012, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 9,568
• Horses: 4
Articles on riders weight effecting a horses soundness?

Bottom line: It depends. 20% is lower than necessary for most horses. 30% is probably near the upper end without noticeable degradation in the horse's performance. In between will vary with rider, horses and goals.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
bsms is online now  
post #5 of 7 Old 11-18-2012, 12:07 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,045
• Horses: 0
It also depends on what you are doing with the horse. If you are 20% (with tack) of the horse's weight (lets assume a 1300 pound horse) that is 260 pounds! That is a LOT if you are jumping 3'6" or 4' and it is a LOT if you are asking for any sort of strenuous work involving speed and agility (such as eventing or barrel racing). Is it too much on a trail ride? IMO it is.. but the one to ask is the horse.

There is a reason race horses are handicapped with weight.. because it absolutely DOES impact the horse.. and in the case of a race horse we are often talking 10% or less with tack.
Clava likes this.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
Elana is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 11-18-2012, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 9,568
• Horses: 4
20% is not too much for a trail ride, unless there is something wrong with the horse.

If someone wants maximum speed or maximum jumping, the the less weight the better. But you don't need to be a 110 lb jockey to trail ride. With tack, I weigh 210. On my 900 lb mare, that is 23%. On my 830 lb gelding, that is 25%. Neither has any problem with my weight. I have ridden my 700ish mustang pony. That is 30%, and he has to noticeably adjust his stride and movement to carry my weight. He can do it - he can gallop with me and not breath hard afterward or show any signs of a sore back, but he is obviously taking shorter strides and compensating for all the weight. But yes, he can handle my weight for a 1-2 hour trail ride. No, he couldn't do much jumping with me...

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
bsms is online now  
post #7 of 7 Old 11-18-2012, 01:13 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Surry, Va
Posts: 4,712
• Horses: 0
thats one of those unanswerable questions. How much weight can a person carry ? Not really any such thing as "A" horse. Also the horses weight has little to nothing to do with what it can carry, so saying any percent is and isnt good is ridiculous. At 170lbs I could carry a 100lb ruck all day long, at 220 I wouldnt last long at half that. Fitness and confirmation is way more important than body weight. Not to mention most people have never weighed a horse. So arbitrary percents based on an arbitrary weight.
myhorsesonador and bsms like this.
Joe4d is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How much weight can a horse carry comfortably? LetAGrlShowU Horse Health 19 07-01-2016 06:40 PM
Safe weight for a horse to carry? hvymetalmachine Horse Health 2 03-26-2012 12:33 PM
How much weight can MY horse carry? FirecrackerHoney Horse Riding 11 04-11-2011 09:55 PM
What height/weight person can this horse carry? SarahRicoh Horse Health 32 02-25-2011 10:09 PM
How much weight can a horse carry? Meaning Me? Rashashea Horse Riding 6 02-22-2009 09:28 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome