I find your post pretty judgmental and somewhat rude... but I digress, let's just touch on the facts here.
I COMPLETELY agree with what AlwaysBehind posted. A big part of riding is fitness and balance. If a rider is 180lbs/200lbs, and if they are an accomplished rider who knows how to place their mass in the saddle, then I guarantee that horse is going to get a better ride out of it then with a 120lb novice bouncing in and out of the seat. Often I find that plus sized riders are MORE conscious about their weight/mass/placement then lithe riders.
"70% of them are too big for their horses" --> According to who? According to you? You know neither the horse being ridden nor the rider. Give me concrete evidence of the 20% rule being violated, and then maybe I would be a bit more understanding re: this specific comment. Unfortunately, people come in all different sizes, and I don't think it's fair of us to "judge from afar" when we really have no idea what the situation is. Would you insult a Prix St. Georges rider for being 180lbs?
"(the obesity in this country has gotten to be rIdiculous)" --> I don't disagree. Obesity is definitely an issue across North America, no doubt. I guarantee that most of those people out there would love to be in shape, or at least be carrying a little bit less weight to make their lives a bit easier.
In closing, I am just not a believer in the mantra "people who weigh over 170lbs have to buy/own/ride a draft cross". I DO believe that everyone should make the right decision according to THEIR specific situation - a responsible decision at that. Good bone structure and appropriate length of back should absolutely be taken into consideration when looking for a mount if you are in the higher weight ranges. As well as a myriad of other things, some of which I've touched on above - rider fitness, horse fitness, rider experience, fit of tack, and so on.
I wouldn't mind hearing your answer to what AlwaysBehind asked you. What about men who are taller and of a solid build? Are you saying that they shouldn't have the opportunity to enjoy the sport as much as we do?
Note: For the record, I am in no way saying that weight limits at trail riding stables should not be respected - they are there for a reason I am sure and are appropriate for the mounts that are available for riding. I am just trying to address the tone of the post and am hoping that you can look at it from the other side of the looking glass.
Think about it.
Last edited by MissH; 04-26-2010 at 05:54 PM.