Horse size to riders weight - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-23-2012, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Horse size to riders weight

Is there any formula for working out what size horse I'm able to ride? I'm 5'10" and probably around 12 stone, but obviously a heavier horse can carry a heavier person so I was wondering what size horses would be able to carry me without struggling haha!

Thanks all :)
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-23-2012, 07:22 AM
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The typical ratio is 20% of the horse's weight including tack. By horse weight, it means the horse's ideal weight, not for a horse that is overweight.

There are certain breeds that are built/bred to carry more then the 20%, such as Quarter Horses or Arabs. Drafts are not one of those since that breed was bred to pull, not carry.

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post #3 of 13 Old 07-23-2012, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloureds4Mimi View Post
but obviously a heavier horse can carry a heavier person
As iride mentioned it's not true necessarily.

I just want to add that it also depends on how good rider you are. It's easier for the horse to carry heavier rider that has a good balance in place than bouncing all over the place beginner.
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-23-2012, 08:43 AM
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It's a pretty rare horse that can't handle 12 stone (roughly 170 lbs, IIRC). Even with 30 lbs of saddle, that would only be 200 lbs. I've got a 13 hand mustang who can handle that weight. If you want the horse to do jumping or speed runs, then obviously more weight = less performance. For trail riding and general purpose stuff, tho, horses can handle 200 lbs easily.

A thread from a while back:

Articles on riders weight effecting a horses soundness?

"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-23-2012, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the really informative responses! I was half expecting getting told off for asking a silly question! I'm really pleased with your answers too, here I was thinking I needed 16hh+.

I had never thought of it that way about drafts before so thanks for teaching me something
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-23-2012, 10:05 AM
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I'm 198 lbs (~14 stone), my saddle weighs 45 lb (3+ stone) and my horse is a 15h, big boned, Paint that weighs 1200 lb. (nearly 86 stone). She has no problem carrying me for 3 to 5 hour trail rides.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

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post #7 of 13 Old 07-23-2012, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloureds4Mimi View Post
Thanks everyone for the really informative responses! I was half expecting getting told off for asking a silly question! I'm really pleased with your answers too, here I was thinking I needed 16hh+.
:) It's NOT a silly question at all. IMHO it's one of those really good questions you better clear out before putting money into horse.

Yes, you can look into breeds like quarterhorse: they don't have to be tall, but some are wide and sturdy and can carry a bigger rider. BTW, I'm 5'9" and my qh is 14'3 and neither of us have issues.

P.S. Just checked what 12 stones equal in pounds, and to me it's not heavy. I'd say it's a norm for your height, not over-weight or plus size, so I don't see too many limitations on type of horse you may ride.

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post #8 of 13 Old 07-23-2012, 03:50 PM
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That 20% old wives tale comes from a single study by a man that hated people, and loved horses. Who designed arguably one of the most uncomfortable saddles ever made specifically to help the horse. Based on what a horse could carry all day, every day, for months at a time and only get fed at night and not get beat down. Your pretty normal size, no reason you cant ride any horse.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-23-2012, 04:33 PM
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You'll find that the UK is more conservative over weights than the US is, but at 12 stone you really shouldn't worry, have fun and ride
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-24-2012, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
That 20% old wives tale comes from a single study by a man that hated people, and loved horses. Who designed arguably one of the most uncomfortable saddles ever made specifically to help the horse. Based on what a horse could carry all day, every day, for months at a time and only get fed at night and not get beat down. Your pretty normal size, no reason you cant ride any horse.
Actually it was tested several years ago by Ohio State University and shown that the 20% is pretty much a true ratio. Don't remember what all the % tested were, but I believe it covered 15-20-25-30. Might have don't more, but I'm not sure. I want to say 2007, but I wouldn't swear to it. It's been awhile since I read the outcome. The Equine Veterinary magazine I use to get carried an artical on the test.
Of course depending on how much riding you're really doing there is more to it than just the weight. Like the size and density of the cannon bone.
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