What happens when you ride an underweight horse?

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What happens when you ride an underweight horse?

This is a discussion on What happens when you ride an underweight horse? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • You cannot ride an underweight horse
  • What happens when a horse is underweight

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    09-10-2013, 08:10 PM
What happens when you ride an underweight horse?

Does it hurt the spine? What else?
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    09-10-2013, 08:23 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Gives risk of the animal collapsing on you, pulls its weight down even further, causes sores and bruising from lack of padding...those are just a few things that I can think of off the top of my head.
kitten_Val, smrobs and Speed Racer like this.
    09-10-2013, 08:39 PM
They are a weaker horse and you risk injury
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    09-10-2013, 08:41 PM
Why would you want to ride an underweight horse? They've been through so much losing the weight and being skinny; shouldn't you give them a chance to fatten up and be comfortable again before riding them?
kitten_Val, smrobs and Boo Walker like this.
    09-10-2013, 08:47 PM
I would never ride an underweight horse! I was just trying to think of reasons of why not to for people who do.
SammysMom likes this.
    09-10-2013, 09:01 PM
Fair enough! Yeah, it's just a lot of stress on an already weak horse! Just like with people. You wouldn't take a malnourished person and make them go into work carrying weight on their backs. It's just not healthy! They need to build weight up and come back into work gradually to avoid injury.
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    09-10-2013, 09:01 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Chances are, if the horse is substantially underweight to the point where they shouldn't be ridden because of it, they have other problems as well. Skinniness is a sign of underlying problems.
    09-10-2013, 09:23 PM
Your body (and your horse's body) needs energy in order to complete basic functions such as food digestion, circulation, etc.

If you rob a horse of its energy, it cannot complete those basic needs. It also has no chance of improving in condition because it will be using its reserves for your own selfish needs.

There is also less padding so there is bigger chance of injury. Also they are more lethargic, and more exposed to feeling blows. Without fatty tissue things like kicks from other horses will be more severe and damaging.

And it's just really inconsiderate.
smrobs likes this.
    09-10-2013, 09:28 PM
Green Broke
It depends on how much underweight a horse is and how it's health is overall.

In an otherwise healthy horse who simply needs 100 lbs or so, light riding can actually help them metabolize the food they are receiving better than little to no activity can. Pouring the feed to an undernourished horse, or pouring the feed to a sedentary horse, can both cause problems.

I realize your question is hypothetical, but wanted to give some other considerations.
bsms and Foxhunter like this.
    09-10-2013, 09:34 PM
Green Broke
Yes, I agree on what you mean when you say "underweight". My horsie is a very tough keeper, and is always a bit ribby, but he is in full work. So, it really just depends...

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