What happens when you ride an underweight horse? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 25 Old 09-10-2013, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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What happens when you ride an underweight horse?

Does it hurt the spine? What else?

Horses are scared of 2 things:
1. Things that move
2. Things that don't
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post #2 of 25 Old 09-10-2013, 08:23 PM
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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.
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post #3 of 25 Old 09-10-2013, 08:39 PM
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They are a weaker horse and you risk injury
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post #4 of 25 Old 09-10-2013, 08:41 PM
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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?
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post #5 of 25 Old 09-10-2013, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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I would never ride an underweight horse! I was just trying to think of reasons of why not to for people who do.
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Horses are scared of 2 things:
1. Things that move
2. Things that don't
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post #6 of 25 Old 09-10-2013, 09:01 PM
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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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post #7 of 25 Old 09-10-2013, 09:01 PM
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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.

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post #8 of 25 Old 09-10-2013, 09:23 PM
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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.
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post #9 of 25 Old 09-10-2013, 09:28 PM
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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.
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post #10 of 25 Old 09-10-2013, 09:34 PM
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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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