Overweight rider: Conflicted about how to work with my horse while I lose weight
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Talk

Overweight rider: Conflicted about how to work with my horse while I lose weight

This is a discussion on Overweight rider: Conflicted about how to work with my horse while I lose weight within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Overweight horse riders
  • Good balance as overweight rider

Like Tree19Likes

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    11-03-2013, 10:19 PM
  #1
Weanling
Overweight rider: Conflicted about how to work with my horse while I lose weight

Hi, forum! I'd like some advice on my situation with Sam. I've been worried since I got him (3.5 mos ago) that I'm too heavy for him. He's 10, a 15.1 paint with the breed-typical build. The seller told me 1,100 lbs, but the vet taped him at 975 this week and a healthy weight. I'm 5'5" and about 255lbs.

I bought him not intending to ride him forever at this weight, and I have so far only done light work with him. We started out really slow, and our routine for the last 6 weeks has been about 4 days of riding per week three with half-hour rides of ~80/20 walk/trot or walking on trail, and one 45-minute lesson about 40/60 w/t.

He doesn't SEEM to object to me riding. He came to me with a mounting block issue that was making it hard, but we fixed it in a few weeks. He also sometimes tries to refuse to continue working when there are other horses around or it's dinner time, but those episodes don't correlate with what we're doing and most of the time he seems quite happy to work. He walks out, trots at a nice pace and never resists moving from a walk to a trot. BUT I also realize he's a good boy and might behave this way whether or not I'm causing him discomfort.

This horse is my baby, and his welfare absolutely comes before my desire to ride, but if it is likely ok for me to keep riding as I am while I'm losing weight, I want to. That's what I'm hoping for advice on. If say I'm about 8 really committed months of weight loss from a weight where I would stop being concerned about the strain on him.

So for the meantime...considering the facts healthy adult horse, good build; rider with good balance but too heavy what would you recommend?

Should I continue as usual or cut to once or twice a week? Should I eliminate the one "work" (lesson) day? Should I only walk? Should I not ride at all and give him exercise through lungeing and ground work instead?

Please give me your honest opinions!

Posted via Mobile Device
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    11-03-2013, 10:39 PM
  #2
Trained
Endless discussions about that here, some of them rather heated lol.
I found a formula pretty helpful. Horse weight plus rider weight plus all tack divided by circumference of mid cannon bone divided by 2. Up to 75= excellent, up to 80 still good, over 80 too heavy.

Then there are studies...Tevis cup horses finished and passed vet test with 32% of their bodyweight.

others swear up and down more than 15% is abuse lol.
MHO... you're aware, and I doubt you would overwork him. Keep it slow for now and watch him, and work him regularly, he will build muscle and bone, you'll lose weight.
     
    11-03-2013, 10:40 PM
  #3
Weanling
I think you should be fine, IMO. Especially if you have good balance and are losing.
     
    11-03-2013, 10:40 PM
  #4
Foal
Honestly, imo, it depends on the build of the horse. If he is well built and has good bone/muscle I believe he would be ok with w/t. Also depends on what type of rider you are - it is easier for a horse to carry a balanced rider than one who is not so balanced. Pics of him would probably help, if you have any.
     
    11-03-2013, 10:42 PM
  #5
Green Broke
My best advice is listen to your horse.
I would take it easy with him, but don't loose sleep over hurting him.
Kudo's for you for wanting to do the right thing :)
     
    11-03-2013, 10:43 PM
  #6
Trained
Keep on going. Your horse is your best judge. From the sounds of some of your other posts, if Sam wasn't content, he would let you know. I'd avoid working on sitting trots, because that tends to be harder on a horse's back.
     
    11-03-2013, 10:52 PM
  #7
Showing
A horse over 5 can carry up to 35% of it's weight providing the saddle is a good fit. That 35% includes all the tack and rider. Otherwise it is too hard on joints and tendons. Don't count on a horse letting you know it is in pain. Horses can be stoic about this. In the wild, predators will go after the animal they perceive as being weaker so horses have become very good about concealing it.
     
    11-03-2013, 11:12 PM
  #8
Trained
Just something to consider but you can do SO MUCH training/bonding on the ground. Do you have access to long trails? Put some packs on him and hike with him in hand. Don't have trails that big? Go for a walk or jog with him in hand. If you can get a couple of lessons for it, teach him how to ground drive.
Posted via Mobile Device
jamesqf and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
     
    11-03-2013, 11:20 PM
  #9
Weanling
You can tell a lot about their "opinion" on carrying your weight by watching their body language - ears and tail are a good start. An abnormal amount or tail swishing and ears flat or pinned when you're asking for much beyond the walk is a good indicator that he's not happy, despite the fact that he may be doing exactly what you're asking of him regardless of the fact.

Good luck on the weight loss. I lost over 60# a few years ago for the very reason of being able to start riding again - at my old weight there was no chance of me riding much at all, at least in any sort of proficient manner.
Palomine and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
     
    11-04-2013, 12:20 AM
  #10
Weanling
Thanks so much for the quick responses :)

I really value you guys' opinions, so I'm happy that it sounds like it's ok to keep riding lightly.

I'm a pretty balanced rider and very mindful of how I carry myself — always carful not to bounce or flop, and I post at the trot.

Desert, my barn has some short, beautiful, slightly hilly trails, but sadly rain season has started in Oregon and they're too already mushy to ride. I will try walking him in hand up and down the non-trail/driveway hill every day, though. That'll be a good warmup for big of us.

Here's a shot of him for build reference:
EponaLynn likes this.
     

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
Message:
Options

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:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Helped my horse lose weight laurenlovesdressage Horse Health 1 08-29-2011 04:08 PM
Exercises to help horse lose weight? RunLassieRun Horse Health 1 07-27-2010 07:34 PM
How to help my horse lose a little weight? Connemara93 Horse Health 8 12-10-2008 02:12 AM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0