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Am I too big to ride

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        10-26-2013, 03:45 PM
    Hey riding is the best way of loosing weight in my eyes, I lost over a stone in 3 and a half weeks riding 3 - 4 times a week an hour each time and eating healthy, I was only riding I wasnt mucking out or bringing in or turning out, and I don't think you are too heavy as if you get a shire or heavy horse breed then they will carry you no problem
    Lwoodruff and TrailTraveler like this.
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        10-26-2013, 06:57 PM
    Originally Posted by Dustbunny    
    If you are serious about this you need to start reading about the subject. You need to learn the physiology of the horse, tack (saddle and all the stuff one sticks on the horse), and beginner horsemanship. There are lots of books and info available. Most tack stores have a good choice of material for sale.
    Then, if you are still interested, it would be a very wise decision to find an instructor who could give you lessons. There is so much more to riding than just getting on and going. Just getting on a horse can be work...unless you are young and spry. And I would make an attempt to get into a fitness program. Larger people can develop muscle tone and strength and that will help a lot.
    Good luck to you.
    I wanted to know if I could ride a horse without breaking it's back before I spent the time and money learning more about horses and horsemanship. Now that I know I can I will start doing research.
    Roux likes this.
        10-26-2013, 07:30 PM
    Becoming a horseman is an incredible journey...and you never stop learning! There is always some horse lurking out there willing to show you what you don't know. I have met several of them.
    Keep us posted...
        10-26-2013, 09:30 PM
    There are hard structures within a saddle which must sit behind the edge of the shoulder blade and not past the last true rib. Even tho we have bred big stout draft horses, the back remains their weak area. The big draft have tremendous power in their hindquarters for pulling big loads.
        10-27-2013, 12:27 PM
    Depends on the breed for instance the Highland Pony can carry 16st that's about 224 ponds and they are about 14.2h so if you do your homework I would bet my bottom dollar that you will find a horse that will carry you no bother :)
        10-27-2013, 12:39 PM
    I started riding again before summer and rang my local riding school and the first thing I told them was my weight and would this be a problem (i'm not your typical 8 stone mini - although it would be nice lol).
    They said no problem, I turned up and had no embarrasing moments and lots of fun. So if you're going to have lessons first, ring up and they can tell you if they can help.
    Good luck - it's a wonderful hobby :)
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        11-07-2013, 07:52 PM
    Just bumping this one with a thought.

    When you first start the BO will put you on a horse that they *know* is suitable for your weight and your skill. You won't have much input, if any. Of course, as you progress you may want to ride other horses at the barn - you must accept that you won't be able to ride many of them. It's a reality that I have personally, and please don't take it the wrong way - but it's the truth.

    The "problem" is that you put the BO in a really awkward position by even asking sometimes. No BO wants to have to say "Sorry, you can't ride him/her because of your weight", but any good BO will also put their horses before their students, so that's often the blunt truth, even if you get a whitewashed version of it, or another "excuse". Some just avoid it all together and you are left hanging.

    If you're like me, you know you're a big person (Heck, even after I lost 60# so I could start riding again I'm still over 200#) and you can take this sort of stuff with a chuckle and in stride, but others are VERY sensitive about the topic..and if the BO says something just the wrong way, some people fly off the hook, get insulted, leave..or worse yet, lambaste their business online. Meanwhile, all the BO did was put his/her horses first, and now they're left dealing with the fallout of their otherwise proper decision.

    Often, attacking the question from another angle, such as "Wow, I really like such-and-such horse, what size riders have you put on him/her in the past?" opens up the discussion from another angle. The BO will feel more free to give you a more honest answer and you can then act accordingly on whether or not to ask to ride that horse in the future.

    As mentioned, a reputable BO should always put the well being of their horses above the wants of their students, so if you show up and they offer you a pony (purely for example), you may want to reconsider your choice of barn - they're not putting their horses first. That would instantly make me question their business practices.
        11-08-2013, 12:11 PM
    Green Broke
    Yes. You weigh too much to be riding. By the time you get tack up there, you are talking close to 400 lbs, and that is way too much to put on a horse's back.

    Even a big boned, heavier horse is still carrying that weight on the part of their body that is unsupported by anything. The back is a span.

    I would look into driving, and also get myself in some serious weight loss mode.

    How you ride at your weight, or mine at 239 for that matter....will be drastically different from how you will ride at a more normal weight.

    And while you may not see the damage done to the soft tissues of the horse? It will be there.
        11-08-2013, 02:26 PM
    Green Broke
    I haven't read every reply in this thread, but wanted to throw two cents in, in response to Oshawapilot.

    I went through something very similar. I briefly trained/gave lessons for a lesson mill type barn. One of the horses they had me training was a pony. I wasn't too big for her, but taking her over the bigger fences, in all fairness, would have probably caused discomfort. I fluctuate between 130-160 in weight, typically.

    Anyway, I was doing a typical training ride, the BO called me out and told me to get off the pony so someone else could take her over a roll top. At 15 or 16, I was mortified.
    So, people can and will call you out... And it sucks.
    I did exactly what Oshawapilot said might happen: I left that barn. I was too embarrassed to go back. That was a few years ago but, if I recall correctly, I picked up all my tack and was gone within the week. There were other reasons why I left, but this was the icing on the cake.
        11-08-2013, 02:49 PM
    It's something that most BO's struggle with, I'm sure. Some handle it more tactfully than others.

    I'm lucky in that I can joke about my weight openly with most people and I'm ok with that, but that's just me as a guy. I've joked with my coach that "I'm too much or a Lard-butt to ride horse so-and-so" and I think it's appreciated that I'm cogniscent of the fact.

    I realize its a more touchy subject for others and BO's and coaches are often left dancing around the subject.

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