Am I too big to ride - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 33 Old 02-24-2014, 09:48 PM
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Think about the dark ages... and all the armor they carried around. I'm sure your stature wasn't rare back then. Add armor, saddle, gear, etc.. Point is, the horses are out there for your need--- you just have to educate your self. Also, something that isn't mentioned on here very often is, work on some balance and core exercises, so that when you get that boy or gal of yours, you aren't a 'lump' or 'sack' on their back. Congrats on your interest!
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post #22 of 33 Old 02-26-2014, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Robyne View Post
Think about the dark ages... and all the armor they carried around.
To play devils advocate:

- Think about how little they understood about their horses back then. It's doubtful they understood the full effects (short, or long term) of overloading a horse since the medical knowledge didn't exist.

- Think about how potentially little they may have cared about the wellbeing of their horses back then. Horse goes lame? Get another horse. Problem solved.

- Obesity wasn't a big issue back then either, so despite maybe wearing 75-100# of armour, and also taking into consideration that people were significantly shorter in stature people were only 100-150 years ago (much less the "dark ages") chances are they weighed significantly less than your "big guy" (like me) in todays standards, much less an obese rider by todays standards.
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post #23 of 33 Old 02-27-2014, 01:24 AM
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I tend to agree with most posts, but if you feel the need to even ask the question, you may already know the answer.
Any way you look at it, 341 lbs is a lot too carry. It is basically the weight of two riders and it would take the proper horse and your own natural balance to keep the horse comfortable. I hate to talk about weight, but obviously any weight loss would make the decision a bit easier.

Hope your back in the saddle soon !
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post #24 of 33 Old 02-27-2014, 08:07 AM
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The general recommendation is not to exceed 20% of the horse's weight in rider and gear. So 400kg horse, maximum 80kg rider and gear. 500kg horse, maximum 100kg rider and gear, etc. Belgian Draughts can weigh 800 kg or more... Of course this is simplified - stocky horses bear more than light horses, and so on. One important thing that becomes more important when you're relatively heavier is to get off the saddle and walk beside your horse, or unsaddle and rub your horse's back, at intervals. An army horseman I was reading about said there was a rule in his regiment that after 2 hours maximum, the horse had to be unsaddled and its back rested / rubbed before continuing. This policy much reduced soreness.

Saddle fit also becomes even more important the heavier you are. Professional fitting to the horse and rider is always recommended..

Driving a horse can be a good option when you're more than 20% of a horse's weight.

Whatever you do, enjoy your equines!
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post #25 of 33 Old 02-27-2014, 10:46 AM
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Hmmm...with saddle, I'm 23% of Mia's weight, and 33% of Cowboy's weight. Mia is slender, but she has not trouble at all with 23%. Cowboy is a 13 hand mustang and stocky. 33% is a challenge for him, but not impossible...but tough enough that I rarely ride him.

Medieval horses:

Horses in the Middle Ages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Where I live, a lot of stables have a 250 lb limit on rider size. Some might stretch that, but I doubt any in my area would go above 300 lbs for a rider.

BTW - some experts disagree about the 'last rib' thing, at least for western saddles:

All western saddles extend over the loin

Saddle fit - Western compared to English Part 3
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post #26 of 33 Old 02-27-2014, 12:18 PM
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BSMS, thank you for those links on western saddles and 'last ribs." I've been having a hell of a time with my short backed horse, and that makes much more sense.

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post #27 of 33 Old 02-27-2014, 12:34 PM
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I would think of it in terms of both your fitness and the horse's fitness. Right now I'm in the same boat you are, up in the 300+ lb range. You're fairly tall, so perhaps you "wear" 340 better than someone who is 5'2".

Do you exercise, or are you sedentary? Riding is an active sport, and in order to let your mount do his or her best work, you have to be an active and conscientious rider who is aware of how their riding effects the horse.

If you are simply muscle-heavy but otherwise fit and active, you stand a better chance of being an active rider who can quickly develop a good seat. If you're sedentary or just overweight, then it's going to be different and a bit more difficult for you to get to the same place, where you are able to be an active rider.

That's not to say you can't be involved with horses, but you may have to go about it a different way than simply riding. I would say if you are sedentary, start working on your fitness, and take a hard look at the way you eat- again, I am right where you are now, so I have nothing but sympathy for the mindset. I personally have made the choice that I don't feel comfortable riding until I am more fit, both for my own and my mount's health, but also for reasons of safety.

Everyone and every situation is different. I've also got other issues I'm dealing with in terms of riding, and trying to come up with my own solutions.
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post #28 of 33 Old 02-27-2014, 03:46 PM
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i haven't read the other posts, but i just wanted to chime in.'re really, really tall!!! you would need a horse with good height, and a good sized barrel...basically, rib and stomach take up your leg, alone. otherwise, you might be dragging your toes on the ground. (i do not mean that to be offensive!!!)

i had a friend out who was 6'6 and when i put him on my 17 hand horse, with a large barrel, they balanced each other out. in pictures, they looked like an average sized guy riding an average sized horse. (i will see if i can find a pic of them)

next...and more helpful to you, i think. i know a man who stands 6'4" and was over 400lbs, when he started riding. he started hunt seat lessons on a Percheron (draft horse) who stands 16.3 hands, has really great bone and a great compact build, and later bought this lesson horse. they've been riding together for longer than the 11 years that i've known him. he has said that the one thing he wished he had done differently was started with some physical activity before starting to ride. he would take half hour lessons, but they were completely exhausting to him. he said the worst part, for the first few years, was his balance, and the horrible pain from not using his muscles (the gentleman has a fairly stationary career). he said within a month of daily walking, yoga and a eating one salad per day, he could feel the little differences in his riding. he slowly built up the amount of walking and yoga he did, and it slowly helped him become a better rider. today, he walks at least 5 miles per day, does 2 hours of yoga...and started his own horse, goat and sheep farm. he does all his own work on the farm, and balances that with his "regular career".

based on his experience and all, this is what i would suggest.

before "jumping in" to riding, start exercising. i would suggest what the gentleman did...daily walking and yoga. i guess the daily salad doesn't hurt, as he said he started out with 10 minutes of walking followed by 10 minutes of yoga, and built up from there. he said he hated the daily salad. remember, the man i got this from started out over 400lbs. he's now around 260lbs.

when you think you have built yourself up enough, find a trainer who you are comfortable with. start your lessons. if you're lucky like the guy i know, you may even be able to purchase your lesson mount :)

knowing his success, i talked to him about this all, recently. i have a medical issue that required medication that "blew me up". i am 210lbs, standing at 5'5". i just turned 35, and find it more difficult to drop weight, or even maintain what i have now. the gentleman i speak of is 55 and told me that age does make it not what i wanted to

i hope sharing this gentleman's experience will help you, on some level!!
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post #29 of 33 Old 03-09-2014, 12:28 PM
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I would think you could ride if you were athletic enough to not bounce around too much Also, cart driving is an awesome option and I've heard its lots of fun! We have a Standardbred at a barn I ride at and he likes to pace around the track and, also, we have a Gypsy Vanner who likes to cart drive!

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post #30 of 33 Old 03-10-2014, 07:23 PM
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There have been a lot go good points brought up here. Just my two cents. I weigh about 260 and am 6'6". I ride a mostly Belgian who is about 17hh and around 2000 lbs. My 300 lbs is well under the 20 percent rule, but I never try to ride either of my two little paints who weigh about 1000 lbs. I do a lot of ground work with my horse. I really enjoy it, it gets me good exercise, and it is good for the horses without stressing them. Also there is riding and then there is riding. A half hour or so doing walk-trot around an arena is a lot different than a three hour trail ride with a lot of canter or galloping. Are you too big to ride? No. Would it work a lot better and could you and your horse do a lot better if you lost a bunch of weight? Yes. I was up around 280 for a while. Trust me it is a lot easier to climb into the saddle at a much lighter weight. Speaking of which you will be doing yourself and your horse a big favor if you both learn to mount from above like from a fence. It only took me about 15 minutes to teach my guy to come over and stand to mount anytime I climb up like on a fence or trailer fender.
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