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Am i too overweight to ride?

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        12-02-2012, 05:46 PM
      #31
    Teen Forum Moderator
    I appologize, I was unclear. I did not mean that drafts can't carry riders. I do realize that horses were not designed to begin with to be ridden, but what I meant by my comment was that they have been bred (in general. A lot of drafts are being bred more for riding now and its becoming more common) by humans over the years to be built to pull. I simply meant that it shouldnt be assumed that because a draft is bigger it can take a heavier load. Some can, yes, if they have great conformation and are conditioned for it, but on the whole you can't just go out and buy any old shire or any percheron and expect it to carry more than another smaller horse with no ill side effects.
         
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        12-02-2012, 06:44 PM
      #32
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Endiku    
    I appologize, I was unclear. I did not mean that drafts can't carry riders. I do realize that horses were not designed to begin with to be ridden, but what I meant by my comment was that they have been bred (in general. A lot of drafts are being bred more for riding now and its becoming more common) by humans over the years to be built to pull. I simply meant that it shouldnt be assumed that because a draft is bigger it can take a heavier load. Some can, yes, if they have great conformation and are conditioned for it, but on the whole you can't just go out and buy any old shire or any percheron and expect it to carry more than another smaller horse with no ill side effects.
    Drafts are no more (or less) being bred for riding now than they were 100's of years ago - as far as possible they stay true to type. These were the same sort of horses that knights in full armour rode into battle - because they were built to carry that much weight. Being able to pull (actually they push) is no detriment to them being able to carry weight, in fact the amount of bone they have (measured around the leg), coupled with shortness of back, depth and width makes them ideal
    A shire, percheron, suffolk punch, clydesdale - even 'any old one' is going to be more than able to carry the weight of this lady plus some. The only drawback would be the height for a less agile person to get on.
    Fitness and conditioning applies to any breed
    NorthernMama and Endiku like this.
         
        12-02-2012, 07:28 PM
      #33
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jaydee    
    You judge a horses weight carrying ability by bone - the leg is the most important part of that as its supporting the rest of the horse
    For your height a cob would be ideal - the gypsy cobs and draft crosses are well up to weight but anything above 15.2 and you are going to maybe struggle to get on otherwise things like percherons are great
    I hope you won't take this wrong as I'm saying it out of concern for your health alone - if you are only 5ft 3 you really should get some help in losing quite a lot of that weight - certainly owning a horse does help keep you fit and so would be a great start for you

    Thanks for your concern~
    I'm currently working on dropping a lot of the weight.
    I had for a few months been working out and lost a good 25lbs, but due to stress, pinched nerve making it hard to move, and constantly being out (having to eat quick foods), I've gained it all back. But I'm back at the workout and I've been preparing snacks to snag on the go! (:
    Oh, and the pinched nerve got massaged out~

    Also, thanks to everyone for your opinions and defending me!
    I greatly appreciate everything!
    I've found someone that knows a LOT about horses and will help me choose the right horse.
         
        12-07-2012, 09:45 PM
      #34
    Foal
    One of the primary reasons that drafts are not always a good choice for weight bearing is because the conformation of most modern hitch breeding lends itself to a longer back. One of the most important qualities of a weight bearing horse, IMHO, is a strong loin coupling and short, compact back (in addition to good bone).

    Misa - I strongly encourage you to look for a lesson barn to get yourself a little bit of relevant riding fitness before you get your own - will make the transition that much easier!
    smrobs and Misa like this.
         
        12-15-2012, 08:06 PM
      #35
    Green Broke
    I too have an issue with heavier people riding and not considering the horse and its well being.

    The area where the saddle/rider rests is NOT supported by the legs, it is suspended between the legs. Same as if I sat on a table in the middle. It is not going to be as strong in that area.

    And seriously, when you have hospitals having to order extra heavy duty wheelchairs, AND hospital beds and gurneys, and operating tables because they have had them break/collapse and topple due to the weight of the patients, how can you not wonder about the effect on a horse?

    Same with furniture companies for that matter. And toilet companies too make toilets now for people who weigh more.

    Like it or not, the weight any of us carry, and I include myself in this too, makes us have a different balance, riding position, as well as causes problems with a horse. I don't care how good your balance is, or your riding is. That extra weight does take a toll.

    And when recent issues of all the horse mags have had information on this, then why try and say it is an old rule.

    Rather, it is because no one really wants to admit what they look like, and the damage they are causing to their horse, not to mention themselves.

    And taking about saddle fitting? Why is it for so many the principles of saddle fit go out the window when they are overweight?

    Many trail riding operations and packing operations too are having to look for horses with much bigger bone structure, and having to look into larger saddles because of the weights of the people wanting to ride.

    And too many times I see seriously overweight riders, and not talking about just a little too much poundage, but horribly overweight, riding an obviously miserable horse, determined to "post" when what they are really doing is hauling themselves up out of the saddle off the horse's mouth. Then you need to realistically reassess your riding.
    Druydess and paintedpastures like this.
         
        12-15-2012, 08:42 PM
      #36
    Super Moderator
    247 lbs isn't really a huge weight. A man of 6'2" could easily weigh that and ride without issue. At the OPs height it is obvious that one would be over weight and that will make riding more strenuous on the rider. On a sturdy horse I say go for it and enjoy.


    Palomine, I didn't quite understand why such a harsh response. Did I miss something?
         
        12-15-2012, 09:36 PM
      #37
    Foal
    The plus size riders on this forum seem to express concern about the welfare of their horse, correct saddle size... Also the reason for this forum was a welcoming place to express our concerns and issues. Not sure why non plus size riders seem to think they need to express their negative comments on this forum? If you have an issue with the posts or photos- even if YOU think you are the truth judge- again this is a forum for supportive posts and not the sounding board for your personal opinions.
         
        12-16-2012, 12:46 AM
      #38
    Foal
    Curious how you know who is plus or non plus size? I am an advocate of the 20 percent percent rule and I am also very overweight. Is there some assumption that people who share my opinion are normal weight? There is no doubt in my mind that a significantly overweight person is not balanced in the saddle. They sit up higher on their own flesh much like a normal weight person sitting on a pillow on the saddle. That pushes your center of gravity up and negatively affects balance. I was thrown for the first time in 42 years when I was 40 pounds overweight. I was thrown 2 more times since, all three were balance issues and all three happened when overweight. I am trying to share this info to help people and instead of discussing, people start attacking and disputing and really getting rude and nasty about it. In my opinion and that of many others, we are not saying overweight people cannot ride. We are saying there are safety issues for the horse and rider and they increase with weight as a percentage of what a horse should carry. A 6 ft 6 inch guy weighing 250 would be better balanced than a 250 pound short person on the same horse. The guy would be in closer contact, would be sitting deeper in the saddle and would have more leg below center of gravity to improve balance, and more leg to hang in with in a lurch. But they would be equal with respect to the wear and tear on the same horse's joints. You also hit the ground a lot harder when you are thrown. The last throw wrenched my ribcage and put me out of commission for a month. The one right before that I walked away from with a bruise and a rope burn on my hand from the braided reins. Same horse. Needless to say, my arena got a fresh few inches of sand after the last one.
    Druydess likes this.
         
        12-16-2012, 06:32 PM
      #39
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Misa    
    This just occurred to me, I'm about 247 and 5'3.

    Am I too heavy to ride?

    I'm looking to get my first horse in a few months, but I don't want to get a horse I'm too heavy for.


    I am a larger rider so when I got a horse I got a PMU TB/Percheron/QH cross. She's about 1300 pounds and almost 17hh. It hurts a lot more when you fall but I feel safe that my mare can carry me with no problem. Look into PMU horses. They are almost always mixed with draft horses and they have wonderful personalities. They usually have drafty builds and are 15-18hh, depending on how much light horse blood is in them.
         
        12-16-2012, 06:55 PM
      #40
    Foal
    Percherons and their crosses seem to be excellent trail horses and also good for dressage and jumping, depending on the cross. Percherons were created as farm and war horses. They're more refined then other drafts but they can still carry quite a bit. They were made to carry fully armored knights into battle and to plow/pull. Yes, in those days horses didn't live as long-they were overused. But my point is-Percherons are great riding horses. No I'm not just being biased because I own a Percheron cross. A couple crosses that I've found that are good for heavier riders are Perch/QH, Perch/Paint, Perch/TB, and Percheron mixed with several light breeds. One cross that is a little hit and miss is Percheron/Arabian. Some turn out amazing-looking just like a smaller Percheron pony, others have huge bodies and heads with spindle legs. Percherons and their crosses are often very easy keepers too which is a plus when we have such bad hay shortages. My mare can maintain weight with only 4 flakes a day and 8 oz Safe Choice Special Care grain. On the bad side, you need to buy extra big tack. Draft saddles, 5.5-6 inch bits, extra large halters and bridles. But you can find those things cheap if you know where to look.
         

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