Being plus sized and reality checks - Page 3
 
 

       The Horse Forum > The Horse Forum Community > Plus Sized Riders

Being plus sized and reality checks

This is a discussion on Being plus sized and reality checks within the Plus Sized Riders forums, part of the The Horse Forum Community category

    Like Tree70Likes

     
    LinkBack Thread Tools
        01-04-2014, 12:18 PM
      #21
    Super Moderator
    This really is a touchy subject. I know that a lot of stables and trail ride type places have limits on the weight a rider can be. I know because my dad was above the limit to ride a horse in the grand canyon. He wasn't quite as bothered by it, but I was offended. He's not a HUGE man. He is positively overweight but had he been in perfect shape, I think he would have been over the limit anyway. I think it was 250. My husband is 6'2 and in a size 34 waist jean, he's 220. He rode our old walking horse for years and never had an issue. Black horse carried him with ease. Now that old horse was a big boned, tall, muscular dude though.

    He has been riding my sons walking horse lately and she's a finer boned girl but she's still 15'3 and solid, she carries him with ease. I believe he is going to take over Riley as his riding horse in the spring.

    Now my niece is 5 feet and when we hauled out to a place to ride, we had to rent a horse for her. This place keeps two horses that they reserve for larger riders. I assume they are foundation QHs. That's what they look like, they are big butted short and stocky beasts. I bet they are only around 14'2 hands but they probably weigh close to 1200lbs. She rode one and it carried her fine, but I felt like she was too big to ride.

    See, I think the difference is in the muscle tone. If you are heavy but solid, then you don't seem to be as much of a burden. There are larger riders that are Excellent riders and the horse doesn't look to struggle at all to me. There is a girl that I know who has something wrong with her (don't know what) and she steadily gains the weight. She was told by the trainer she uses that she is too large to ride. She can't even ride the horse she owns, the trainer won't let her, so she does the showmanship and halter classes in show. She's a good rider but she doesn't argue the fact that she can't ride. I can tell by watching her that it breaks her heart but she seems to understand. (She's also a little slow - again, not sure what her disabilities are). She rides arabs though and they really are small fine boned animals.

    This subject is so touchy.
         
    Sponsored Links
    Advertisement
     
        01-04-2014, 12:35 PM
      #22
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by farmpony84    
    I know that a lot of stables and trail ride type places have limits on the weight a rider can be.
    We travel a lot and I see this in a lot of places. I wholeheartedly agree that it's a touchy subject, but in the end the commercial trailride facilities do this for the betterment of their horses. Big riders are harder on the horses, trail riding facilities cater to those with little or zero experience (AKA bouncy and hard on the horses backs), and the riders will probably never see that horse ever again so they're indifferent if the horse comes up lame 24 or 48 hours later.

    If it was an ATV or something mechanical I could understand debating a weight limit that might seem overly conservative, but when it's a living breathing animal for whom your livelihood (Their business) relies upon, I wouldn't fault them for that decision. I'd be the first to admit I'd do the same thing if it was me.
         
        01-04-2014, 03:02 PM
      #23
    Trained
    It makes absolute sense to me that commercial riding centres would put a limit on each horse they have, Daisy 100 pounds, Dandelion up to 175 pounds, Milk Weed 200 pounds, or whatever. Each and every rider should be weighed and horses allocated to the right riders, to me that is not a 'fattist' it is only fair on horses and staff, no value judgements, no "you look to fat" it isn't any more discriminating than this






    Well you know the ones I mean.

    Again there are less weight carrying horses and a stable may simply not have a weight carrying type, and they don't have to keep them!


    BUT...PrivatePilot this
    Quote:
    Big riders are harder on the horses,
    is simply NOT true in every case, once again at a commercial type trail place a quiet, well balanced larger rider may be less wearing on a horse than an energetic skinnier know it all who is all over the place!

    LOL, how my brain works: Typing that makes me wonder about introvert and extrovert horses, and do they really exist? I am an extreme introvert, I need to work alone, social settings are expensive to me,in terms of energy, and if I had a pillow right now I would smother my Extrovert husband who is talking, and talking, why does every thought in his head have to make it out of his mouth?? Are there horses who gain energy from interacting with us, and those who just find us draining?
         
        01-04-2014, 05:06 PM
      #24
    Weanling
    Plus sized riders are a touchy subject. I think that particularly if you are heavy, you should attempt to be pretty fit before you get on a horse. I hate to say that, but I can't imagine how uncomfortable it is to have nearly a third of your body weight bounced on your back or moving around generally out of sync. I think the extra weight is much more acceptable on a good, fit rider than a beginner. If you've never ridden before, aren't in shape, and weigh something like 300lbs, you should probably consider the gym before getting on a horse. That doesn't necessarily mean lose weight, just that you should be able to carry yourself in the saddle, ie be fit. It is very possible to be fit and heavy, even fit and fat at the same time. I always feel very sorry for little, under muscled horses with very heavy, sloppy riders. It looks like torture. They're living animals, not a bicycle or a 4 wheeler.

    That said, I think nearly anyone can ride a well built horse at the walk for short periods of time. Also, you certainly aren't torturing Mr Gibbs. He looks perfectly comfortable with you, and as long as you both build up to faster gaits, I bet you'll be fine. The bay looks like she doesn't quite have the required fitness, but I bet with some work on the lunge line and shorter walking sessions with you, she'd get there. If your posting trot is steady, I imagine short trotting sessions would be ok too. You don't seem like the type to just hop on her and go trotting down the trail for 8 hours straight or anything. It all comes down to being conscious of your weight and fitness level and the comfort and fitness of your horse. Being 100lbs isn't required for riding, but you do have to structure your riding differently than a 100lb teenager. Sounds like you know this and are doing your best, have an appropriate horse, and are taking things slow. *hugs* People can be mean.
         
        01-04-2014, 05:44 PM
      #25
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Viranh    
    If you've never ridden before, aren't in shape, and weigh something like 300lbs, you should probably consider the gym before getting on a horse. That doesn't necessarily mean lose weight, just that you should be able to carry yourself in the saddle, ie be fit. It is very possible to be fit and heavy, even fit and fat at the same time. I always feel very sorry for little, under muscled horses with very heavy, sloppy riders. It looks like torture. They're living animals, not a bicycle or a 4 wheeler.
    Very good point, and one we often overlook, just come back to mind now I am attending therapy to get this body going again, I have a lot of fitness work to do while it is cold out, fit and fat is much easier to cope with than floppy and fat

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Viranh    
    That said, I think nearly anyone can ride a well built horse at the walk for short periods of time. Also, you certainly aren't torturing Mr Gibbs. He looks perfectly comfortable with you, and as long as you both build up to faster gaits, I bet you'll be fine. The bay looks like she doesn't quite have the required fitness, but I bet with some work on the lunge line and shorter walking sessions with you, she'd get there. If your posting trot is steady, I imagine short trotting sessions would be ok too. You don't seem like the type to just hop on her and go trotting down the trail for 8 hours straight or anything. It all comes down to being conscious of your weight and fitness level and the comfort and fitness of your horse. Being 100lbs isn't required for riding, but you do have to structure your riding differently than a 100lb teenager. Sounds like you know this and are doing your best, have an appropriate horse, and are taking things slow. *hugs* People can be mean.
    Yeah, Gibbs is and will be fine, he is my way back to bravery, fitness and all sorts of things, I thank God that I have him. The bay Arab, we will continue working on our relationship on teh ground, and I am aiming that my confidence, and fitness arrive in about 30 pounds less time!! Then I will feel good about starting with her.


    Ironically the thing that upset me so much was not an attack on my size and weight, but the accusation that I was attacking someone else over theirs. The person who I was negative about, wel a lot of her issues are not weight related, you find unreliable and unpleasant people both skinny fat and somewhere in between. But I remain convinced that it is not in the best (something can't remember the word) of the larger riders to overlook issues that do happen.

    Again I want to start this sentence with 'sorry' but it is not needed, It is a fact that some people are too big for the horse they are riding, and I don't that helps to pretend that isn't so. Same with tack, if your backside is overhanging your saddle, then you should be upgrading t a bigger one, or shrinking back into the one you have

    Again, the pics were just for reference, I can't imagine that there is anyone that thinks that all 4 pics show a good horse and rider match

    I know that there will be some who believe that none are a good match.

    Most people seem to say #2 isn't OK, and there is a split decision on #3.

    When it comes down to it, we will all make out own decisions, but it is always good to have feedback to either take on board or ignore as we choose. This from another plus sized rider....
    Quote:
    Hating on other large people is essentially hating on yourself - I hope you've got a good therapist, if not, find one. Good luck in your journey to being a better person. I hope you will begin it soon.
    Has me so upset that I am still churned up about it.
         
        01-04-2014, 07:22 PM
      #26
    Foal
    As a plus-sized rider, I used to worry about how I looked on a horse, too; and then I found a study that did the math for me.

    According to American researchers, horses that routinely carry more than 20% of their body weight tend to have more health issues than horses that carry less. So a good rule of thumb seems to be, a rider plus tack should weigh less than 20% of the horses weight. (E.G., a horse that weighs 1000-lbs. Should be able to comfortably carry up to 200 lbs.; and a horse that weighs 1250 lbs. Should be able to comfortably carry 250 lbs.)

    I suppose your riding discipline (hunter/jumpers/barrels/endurance vs. backyard fun/Western Pleasure) also has some bearing on the weight issue; but by and large (no pun intended!), using the math ratio has given me some reassurance about my horse's well-being.
         
        01-04-2014, 07:29 PM
      #27
    Trained
    I also think the horse's fitness level comes into play when carrying riders. Some horses are in better shape, have a stronger, conditioned topline and are in overall better shape and have more stamina.
         
        01-04-2014, 08:30 PM
      #28
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TrailTraveler    
    As a plus-sized rider, I used to worry about how I looked on a horse, too; and then I found a study that did the math for me.

    According to American researchers, horses that routinely carry more than 20% of their body weight tend to have more health issues than horses that carry less. So a good rule of thumb seems to be, a rider plus tack should weigh less than 20% of the horses weight. (E.G., a horse that weighs 1000-lbs. Should be able to comfortably carry up to 200 lbs.; and a horse that weighs 1250 lbs. Should be able to comfortably carry 250 lbs.)

    I suppose your riding discipline (hunter/jumpers/barrels/endurance vs. backyard fun/Western Pleasure) also has some bearing on the weight issue; but by and large (no pun intended!), using the math ratio has given me some reassurance about my horse's well-being.
    The trouble with research is that most of it has been such small scale, the 20% study was on 7 pasture fit horses, I would love to see it repeated on a larger scale, with fit horses, it would be interesting. You should also check out the studies done on horses competing in the Tevis Cup, showed that endurance horses can carry up to 30% without issue, LOL but then the UK study was suggesting 10 - 15%.

    I think that you are so right about discipline being important, it must alter the loading.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waresbear    
    I also think the horse's fitness level comes into play when carrying riders. Some horses are in better shape, have a stronger, conditioned topline and are in overall better shape and have more stamina.
    Quite, LOL I have seen before people thinking they are fine because they fall in the 20% rule when you have an unfit larger rider, on an unfit overweight horse, it is not a pretty sight.
         
        01-04-2014, 08:34 PM
      #29
    Weanling
    Ok...this is getting interesting.

    Without mentioning my exact weight (yet, anyways) here's a pic of me (on the left) on my lease TBxSH gelding. I *feel* big on him, but after riding Clydesdales and Belgians for the last long while that's not surprising I guess, but I'm also keenly aware that size aside, weight is more of my issue.



    (Larger pic available by clicking here: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7413/1...916d399e_h.jpg)

    Excuse my piano hands, but the photo was snapped at an inopportune moment. When is a decent photo ever exactly as you'd like? ;)

    But, back on topic...Given his weight, and mine, I'm probably technically too heavy for him, but (as is evident in the pic) his attitude doesn't yell at me that he's particularly bothered by me, even when we're cantering or galloping.

    So, do I *look* OK on him, or are looks deceiving here?
         
        01-04-2014, 08:48 PM
      #30
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PrivatePilot    
    if you look close, the thing I noticed is that the horse that the plus sized rider was on had his ears back (and pinned a few times) almost the entire racing portion of the course. The other horse only turned back to listen to his rider, then pricked again.

    That, speaks volumes.
    Valid point made, but we do know that there are horses in this world who "pin" their ears when doing performance events, such as gaming. I would not suspect that her horse is in any pain, as she is a vet tech and takes superb care of her horses. And the horse may very well be pinning his ears due to her weight .... but maybe not. He might just be an ear pinner. Her 10-year-old son also rides this horse, and he's a skinny little thing. I'll have to pay attention in the coming year in the horse does that with his ears when her son is riding him.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PrivatePilot    
    But on the flipside, it's not fair to ignore the issue and just keep riding, either. And before anyone jumps on me for that comment, I remind you all about my earlier post again when I mention I lost 70#'s so that I *could* start riding again. I now weigh 220, so do the math. When I weighed close to 300# I did NOT ride. With only a few brief exceptions (a few trail rides on drafts, and a few walkabouts) I didn't ride for over 15 years, actually.
    Again, another very valid point. But on that point, I don't feel like I am "qualified" to be in a judgemental position to tell a person that they need to work harder at losing weight before they can ride. I don't know the situation at home, or health issues, or who knows what that has ultimately caused the weight gain. I applaud you for making the decision not to ride until you had lost the weight, but I think as long as the horse is comfortable carrying the rider, then it is not my place to decide if one should quit riding until weight is lost.

    Very interesting discussion, nonetheless.
         

    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
    plus sized rider w/ plus sized feet >.< raisinandelana Plus Sized Riders 12 11-06-2011 11:43 AM
    Horse checks- what to do? Citrus Horse Talk 3 08-30-2010 12:30 PM
    vet checks? Gingerrrrr Horse Health 6 07-14-2008 01:10 PM



    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:49 AM.


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