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How much weight should a horse carry? New study

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        07-08-2013, 11:19 PM
      #41
    Foal
    I can't see this article being all to accurate drought horses would have to take over lol, when I was doing endurance everybody weighed in either middleweight or heavyweight I was one of the only lightweight riders there. Wouldn't be lightweight anymore tho lol after having 2 kids but the heavy weight was 90 kg plus and middle weight was 75 kgs to 90kg and lightweight anything under that most of the riders were in the heavyweight division and everyone was riding arabs around 14.2 15hh so that makes no sense
         
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        07-09-2013, 05:17 PM
      #42
    Weanling
    If a rider would listen to their horses, they are the one's who will tell you that your weight is too much or they are not happy. The ears going back at a canter, not being able to keep that horse at a canter a full circle around the arena or circle, having to urge him forward, wringing of the tail or flipping it around a lot, wrinkles around the nose, etc. All signs many ignore or make excuses to why the horse is acting that way.

    Some heavier riders are great riders, they understand how the body works, where it should sit on a horse while in saddle, and have good to great riding skills, some I have seen even help the horse instead of hindering them. Their hands are quiet, they don't use the horses mouth to steady themselves or pull themselves up. While others look like a bowl of jello and don't have the leg strength to correctly post either.

    I myself could use to loose 20lbs and make no excuse for when I do ride poorly. I have a horse who fits me, I am a good rider and I know good body mechanics so I always try to put my horses best interest at heart. I also make sure my saddle fits my body, that my stomach nor my fanny hang over, which they don't but some do and don't even see or care to admit that. Have I seen some riders who are crappy no matter what? Yes sure have...and sometimes I wish they would admit that the discipline they are going to go into or are in just is not the one for them and just enjoy the horse.
    Palomine likes this.
         
        07-09-2013, 05:30 PM
      #43
    Green Broke
    I don't agree with 10% but I do think weight matters to your horse's well being, as it should.

    20% max and that includes saddle/blanket too is what I would be comfortable with. Which puts me perilously close on my two, if not over.

    And tired of hearing people say "my horse is not bothered by my weight" when they have not had horse vetted so specifically look into any changes due to heavy rider, chiro out or massages done.

    Or worse, someone that has to have chiro/massage therapy done on horse monthly.

    And coming at this from being 229 lbs myself too...so not thin by any means.

    When we are now looking at hospitals having to have extra wide wheelchairs, bathrooms having to put in toilets designed to not break under heavier people, ambulances having to put in heavy duty cots to carry patients as well as furniture makes having to make furniture for heavy people, office chairs too, it is foolish to think that our weight, if heavy riders, does not have a toll on our horse's well being.

    As well as it does on us as riders.

    Those of us who carry our weight mostly in our thighs/hips/lower legs are not having as good a contact as we would if we were thin. No way around that.

    We sit on our pelvic bones differently, close our legs on our horse differently, and ride differently. The extra body fat ensures that.

    And when we ride? We are not draped the length of the horse so that at least some of our weight is over the fore and hind legs either, it is on the span of the back only.

    It is also hard on our saddles, particularly if we do not, as we widen, get a bigger seat. I see far too many heavy riders who have no cantle or pommel showing at all under their body....the only way you know they have a saddle under them is there are stirrups.

    And the saddle not fitting? Means their mechanics are going to be off too.

    As well as if someone is riding English of any style and posting the trot? You have an extremely hard time rising to that trot if you are heavy with the result that you are in your horse's mouth, using the reins to haul yourself out of the saddle.

    And the horses are desperately unhappy too. Pinned ears, wringing tails, set mouth to keep from being yanked on, I see these horses and wonder how it is that their owners can not see what is so apparent to anyone else that sees them?

    Horses are living creatures, capable of feeling pain, and like it or not, people need to be more insightful as to what they are doing to their horses.

    To pretend our weight does not have an impact is fooling ourselves.

    And I find it sad when no one that is overweight is usually willing to consider it being a factor to their horse's well being.
         
        07-10-2013, 12:18 AM
      #44
    Showing
    Most middle weight horses can accommodate the bars of a saddle being only so long. Usually a western saddle with a 17" seat is the max. I'm dealing in generalities. Saddles, both English and western are designed to position the riders weight over the area of a horse's back, I'll call the zone, most suited for carrying weight, not forward and not behind. When a rider is packing a lot of weighty fat both out front and behind, that area has been exceeded. This cannot be compared to a heavy muscular rider who's body fits in the zone. To be fair to the horse, find a horse that can take the size of saddle needed to keep all of your body within the zone.
    Palomine and GreySorrel like this.
         
        07-11-2013, 01:10 AM
      #45
    Foal
    This study is still silly, but I felt like I HAD to comment with the new previous posts. Lol

    I most definitely don't need to haul on the horse's reins and mouth to post. That's just poor riding, heavier or lighter rider, using reins to balance yourself. And I'm a heavier plus sized rider. Posting should not be difficult at all for someone who rides regularly, barring physical issues like bad knees. You're even moving with the motion of the horse. For posting- I'd be more concerned about a heavier rider sitting lightly and correctly in the saddle-not posting heavily and pushing off the back of the saddle. But, that holds true for a lighter weight rider too.
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        07-11-2013, 06:34 PM
      #46
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by callidorre    
    This study is still silly, but I felt like I HAD to comment with the new previous posts. Lol

    I most definitely don't need to haul on the horse's reins and mouth to post. That's just poor riding, heavier or lighter rider, using reins to balance yourself. And I'm a heavier plus sized rider. Posting should not be difficult at all for someone who rides regularly, barring physical issues like bad knees. You're even moving with the motion of the horse. For posting- I'd be more concerned about a heavier rider sitting lightly and correctly in the saddle-not posting heavily and pushing off the back of the saddle. But, that holds true for a lighter weight rider too.
    Posted via Mobile Device

    Yes riders of greater weight CAN post correctly, but there are also riders who cannot...and it is due to their weight. Their stirrups are behind the girth because their toes are pointing down because their thighs/calves can't be gotten into position to have stirrups at correct length.


    They are tipped forwards from lower body, and using reins/mouth to lever themselves up out of saddle. And the horse tells on them too....but they don't want to see it.

    And out of interest here, do you dance by any means? I have found that someone that dances well is much lighter on their seat as a rider, and able to lift themselves up to post. And they have a sense of timing too that is better.
         
        07-11-2013, 09:41 PM
      #47
    Showing
    I just found this: perhaps it will help clarify.
    While most healthy horses can easily carry a rider and saddle, they do have their limits. Now researchers have identified a threshold for when a rider is too heavy for a horse to comfortably carry.
    The scientists base their findings on detailed measurements taken of eight horses that were ridden while packing anywhere from 15 to 30% of their body weight. The horses ranged in size from 400 to 625 kilograms (885 to 1375 pounds).

    When carrying 15 and 20% of their body weight, the horses showed relatively little indication of stress. It's when they were packing weights of 25% that physical signs changed markedly, and these became accentuated under 30% loads.
    The horses had noticeably faster breathing and higher heart rates when carrying tack and rider amounting to 25% or more of their body weight. A day after trotting and cantering with the heftier weights, the horses' muscles showed substantially greater soreness and tightness. Those horses that were least sore from the exercise had wider loins, the part of a horse's back located between their last rib and croup.
    Based on these results, the study's authors recommend that horses not be loaded with greater than 20% of their body weight. A 545-kilogram (1200 pound) horse, then would be best off carrying no more than 109 kg (240 lbs) of tack and rider.
    Interestingly, this research from the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute has concluded with the same weight guideline that the US Calvary Manuals of Horse Management published in 1920.
    Reference
         
        07-11-2013, 10:23 PM
      #48
    Trained
    Free not the Ohio 8 again, 8 pasture fit horses bought in and worked at all paces, with varying weights, does not a conclusive study make.

    There is far more research needed, that's all
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        07-12-2013, 12:37 PM
      #49
    Showing
    But Golden that is how so many horses are ridden, so it's a good indicator.
         
        07-13-2013, 12:22 PM
      #50
    Foal
    Nope. No dancing. I have a decent amount of muscle though and ride regularly. Actually my big bad habit is to have my legs too far forward rather than too far back. Which is interesting because I am top heavy. I can fix it though if I see it in pictures or get told by someone.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         

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