New Report, weight a horse can carry - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 05-25-2013, 08:43 AM
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I think this study is on the right track. They're acknowledging that horses have different abilities, and they've found a method to determine what is too much for each horse.

I don't think that percentage would be right for every horse though, but that method of figuring it out definitely sounds promising. The quote under the photograph says it all -

"While the horse used in the study topped out at 209 pounds, certain types of horses can handle more (or less) loading, Matsuura noted. Ideally different breeds should be evaluated for maximum weight loading recommendations, he added."

Trust the Japanese to know how to get it 'right' xD
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-25-2013, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Did everyone miss the part about when riding the horse in a circle? This is where overload can show up, if the horse isn't moving freely as when moving in a straight line. Altho the test didn't involve a lot of horses, it was in a control environment. When the horses could no longer move well at the trot when circling, it was figured at about 29% of it's weight. The report admits it can vary from breed to breed, even individual horses. Think about it, if a horse has trouble doing circles at the trot there is an assumption of soreness with never a thought about the horse carrying too much weight.
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-25-2013, 10:44 AM
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That's all well and good, I believe that the study was sound, but they just used such a small pool of horses.

Their study wasn't comprehensive enough to take into consideration the conformational differences of horses, the ability of the rider, even where the majority of rider's weight was (everone knows that someone who's weight is in their upper body will have a different balance than someone who's weight is in their lower body).

That study makes a good start, but it's just too small to conclusively say "Yep, horses can carry 30% of their body weight fine". There are simply too many other mitigating factors to consider.

I've always believed that many horses are capable of carrying more than the general 20% guideline...given the rider was balanced and fluid, the tack fit properly, and the horse was working properly.
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Last edited by smrobs; 05-25-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-25-2013, 02:52 PM
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Smrobs - even the guy conducting the study pointed out that there should be more research into different sized horses, etc. But all good research needs a start somewhere and there finally looks to be one. I hope they can continue the work.
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