One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that they, like many riding places, might be using older+smaller horses as their lesson mounts.
If so, it's probably nothing against you at all.
I weigh 145lbs and I'm at the top of the weight spectrum I'd feel comfortable putting on my mare for long periods (I do use her to teach lessons to children). My reasoning for it is that she's 27, she's conformationally weak in her back, and she's 14.1hh.
After a day of me riding her, even at just a walk, she acts sore and tired which leads me to believe that I'm close to the top of what she can carry without really stressing her body.
I don't let people over 160lbs ride Lacey because I don't feel like it's fair to her at her age. She has enough aches and pains just carrying herself around.
Another issue for me is that Lacey is difficult to fit a saddle to. Therefore, any pressure points are completely multiplied the heavier her rider is. It's nothing against the people, it's all Lacey. I have to put her and her well being before anyone and their feelings, no matter what they weigh.
Of course, if this place has young, large, strong backed horses and they're telling you you can't ride, psh! That's silly!
But, what I'm trying to say is that if you haven't been there, seen their horses, and seen their set up, please don't assume that it's something against you/your weight. They're a business, they need to keep their horses as sound and healthy as possible and if their horses are old, that probably includes limiting the weight of the rider.
I'm sorry you had to experience that rejection, in any case. And for the record, 169lbs isn't that much at all.
The next time I might not mention your weight. People are oftentimes skewed one way or another to what a weight physically appears like. They might be visualizing a much different kind of 169lbs, yknow?
People always assume I'm around 120lbs when they just see me and they are super shocked when I tell them I nearly weight 150lbs.
I doubt they'll have a person-scale at the barn (if they do - sketchy!) and if it's a huge issue for them, they can just ask you weight when they see you. If it doesn't come up, I don't think anything needs to be said.
Good luck finding barn!
If it makes you feel better, I've ben trying to find a barn for lessons and no one wants to take me because I've been riding for quite a while but still want to ride a lesson horse (I don't have a trailer to bring Lacey and even if I did, I want to learn on a horse that knows what it's doing more than I do! Haha).
Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzaner gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat
Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat
Rest peacefully, Lacey.
Last edited by Wallaby; 03-09-2012 at 10:11 PM.