Rider weight vs various methods - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-07-2012, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Rider weight vs various methods

OK, so I have been doing research about rider weight ve how to determine what horse to ride. Now, this got more real for me because I have been turned away from lessons because of my weight (more than once now). (so you know I am a big boned muscular person. Still some overweight (260) but will never get below 230 because of my build.)

So looking at the various methods 20% of the horses weight, 30% for pleasure, (horses weight+rider and tack weight)/cannon perimeter. Look at an interesting correlation (score under 80 is acceptable):

Horse WeightRider + TackCannon PerimeterScore% of weight9003007.58033%90030087533%9003008.57133%90030096733%10003007.58730%100030088130%10003008.57630%100030097230%11003007.59327%110030088827%11003008.58227%110030097827%11003009.57427%12003007.510025%120030089425%12003008.58825%120030098325%12003009.57925%1200300107525%13003007.510723%1300300810023%13003008.59423%130030098923%13003009.58423%1300300108023%130030010.57623%1300300117323%

Now I just need to figure out what typical cannon measurements are for various horses. But, I find the numbers interesting.
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-07-2012, 10:10 AM
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So Mike-- I can't pretend to understand your maths, but I can suggest a few things.
First, I presume you are tall, but even if you are not-- I would be looking for a Draft or Draft cross with substantial 'bone'. eg a diameter of 10inches. Known as a 'heavyweight hunter' in my part of the world- this refers to horse type, not the rider!!
You should look for something like a Clydesdale or Irish Draft.
I can't speak for riding establishments in your area, but it is possible to find that here- so don't give up.
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-07-2012, 10:12 AM
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hi Mike nice to meet you

Country Woman

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post #4 of 14 Old 06-07-2012, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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The table did not come out right, so let me attach this as a text file. Sorry for the inconvenience. But, the information is very interesting still
Attached Files
File Type: txt horse weight vs scoring.txt (717 Bytes, 63 views)
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-07-2012, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Don't get me wrong, I completely understand that I need to ride a bigger horse (it is also why I ride a large motorcycle). I expect a quarterhorse, paint, or some cross (with the right conformation). I do believe conformation is the key. Example, I can hike for miles with a 150 lb backpack (properly loaded and balanced) (57% of my weight), however my 130 lb girlfriend can only carry 25 lb (19% of her weight) the same distance. I am better built to carry the weight.

I just built the above spreadsheet to help determine what I needed for conformation. But it surprised me that as the weight of the horse goes up (making the 25% rule better) the conformation calculation starts to fail (or at least demonstrate the importance of conformation).
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-08-2012, 04:49 PM
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Hi there Mike.
You sound so much like my husband who is an engineer!!
Look-- yes, perhaps a stock breed could carry you. You need something that has a fairly short back and looks a bit like an outhouse- (a leg at each corner). The back should be level with a strong loin and good depth from the hip to the point of buttock. Similar for shoulder. The same rules apply, really, no matter your build, in terms of ideal 'sound' confirmation.
It is probably true that confirmation faults tend to 'increase ' with the size of the horse- just like structural integrity is harder to maintain the larger the building.
I have never looked at a horse as a mathematical equation before though, although I am aware that there is a similar analysis of breeding stock on the continent.
I recommended a Draft breed as the tend to have sufficient bone, be shorter coupled and have good temperaments. In the case of Irish Draughts, they are also quite athletic, competing to World Cup / Olympic level in showjumping for example.
Good luck.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-08-2012, 08:18 PM
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drafts are built to pull not to carry. Look for a short back stocky QH, or a big walker. I have an 1100 lb 16 hand walker that would carry you all day long. DOnt get caught up in the 20% percent nonsense 100 lb girls like to regurgitate. I am 220 and have hundreds and hundreds of miles on a 15 hand 900lb TWH. Including most recently a 50 mile completion with huge climbs.

fact, in an era when most horses were barely 14 hands, a "Horse weight" was a standard measurement equal to 200 lbs.
fact the hardest endurance ride in the country the Tevis cup 100 miler. There is no correlation between rider to horse weight and winners, nor between riders to horse weight and those that were pulled. All about confirmation and conditioning.

The 20% rule comes from a cavalry study by a man who admittedly hated men and loved horses. The 20% was about what a horse could carry all day every day and only eat at night and not break down over months and months of campaigning. SOmewhere along the lines someone read the first sentence of the study and repeat it completely out of context as the gospel.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-08-2012, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Joe, the funny thing is I have been reading the studies, some are ridiculous (studied 8 "light riding horses" and concluded something broad from that). I am an Engineer and was trained to be critical and to be a critical and logical thinker, to question every assumption and conclusion. The studies have not been well thought out or conclusive. The well touted study the Cavalry did in 1920 I have not been able to find (and if I can't find it then I assume most of the others on the internet that regurgitate it have never read it either). However, what I have read about the study says it was better done than many of the others I have read, it was performed using 100 cavalry horses selected at random. The test conditions were that the horse had to walk/run/trot various distances throughout the day and at specified time be able to gallop for a specific distance. The goal was to make sure the horses could at any time gallop to get the soldier out of harms way. The saddle bags were loaded with lead weights to simulate the required test weights.

There was another study done with 357 endurance riders that concluded after *I think* 50 or 100 mile race that 30% was the max weight a horse should carry for **that type** of riding. I am not finished reading and studying the subject as I do find it very interesting both the problem statement (how much weight can a horse safely carry) and the way people react to the poorly done studies.

When this is all done and I do purchase a horse it will be with me well informed and prepared to make a proper decision. I will assure you the horse will not be anything less than a stocky QH at the minimum.
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-08-2012, 10:20 PM
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Hi Mike, would it be possible for you to edit your first post,
get rid of the really long line that is stretching the thread and add your text document as an attachment there?
The stretched thread is hard to read.

As for the topic, this is quite interesting and I wish I understood math better.
I am 5'10 and around 250lbs ish. I ride a Trakehner mare who has a nice solid body.
She doesn't seem to mind carrying me around on her back, but I am getting better at holding myself.
I had the same problem, I was told if I wanted to ride at their barn I had to lose some weight.
I pretty much stopped looking for a lesson barn after that. I eventually found found my current barn through my old riding instructor.
If you keep looking you are bound to find a place to take you eventually. Hell just email a bunch of stables in the area and explain your situation if you want.
Send them a picture too, sometimes they hear the number and imagine someone who is huge even if they arent.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-08-2012, 10:43 PM
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I really does depend on how well you ride, too. I am just a hair over 200 lbs. But, though I am not a great rider, I can carry my weight reasonabley well. I take responsibility for it and don't flump around on his back . I usually post the trot because my sitting trot just isn't good enough to be fair to the horse. Posting, I can move with the horse well and be less of a burden than a 130 rider who is all over the place.
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