Riding at 30%, 25%, and 20% yoour mounts body weight. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-09-2012, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Riding at 30%, 25%, and 20% your mounts body weight.

I have ridden my mare at 30% of her weight for regular short times and have been dieting for 4 months now and I am back down to 25% of her weight. Do you think I would be ok to ride her for 30-45 mins everyday just in the walk on flat ground? With 15 mins lunging to build her fitness up again? My sharer has been riding her on the weekends to keep her going through the winter. Or should I wait till I lose more weight?

I am missing riding so much it is starting to make me depressed.I just want to go for a gentle hack around my paddocks most days.

In the long term I aim to be under 20% of her weight to be able to do longer hack for nights away and weekends etc.In the long term I want to lose weight so I can do some long distance riding and some of the shorter Endurance rides. That is what keeps me working out 3 times a week and healthy eating to achieve my goals.

She is a fully fit and mature 12 year old mare.


..37 hours 20 mins totaĺ 2016 !!! .2017..7 hour 15 mins

Last edited by Fellpony; 02-09-2012 at 05:48 PM.
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-09-2012, 07:38 PM
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I am anywhere between 30% and 25% with my weight. I ride my horse(conditioned)about 4-6 hours on a ride regularly, not just flats but steep hills, cricks etc. It depends on how centered you are and your horses conformation. I commend you on getting healthier. It has been a struggle for me since childhood, always been a little chunky. I think your horse will be fine. Keep riding!

Last edited by goneriding; 02-09-2012 at 07:42 PM.
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-09-2012, 07:44 PM
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If you have been riding her for short rides then start building it up. Monitor her carefully, she will let you know if you are going to fast.

CONGRATULATIONS on your weight loss
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-09-2012, 08:10 PM
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Many horses are great at carrying weight. Heck, shetland ponies can carry full grown men all day. They are considered the strongest of all equines.

As for weight.....it is not so much HOW MUCH weight is on the horse, but how is the weight being used.

I have had some plus sized riders who have the lightest seat in the saddle. Their weight is used very constructively. In cases like this, a horse can likely carry a higher percentage of their own weight.

On the other side, I have had some leaner riders who had a very HEAVY seat and they used their weight destructively. Their horses will not be happy, whatever the rider's weight.

So, riders of all weights just need to learn how to ride with their horses and not against them.
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-10-2012, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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I am getting back in the saddle tommorrow and building up the riding times :)
Even though we have snow forecast I am looking forward to riding again.I am only going to be walking.I shall start in my paddocks then work my way upto doing road work hacking. I have no plans to do faster work till I have lost more weight

I have so missed riding and reading about everybody else riding since sept, At the gym I have been working on my leg strength since I started so with luck I won't ache as much

I am so excited I will almost burst.


..37 hours 20 mins totaĺ 2016 !!! .2017..7 hour 15 mins
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-10-2012, 04:49 PM
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Also, I think different breeds can carry different percentages . For example, arabs are not usually very heavy horses, but they are able to carry porportionally more weight than say a thoroughbred. And I think the native pony breeds of Britain are extraordinarily strong as a ratio to their weight.

You are so thoughtful of your horse's well being. You will know when you ride her if she is being overtaxed. Good luck!
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post #7 of 22 Old 02-10-2012, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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This was when I first got her two years ago I was maybe 30% her riding weight then. I have worked very hard in the gym these last 3 months to get just under 25%.

This was me back them remember though when I bought her she was a mother/daughter share with my daughter who was 13 at the time. I rode school days and my daughter rode holidays. Now my daughter has her own Fell pony to ride.

And now Eva is my pony fully I want to lose the weight so we can fulfil some of the things I would like us to do Like LDR. Endurancee rides. Le Trec

Here is us when I first got her.

When I get down to 20% I will do some new photos of us.


..37 hours 20 mins totaĺ 2016 !!! .2017..7 hour 15 mins

Last edited by Fellpony; 02-10-2012 at 05:22 PM.
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-10-2012, 06:02 PM
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horses can carry alot more than 20% of their weight. Yes I know many people on this forum feel like only munchkins should be riding draft horses, Anything else would just be unbearable.
The 20% thing comes from a cavalry study, basically at 20 percent load a horse could go all day every day, for months and months at a time. People extrapolated from this and like to regurgitate that a horse can only carry 20 percent, ever ,
I endurance race on a horse and am approaching 30 percent load with tack. Guess I am just abusive, so is every western rider that isnt riding a Clydesdale.
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-11-2012, 12:18 AM
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you said it Joe

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post #10 of 22 Old 02-11-2012, 09:55 PM
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AMEN!! I honestly have never felt "put down" for being a larger rider except here on this forum. there are some people that think only slim persons should be allowed to ride. I never really thought about it until i came here.... Now i see the sideways snide comments that some people make I find it pretty offensive and hurtful.

Its a wonder that in the middle ages when knights went into battle in full armor their horses didn't break down under them.... and what about the ponies that the Norsemen rode. they were tiny and carries full sized riders and their packs.

My instructor says i have one of the most quiet and balanced seats of any student she has ever had and nice soft hands too, but some people seem to think none of that matters if you don't weigh 125 which i never will....


"Action cures Fear, take a small risk every day". Jane Savoie
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