Some weight carrying thoughts, or questions - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 79 Old 11-07-2012, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
I'm still thinking about this, while dieting to be able to ride my girls, some more things to think about....

I have seen quoted often the following...

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Comparably, a study of 374 competitive trail riding horses compared horse/rider weight relationships. They concluded that these horses can easily carry over 30% of their body weight for 100 miles and not only compete, but compete well. As would be expected, good body condition and bone structure were found to be paramount. Bone structure was evaluated using the front leg cannon bones as representative of general structure.

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But I can't find the original study, or any citation of it, your thoughts? Does anyone know where this came from?


Then I find 'people', not experts, saying that Arabs can carry 25% to 30% of their weight thoughts? It is always said that Arabs can carry a heavier load than other horses, because of their short backs, what are you thoughts on this one?
I still wouldn't let my Clydedale carry anyone who was morbidly obese like that horrific photo you posted of that guy. I think the issue is that all horses are different (within reason). It depends ont he fitness of the horse, the size and weight ratio of the rider etc. I would take that article about a horse carrying 30% above its body weight with alarge pinch of salt. It is someones theory. In the UK we don't allow horses to over work themselves. If they are pulling a carriage, their limit is 7-10 miles then they are rested. On a 'hack' we do maximum 1.5 to 2 hours on a fit horse then rest them. Heavy schooling we don't do more than an hour, regardless of rider weight (as long as the weight of the rider is in context with the size and weight of the horse). I have seen some really horrific vids on YouTube of some extremely overweight american people trying to get on and ride horses that are way too small. They are egged on by their 'slimmer friends'. To us in the UK, videos like that would draw the attention of the RSPCA as it is genuinely classed as animal cruelty. Our laws are much stricter over the pond. People will make of that what they may. If you are too overweight, you should always put the welfare of the animal above your own selfishness. If you are just chunky, like me, make sure your horse fits you and your weight. As I said, I am 5ft 3 and weigh about 12 stone (168lbs) aprrox. I ride an 18.1 hh Clydesdale and I have ridden a 16.2 cob type horse with no problems. I was once given a 15hh Arab to try and refused to get on it because I knew I would be too heavy for it. Whatever, enjoy your riding and try and watch your weight so you and your beautiful horse can continue to enjoy it.
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post #32 of 79 Old 11-07-2012, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
Well, Arabs do have one less vertebrae and denser bone. That together makes for a healthier structure. They are smaller, also. So center of gravity plays a role. Just like the shorter weight lifter can handle more in comparison to his height than the tall one. I think
I still wouldn't let anyone who was obviously obese get on an arab no matter what people say. Not good for the horse!
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post #33 of 79 Old 11-07-2012, 01:33 PM
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This 15hand Arab would have carried you easily over 100 miles and then some, trust me.
I firmly believe, the taller and heavier the horse, the less weight you can add on.
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post #34 of 79 Old 11-07-2012, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
This 15hand Arab would have carried you easily over 100 miles and then some, trust me.
I firmly believe, the taller and heavier the horse, the less weight you can add on.
Disagree about the taller, heavier horse taking less weight. I am talking about genuine heavy draft horses. Nothing stronger LOL. I am sure any good horse would do amazing things and carry someone 100 miles over several days/weeks. Its all relative though and I can't see even the best arab carrying someone who weighs 25 stone for 100 miles LOL.
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post #35 of 79 Old 11-07-2012, 01:45 PM
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That would be a little exaggerated, lol....but you could easily ride an Arab.
And the pic posted here of the guy on the gray....I would've put the horse on him
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post #36 of 79 Old 11-07-2012, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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OK, here is a 15hh Arab, who is is very thick and chunky in her build, even under the extra weight she is carrying here



I will have to get a set of conformation shots of her. I estimate that she will be 1000 pounds at a fit weight...............which leads my mind into another direction, as she loses the fat, but builds muscle will she actually stay the same weight but be healthier?.........20% would mean that she can carry 200 pounds of rider and tack, but I believe that she could actually carry more, how much more I don't know.

I come back to the thing that I wonder about, the Fells and Highlanders in England, together with a lot of the native breeds would have been carrying more than 20% a lot of the time. Are we more enlightened now, or have we bred out some of the weight carrying ability?

If we are saying 20% rule, but then we are saying that Arabs, Pasos, native ponies, Icelandics etc, are better weight carriers can they exceed the 20% rule and by how much? If they can't then why do we say they are better.

Some people are making a lot of riding big drafty types, while others are saying that drafts are actually a bad choice because they were bred to pull not carry, how do we add that in the equation, because for sure an 2000 pound shire horse would not want to be carrying 20% around a 400 pound person.
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post #37 of 79 Old 11-07-2012, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluebird View Post
If you are just chunky, like me, make sure your horse fits you and your weight. As I said, I am 5ft 3 and weigh about 12 stone (168lbs) aprrox. I ride an 18.1 hh Clydesdale and I have ridden a 16.2 cob type horse with no problems. I was once given a 15hh Arab to try and refused to get on it because I knew I would be too heavy for it. Whatever, enjoy your riding and try and watch your weight so you and your beautiful horse can continue to enjoy it.

Well, you missed out on a great opportunity. While I beleive that there IS a limit , and some of those You Tube videos make my blood boil, 168 lbs is nowhere near too much for a 15hh Arab! nowhere near. Seriously.

15hh arab is a standard size for most Polish arabs. grown Men ride them all the time and I guarantee you, they weight more than 168lbs.
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post #38 of 79 Old 11-07-2012, 02:03 PM
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I remember well from my warmblood times that some horses were considered weight carriers and others not. And we're talking warmblood height, 16.2 and up. The weight carriers were rarely any taller than the others, but heavier boned and wide. Now that was 30, 40 years ago, before all the 20% craze.

While I would not put 200lbs on a 16.2, narrow, fine boned TB, that little mare, I think, could handle it. Although she looks a little in the fine-boned side, maybe due to her markings.
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post #39 of 79 Old 11-07-2012, 02:05 PM
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And, lets not forget, conditioning plays a big role. When the horse is carrying it's weight on the hind end and comes up in his back, it will have less problems carrying than the horse who is not collected properly.
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post #40 of 79 Old 11-07-2012, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
Well, you missed out on a great opportunity. While I beleive that there IS a limit , and some of those You Tube videos make my blood boil, 168 lbs is nowhere near too much for a 15hh Arab! nowhere near. Seriously.

15hh arab is a standard size for most Polish arabs. grown Men ride them all the time and I guarantee you, they weight more than 168lbs.
She looks a very well rounded arab in the photo and looking at her, I would say that she could carry me. The one I was presented with had a much lighter frame! It really is a matter of opinion on what horses can and can't carry and I said before, every horse is different. We have so many more rules and regulations in the UK than you do in the States around animal welfare. And I am not suggesting for one minute that any of you are wrong to do what you do with your horses. Its just different for us as horses are not as integrated into our every day lives anymore as they are over in the USA, Australia and Canada. It is a real pity!
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