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Some weight carrying thoughts, or questions

This is a discussion on Some weight carrying thoughts, or questions within the Plus Sized Riders forums, part of the The Horse Forum Community category

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        11-07-2012, 02:41 PM
      #41
    Started
    I think one key thing about the rider and the horse is not so much the weight, but the fitness. A seriously obese person who is completely unfit should not ride a horse, even a large fit one, very easily - riding horses is a sport, even a casual trail ride takes a great deal of muscle strength/tone and energy. If you are not fit enough to handle riding you shouldn't. That being said there are a number of heavy people who are very fit. MY fiance is about 250 pounds, he's a bit over 6 feet and built 'sturdy' but he's fit enough to go for a run - or ride a horse.
    The horse's size matters a great deal, but honestly their fitness matters a great deal. A draft horse can easily carry a heavy person, but I've seen a massive number of those drafts - the rent a horse or trail type horses that are used for the heavy visitors - who are not fit and have atrociously swayed backs, simply from being completely unfit - and even they should be ridden by lower weight riders until they are fit enough to handle a heavier rider. But I guess it's hard to measure fitness levels - I'm not heavy, but I know multiple horses and ponies I wouldn't get on simply because I don't feel they're fit enough to carry a rider, yet. At the same time the reverse could be said - a young fit horse could probably comfortably carry a heavy % rider without an issue.

    There are so many variables here I really don't think there's any way to create a formula to base this on. At our therapy program we use the 20% law, but this is considering our horses are not in the best of shape and the riders may have physical or emotional issues that may lead to excessive motion or toll on the horse - so we set it on the lower margin, with some variation depending on each student's needs. I'm only about 17% of my pony's body weight, but I think I'd look like an absolute buffoon riding him xD So again - I feel there are too many variables to really say.
         
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        11-07-2012, 02:51 PM
      #42
    Trained
    Time for a story...

    Way back in the mists of time when I was 16 or 17 my RI in the UK said I could take her very weedy looking bay arab 14hh mare out hunting. I was happy to take her, but thought my 140 pounds might be a bit much, although J said she would be fine. Went on a diet and lost 7 pounds, down to my lowest ever weight, seriously skinny, no shape at all.

    Hunting day dawns and I'm getting Rose ready, and get handed a double bridle, and I'm get told that she is a bit keen and I will need an emergency set of brakes. Just to say about that day, she hardly stood still all day, wanted to be in the first flight if at all possible, and had the nerve to bolt on the way back to the box, and no she wasn't uncomfortable, I was though, everything hurt, my hands were ripped to pieces, having lost my **** gloves at a stop somewhere, madam had started off after hounds before I was ready.

    That day put me off of Arabs for a long time, she started full of go, and just never quit all day. I still laugh when I look at how over the last 3 years I have gathered 2 bay arab mares, and 2 bay half arab mares
         
        11-07-2012, 03:47 PM
      #43
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bluebird    
    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!
    well, with all the rules and regulations, how in the h*** do they explain Aintree then*shakes head*
         
        11-07-2012, 03:51 PM
      #44
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
    well, with all the rules and regulations, how in the h*** do they explain Aintree then*shakes head*
    I am not speaking about horse racing. That is a whole different ball game and I am not entering into a debate about the horrors of that. I am talking about general day to day riding otehrwise we could go on forever.
         
        11-07-2012, 04:29 PM
      #45
    Trained
    This was not meant to be directed at you, it was directed at the folks who come up with rules and regulations.
    And talking about racing is certainly off topic
         
        11-08-2012, 06:42 AM
      #46
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
    This was not meant to be directed at you, it was directed at the folks who come up with rules and regulations.
    And talking about racing is certainly off topic
    I knew you weren't getting at me LOL. Just saying that racing it is a different ball game and they seem to write their own rules as they go along. That area is all about money and nothing to do with welfare of horses in my opinion - although the horses are very well looked after until they have finished racing! I live not far from Epsom (famous horse racing community) and the number of 'broken down' racehorses I see at the age of 3 or 4 is heartbreaking. They used to be shot! But now, some good people are rehoming them as field companions and riding horses. We have two fabulous retired racehorses at the farm where I keep my Clydesdales saved by my horse' wonderful groom. It has taken him the best part of a year to nurse ruptured tendons, sort out bad hooves and get the horses sound enough for riding. These are for an 'experienced' rider only but they are really sweet horses and provide wonderful and fun companionship for my two boys.
         
        11-08-2012, 09:51 AM
      #47
    Trained
    I know, my first horse was a TB off the track, my second also. The last one was given to me because his trainer liked him too much to go to the kill buyer, his owner didn't care. I also took in two off the track standardbreds, worked on a third, but he suddenly died while recovering from an injury. All of them fabulous horses.
    What made me say that is that having these strict animal welfare laws but letting a race like the Grand National even happen, where horses die every year, and who knows how many won't even survive the training, is weird. But laws are made by politicians who have their interests, or no brain, or both....
    Prime example: I had a big argument with the state agricultural commission once. EU law says you can have one large animal unit per hectare on extensive (opposed to intensive) declared pasture. One large animal unit is a cow 2 years or older, or a horse 6 months or older....so they are saying the tiny Shetty foal eats as much as an adult cow?????????
    Bluebird likes this.
         
        11-08-2012, 01:11 PM
      #48
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
    I know, my first horse was a TB off the track, my second also. The last one was given to me because his trainer liked him too much to go to the kill buyer, his owner didn't care. I also took in two off the track standardbreds, worked on a third, but he suddenly died while recovering from an injury. All of them fabulous horses.
    What made me say that is that having these strict animal welfare laws but letting a race like the Grand National even happen, where horses die every year, and who knows how many won't even survive the training, is weird. But laws are made by politicians who have their interests, or no brain, or both....
    Prime example: I had a big argument with the state agricultural commission once. EU law says you can have one large animal unit per hectare on extensive (opposed to intensive) declared pasture. One large animal unit is a cow 2 years or older, or a horse 6 months or older....so they are saying the tiny Shetty foal eats as much as an adult cow?????????
    EU law differs slightly to Uk law. As a rule of thumb you should have 1 acre per horse/cow plus an acre. A 'horse' is defined as an'equine' from the smallest Shetland to the biggest Shire. Basically its a load of bolony and not many people trading in animals adhere to it. The RSPCA and World Horse Welfare are kept quite busy! However, I am going to buy a farm and move from overcrowded Surrey back to the open spaces of Scotland. I intend to have 4-5 horses or possibly 6 or 7 and a few rescues/retired...husband thinks 5 acres will do us (yep that's grand!) but I am looking for about 70-100 acres, possibly more...LOL. Not many places left in England where you will find that much grazing land in one place. LOL
         
        11-08-2012, 01:29 PM
      #49
    Trained
    Old rule, and im talking 30, 40 years ago, was 1 1/2 hectare (roughly 4 acres) for the first horse and 1 hectare for every horse after that to feed them year round, so hay and pasture. Of producing pasture, of course. And I think that's about right, keeping in mind the much shorter growing season in Europe compared to where I am now. We have 8 acres producing, means irrigated, and can, due to the climate, get at least 3 cuttings, if fully irrigated even 5. So im fine with it for my two horses, I might even make a profit from selling the extra hay
    Good Luck finding land. I gave up in Germany and decided to come here
    Bluebird likes this.
         
        11-09-2012, 10:50 AM
      #50
    Trained
    Move out here Bluebird, we were looking at buying 140 acres on the Orkney Islands, then 80 acres north of Aberdeen, ended up buying 1400 acres out here in the prairies, mind you we count acres to a live stock unit, rather than than the other way.
    Bluebird likes this.
         

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