Too big for your horse short-term damage or ok for a little while? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 07-21-2013, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Too big for your horse short-term damage or ok for a little while?

Reading the thread about that 10% study has me all nervous. I will NEVER be 100-120 pounds (and don't have/don't want a draft horse), and it's going to be tough for me to get to even 15% any time soon. I've always just trusted my trainers and experienced barn-mates to help me decide what horses I can ride.

I'm 5'5" and 260lbs with good balance. Recently, I've been riding a 15.1/1200 Appy (average build, a little chunky), which my trainer assigned to me when I started taking lessons with her. Then I leased a gypsy cross who's 15.1/1400.

I just bought a paint who's 15.2/1150. He's 10, very healthy, lots of energy and fairly stout (people joke he looks like a draft x) nothing dainty about him. That puts me at 22.6% right now, and I've been losing weight. The weight I hope to arrive at soon would put me at about 15-16%.

So my you think being heavier than recommended for a year or so would do any damage to a healthy horse? I wouldn't ride him at 25 at my current weight, but it seems like it should be ok for now as long as he doesn't seem uncomfortable. What do you think?

This is my boy:

"...and may your life be filled with good horses." Buck Brannaman

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post #2 of 48 Old 07-21-2013, 05:29 AM
Green Broke
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ok first thing you need to do is flush all the percent business out of your brain. let me ask you this, you say you are 260 lbs, you think you can wear body armor, ammo, helmet, and an 80 pound ruck like a 160 lb male infantry soldier can all day ?
Bone, fitness,, back and general confirmation determine what a horse can comfortably carry, NOT WEIGHT. That 20 % nonsense was created by an idiot bureaucrat army officer, who couldnt lead a cavalry unit out of a wet paper bag, he later became a full General and his manual has been getting quoted like its the word of God ever sense. IT is complete 100% malarky
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post #3 of 48 Old 07-21-2013, 08:48 AM
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Yep, another arbitrary number. We just have to have a number for everything don't we? Under, good.....over...bad....

Joed pegged it...
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post #4 of 48 Old 07-21-2013, 08:55 AM
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Thanks for these answers. I too am a plus size rider. I've always just gotten off to give her a break every hour or so. I've always been very disheartened by those "numbers" too, thinking I was hurting my beloved Vida. I have just dropped 30 lbs so maybe I can add more tack. Hey, does that mean shopping?!

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #5 of 48 Old 07-21-2013, 09:01 AM
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Excuse me while I drool for a moment... I love that paint!

Honestly, I don't pay attention to percentages all. Just watch the horse. He'll tell you if it's too much. Make sure you have a good fitting saddle that leaves even sweat marks. Watch while you're riding for heavy breathing or excessive back stretching and watch for soreness after.

As long as he is comfortable I'd go for it! Enjoy your new guy!
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post #6 of 48 Old 07-21-2013, 09:49 AM
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Your horse is adorable. Forget all that percentage crap. When I was a kid growing up, nobody ever heard of percentages, horses were horses and put here to work for us. That said, I don't mean load 'em up like a Uhaul truck to haul furniture but he's not getting hurt by a well balanced rider. I'd take a 260 lb rider who is well balanced, with good seat and hands over a 100 lb sack of ........anyhow rider, any day in the week.
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post #7 of 48 Old 07-21-2013, 11:23 AM
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Such a limit is understood as a general guideline and should have some flexibility according to your skill level, 260 lbs, plus the 30 or so pounds of the tack, is a fair amount of weight for a horse to carry. one cannot deny that. If this new horse is not used to carrying that weight, then it's important to condition him slowly, and do a lot of walking before you move up a gait.
Also, it's even more critical that the saddle be an excellent fit when the horse is carrying more weight.

I haven't heard any 10% rule, only the "20%" rule.
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post #8 of 48 Old 07-21-2013, 04:40 PM
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Military horses were ridden all day. That is why the weight restrictions. Joe if you look at old war pics those guys were all slim. Today's horses are ridden part time and by much heavier riders. Most vets will tell you it's hard on the horse's joints. Most overweight people are needing knee surgery by 45yrs of age so what does that tell you? It's doing the same to the horse.
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post #9 of 48 Old 07-21-2013, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, swimminchikin and Dreamcatcher, I'll pass the compliments on to Sam ;)

And thanks to all for the info and opinions. I think I will just pay close attention to his health and try my absolute best to drop the weight!

"...and may your life be filled with good horses." Buck Brannaman

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post #10 of 48 Old 07-22-2013, 01:58 PM
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sammysmom.. lots of good advice, it is hard to lose weight, and good luck ! and its great that you have already dropped some lbs.
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