Some weight carrying thoughts, or questions
Since we had the invasion of the English I followed the trail back to their home and have been chatting with them. Like most boards there are the polite, and the not so polite, the odd troll like person, and lots of people who genuinely believe that they are right.
We have been having a spirited debate, with a fair amount of thread drift on the following question.
Now people are 100% that the guy on the grey is underhorsed.
I think that they are 100% that I am to big for Willow.
For Ben there are those who are vehement that I am damaging him by riding him.
A large % who say to big, and if he was my horse I wouldn't let you ride.
A very small % who think that for the work we are doing we are OK.
Hang on a minute, post 2 coming up
So today I went out and weigh taped everyone, and this is what I found and what I posted over there:
On actual measures Ben stands 16.2hh on 9" of bone, he was bought as 17hh, but I have never found the other 2"
His calculated weight is 1386 pounds, though I really must take him over the weighbridge one of these days to get an actual weight.
So 20% would put him carrying 278 pounds, with rounding, so in reality with in a couple of weeks I will be at 20%, a couple of weeks more to allow for tack etc.
Currently my tack and I will be at 23% of his bodyweight, so for 3% you wanmt to crucify me for walking him for 20 mins 2 or 3 times a weekhttp://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forum...s/confused.gif Or maybe my maths are worse than I thought.
Willow, pictured in OP, is 15.2hh standing on 7.5 inches of bone
She weighs in at 1125, so 28% of her weight, so yes, work to do there.
Emmy is the interesting one, Polish Arab, standing 15hh on 8" of bone and rock hard feet.
According to the weight calculation she comes out at 1096, which I frankly find hard to believe, but she is very short compared to her girth, so nearly 30% for her.
Of all of them though Emmy is most compact, short back, well sprung, and tough as nails Arab, I often see it said that Arabs are better weight carriers so do we do the maths different for them? I have no intention of runing out there and riding her, it is a genuine question.
I am so NOT looking for any validations here, just interested in the general feelings from this side of the pond
Also, don't forget that conditioning is an important variable. A horse that is in good condition can carry more. So, you will work on building up Ben's carrying capacity by conditioning him little by little.
True, we will be working on it
I think the 20% rule is a good guideline, but its much more important to look at the overall conformation, fitness and bone structure of the horse.
I ride a 17hh, 1600lb spotted draft for work, and even though my weight + tack under the 20% rule is a min of 1050lbs horse... this horse is MUCH larger and I would NOT put anyone larger than myself on him, I am definitely at his upper weight limit not only because he's 5 years old and growing but his conformation is just plain terrible. Myself on him
He has gained weight since this picture was taken (in July) and probably grown some, but this is the only pic I have of him from the side (excuse his filthyness... he's a pigpen):
As you can see, he's got a LONG back and at 5 its already curvier than I'd like to see. His feet are small for his size as well (he's a draft size 3 shoe), he has a very narrow chest as well and a narrow frame in general. though he IS a draft horse, he's a pretty terrible weight carrier.
On the other hand our new horse is the same breed (spotted draft) is 16hh and probably only about 1300lbs (he needs about 100lbs of weight, we got him from the dealer skinnier than i like a horse to be). He's 6 years old and has MUCH better confirmation than our 5 year old for carrying weight. He has a wide-set frame, short cannons and a compact back. His shoe size is a draft size 4 so bigger feet than our other guy as well. I don't have a pic of him from the side, but you can see he's just a TANK:
When he gets up to a good weight around (1400-1450lbs) i'd have no problem having someone as large as 350lbs on his back simply because his conformation and build dictates that he is a very good weight carrier.
Haflingers are also great weight carriers. My haflinger is a fit and healthy 900lbs at 14hh, but he carries me well because of how he's built. Thick cannons, short back (my 18" dressage saddle is as large as he can take) and he has excellent confirmation for moderate weight carrying as well. HOWEVER, because he is of the "sportier" variety of a haflinger, his upper weight limit is probably around 225 with tack... so I'm almost there.
Another haflinger I ride regularly is 13.2hh. Although a fairly obese 1100lbs his frame at a healthier weight would still be around 1000lbs because he's built with a wider frame and stockier bones than my haflinger.
As he is right now I think his max weight is around 300lbs, but if he were in better shape, I think he wouldn't have a problem with 350lbs.
Obviously I'm no vet... but what any well educated horse person knows about bone structure, confirmation and fitness you can make an educated guess as to what that particular horse will be able to handle. Of course, there are individuals out there who don't take that into account... but we can only educate and not humiliate!
If you as an individual, feel you are not as fit and as balanced as you would like to be as far as riding goes, than select a horse that is not at the lower end of your weight range, but rather one that will be able to support you well as you reach your fitness goals. A stout draft or draft cross like my 6 year old horse at work, or the stockier haflinger... would be a good choice if you are 250lbs+
"Since we had the invasion of the English "
Darn it! Did I miss it?! Were they wearing scarlet and blowing horns?
Hubba Bubba, I like this guy
So you would rate the stocky haffy at carrying over 30% of his fit weight?
What about Arabs, anyone got any input on them?
I think you really need to take the breed/conformation of the horse into account.
My friend rescued a couple of Shetland ponies. We were looking at them today and discussing the possibility of breaking one and I said that I would be brave enough to get on if she got her trained up to that point, after all she wouldn't really be able to fling me considering how big I am compared to her.
Uh no, after 2mins of math we determined that 20% of the 650lbs this pony weighs is 140lbs, so she could carry me + 30lbs of tack. Not only would I look REALLY ridiculous on this tiny pony but considering she does not have the typical wider, heavyset pony build, there is no way I would consider riding her on a regular basis even though I would pass the 20% rule.
Zero qualms though about riding her Welsh cob that's 8" taller and *should* be about 200lbs heavier. He has the typical wider than a house build and big, sturdy feet. The dork had zero problems bolting across a field at a dead run with me today and he's a good 300+lbs overweight and horrifically out-of-shape! Today was supposed to be a slow, short walk to start getting him into shape..... :?
Birdz, did you get to buy Ares?!?! I'm excited for you!
I agree that condition on both the part of the horse AND rider is also a big factor in the weight carrying ability of a horse.
The 20% rule IS a good place to start if you aren't sure, but really, employing common sense is a pretty big factor here and has nothing to do with your weight.
I am a big advocate for a strong, short back, short loin coupling and good bone density, but I also recently posted on my blog that I feel that for the safety of the rider, they should be doing some other kind of work besides just riding - even if it is just walking, if they are just beginning to ride.
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