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eventerdrew 02-09-2010 10:14 PM

New weight restrictions on college riding team... opinions?
 
So, the college I will be attending next semester has a hunt seat team, a dressage team, and a western team.

Starting this next semester, there will be a weight restriction on the riders on the hunt seat team (not the dressage or western teams). I looked at the roster for next season (not on it yet, but hopefully will be) and the numbers are significantly down. I can't help but wonder if it is because of this new rule. This new rule also applies to the people taking riding classes as a part of their major.

They call it the Horse and Rider Wellness Policy.

"At the beginning of each semester: During the first ten days of each semester, individuals who wish to participate on the riding teams or in riding classes must meet with the _____ College Athletic Trainer. During that meeting the individual will have a confidential weigh-in session with the athletic trainer. If the individual weighs 200 pounds or more, they will lose their riding privileges. The individual who exceeds the weight limit may still participate with the riding teams and/or classes by participating in constructive, educational alternative activities designed by the coach and/or instructor."

"According to accepted standards in the equine industry, a saddle horse may bear weight up to 20% of its body weight. This guideline is based on consideration of average, middle-age horses that perform light work and of average physical condition. The typical ____ College horse weighs approximately one thousand pounds and is generally older. Additionally, the horses in the College herd are used by a variety of riders on a daily basis increasing the stress on the muscular skeletal system of the horses."

So, if the rider doesn't meet the weight requirement and still wishes to ride, they are required to meet with a trainer once a week until they meet weight.

So, what are your opinions on this new rule? Never heard of it at a college before...

For the record, the rule will not affect me. Just curious on opinions.

horseluver250 02-09-2010 10:21 PM

I think that is horrible and very discriminating! Why only the hunt team? And why can't they find horses for the riders over 200 pounds??
I am rather small myself, but I'd much rather have a 220 pound rider that is well balanced on my horse than have a 90 pound rider that flops all over my horses back!

OdinsOwn 02-09-2010 10:22 PM

Although I guess it was trying to be made for the best interest of the horses, I imagine they should have instituted it for all disciplines if they were that concerned. Even though they won't be jumping in dressage or western...

It seems like a major self esteem downer for any potential riders that may be exempt from riding due to their weight.... Hopefully for the people it does affect it will encourage them to try and get into better physical condition, although I see it doing the opposite in a lot of cases as well. And weight standards aren't always attainable for everyone anyway since not everyone fits into a cookie cutter body type.
Thats very sad :(

kevinshorses 02-09-2010 10:25 PM

Rather it's good policy or not it's almost certainly illegal!

eventerdrew 02-09-2010 10:25 PM

Yeah, I feel bad for the women who are over 200 lbs because I know there were some on the team when I went to visit the college. I have a feeling it will be extended to the other teams as well because it would be kind of unfair if they didn't.

Still excited to be on the team though!

It's hard to get donated horses that aren't older, so I can kind of understand it in that respect. And it's not like they are just dumping the people that can't make weight. They get them with a trainer, a meal plan, and try to make it work however they can.

Honeysuga 02-09-2010 10:28 PM

I think it is only fair. It is an athletic team after all and they are representing the school. And they aren't saying you can't ride period, they have a trainer you can meet with to help you meet the requirements. And the weigh ins are private, so no one has to know you didn't meet the requirements. My verdict: I agree with the rule.

Even if it is technically not legal and discriminating, they can always use the BMI and make it a required part of the physical that is necessary to be on the team(which will still rule out a good deal if not all of the riders that would be affected by the 200lb rule), they did this at my highschool with every athletic team, and it was very legal...

eventerdrew 02-09-2010 10:31 PM

^ That's what I think, too Honeysuga.

They are old horses with several different riders a day. I think they are just trying to get their riders to think of themselves as athletes more.

OdinsOwn 02-09-2010 10:34 PM

In that case then maybe they should institute the same nutritional and training guidelines for all members of the team regardless of current body condition if they haven't already. Someone can be very tiny and every bit not as healthy as someone who is larger.

eventerdrew 02-09-2010 10:36 PM

That's true, Odin's Own. Maybe they will start doing that to make it an even playing field.

Just found out that it DOES apply to the western and dressage teams as well.

horseluver250 02-09-2010 10:46 PM

Just wondering, are there any requirements besides just weight? (like height/weight ratios) What would they do if a very tall muscular man wanted to ride? I know some men who easily clear 200 pounds and are not "fat". Would they be required to loose their muscle mass in order to ride?


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