How much weight can MY horse carry? How much does SHE weigh?
I've read a bunch of different threads on this, but decided that I should just join this website (since I spend so much time reading it anyways) and ask for my specific case.
I'm trying to decide how much weight my horse can carry. I know the 20% rule and have read pretty much every point of view on this issue. The problem is, I'm not sure how much she weighs, so I'll tell you all the relevant information I know and let you guys tell me what you think!
My horse is an 18 year old (she's healthy and sound) quarter horse (which are known for their weight-carrying abilities). I don't know exactly how tall she is, but I think she's around 15 hands (her withers are about level with the middle of my face, and I'm 5'4). I'm not sure of her weight (she seems to be of average weight for her size - she's not especially slim or stocky, and doesn't have a very wide chest). She's not very big boned, but she's not especially fine boned either.
My first question is: How much do you think she weighs? Best estimate?
I don't think I'm too big for her (I weigh 150 to 155) - she seems absolutely fine with me (I'm just getting her back into shape (well, I'm riding her, but not very hard)...she's a rescue and she used to do barrel racing (so she's obviously used to hard work) but then once she came to my barn she was only very occasionally ridden, for maybe a month and half until I started riding her - and on this topic: she was too skinny when she came in (her old owners didn't take good care of her)). She wasn't extremely emaciated (like some of the other rescues we've gotten), but she was still much too skinny. She's been on a weight gaining supplement and started to really fill out once I started to spend time with her. Right now she's around at a healthy weight. I don't work her hard (I ride for less than an hour and have still more or less stuck to a walk so far - soon we'll trot).
So here's my second question - my parents might start riding her (once she gets more mellowed out (even though in my opinion she's good now...at least while being ridden!)). My dad weighs around 180 (I THINK - I'll find out soon and update this thread!). Definitely less than 200 pounds. My Mom weighs around 160, I think (again, I'll update this accurately as soon as I find out exactly). They'll be doing light riding as well. Will it be okay? I just want to make sure we don't strain her or make her uncomfortable at all!
Addition detail: I ride bareback, and they'll be doing the same.
Thanks for the help! :D
Here are the photos of her:
http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/a...8/DSCF8200.jpg (This one is actually slightly misleading...I must've had my down or something - she's not that tall)
*Also, I didn't see any rules limiting the size of photos...are there any? If there are I can resize these right away!
I didn't know about my horse either and didnt want to take him to be weighed. (the vet will do it or at a weigh station)
I bought a horse height/weight tape. Its a plastic tape measure that has the hands on one side and the weight on the other. It cost all of $5~(at Tractor Supply) You can probably get it most anywhere.
My horse (also 18 yr old QH) shocked me weighing 1084 lbs. and was 15.2 hands. Its really easy to use without having to guess. (It's not 100% accurate but a good estimate)
Hope this helps~
First off, welcome to the forum :D.
For a pretty typical QH that is her height and a standard size, I would guess that her weight would likely be between 1000 and 1200 pounds. You can buy one of those flexible weight tapes at pretty much any tack store and, while they aren't perfectly accurate, they can at least give you an idea and they work well for tracking weight gain/loss.
Barring any health issues such as back problems, there should be no reason at all that she can't carry everyone comfortably for as long as they want and doing whatever they want. And, the more work she gets and the fitter she gets, it will be easier for her to carry more weight.
Thank you both! Very helpful.
I'll try to find weight tape.
It's great that everyone here is so nice!
Wow, she's beautiful and her coloring is stunning. Is she blind in her right eye or is that just a trick of the camera?
That horse should be easily able to carry your dad, even with a saddle. Of course, it will be better when she is conditioned and strengthened and if you dad knows how to ride and can carry his weight well, this makes a HUGE difference. I am a bit rider, but I think that I am able to carry my weight pretty well so that I am not too burdensome to my horse.
Thank you, smrobs and tinyliny! I've very partial to her myself. ;)
(I personally love her dorsal stripe! :))
Good eye on your part - she is blind in her right eye (I'm guessing it's moon blindness but it happened before she came to my barn so I'm not sure), but sometimes I forget she is, because most of the time she acts just like any other horse! Sometimes she'll get nervous when I have her out of her stall - she'll do circles around me (trying to take everything in) - but all in all she functions remarkably well. :)
Assuming you're right about her height, I agree with the others. I'd guess her weight to be pushing 1100 lbs, and carrying any of the listed riders shouldn't be a problem. She's a pretty mare, and reasonably well built, which of course helps her weight-carrying capacity. I did want to point out a couple points you didn't ask about, however. One, she's in need of a good visit from the farrier, or a change in trimming protocol. Her toes are too long and need to be brought back. That will help her to move better and in turn help her ride/ carry weight better. Two, the bit you have in her mouth really isn't all that great, and while it's totally irrelevant to the topic at hand, I think you'll find a better, more responsive horse if you switch bits!
One thing I forgot to mention on the issue of her build is that she does seem to have a slightly longer back than other horses of her build; I know short backs are better for weight-carrying abilities.
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