Need Advice To Give Advice
Well my friend and I at her facilities have started a training business. We have a few clients and everything has been going well. we got this horse though that came for 90 days training and she is 5 years old built big about 16 hands, big chest big butt, but she has very very weak feet. I had my farrier out at the beginning of her training to watch her trot around becausei sensed something was wrong in one of her legs. He said he shes her lame in her front foot and its really not bad like on a scale of 1 to 10 he said its about a 1 he put pads on her front feet and said just keep the routine. Well, Now i face the problem of telling the owners they are too big for her. they are pretty heavy. I think long term it will make her go completely lame and idk if she'll even stand for them to get on. I weigh about 113 pounds and they at least triple my weight. How do i tell them they are too big without offending them?
Hmmm... well, for one thing if they are 330 lbs, they are having difficulty walking unless they are 6'8". I doubt they weight that much. A horse can carry quite a bit of weight, but it's the psi under the saddle that causes problems more than weight in most cases. Unless the farrier or vet recommends that the horse not carry more than 200 lbs, why not look at changing tack? A really well fitting saddle that distributes the weight properly may be enough.
Of course, the horse may need some time to recover from whatever is/has been causing the lameness.
I guess what I'm saying is: don't blame the problem utterly on the weight of the riders unless you know how much the rider(s) weight and you have a vet or farrier's opinion/recommendation, in writing, to back you up.
By the way ime really not trying to offend anyone In this case if disgust anyone in any way shape or form thats my problem is i say things in ways that make it sound offensive. So ime Sorry if i made things sound bad.
What about having the vet or farrier write something up, or have them contact the owners with their concerns?
I think it would be wise to investigate the lameness issue further with a good vet.
A big 16hh horse should be able to carry a fair weight. Most big people are concious of there weight and the limitations it puts on them. They've probably bought this horse because she is big and solid so you should have something solid to back up your opinion.
Your not being offensive in asking about this, we understand your concern for the horse. And as someone who had a horse with intermittent lameness that turned out to be navicular I really encourage you to get this checked out. A lot of these problems can be better managed if they're diagnosed early.
I would definately find the cause for lameness before would go off telling the owners that they are "too big" for this horse. First off it wouldn't be a wise business decision. And word of mouth could very easily kill your budding business. Secondly as stated before a good strong 15h horse can easily carry a 300# man if the tack is well fitting so I don't necessarily think that the owners weight caused the lameness. IF the weight DID cause the lameness...I would have that written in a health report form the vet. It will give the owners something concrete to look at instead of just your opinion. And if they disagreed they could look further into the problem and seek out their own vet for a second opinion... That keeps you from being the bad guy and with a vet report in your hand the conversation would be much easier to start. Ya know you could just say ... Hey we had the vet out and horsey is lame and the vet recomended that she not carry any more than x amount of weight...tack included. That is so much nicer than " hey fatty you are killing your horse" :wink: *OK... no offence to anyone...It was just for comic relief.*
hahaha Dumas that was funny hehe
I agree with everyone
get a vet out to see exactly what is causing the lameness and what are ways to correct it (if any ways). There could be many reasons that a horse is lame without having the owner being too heavy as the reason.
Really soft soles (and stepping on something pointy like a rock or gravel)
Joint problem (like athritis)
A farrier can tell you if the horse is lame, but I'd only trust a diagnosis to a vet that knows what to look for and knows his/her stuff.
If the vet thinks that it is caused by the rider being too heavy, get it written down and give the report to the owner that way they'd be more upset with the vet for saying they are too heavy than if you told them.
I'm sure if someone told you you are wayy too heavy for the horse your riding you'd kinda feel hurt, especially if you love the horse and have bonded with her...don't put yourself in the position of being the "bad guy"
But it's great that you are thinking of the horse! Kudos for that :wink:
All great advise. I'd like to add that the rule of thumb I use is that a horse can comfortably carry up to about 30% of it's weight. So if you have an average 16h horse, 300 lb should be OK.
Good luck in your new business!
It is always a difficult issue to bring up regardless of who you are trying to say this to.
Unfortunately, are you ready to possibly lose a client? if you are tell them you would like to have a meeting with them. Sit down and start off with building a good base with them. Bring up positives, progress that has been done, great things they have done as horse owners. Gradually bring the issues that have come at hand with the farrier etc and explain as professionally and honestly as you can what you think is also the issue.It's difficult because you are telling this girl to quit riding her animal whom she spent a lot of money on. It's a safety issue.
In my opinion someone who is that heavy and still rides is being very ignorant.
As a trainer, would you want to be seen at a horse show with one of your clients who is to large for their horse plow around the arena? You showing those new potential clients that you are allowing one of your students ride this horse. That would show me you have poor judgement and my respect for you as a trainer would go out the window.
It's a difficult situation to be in but if she disregards what you tell her, you probably don't want her as a client.
Regardless of the reason why she is build the way she is, there many horses available on the market that are build enough to carry her in a safe manner.
And I will say again;
"A big 16hh horse should be able to carry a fair weight. Most big people are concious of there weight and the limitations it puts on them. They've probably bought this horse because she is big and solid so you should have something solid to back up your opinion."
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