Hiya and welcome! Have you found somewhere that would give you lessons at 275lbs? Please correct me if I'm wrong that's about 19 stone? My mother is at that weight right now but she's 5'8 and also looking to ride. Most places here wont accept anyone over 15 stone (for their large breeds too!) and I have a 17.1hh irish draught mare (depending which vet measures her. Reassuring right? Lol). I wont let my mother ride even my horse until she's 224 and even then I'd be very cautious. But its less about the weight actually and more her fitness. There's a large man at one of the yards I go to he's same weight but 6'9. But he is incredibly fit and is so balanced that the chance of the horse straining something isn't very high. The way I write it is terrible - hes a highly qualified freelance instructor lol. My mother would be flopping around 100% and the horse would have to compensate a lot and I don't wanna risk her discomfort or that vet bill. So... we have similar goals to you and I'd love to be able to share your journey with her so she's not alone. I know plenty people who are similar weights and trying to loose to ride and what a wonderful motivation it is!
So I know you just wanted advice on breeds but hope you dont mind some other suggestions?
- get an exercise ball if you haven't and practice straddling it and moving your hips to get flexible ahead of time and for balance ofc. Personally for my mare I'd want at least 16 stone and she's not exactly a small horse. Even then I'd be cautious if the rider is new/unfit. Remember... the bigger the horse the heavier the tack. They are gonna carry the weight of that tack as well and western saddles are super heavy from the two times I've got to handle one lol. But its up to the owner/establishment and you to look out for their welfare and make that judgement call.
- if possible can you volunteer at a yard once a week? Fetching, mucking out, grooming and hand walking are GREAT motivators.
- even better, can you "share/loan" a horse once a week? Stable duties in exchange for the experience. You can learn how to properly handle horses, lunge, free-rein etc. Going on handwalks on trails you might eventually ride would also be an amazing experience! Even if not to ride that particular pony/mini/horse it would still be motivating. I walk one of the elderly ponies at my yard for no reason other than it brings us both joy. She's far too small for me but I love taking her on walks.
- You don't just need RIDING lessons. Until you're a suitable weight get out there and get horsemanship lessons. How to handle. How to do ground exercises. There's no need to wait until you can get on. They are a thing. I have a horse I can ride but still pay for ground lessons! You can even offer to "prepare" the horse and tack them up for when eventually you'll do it for yourself!
- As for breeds you will realistically need something draught-like right now. The closer to 200lbs you can get the more options will open up for you. But remember its not just weight but fitness! There are some smaller horses that can carry more weight but depending where you are in the world aren't easy to find even for lessons or to own... but as an irish draught lover... but I also REALLY love belgians and am very jealous of
:P I just have a thing for gentle giants (same with dogs).
PS I'm 5'6 and look a bit stupid on my huge mare. My friend is 5'4 and rides my mare sometimes. Never mind falling... mounting is a pain in the you-know-what haha! But there are gadgets you can get to help out mounting if you can't find a tree stump or rock. But... they eat a lot. They cost a lot. But she's my first baby and I'm literally in love with her.
So yeah.... GET OUT THERE. Don't wait until you're a certain weight. Start looking tomorrow to get into the world of horses. And if you already are and know how to care for horses... I'm terribly sorry for my essay hah.