Am I too big for my horse? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 47 Old 12-10-2015, 01:09 PM
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I think you look fine for average work, if you were going for high jumping and a lot of fast paced work you may be a bit on the heavy side for a fine/medium light build horse but trail rides, occasional show etc. I think you'll be fine.
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post #22 of 47 Old 12-10-2015, 05:38 PM
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Talking

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Originally Posted by WhattaTroublemaker View Post
I'm 200 pounds too! I prefer shorter horses, I hit the ground hard now, and it's a lot less space to cover if I fall! My ideal height is 14-14.2 hands and always thought 15+ was HUGE. You look beautiful on that mare. I do have a question though, for everyone else. Riding bareback, is it better or worse for a heavier rider? I have a lot of cushion to spread my weight out LOL compared to lighter riders with bony butts. Thoughts?
LOL just because a rider is light does not mean the butt is bony, fat distribution is different for each person. I am 9.7 stones but my butt is far from bony, women tend to have more fat there than men as well. I wish my butt were slightly less fatty... I used to have a huge problem with tall horses, now I prefer taller ones, cuz they are USUALLY faster.
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post #23 of 47 Old 12-10-2015, 05:49 PM
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She is slightly below average in terms of Holsteiner height, but that does not adversely affect her weight bearing capacity. From her body language, she did not seem unhappy. You're not too big for the horse when riding on the flat, but for jumps and long rides. To be honest with you though, we riders ought not only to improve our riding but also keep our weight in check for the health and welfare of both horse and rider. You don't look silly on the horse, but just a slight weight loss could improve the picture aesthetically. I hope I do not come off as mean, just trying to tell the truth without being rude.
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post #24 of 47 Old 12-13-2015, 06:11 AM
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hi guys, quick question... i weigh roughly 196 pound, i used to ride a 17.2 thoroughbred x,which was fine...(don't go to the riding school anymore)
my daughters pony is a 13.2-13.3 welsh c x weighs roughly 850..could she carry my weight? everybody says course she can shes a welsh...but i don't want to hurt her back!
heres a pic of me and chance...i have lost some weight since that pic was taken and the top does me no favours either lol.
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post #25 of 47 Old 12-13-2015, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Chaz80 View Post
hi guys, quick question... i weigh roughly 196 pound, i used to ride a 17.2 thoroughbred x,which was fine...(don't go to the riding school anymore)
my daughters pony is a 13.2-13.3 welsh c x weighs roughly 850..could she carry my weight? everybody says course she can shes a welsh...but i don't want to hurt her back!
heres a pic of me and chance...i have lost some weight since that pic was taken and the top does me no favours either lol.
According to my calculation, the ideal max weight for an average 850lbs horse to carry is around 170lbs, so you are slightly over that line. It also depends on the horse's musculature and conformation. If she has conformation defect, she might not be able to carry your weight efficiently. You may try riding the pony for a bit and observe her body language or any other cue to see if she's feeling ok about it.
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post #26 of 47 Old 12-13-2015, 07:14 PM
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"According to my calculation, the ideal max weight for an average 850lbs horse to carry is around 170lbs, so you are slightly over that line."

That would be based on the "20% rule", which has no basis in fact. Some horses cannot safely carry that much, and some can carry much more. This thread debates the weight issue, and both sides are presented with vigor:

https://www.horseforum.com/horse-ridi...-horse-605666/
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post #27 of 47 Old 12-14-2015, 07:24 AM
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I would like to point out that it is difficult to know what "safely" carry a rider means.
I always thought until several years ago that "safely" meant whether a rider would harm a horse's back, or whether a horse could balance the rider's weight while being ridden.
I've come to learn that true "safety" includes pace, terrain, distance, and time. For instance, a short-backed small horse might carry a rider that is quite heavy at a walk or trot around an arena for quite some time pretty safely. However, if you take the horse out and ride him hard up and down hills, he might become fatigued to the point where a stumble might make him fall.

In my case, I let a very excellent, heavyweight rider on my 850 lb Arabian mare. The rider was at about 30% of the horse's weight. This horse has a short, strong back and did not seem to have difficulty balancing this heavy of a rider at the trot or canter. But the terrain was wrong. Even though we did not do a long or exhausting ride, when the horse slipped on a steep gravel downhill slope at the walk, she decided it was easier to drop to her knees than to try to heft herself and the heavy rider back up. This resulted in her sliding on her knees for several feet over gravel and denuding them, causing months of treatment and rehabilitation. If she'd slid a little farther the damage would have gotten into her tendon sheaths and probably ended her life.

Tough terrain with a small horse and a heavy rider could lead to potentially having a horse fall and roll over the rider. My friend was a good enough rider to sit quietly through the spill, remain upright and get off safely.

So I believe the weight ratio rules are very different depending on what you are doing with the horse and where you are riding. In my experience, I've never seen a horse have an issue with carrying 25% of their weight over even rough terrain, or on a long ride, but going over this is risky.
I would consider the OP in a safe range.
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post #28 of 47 Old 12-14-2015, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
"According to my calculation, the ideal max weight for an average 850lbs horse to carry is around 170lbs, so you are slightly over that line."

That would be based on the "20% rule", which has no basis in fact. Some horses cannot safely carry that much, and some can carry much more. This thread debates the weight issue, and both sides are presented with vigor:

https://www.horseforum.com/horse-ridi...-horse-605666/
It's based on the 20% rule, but the rule is not completely groundless. It's just a guideline, not a fixed box. That's why you're supposed to read the whole comment, not just the first sentence.
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post #29 of 47 Old 12-14-2015, 11:02 AM
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I think the 20% rule is utterly groundless.

There was one study done on horses who were deliberately made to be out of riding shape. The horses were not ridden for 4 months. Then they were ridden 45 minutes every two weeks. Based on the blood markers, those out of shape horses could carry 25% of their body weight without a problem. Based on people giving horse massages, the people believed the horses carrying 25% had a little more soreness than those carrying 20%, so they recommended 20% as the limit. The possibility that a fit horse might carry much more, or that the massagers had a bias affecting their results (since the blood work was clean) wasn't considered.

It was a poor study, and it conflicts with what I see every time I ride - which is always at above 20%, and is normally right around 25%. It conflicts with what I saw a couple of weeks ago, when 850 lb Trooper carried a 6'6" guy who had never ridden before for 2.5 hours in the desert.

If you want a horse to max perform, then the lightest weight possible works. But lots of cow horses carry big guys for long hours working hard, and do so successfully.

I also agree with gottatrot. The weight limit is defined by more than just "will the horse be sore". When I put 200 lbs of me & saddle on 700 lb Cowboy (29%), Cowboy doesn't get sore. But he also has less reserve strength to call upon when going up a steep hill, or descending an uneven & rocky path, etc. Turning quickly at speed, my height (5'8") versus his height (13.0 hands) pulls him more off balance that a smaller rider would, or even a heavier saddle might. It is simply harder for him.

That doesn't mean I cannot ride Cowboy, but it does mean I need to be aware of what I'm asking of him. He can handle me fine for most of the trails near me. There are a couple of spots where I need to dismount. Not because he couldn't carry me there, but because any slip or stumble would over-task him in a way a larger horse would not be.

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post #30 of 47 Old 12-26-2015, 11:31 PM
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A short-backed horse can carry your weight better than a draft. The draft's longer spine has to support a huge abdomen and innards. Just make sure the saddle you used doesn't extend past the last true rib on the Welsh. I used to ride my Shetland. She was a sturdy little thing with short coupling. I was 128lbs. It was bareback tho.



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