Help! I'm 6'9 and 275 lbs! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-14-2018, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Help! I'm 6'9 and 275 lbs!

Hi everybody. So I have been a competitive horseback rider since I could sit in a saddle (like many of you i am sure) and I would love to get back into the sport in some way. I just got married and I would love for my husband to join me. While there is some interest on his end, the biggest issue is that he is 6'9 and 270. There are not a lot of places that allow for him to even attempt a lesson. He is very athletic and I believe would have good balance on a horse but I dont even know where to start. We wanted to take a family vacation to a dude ranch but everywhere we looked there was a 250lbs limit.

Frankly I dont even know where to start.

HELP!
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-14-2018, 08:46 PM
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Mallory, he is gonna want a big horse; 17-18h or better. I don't think lesson barns typically keep draft horses, but that's what you need, and one that weighs at least 1500lb; 1800lb would be better. Also, he will most likely need a custom saddle to accommodate his size, and the size of his horse.
Alas, I think it very unlikely that you will find what you are looking for at a run-of-the-mill stable. You might see what sort of riding clubs there are in your neck of the woods, and inquire. I know there are draft horse groups on Facebook, groups in Colorado; maybe someone there could give you a nudge in the right direction.

Good luck.
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Last edited by horselovinguy; 12-15-2018 at 03:24 PM. Reason: FB links are not permitted...
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-15-2018, 11:03 AM
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I know a few people in his weight range that ride draft crosses on the trails.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-15-2018, 11:18 AM
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If you contact some of these places and actually talk with them about it they might be willing to accommodate him. Especially if they know he's fit and that his weight is proportionate. Could be worth a try.

If there's a Facebook group for horse people in your area, you could also post there, explaining and inquiring.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-15-2018, 11:48 AM
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My husband is 6'4" and similar weight. His big quarter horse handles his weight just fine. In fact, when we got him, he was the most shut down, non-forward horse you could imagine. He was owned and ridden by an anxious teen girl before we bought him. She sold him to us because she couldn't get him to lope in an arena and he was very bracey and hard to turn.

Although my husband is a beginner, he is athletic and has really worked hard to gain knowledge and skill to ride lightly and in balance. He has turned his horse from a stiff, reluctant, hard mouthed mess to a light, willing partner in 9 months. This horse has always been forward on the trail with my husband, has never indicated he wanted to quit any ride, and is now so forward in the arena that he is offering to lope every ride, when his former owner couldn't get him to lope without heavy use of spurs and crop.

It's not about the height of the horse, but more about the bone structure and muscles, so beware of only looking for tall horses. Look for a horse with a shorter back, as opposed to a draft with a long back that was designed for pulling heavy weight instead of carrying heavy weight. A big quarter horse or a quarter horse draft cross might be a good choice.

I think it will be impossible to find English lessons for him, as there is much more weight and size bias in that world. Western riders (in the Mountain West, anyway) are more about hard working horses. I know many ranchers over 250 pounds who ride quarter horses all day long. Check out the pick up riders, team ropers and steer wrestlers at any rodeo and you will see very large men on quarter horses working very hard.

I think it is very normal and prudent for dude ranches and trail rides to place a weight limit on their horses. They have no idea how fit, balanced, healthy, strong or flexible riders are going to be, so it is one way to set a safety limit for riders and horses, as well as staff who are trying to get total beginners up in the saddle. There is a big difference from a tall man who weighs 270 pounds and a 5 foot tall, elderly woman who weighs 270 pounds. They don't really have any other ways of screening people for ability to safely mount, dismount and stay on a horse.

I would look for a Western barn that actually uses their horses for work, and inquire whether they have horses that would be suitable for your husband. My husband was not keen on lessons, but watched me and my daughter in lessons for a few years, so he understood a lot of the principles of riding. My old trainer encouraged him to ride one of her horses a few times. We knew the horse we bought for him, and he has progressed slowly, which has been good for both of them.

It is possible, but it may be challenging to find the right place for him to learn.
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-15-2018, 11:54 AM
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Just because it is talleor a draft doesn't make it automatically suitable for a larger rider. Good bone, short back, strong coupling. You can find that on plenty shorter bulldog style QH. call around and ask. It may be you find someone that will evaluate his ability and make an exception. It an also depend on how he is built. My tall, 270 lbs brother looks lighter and is allowed to ride where the lighter, but more round brother is asked for a weight check. They both do vacation rides.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-15-2018, 01:05 PM
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my fiance is 290 and built like a lumberjack. he rides odie no issue and he is 1100lbs and 16.2hh. rocket is about 16.3hh and even at 33 dose not have issues carrying him. i would not put him on an arab but a stocky horse or a sturdy horse is fine. dont need a draft horse or a draft cross. maybe find a place you could lease a horse. if the horse is in shape it can carry someone that size no issue.
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-15-2018, 01:39 PM
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Sometimes contacting personally and having a conversation helps instead of just looking at the rules in the website information. I was looking for a place that would let my 4 year old granddaughter ride for her birthday and found that the liability issue limited riders to 6 years and up. When I spoke to a resort/ranch owner personally and explained that I just wanted her led around that made all the difference. I signed a waiver and she was led around for an hour by a wrangler on foot. Maybe contacting the dude ranches by phone to just talk and offer to send pictures of your hubby will get the desired results.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-15-2018, 03:44 PM
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I would think that at 6ft 9 the biggest challenge would be in finding a horse that was large enough/deep enough in the girth for this man to not have his feet a few inches off the ground
You also need a saddle that's long enough to accommodate that length of leg that also fits the horse and a horse with a good length of neck so the rider doesn't feel that he's right on top of its ears
William Fox Pitt is 6ft 5 but when riding fit he only weighs 176 pounds which makes a big difference to the horse. He's aslo ridden since he was young.
This man might be fit but he's still a beginner that's going to be bouncing around on top of a horse that's possibly not used to carrying that sort of weight and height
The Irish Draughts and Percherons are better weight carriers than the typical short backed long legged heavy horses

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-15-2018, 04:38 PM
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My boyfriend isnt that tall (hes about 58/9). He weighs about 270. Hes just stocky. He rides a 15.3hh QH in his lessons, and she carries him just fine. He rides western as well.

While your guy is taller, I still dont think you should look for drafts necessarily. There are some stocky QHs that could probably handle his weight/height. Even some taller tbs. Depends on the individual horse and how they are built and if they are in shape.



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