Overweight rider: Conflicted about how to work with my horse while I lose weight - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 26 Old 11-03-2013, 11:28 PM
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He seems strong enough, I'd like him with a bit more weight, tho. Just a little. Look into ground driving, it's fun and great exercise for both of you.
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post #12 of 26 Old 11-03-2013, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
He seems strong enough, I'd like him with a bit more weight, tho. Just a little. Look into ground driving, it's fun and great exercise for both of you.
You think? I've been wondering. The vet said he's a tad OVERweight when she taped him Friday and I was surprised at the number and asked if he was thin (she said it's not significant but ideally I should feel more rib). When she said that I figured my concern was mom eyes. 975 sounded low to me for his height and breed, but I trust almost any horse person's opinion over my own :P

He had been a pasture pet for a year+ when I got him, so he may have dropped a little now that he's moving. Winter is coming, though, so I definitely don't want him to drop any more.

Does he look thin to anyone else?

Here's another shot:

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Last edited by SammysMom; 11-03-2013 at 11:45 PM.
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post #13 of 26 Old 11-03-2013, 11:55 PM
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I think it should be okay. There are a range of "rules" and percentages that lots of people use but I think that you have to look at each situation. Horses like Paints are bred to carry people, generally reasonably heavy loads (with western tack, male riders etc).

It still worth thinking about, so making sure you have good saddle fit, and that he's fit enough to carry you for the time you ride.
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post #14 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by SammysMom View Post
You think? I've been wondering. The vet said he's a tad OVERweight when she taped him Friday and I was surprised at the number and asked if he was thin (she said it's not significant but ideally I should feel more rib). When she said that I figured my concern was mom eyes. 975 sounded low to me for his height and breed, but I trust almost any horse person's opinion over my own :P

He had been a pasture pet for a year+ when I got him, so he may have dropped a little now that he's moving. Winter is coming, though, so I definitely don't want him to drop any more.

Does he look thin to anyone else?

Here's another shot:

Posted via Mobile Device
He looks a lot better on the second picture. He should be around 5 on the Henneke scale, you can Google that. thehorse.com has a poster and instructions to print out and also a video for weight taping. Sign up, it's free, and there's lots of info on there.
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post #15 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 12:07 AM
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I think he could bear to be a little more fit, but I wouldn't really want to see any more weight off him.

Sammy, with his build, should have no problems completing the type of riding you're asking of him. He would let you know if he was struggling.

However, if you're feeling really worried about it, what you might think about is hand walking him on one of those days instead of riding your 3.5 hour trail ride. That would be good for the both of you. It would help you to become more fit and drop the weight you're trying to get rid of and it would also get him more fit and also work on the trust and respect between the two of you.
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post #16 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
I think he could bear to be a little more fit, but I wouldn't really want to see any more weight off him.

Sammy, with his build, should have no problems completing the type of riding you're asking of him. He would let you know if he was struggling.

However, if you're feeling really worried about it, what you might think about is hand walking him on one of those days instead of riding your 3.5 hour trail ride. That would be good for the both of you. It would help you to become more fit and drop the weight you're trying to get rid of and it would also get him more fit and also work on the trust and respect between the two of you.
I agree he could be fitter. I've been so worried about taking it slowly (not just under saddle but with ground work too) because he had been retired for so long, but I think he's at a point where he can be worked regularly on the lunge line at gaits that will improve his body.

Oh, and to clarify my confusing first post that's half-hour trail rides, not 3.5-hour! I meant aside from our lesson we do three days of half-hour rides, which are sometimes trails. No way I'd ask him to walk my big butt around for hours! :P

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post #17 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 01:00 AM
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His weight looks perfect the way it is. You don't want him to get fat as that is just more weight he will be carrying. You don't want him thin, as he will loose muscle.

As long as he is sound and healthy I don't see a problem.

My horses both have lameness issues so I don't want them carrying more than 130 lbs. I'm a small rider so they do okay as long as I am careful and we go slow.

Just keep an eye out in case he gets a sore back. Of course a proper sitting saddle is definitely important! Watch for any changes in attitude.

If you want to lose weight ground driving is great for that! Nothing better than jogging after your horse. I have a friend who takes her horse on 5 mile jogs down the street and back. On foot! That is one way of exercising your horse and staying in shape!

Good luck with the weight loss, I have the opposite problem and am fighting to gain...
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post #18 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 04:52 AM
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I think your horse looks quite capable for what you are asking. I agree w/your vet on his weight, but I can't say I'm a QH fan-I just don't care for all that bulk. So-we all have our preferences & I think more riding would be good for both of you. Maybe add 15-20 minutes to your trail rides? It's so hard to lose-I just put on 20 pounds in 2 months! And I was trying to lose-AACCKK!
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post #19 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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I will definitely look into ground driving. I'm going to ask if my trainer can show me how. We won't be going on 5-mile jogs any time soon, but laps around the arena might be a start ;)
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post #20 of 26 Old 11-04-2013, 06:18 AM
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You need to use a different halter than what you are when lunging especially. This type moves and will go up and rub on eye. Get a regular halter for this.

You can see in the photo that it is out of position.

And I too think he is not in good weight, not skinny but I would like to see him a bit heavier.

As for your weight?

I weigh 239, with tack I am pushing the upper 200's easily. And that is too heavy to be riding. So I don't right now. I have a chunky QH, that is 1200 and carries good bone, and my older QH that would be my main riding partner if I were not so heavy is maybe 1000 or so.

I do not ride because it is not fair to put that much weight on an area that is a span. If the back were directly over a set of legs? Would be a different story, but you are sitting over legs...you are sitting in the middle, with no support under you.

And much of the damage our weight does to our horses? Will not be able to be seen. As another posted, they are very stoic. All one has to do is look at Big Lick THW's to see that....horse is in pain and keeps right on going.

Spinal problems will not show up without the diagnostics needed to show them. Most of us will never have an MRI or ultrasounds done on our horses. Most won't even go to the trouble of X-rays either. Cost factors in, vet nearness, and lack of need.

I would step up your workout program for yourself and lose the weight you need to.

And may I say it is so nice seeing someone who is willing to consider that their weight is a problem.

Horses make me a better person.
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