Too much weight? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-24-2010, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Too much weight?

Okey dokey, I have a question...I lease an Arab/Saddlebred cross named Moon. He's about 15.1 hh, weighs about 950 lbs, and is 18 years old. I was wondering how much weight he can carry on his back? My concern is that, because I lease him from the barn, he can be used by the trainer there. She uses him for trail rides sometimes and my concern is that she's too heavy for him. She's about 200 something pounds and rides him with a heavy western saddle for trail rides. Am I overreacting or is there true concer for his back? I ride him saddleseat and western: for western I have a synthetic saddle that weighs 20 lbs, give or take and the saddleseat saddle weighs probably less than that. Thanks in advance for your input!
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-24-2010, 04:30 PM
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I am too heavy for Vida (14.3hh) so I get off every hour. I think it really comes down to how hard she is working the mount. If she is just going out for short trail rides, and she is keeping the animal in shape for it, the weight shouldn't be a factor. If she is taking him out for hard long rides, and is only doing it once a month or so, she needs to look at riding something else, working at muscling up her horse or losing weight.
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-24-2010, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Trail rides are about 45 minutes and only walking, I don't know what else she does with him when I'm not around, but I don't think it's much (she only rides him if she has to, she doesn't really like him). He's in pretty good shape from our rides, which is just w/t/c in the arena for 45 minutes to and hour. Thanks so much for the response!
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-24-2010, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Keep the responses coming, I'd like to get some more, if possible
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-24-2010, 07:42 PM
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Weight carrying ability depends first and foremost on conformation and soundness. Both breeds in his mix are generally good for this however I've seen weakly conformed individuals in both.
Does the horse have good bone, a shorter back, broad loins? Saddle fit is also of large concern when carrying a lot of weight.

However, as long as she's below 230 or so I wouldn't be too awfully concerned. I've seen some big dudes ride little quarter horses quite strenuously all day without an adverse effect on the horse.

Like I said, it primarily depends on the horse's build and health. :)
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-25-2010, 01:35 PM
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I've heard a horse should carry no more than 20% of his weight. That means a 800 pound horse shouldn't carry more than 160 pounds, saddle included. Of course, my 800 pound pony Patches has carried my dad who weighs much more than 160 pounds--it really depends on the amount of time you ride and how fast you plan to travel.

| Kubie, Appaloosa (RIP) | Patches, Pinto Arabian Pony | Scotch, Paint Quarterhorse |
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-25-2010, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much you guys! I feel a lot better now
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-25-2010, 06:05 PM
Green Broke
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My little Arab is 14.3hh and only about 850lbs (over 900 when she's fat). I usually weigh about 180lbs, although recently I somehow climbed over 200lbs. She's been carrying me for 7 years now, I broke her in as a 4 year old (weighed less then), and been riding her ever since. And I ride HARD. You'd think my weight would slow her down some with my 30lb Western Saddle to boot, but she's an Arab and ain't nothin gonna slow her down!

I wouldn't be concerned - I won't ride the 14hh pony anymore because she is VERY honest about telling me how she feels with my fat **** on her. Listening to the animal is a big part of it - if you FEEL they're struggling or winded or behaving in a way they wouldn't otherwise with a lighter rider, it may be time to examine. But for the most part, horses are a lot tougher then we give them credit for.

Look at cutting horses - they're built quite light and agile and routinely have at least 300lbs on their back with a big cowboy and his gear!

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #9 of 9 Old 10-26-2010, 01:12 AM
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Not mentioned yet in this thread is that it makes a lot of difference how well a heavy rider can carry their own weight. If they are well balanced, can post the trot well, know how to lean when going up or down or around corners, have enough core muscle to carry themselves upright and sit in correct alignment (not in a chair seat), then this will make a HUGE (pun intended) difference in what the horse feels.
A rider of 150 lbs who flops around unbalanced and bangs into the horse's back is much harder on the horse than a 200 lb rider who rides in balance and with symppathy.
I am not quite 200 yet, but not so far away. I like to think that I am in the category of the sympathetic rider.
Which is she? (the trainer, i mean)
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