Riders body Weight - The Horse Forum
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  • 3 Post By jimmyp
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-22-2015, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Riders body Weight

How much is body weight a hurdle in ridding and ridding properly
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-22-2015, 09:58 AM
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I will leave leave it to others to provide actual ideas of weight limits. I will point out, however, that I have seen various estimates on the comparison of a rider's weight to that of the horse. I've also read that cavalries often limited a rider's weight to 170 pounds. Of course, the horse might have carried another 150 pounds or more of additional weight in the form of equipment and supplies. Then, there is always a question of the useful life of horses made to carry heavier burdens.

As important as the actual weight of the rider are the fitness of the horse and how both horse and rider carry the weight. I have witnessed the same horse carrying a 300 pound rider that sat well more easily than it carried a 170 pound rider that sat poorly. If you've had much experience carrying someone or even something on your back you should be able to understand this aspect of the issue.

Still another factor would be what the rider intended the horse to do. A horse can more easily carry a heavy burden on a walking trail ride than it could carry that same weight when asked to perform more athletic activities. You might compare this to carrying a backpack on a hike as opposed to carrying the same pack while playing tennis.

Training riders and horses to work in harmony.
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-22-2015, 12:22 PM
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this as been pretty well beat to death here. basically there are those who have read too much, and ridden too little that will tell you, that a horse can/should carry no more than 20% of its own weight. There are also those who will tell you that as long as a horse is ridden properly with a balanced rider that weight is less of an issue.

the fact of it is, that just like people horses are all individuals, a lighter boned horse may be taxed at 20% where as a heavier boned horse may be able to carry 30%. the type of riding, will make a difference, a horse dog walking trails, vs. a hunter jumper will have different weight limits, a barrel horse will be different than a western pleasure horse.

Very little in the world of horses is black and white.

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post #4 of 10 Old 01-22-2015, 05:35 PM
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Regardless of the weight bearing characteristics of horses there can be other side effects.

One example is needing a larger saddle, a larger saddle can be harder to fit with the saddle itself becoming too long for the weight bearing part of the back.

I've also found since putting on some weight myself that my legs don't sit quite as well, my balance can be thrown off easier and I am far more particular about the saddles I sit in.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-22-2015, 06:04 PM
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Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I don't think iayyub is asking about the horse's physical limitations, but rather how the rider's weight and physical condition can affect one's ability to ride properly. The two issues seem completely different.

Assuming that you're not too heavy for the horse (which varies from horse to horse and person to person) a wide variety of factors play into how a person's weight can affect their riding. I've seen a number of heavier riders perform beautifully on horseback, and some who were limited by their size. Muscle tone and general fitness play a role. If you're able to handle yourself well in the saddle then the horse will be happier and perform better. If you're heavier then you may have more trouble finding a saddle that fits you properly, and it's especially important that the saddle fits the horse.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-22-2015, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Riders Fitness

Rightly said my question is riders weight are lighter riders better riders
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-22-2015, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by iayyub View Post
Rightly said my question is riders weight are lighter riders better riders
not always.. a lot of larger riders are more self aware of their weight and try their best to make their horse comfortable whilst carrying them, not saying all big riders are great, nor all smaller riders are terrible..not by any means

Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot.
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-22-2015, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by iayyub View Post
are lighter riders better riders
Definitely not defined by weight. One of the best riders I ever saw was at a local show several years ago. The rider was definitely heavy but she and that horse moved together effortlessly. It was amazing to watch! Many skinny people I see riding are bouncing around all over the place, pulling on the reins while leaning forward and who know what all. Ick.

A skill is learned, and not defined by weight. Each of us have our own physical limitations or abilities that will allow us to reach certain goals. For example, I doubt the heavy rider I saw would ever jump, but I don't think she was interested in that either. Likewise, watching a 90 lb youngster handling a pulling team is downright scarey when the horses are all riled up for the pull!
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-22-2015, 07:56 PM
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Depends on the horse. A small pony is going to have a much easier time carrying a 50 pound kid over a 100 pound kid. A large horse is going to have more trouble feeling the aids of a 50 pound kid over a 100 pound kid.

Being thin/lightweight does not make you automatically a better rider. A 200 pound rider with soft hands and a light seat is a far better rider than a 120 pound rider flopping all over the place.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-22-2015, 08:44 PM
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Obviously skill matters most but a lighter rider of the same skill level will be more effective.

It's also better to speak in terms of fitness than weight. A heavier rider that is in decent shape in spite of the weight as opposed to someone who is not...

So weight matters but fitness matters more and at the end of the day skill is most important. There's no set definition.

Also, riding in the basic sense is easy so if your goal is to get on a quiet horse and walk around (assuming the horse can carry you easily) it's pretty irrelevant.
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