What kind of horse should I get for my weight? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 36 Old 06-29-2015, 07:05 PM
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Are you intending to do something competitive with the horse - that can make a difference in the height you go for
If you just want a pleasure horse then a well built cob or draft X of 15.2 minimum is going to work OK for you - if you go too small in height it might carry you but you're going to be top heavy which puts you at higher risk of falling off and also struggling to get your heels in the right place to use them properly - they could be clinking together under the horses belly!!
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post #12 of 36 Old 06-29-2015, 07:38 PM
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Won't go into details here band, as people can find more of those in another recent thread. Agree absolutely with build being relevant - never said just because a horse was big enough it would be fine. Disagree about your back damage assertion tho. IME horses very frequently get bad backs from being ridden. Just that, stoic, giving animals that they are, we often discount or don't even recognise it, whereas leg/hoof problems often make a horse limp or be physically incapable, so we can't miss that. Just because a horse is still capable of being used doesn't mean he's free of pain n damage.
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post #13 of 36 Old 06-29-2015, 07:39 PM
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If you think a 6ft person looks funny on a 14.3hh horse, then you've never seen a 6"6' guy on a 14.3 mare before lol she has good structure and carrys him like he is nothing, he weighs 200-210lbs,they look hella ridiculous but my mare carries my bf just fine for light trail riding. I have a 16.2 Missouri Fox Trotter who has light bones ( or so I've been told, only from pics though and they were crappy) that will work for my bf to ride on trails but I wouldn't have him do much else on him, pic a horse tht looks well built, little taller, nice thick bone structure. And welcome to the foum :) hope you find us all hospitable!

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post #14 of 36 Old 06-29-2015, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
...Disagree about your back damage assertion tho. IME horses very frequently get bad backs from being ridden. Just that, stoic, giving animals that they are, we often discount or don't even recognise it...
I've seen bad fitting saddles or bad riding sore a back. I haven't met any horses whose back could not handle weight with the right saddle, exercise and a decent rider. And saying we don't recognize it because they are stoic gives one the ability to say almost anything - after all, the only proof needed is the assertion since we cannot collect statistics on anything we don't notice happening. Owning would be a waste of money and do no favors to the horse.

If there is evidence that horses suffer back damage at some given percentage weight regardless of saddle or rider ability, I'd love to see it. The only 'study' I've seen used out of shape horses, English saddles and still didn't find measurable differences until 30%. Their human examiners did find stress at 25% by examining the backs, but that has the potential for bias due to human input. And that was with horses that were not ridden for 4 months, then ridden twice a month for 45 minutes each. If someone plans to ride twice a month for under an hour, they'd be wise to rent a horse.

I've never owned a horse I rode at 20% of body weight or less. Mine are in the 25% or more range and are doing fine. Of course, since horses are stoic animals, I can only assume they are doing fine. They might be in terrible pain and just hiding it well. But until I see evidence instead of assertions, I'll continue.
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post #15 of 36 Old 06-30-2015, 03:42 AM
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I've seen bad fitting saddles or bad riding sore a back. I haven't met any horses whose back could not handle weight with the right saddle, exercise and a decent rider.
Then you haven't met any horses with long backs and loins. A long back with a short loin is acceptable. A short back with a long loin is also acceptable. But a long back with a long loin is weak and will suffer damage if any significant weight is put on it.

I owned a horse that, despite being heavy of bone and weighing 550kg (575 when he was in show condition), couldn't handle a rider who was much more than 10% of his weight. He would work and he wouldn't complain at all but the very next day, and for three weeks thereafter, he would have a VERY sore back.

His saddle fit him perfectly.

Same thing happened in a Western saddle which also fit him perfectly and the weight was distributed over a much larger area.

It was just that his conformation was weak and limited the amount of weight he was physically able to carry.
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post #16 of 36 Old 06-30-2015, 04:32 AM
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Again I think we're getting finicky here & absence of proof is far from proof of absence IMO. If horses are frequently hurt by being ridden, if we can't prove whether it is ONLY the saddle(wonder if a Perfectly Fitting Saddle even exists...) or ONLY the weight or ONLY the bad riding, that to me is not a reason to discount weight ratios. And discounting stoicness because 'you could say it about anything' is not reasonable either to me.

What matters to me is that people are considerate of the fact that they're riding a live, feeling animal, one who IS stoic & giving, very frequently to their detriment, and so it is wise and compassionate to consider factors including weight ratio, horse's build & fitness, saddle fit, etc, etc. Not discounting them because some horses appear to cope with less than 'ideal'.
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post #17 of 36 Old 06-30-2015, 09:30 AM
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Personally, I don't have a problem with 6ft riders on Arabians (as long as the weight is right)!

My legs are extremely long, and I'm 5'11", but this did not stop me enjoying 25 years on a 14.2hh Arabian mare competing in all sorts of things!

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post #18 of 36 Old 06-30-2015, 10:09 AM
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My boyfriend is a long and lean 6'3". I have no qualms about putting him on our sturdy 15 hh mustang mare (once he develops his riding skills enough not to let her take advantage of him ).
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post #19 of 36 Old 06-30-2015, 10:18 AM
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The problem with a short backed horse, is in western saddles at least, the saddle skirting is hitting hip bones.

Main thing is, a horse with good bone first, good size on it, not so much in height as in bone structure.
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post #20 of 36 Old 06-30-2015, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
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Again I think we're getting finicky here & absence of proof is far from proof of absence IMO. If horses are frequently hurt by being ridden, if we can't prove whether it is ONLY the saddle(wonder if a Perfectly Fitting Saddle even exists...) or ONLY the weight or ONLY the bad riding, that to me is not a reason to discount weight ratios. And discounting stoicness because 'you could say it about anything' is not reasonable either to me...
It is impossible to have a rational discussion if proof and evidence are to be discarded before the discussion begins. If "evidence" consists of 'I feel this is true' rather than 'we can see XYZ', then only competing feelings are left. Knowledge does not advance on competing feelings.

As for stoic - you admit that leg problems cannot be ignored, no matter how 'stoic' the horse. That certainly implies leg problems create a level of pain that overcomes any stoic beliefs the horse may have, while back problems do not. It follows that leg problems are more likely to result in an unrideable horse than back problems.

The study folks like to point out which used very out of shape horses also measured stress to back muscles. Not atrophy of back muscles, which can happen. Not damage to the spine. Stress to muscles. The chemical work indicated this happened at 30% and the massagers thought there were signs of it at 25%, but there was no sign of muscle atrophy.

Here is an example of back problems causing significant problems and what was done about it. Tom Roberts writes about his experience in World War One. During a long retreat, the horses were left saddled 24 hours a day and were breaking down. He also noted that the British Army preferred strong horses, since a 10.5 stone cavalryman resulted in a total weight (including tack and field gear) of 21 stone - roughly 150 & 300 pounds, respectively.

To solve the problem, they were ordered to stop every 2 hours, remove the saddle, and massage the horse's back for 5 minutes on each side, 10 minutes total. When that was done, the horses stopped breaking down from back problems.

When muscle tissue becomes too sore, it can be solved with rest. At 57, I like rest and ibuprofen. This is very different than damage to bone structures.

I think the evidence, along with some thinking about reasons, indicates the area of danger for a horse carrying weight is the legs. With rare exceptions, the back will suffer muscle damage. That damage, IIRC, occurs at a certain PSI - a sustained weight of 4.5 pounds/sq inch IIRC, but don't quote me because it has been a while since I've seen the figures. Thus saddle fit and weight distribution become important.

There is a good article here:

How to Ease the Burden | The Trail Rider

An example of why I think it is harmful to think in terms of percentage of body weight:



If we use any percentage basis, that horse could carry far more weight than the horse in my avatar...but I'd bet on Bandit, Trooper or Mia being able to handle more rider weight, not less.
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