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I am a thin 18 year old (well 18 this Saturday-happy birthday to me! :lol:). I have a lot of muscle and unload 100 pound bales of hay by myself. I ride several times a week show jumping on a 14.3 hand lightly built mare (only way I can put it is she is built like a jumper). I have been eating REALLY healthy the last few weeks.

Guess what? I weigh 145lb at 5'7. When you compare that to most girls my age, that is heavy. I don't look nor am I built like superwoman. I just have a lot more muscle than most girls. So I try not to compare myself to them, as muscle weighs more than fat (think about it, why do most girls weigh so little? Because they have hardly any muscle.) Don't compare yourself to others. Everyone is built different. Horses are able to carry a lot more than people think. What is 180lb to a 1150lb horse? That's like saying it is too heavy for you, at 180lb, to carry 20lb on your back.

Overall, I think it is more important to match rider and horse height wise.
 

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Here is how I look at size compared to horses. Say a horse is 1000lbs and the rider is 100lbs. To a human that would be like a 10lb backpack. (Only an example). Never ever let someone tell you that you are too big to ride, that is just unreal for that person to say anything like that. I am 160lbs and I ride like the wind. So never take that comment to heart <3
 

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But am I too big to be riding? I dont have an available picture of me on her, but i just need to know If im too big?
Seriously?? YOU most certainly can ride. Sure... In an ideal world it'd be great for us all to be an ideal weight. And certain types of riding will say that bigger people are better for bigger horses and should "match up in that way" (although I think it also has to do with your height and the height of the horse). Doesn't mean tall girls don't occasionally ride ponies.. it's not a hard fast rule.

and ok, we're all speaking from what we've seen and generally know.. but check this out:

The great weight debate: How heavy is too heavy? - Comment, News - Horsetalk.co.nz

The first thing to note is: there IS not scientific answer to this question and it can depend on so much...

but your horse is 15.3h? probably weighs 1200 pounds? according to this study that everyone thinks is too strict.. 180 is only 15% of the horses body weight and "a-ok".. you are way below the welfare issues tier that start to creep in at 20%-25%... even if your horse was only 1,000.

granted, that whole study doesn't take into account so many other factors - so I'd never point it out as a hard fast rule.... BUT since you clearly pass it - I figured I'd point out that even the study people are saying is too strict, you're fine.
 

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Guess what? I weigh 145lb at 5'7. When you compare that to most girls my age, that is heavy. I don't look nor am I built like superwoman. I just have a lot more muscle than most girls. So I try not to compare myself to them, as muscle weighs more than fat (think about it, why do most girls weigh so little? Because they have hardly any muscle.)
Exactly. My 6 ft and 200 lbs gives me a BMI of 27.1, solidly in the 'overweight' category. I'd have to get down to about 180 lbs to be in their 'normal' range. But in my case the extra 20 lbs is mostly muscle in the chest & shoulders, which is a lot different than a guy of the same height & weight carrying those 20 lbs in a beer belly. That's why a lot of the less simplistic evaluations also include waist measurement, as here: Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk
 

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I dont even care about my number weight. If im 180lbs i could care less if its muscle. My only issue with MY weight i have is that all fat atm. there is another way to tell if you are too heavy for your horse. When horse horse falls over XD!
 

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I dont even care about my number weight.
Same here. The only times I ever get weighed is at doctor visits (once every few years, with luck). My standard is the belt I've had for years: if I have to let it out an extra notch from its usual one, it's time to cut the feed and up the exercise.
 

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I agree with cat,

Your deffenitly not to big. Im 5'4 and 125 lbs and my previous horse that was 15.1 hnd. Carried my 6' tall 180 lb dad around and that horse was a rescue and had soundness issues when he didnt have shoes on. Discovered that after i got bucked off :3 Thats why he bucked me off because it hurt him to trot and i was trying to get him to trot and he bucked. I didnt know it hurt him in tell after that. But he packed my dad around good
 

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I'm a 180 lb guy. If you are too big, don't tell my horses. The biggest I own is 900 lbs, but the only one who is too small is my 13 hand mustang. 180 IS a lot of weight for a 13 hand horse, but even he's done it without complaint a number of times...
 

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^^^ 13 hands is a pony... not to get technical!
 

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Pony is also a type :). Mustangs range from 13hh to 17hh (though the latter is rare). My bf's dad has a navajo mustang that is 14hh when she had gone longer than 8 weeks between shoeing lol. Bf has a mustang that is 16hh 0.0'.
 

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.. but check this out:

The great weight debate: How heavy is too heavy? - Comment, News - Horsetalk.co.nz

The first thing to note is: there IS not scientific answer to this question and it can depend on so much...
As an example of why folks tend to poo-poo a lot of studies:

The article cites a study showing "There was little difference ...when horses carried either 15 per cent or 20 per cent of their body weight. However, the scientists started to detect differences when weight levels increased further."

But what it doesn't mention is the study design. The horses used were not ridden for 4 months. They were then stressed one time for 45 minutes, and then given 2 weeks without any riding before their next test. So the study involved out of shape horses not used to carrying a rider, which shouldn't describe most of our horses.

If someone is concerned about their weight on the horse, one can reduce the stress by doing more walking, by posting, using a western saddle to distribute weight over a larger area of the horse's back, using a mounting block, making sure your horses feet are squared up before mounting, good saddle fit, shorter rides, more frequent rides (if the horse needs conditioning), etc.
 

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If you could post a picture so we can see what you are describing, it would help. From what you are explaining I don't believe that size is a problem in your case.
 

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I agree

Are you too big to ride?

Definitely not. On a suitable horse.

Is a 15.3hh horse suitable? Probably, but I also know plenty that wouldn't be.

For an exact answer to you on the specific horse please post a picture, or at least a picture of the horse.

Build is everything.

Also very relevant is your riding style/ability- are you all over his back or do you sit nicely and quietly?

Does he have any soundness issues, etc? Obviously an older horse with soundness issues etc will need a weight limit even if buildwise he should be able to carry you.

So you are not to big, and probably not too big for the horse though pictures are necessary to determine.
 

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If people are saying you're too big to ride I'd hate to see what they'd say about me. My gelding is 15.3 and I weigh around 240 pounds. We've been trail riding together 3-5 days a week for over 2 years without issues. Half the time I'm having to hold him back since he wants to run and I want to stay at a brisk walk/trot.
 

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If people are saying you're too big to ride I'd hate to see what they'd say about me. My gelding is 15.3 and I weigh around 240 pounds.
Same here. My five year old TWH is 14.3 and has a very slender build - not stocky at ALL. He's my first "non-stocky" horse actually. I am 5'8" and currently 220 lbs (admittedly I am working on whittling that down), but my little guy carries me without any issues.
 
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