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You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > The Yard > Touchy subject rider weight



Jan 12

Posts: 54

Buzzbomb says:

Re: Touchy subject rider weight

 I do think riding schools having a weight limit of 14 stone is ridiculous - especially as a lot of men are over this. I think riding schools should have a range of horses to suit all riders. Plus a bigger but more balanced rider is easier for a horse to carry than a lighter unbalanced sack of spuds!

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Jun 06

Posts: 657

sammyseshi says:

Re: Touchy subject rider weight

I think it obv depends on the horse, but unless the horses are *huge* strong things, I wouldn't like to see an average sized larger horse carrying an extremely obese person. I don't want to offend anybody here, i know there are medical reasons for some people being very large... But if it was me I would HAVE to find a way to be smaller before inflcting a horse with my weight if say it was above 18 stone....If I couldn't be smaller then I wouldn't ride. This is MY view! I don't mean to personally offend anybody...


I'm a size 12, 11 stone... Unhappy. But i've already lost a stone, two dress sizes and would like to be 10 stone. And I will be! I have no excuse for letting myself get this big!! So i'm gymming it up, dieting and fighting the flab I'll feel better and Buddy will appreciate it!

My babies have hooves :)

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Aug 11

Posts: 498

Re: Touchy subject rider weight

 I'm 9 stone (5'4) but my horse can only take 10 stone as she is finely built.



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Apr 08

Posts: 1276

pippixox says:

Re: Touchy subject rider weight

useful article tommytank, although think it actually shows you can be pretty heavy and a horse can still carry you.

A 545-kilogram (1200 pound) horse, then would be best off carrying no more than 109 kg (240 lbs) of tack and rider- 240lbs is 17 stone, which is a substantial weight and many bigger horses weigh more than that so 20% of their weight would be even more

i agree it is a shame riding schools often have weight limits, i guess keeping larger horses usually means more room and money, when they tend to cater for children. 14 stone is nothing- a perfectly healthy tall man would be unable to learn or just a slightly curvey women. when riding is such good exercise and if i needed to lose weight i would much rather that then the gym!

my horses are my medicine, without them im even more crazy!

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Mar 12

Posts: 147

kezza81 says:

Re: Touchy subject rider weight

wagonsroll said:

Well I'm a dress size 26 - 32 depending upon which part of me you're dressing! I'm always interested in all forms of bigotry so tell me tommy tank why should I "in your opinion" be too big to ride?

------ End Quote ------

personally i dont think dress size means as much as actual weight! was a size 14 and weighed 11stone. my best friend is same dress size and weighs just 9and half stone.  i think what atters is whether you are the correct weight for your horse to safely carry you without causing harm to the horse. if your horse has the capacity to carry you then who cares what size you are?  i do think though that as riders we should do our best to be as fit and balnced as we can to help our horses out. hence i have spent the last two months going swimming every evening to get fit and have now dropped weight down to 10 and half stone, no diet involved! 

as for riding school limits i think the weight limit for most schools is 16stone as this is what they are advised by the bhs. also most of their horses need to fall into the category of being suitable for teenagers and more competant children as well as adults or they probably wouldnt earn their keep. for example a strapping 17hh horse capable of carrying 18stone or more would probably put all but the biggest or most experienced riders off so is less likely to do the 3-5 hours work the 15h ridden-by-everyone horses do.

a pony is a child's dream and an adult's treasure.

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Oct 07

Posts: 557

Fenris says:

Re: Touchy subject rider weight

 As long as you choose a horse to suit your purposes and that is happy in its work then I don't think it matters so much. What burns my biscuits is when you go to shows and see someone (and it is usually a woman) who is a hefty chunk of a lassie on a tb or similar when a sturdier horse is clearly required - if you are that desperate to ride a blood horse then lose some weight so at least the poor thing won;t be crippled in a couple of years.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Apr 05

Posts: 2848

rhapsody says:

Re: Touchy subject rider weight

I'm 5ft 5", after Christmas I was 11 stone 4lb which is the heaviest I've been in my life and I was horrified, I'm now down to 10st 2lbs due to eliminating rubbish and feel a lot better, not just in how I look or how my clothes fit but I've more energy and the one thing I noticed is that my thighs had been starting to rub together when I walked and now they don't!  I will go down to 9.5 stone if I can as that is where I was normally.  In work the one thing we have noticed over the last couple of years is that the population as a whole is getting bigger, we have what is called "bariatric" equipment i.e. larger, wider and sturdier beds and chairs etc, and there is never enough of it to go round all the people who need it, which was unheard of in the past.  Also we are seeing coronary artery disease in much younger people than we used to (last week a 22 year old with a bad heart attack and no it wasn't due to a congenital disorder either, the arteries were furred), I blame the "convenience" lifestyle i.e. microwave dinners, pot noodles, fast food outlets etc, and no-one seems to cook from scratch the way we used to in the past.  As far as horse riding is concerned, if you are fit enough to ride whatever your size is then you need to ensure that the horse you ride is also built for it and won't suffer as a result.  After all horse riding is a good way to get fit and burn up some calories.  However, I do think people need to consider their health as a lot of these larger persons do end up in hospital and much of their problems can be directly contributed to their weight, and there is nothing more strange than someone who is 35+ stones lying in a bed expecting an 8 stone nurse to manouvre them!

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Jul 11

Posts: 612

wagonsroll says:

Re: Touchy subject rider weight

Well isn't this interesting, because Professor Derek Knottenbolt, a professor of Equine medicine at Leahurst Equine Teaching hospital would disagree with all of you. He wants my 584kg to lose another 50k and still says she is capable at that reduced weight of carrying 35 st comfortably.


But hey I'm sure you're all right and that he's not qualified to comment, unlike yourselves.

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Mar 09

Posts: 3438

Micki says:

Re: Touchy subject rider weight

If a larger rider has a horse that can cope well with the weight then i can't see a problem with it. Obviously a beginner rider is less balanced than an experienced rider. The horse will struggle more with an unbalanced lighter rider than a balanced heavier rider.

I'm sure that if wagonsroll thought she was hurting her horse then she wouldn't ride but her horse copes with her fine. The horse she has is suitable for her.

I don't like to see riders that are really heavy on skinny tb's as they can't cope with the extra weight as they are bred for speed not weight carrying.

. .A horse is a thing of such beauty. . .none will tire of looking at him as long as he displays himself in his splendor. ~Xenophon

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Jan 09

Posts: 2403

Cocosmom says:

Re: Touchy subject rider weight

Wagonsroll please dont take this personally, the post is asking for opinions and it is quite an interesting topic. Everybody has dofferent opinions, including the professionals, sceintists, doctors, vets and it is down to the individual to take what information is out there and make informed decisions and opinions and sometimes challenge ideas and views.


My personal view is the height of the horse is largely irrelevant, a stocky well built 14.2hh cob could carry significantly more weight that a finer built 16hh horse such as a TB and there are many horses out there that can comfortably carry up to 18 stone and more no problem. I think the bigger issue is how well balanced a rider is as a lighter weight but unbalanced rider will cause a horse bigger problems than a heavier well balanced rider. Coco is an ID x and could easily carry 18 stone without the blink of an eye, however in my lesson the other week he was really struggling on the right rein to strik eoff on the right leg and on smaller 10m circles in trot was falling out through the shoulder and my instructor realised it was all me as I was so one sided and couldn't twist my shoulders to the right so my left side collapsed and subsequently puttin gall my weight on his left side which was making his job relaly difficult! I felt terrible and am now seeing an osteopath and excersise to correct my issues. I have no doubt he would find an 18 stone balanced rider a doddle in comparison to me and my one sided naf-ness puttin him out of balance! 


The other issue is ensuring your horse is fit enough to carry out the work we expect of them, horses are incredible workers, weight carrying, long distance, speed, jumping they really can deliver but for them to be healthy and capable of carrying out the work without risk to their health we need to fitten them up gradually and considerately and as long as this is the case I think horses can achieve more than we probably give them credit for.  I like to make Coco hack out in an outline, he gets lots of regular chances to stretch out but especially in the winter I dont have the facilities to do much schooling and I want the muscles in his back to be good and strong to help him support my weight effectively.  


I really dont think anyone means any offense to anyone on here and one of the great things about horse riding is that it is a great hobby/form of exercise for all people of differing shapes and sizes, age and sex as long as every rider views, assesses their own situation and horses workload and their abilities and manage it appropriately to ensure they and their horse is capable, happy and healthy.   

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