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.