Horse's weight vs. Rider's weight

Last post 07-10-2011 10:43 AM by kristilyn1963. 8 replies.
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  • 07-04-2011 12:14 PM

    Horse's weight vs. Rider's weight

    Please help.....I have a riding partner, while heavy to begin with, has been gaining weight steadily over the years.  She is a terrific person & I really don't care how heavy she is.....except I fear she is hurting her horses when she rides.  Both horses get frothy and irritated in a short period of time.  It seriously limits "trail time" when she is with us.  I have been trying to convince her for 2 years that she needs to get a draft horse as I feel the 2 horses she has now are not heavy-enoughed boned to carry her comfortably.   We have a certified scale here on the ranch....her horses come in at 1200 lbs. and 1300 lbs.  Are there any articles, or scientific information, available to help me show her the potential damage she could be doing to her horses?

  • 07-04-2011 1:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse's weight vs. Rider's weight

    Talk to your vet and ask him/her to back you up when you tell your friend that her weight IS a problem, and the vet can lay out the damage data for her. And even more important, tell her to listen to her HORSES. They are the ultimate judges, and they're aren't going to lie in order to spare her feelings. The fact that they are irritated and sweaty after a reasonably short time should tell her the same thing it tells you: her horses are saying, as well as they can, that something is bothering them. All the vet has to d is palpate their backs, and undoubtedly they have sore backs.

    An old calvary standard is that the weight of the rider AND the weight of the tack, combined, should not be more than 20% of the weight of the horse. In her case, 240# on one horse, and 260# on the other. Western tack weighs more than English tack, but either way she should not weigh any more than 200# herself. If she's heavy I suspect she does weigh more than 200#.

    If she won't listen to the vet, or you, tell her, "PLEASE, listen to your horses." If she won't listen to her horses, she's not much of a horsewoman.

    If you need something black and white, Google "rider weight versus horse weight".
    Megan


    "The horse you get off is not the horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better."

    Anonymous




  • 07-04-2011 5:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse's weight vs. Rider's weight

    48northfarm:


    An old calvary standard is that the weight of the rider AND the weight of the tack, combined, should not be more than 20% of the weight of the horse. In her case, 240# on one horse, and 260# on the other. Western tack weighs more than English tack, but either way she should not weigh any more than 200# herself. If she's heavy I suspect she does weigh more than 200#.

     

    why should she weigh no more then 200#?  If her saddle/pad and what ever she adds (saddle bags and such) only weigh 30# that allows her to be 210# or 230# respectivly.  

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The 20% thing is a guideline.  You can take a heavier rider and put them on a horse and that horse can carry it fine if the rider has a good seat and balance.  That same horse can have all sorts of problems if you put a rider that weighs the same on them but the rider flops around like a sack of potatos.  

    As with everything there is no hard and fast rule on this.  Only guidelines.  I"m heavier but have great balance and a great seat.  Going by those guidelines I am to heavy for my horse.  But you know what, he can carry me just fine.  We can go out and ride and not have any problems.  



    If at first you don't succeed, do it the way your wife told you to. (author unknown)
  • 07-04-2011 5:52 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse's weight vs. Rider's weight

     

    Thanks for the replies so far. I, too, try to bring up the 20% (25% max!). And, yes, she is well over 200 lbs.  Probably getting closer to 350.  She has a friend that is an equine vet.  And, even though I've asked the same question of him, he won't bring up the subject with her.  (I just don't understand.)  That's why I am looking for articles, or advise, in print.
  • 07-04-2011 6:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse's weight vs. Rider's weight

     The friend prolly doesn't know how to approach the subject.  Some people are very sensitive about their weight.  Maybe she figures if she can ride she's not to heavy.  IDK, really, unless she asks you about issues she's having with her horse or ofr your opinion.  It might be a MYOB situation.  (Mind Your Own Business).  Politics, religion and weight issues, NOT conversations to have with friends lol

     As for her amking your trail rides short.  Make it clear that you are going to be out for X time and if she can't make that time she's more then welcome to ride out with you and turn back when she has to.  There is no reason for you to cater to her (unless she is paying your bills)



    If at first you don't succeed, do it the way your wife told you to. (author unknown)
  • 07-04-2011 7:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse's weight vs. Rider's weight

    3barnsourhorses:

     

    Probably getting closer to 350.
    Three-fifty is 20% of a 1750# horse: that's pretty big, draft size. And that doesn't even include the tack: I have a friend with a Western saddle that is easily 50#.  But a large horse may not necessarily be able to carry more, just b/c he's large: it has a lot to do with back length, bone thickness, other factors. I Googled "maximum weight of rider on horse" and got several hits, including articles.http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=maximum+weight+of+rider+on+horse&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 

    But regardless of your friend's seat or riding ability, someone that large should not be on a horse until she loses some weight. If she's 350#, she's out of shape and doesn't have the strength to move her own body the way she must to ride well.  Jessica Jahiel of HorseSense.com--she's on the list of hits I got when I Googled weight--has articles about rider weight, and I seem to remember that she had some ideas in those articles about how to approach your friend in a tactful way. That's a hard one. For the horses' sake, I hope you can get through to her. Good luck.

    ETA--The Google link doesn't look like you can click on it for some reason, I can't fix it. Sorry.
    ETA2--You CAN click on the link, but it's not highlighted as usual. I just tried it and it worked fine. Whatever.
    Megan


    "The horse you get off is not the horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better."

    Anonymous




  • 07-05-2011 12:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse's weight vs. Rider's weight

    It sounds like your only recourse is to point out the duress her horses are under when she's riding them. You could insist she cut her trail ride even shorter. You could tell her that it is unsafe to ride with her when her horses are in such obvious pain. Point out the extra frothyness and irritability. Offer to ride with her back to the barn or trailhead. You don't necessarily have to call out the reason why. Just deal with the facts in front of you: cranky, over exerted horse. Make it a mission of discovery for you two. Offer to check the horses' topline for tenderness. Check the saddle. Do what you can to get her thinking. Above all, make it all about the horses, because it really is all about the horses. You might even suggest she see a vet, although that probably won't get you very far unless the vet puts two and two together.

    My experience with people, espeically us horse people, is that until we're ready to hear it, we simply won't hear it! Until  she is receptive to the possibility that she has gained too much weight to ride her horses, there's nothing you can say to convince her -- no matter how nicely or rudely you say it. If you persist lovingly and slowly, she may one day be willing to take in what you already know to be the truth. She may bring it up or the time might come when you can bring it up, and when you do, do it gently.

    Those two horses will thank you for caring enough to put yourself on the line like that, and you know what? I bet your friend will appreciate it too, eventually.

    Good luck. 

     

  • 07-10-2011 10:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Horse's weight vs. Rider's weight

    My gosh, around 350 pounds?  I can't imagine a horse carrying that much weight in a rider. 

    You can never have too many sunflowers.
  • 07-10-2011 10:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Horse's weight vs. Rider's weight

    I lost weight before getting on my first horse (30 years after my childhood horse).  I would lead the horse around; all the walking did wonders for me and was a great opportunity for Smokey and I to bond.  I hope this woman would use this time of weight loss to focus on non-riding horse work such as stable and pasture work, grooming, leadiung the horse on walks, etc.

    You can never have too many sunflowers.

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