Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

Last post 06-21-2012 8:37 AM by MaverickMom. 10 replies.
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  • 06-18-2012 2:47 PM

    Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

    My boyfriend treated me to a trail ride for my birthday and I was lucky enough that the stables had a very stout horse that could accomodate my plus size, however, now I want to return the favor and treat my boyfriend to a ride. He loves horses and had always wanted to ride, however, he is 6'4" and approx. 300 lbs and the stables I rode at didn't have a horse that could accomodate his size. We live in Oregon, near Portland, so even somewhere in mid-to-lower WA would work too. How would I find a stable or riding outfit that would have horses that would be able to accomodate his size? I don't even know where to look without calling every single ranch or riding place in the state. Does anyone know of any place that might have horses that would fit him? I appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.

  • 06-19-2012 5:13 AM In reply to

    Re: Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

     Does the height really matter??? I searched it on google about your concern, but I didn't find anything. I don't think there are different genes of the horses for bigger and shorter size individuals. If you find some class of horss, please post it here.

    Horseback riding vacations

  • 06-19-2012 12:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

    The acknowledged rule for rider weight is that the horse should not be required to carry any more than 20% of its weight. For a 300 lb rider, that means a 1500 lb horse. A horse that heavy is a draft horse. Most of the stables that can accommodate a horseless rider are riding schools, and since the average student is a woman, they do not need heavy horses.

    I live in NW WA, and the only riding school with a school horse in my area does not have a heavy horse. In addition, the school horse is used for lessons, only, not unsupervised trail rides. 

    I suspect that you will have to Google "dude ranches in OR", then contact them to see if they have a horse who can handle a large rider. Some 1500 lb horses cannot handle a 300 lb rider, but some smaller horses can do it, depending upon their breeding.

    Unless one of our OR members knows of a dude ranch, you will have to do some research. Good luck.

    "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."


  • 06-19-2012 12:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

    I don't mean to be insensitive but the reality is there's a limit on how much weight a horse can safely support. And a 300 pound rider is beyond the limit of just about any horse breed except draught. That would mean Clydesdale or a very big Percheron type. 

    The commonly accepted rule of thumb is the horse should carry no more than 30% of its own weight. That includes the combined weight of the tack AND rider. So your BF would need a horse close to 1600 pounds. It's not just the raw rider-to-horse weight ratio that needs to be considered. A novice rider (any, not just plus size) presents balance problems for the horse too. Not to mention the pounding its spine may be subject to at any gait above a walk if the rider can't post or properly sit the trot.

    You may have better success finding a riding stable if you confine your search to those with large draught breeds to rent. ~FH
  • 06-19-2012 1:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

     You are correct, his height doesn't make a difference really. It is the weight that is the major factor. Obviously he will need a horse that can carry his weight, which would be a draft horse type, which are not easy to find for riding.

  • 06-19-2012 1:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

     Thank you Megan. That helps a little.

  • 06-19-2012 1:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

     It is not terribly insensitive, in fact, I expected several comments as such, however the information is much welcomed. I knew it was a long shot but I'll keep trying to see if there are any available. Thanks.

  • 06-20-2012 5:44 AM In reply to

    Re: Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

    How the horse is built may be more important than how much it weights.  A good short, stout horse with good sized bones would be a better bet than a tall slim horse, even if the taller horse is heavier than the shorter one. 

    Note, actor Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on Bonanza, was 6'4" and weighted between 250 and 300 pounds and the horse he was given to ride was a 15.3 hand QH type ranch horse.  This horse had no trouble carrying Blocker around at all gaits.  Even though he was a native born Texan, Blocker really didn't know how to ride, and it shows in the early episodes.  Even so, he had the same horse throughout the run of the series. 

     Spotted Pony


  • 06-20-2012 8:28 AM In reply to

    Re: Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

     Thank you Spotted Pony, very interesting facts.

  • 06-20-2012 8:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

    we went to ocean shores, washington a couple years ago and they had trail rides on the beach.  i had a solid horse and my dh had a belgian.  i'm not sure if it's purebred or cross.  he was a big solid horse though.  the trail ride was mostly walking and a bit of trotting, on the beach.  pretty laid back ride.  my dh weighed maybe 230, 240.  i would think they have horses that can carry you.

    i don't remember the name of that particular stable.  they trailered the horses to the beach and tethered them, so, we just went up and paid to go.  but, it was in  ocean shores washington.

    i have visited a number of trail ride stables over the years and i think almost all of them have had a drafty or two in their herd.  and you know everyone is getting fatter, so, a smart stable will try to accomodate.

    not everyone is a fit little athlete.

    here's a facebook page for the plus size rider.  maybe they know some stables??

    Gailforce -- Another old lady rediscovering her inner cowgirl.
  • 06-21-2012 8:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Horseback riding for Big & Tall / Plus size people

     Thank you Gailforce. That is excellent information!

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