How Much Should You Weigh To Ride A Horse? (Solution)

Deb Bennett, PhD, founder of the Equine Studies Institute and an expert in the biomechanics of horses, has advised that the “Total weight of rider plus tack must not exceed 250 lbs. There is no horse alive, of any breed, any build, anywhere, that can go more than a few minutes with more weight on its back than this.

  • There is no exact weight limit for horseback riding, but as a general rule, horses should not carry more than 20% of their total body weight. This includes the weight of the tack as well as the rider. How much a horse can carry depends on a range of factors such as height, weight, build and its overall condition.

Is there a weight limit to riding a horse?

When horseback riding, the rule of thumb is that a horse can safely carry 20% of its body weight. So, if you weigh 250 pounds, you should aim to ride a horse that weighs 1,250 pounds or more. This will help ensure the horse’s safety and ability to work. Balance is also a key aspect of how much weight a horse can carry.

Can a horse carry a 300 pound person?

Q: Can a horse carry a 300 pound person? Some horses can carry a 300 pound rider, but your balance is also important. If you don’t have a good balance then it’ll be very difficult for even the largest horses to comfortably carry the weight.

Can a 200 pound person ride a horse?

According to research conducted in January 2008, a horse can safely carry 20% of its body weight. So, if you have a 1000 lbs. horse, it can easily carry 200 lbs. For example, the two-year-old Thoroughbred pictured above is not developed enough to carry a rider over 135 lbs even though 20% of its weight may be higher. 5

Do horses like to be ridden?

Most horses are okay with being ridden. As far as enjoying being ridden, it’s likely most horses simply tolerate it rather than liking it. However, many people argue that if horses wouldn’t want us to ride them, they could easily throw us off, which is exactly what some horses do.

How do you know if you are too big for your horse?

If your feet are dragging on the floor or hitting poles when you are jumping, you should probably consider a larger horse… It is also true that riding a smaller or narrower horse can be more unbalancing than riding a wider or larger one and the gaits of larger horses differ from those of smaller ones.

What horse can carry 400 pounds?

The Suffolk Punch horse is usually between 16 and 17 hands tall with a weight of 2,000 – 2,200 lbs. This means the Suffolk Punch could easily carry a rider and saddle weight of 400+ pounds.

Can a horse carry a gorilla?

The rule of thumb is that a horse can safely carry 20% of its own weight, tack included. A 200 lb gorilla would be no more difficult than a 200 lb man for a horse weighing in at or over 1000 lbs, which is pretty average horse size.

How far is too far to ride a horse?

Horse speed You can ride your horse 25 and 35 miles (40 – 56.5 km) without rest when it walks steady. An average trail horse in decent shape can withstand a journey of 50 miles (80.5 km) in one day, while a fit endurance competitor will be able to travel even 100 miles (161 km) in a day.

Is 60 too old to learn to ride a horse?

Well, the good news is that you’re never too old to ride a horse! * As long as you can manage to get in and out of the saddle, you’ll be able to embark on all the equine adventures you could wish for. Read on to discover our advice for learning to ride a horse as an adult!

How much do saddles weigh?

Saddles can weigh anywhere from 10 – 60 lbs. English saddles are lighter, usually between 10 – 25 lbs. Western saddles can range from 25 – 60 lbs. The weight and style of a saddle will be a determining factor in how well you can perform as a rider.

What size horse does a 200 lb person?

Once you have your horse’s measurements, you’ll figure 20% of your horse’s weight. That means a 1000 lbs (453.5 kg) horse can comfortably carry 200 lbs (90.7 kg).

Do horses like to be hugged?

Sharing body contact is one of the main ways horses share affection. Since horses don’t have hands to hold or arms to give hugs, gentle leans and even “neck hugs” express their love.

Is PETA against horseback riding?

A Close Look at the Horse-Human Relationship Many animal rights activists, such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), have announced arguments against the use of horses for any and all riding purposes.

Do horses feel pain when ridden?

Do Horses Feel Pain When Ridden? Horses can sometimes feel pain when they are being ridden, it is inevitable. As horses age, they will also suffer from arthritis in the same way humans do. Young or small-sized horses can also experience pain from riders who are too heavy for them.

Too Heavy to Ride

Chris Ware created the illustrations. A study conducted in the spring of 2013 by Duchy College in the United Kingdom revealed that many riders were overweight to the point that they were endangering the wellbeing of their horses. The study was based on the premise that a rider’s weight should be around 10% of her horse’s weight in the ideal situation. As word of the study traveled across equestrian circles, riders performed some rapid mental calculations—and then panicked. If the typical riding horse weighs 1,000 pounds, then the ideal rider would weigh 100 pounds, which is not an easy objective for most humans to achieve given their current weight.

This study, conducted by Duchy College in the United Kingdom, was intended to serve as a starting point for additional research.

A healthy body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of a person’s weight in relation to their height, was taken into consideration by the researchers while looking at riders.

So, how did that ten percent statistic come to be calculated?

Once a rider’s weight reaches 20% of his or her body weight, it is considered a welfare concern.

But the reports brought an important subject to the public’s attention.

How Heavy is Too Heavy?

In the United States Cavalry Manual of Horse Management, one of the most commonly mentioned recommendations for matching horses and riders is to use the same horse. It is recommended that the rider and his or her equipment weigh no more than 20% of the horse’s total weight. The mention of equipment is significant. When a western saddle is used, it may add another 30 pounds or more to a horse’s back, easily bringing the overall weight over the 20-percent threshold. These guidelines were established on the basis of knowledgeable judgments held by military riders at the time, and scientific research conducted in more recent decades have confirmed their validity.

  • The horses were put through a 45-minute workout that was meant to mimic the experience of taking a typical riding session.
  • Make sure to consider the direction you’re going in when you’re writing.
  • The researchers discovered that the horses’ muscular pain and tightness began to change once their load reached 25 percent, and that these metrics rose dramatically after the load reached 30 percent, according to their findings.
  • It appears that these data corroborate the previous cavalry practice standard.
  • In Wimbush’s opinion, the horse that bears the most weight is the one who is doing the most labor.
  • Even while carrying 25 and 30 percent of their body weight, the horses’ stress and discomfort signs remained elevated.
  • In Wimbush’s opinion, “there is no question that a calm, balanced rider produces less stress to the horse than a ‘busy’ or imbalanced rider.” “As the study shown, rider weight is also a consideration.

It’s likely that a bigger rider who is well-balanced isn’t as demanding on a horse as a lighter-weight rider who isn’t as well-balanced.” Wimbush also notes out that, in her experience, lameness concerns seem to manifest themselves more frequently in horses who are subjected to frequent incorrect or inexperienced riding than in horses that carry greater weight but are constantly ridden properly.

It is important to choose the right kind. Horses with more bone and wider loins, according to research, are better equipped to carry greater weight than horses with less bone and narrower loins.

Not All Body Weight is Created Equal

Considering a horse’s body weight in relation to the amount of weight he can carry may appear overly basic at first glance. What percentage of the weight should be anticipated to be carried by a fine-boned Thoroughbred and what percentage by a stocky Quarter Horse of same body weight? The Ohio State University research investigated this matter by examining not just the body weight of the horse individuals, but also the quantity of bone they had. This is done by measuring the diameter of the cannon bone around the centre of the limber.

The researchers discovered that the outcomes were inversely related to muscular soreness.

Fitness Matters

Type and size aren’t the only things to think about. It’s the same as a sedentary person going to the gym for the first time when you’re riding a young or green horse with minimal under-saddle miles. Even a tiny bit of physical activity will cause them to be uncomfortable for a few days. Additionally, a senior horse or one that has had previous injuries will not be able to carry the same amount of weight that he could while younger and in better health. Adult horses, on the other hand, with a high degree of conditioning are capable of pushing the limits of athletic success.

  1. The researchers examined the body weight and physical condition of all horses that competed in the race in 1995, 1996, and 1999, as well as the amount of weight they were carrying at the time of the examination.
  2. A greater body condition score, as measured by the Henneke Body Condition scoring method, increased the likelihood of horses finishing the race.
  3. Remember that these participants were all well conditioned endurance athletes, yet none of them had a score greater than a 5.5 on the test.
  4. Perhaps unsurprisingly, none of the horses that had a score below 3.0 in the poll completed the race in any of the three years examined.

When deciding who will be allowed to ride your horse, take into consideration his overall physical condition. Underweight horses may not be able to safely carry the same weight of rider as they could if they were at their optimal weight.

But My Horse is Fine

However, when it comes to translating the findings of these research to real-world situations, it is not as straightforward as it may appear at first glance. Why should you be concerned if your horse appears to be doing alright despite the fact that he is being required to carry more than 20% of his body weight on a daily basis? Horses are known to be stoic. They will persevere in the face of suffering because they have been bred and trained to do so. In the event that they do exhibit mild pain or lameness, it is nearly hard to link these issues to the rider’s weight.

Others who do have a heavy rider may appear to be in good condition for several years before difficulties occur.

Just because a horse looks to be in good health does not necessarily imply that he is not overworked.

A Weighty Issue

The subject of rider weight is a touchy one. On the one hand, there is reasonable worry that our sedentary lives in the twenty-first century are contributing to our unhealthful weight gain. This is supported by statistical evidence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of overweight or obese Americans began to rise rapidly about 1980 and has been on an increasing trajectory for the past three decades, according to the organization. Riders are not exempt from this tendency, and as our weights grow, so does the pressure we throw on our horses, which is a vicious cycle.

  • There is a big number of girls and young women in the horse industry in America, and they appreciate the barn as a place to escape from the stresses of everyday life.
  • In the United States, research have revealed that prejudice against overweight persons is a serious problem, even among adults.
  • Equestrians, on the other hand, must approach this problem from the perspective of horse welfare first and foremost.
  • They will need to be practical and ride horses that are the suitable size and build for their weight, or take measures to reduce weight in order to continue riding the horse they now have.
  • Fortunately, there is a simpler method available for riders who are looking for a horse.
  • Take into consideration the weight of your saddle as well as any other equipment you may ask your future horse to transport.

Then you should only choose horses that are acceptable in size for the work that you want them to perform. In the long term, it will result in a more contented and healthier horse-and-rider partnership.

Setting Weight Limits

When it comes to riding teachers, trail guides, and other professionals that give horses to the general public, the problem of rider weight gets more complicated. Discouraging paying clients from purchasing anything is difficult, especially when the reason for doing so may insult them on a personal level. Weight restrictions are posted at certain public riding facilities in advance, so that potential riders are aware of whether or not they will be permitted to sit on a horse. Since it first opened its doors 30 years ago, the Traditional Equitation School (TES) in Burbank, California, has enforced a rigorous 195-pound weight limit for pupils.

  • Although limiting the pool of possible clients may appear to be a risk for the firm, Call believes the advantages exceed any potential drawbacks.
  • “We have a low incidence of back issues,” she continues.
  • A large number of horses working at our school are in their mid- to late-20s, and they are in good condition.
  • This is an element of the equation, as is our weight restriction.” New students at TES are required to participate in an initial evaluation class, during which the weight restriction is explained.
  • “I believe that the majority of clients are honest when questioned about their weights.
  • As Call points out, “I do have a scale in the front office.” When I see a rider who looks to be over the limit, I can ask him or her to step on the scale, though this has never happened.
  1. The link between the bodyweight of the horse and the rider in the horse-riding population of the United Kingdom. E. Halliday and H. Randle are two of the best writers in the world. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages e8–e9, March–April, 2013
  2. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages e8–e9, March–April, 2013. Identifying and evaluating indications of the weight-carrying capacity of light riding horses DM Powell, K Bennett-Wimbush, A Peeples, and M Duthie are among those who have contributed to this work. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 28-33, 2008. DOI:
  3. The relationship between body condition score and completion rate during 160-kilometer endurance races was investigated. The Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at California State Polytechnic University published a report by S.E. Garlinghouse and M.J. Burrill in 1999.
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Did you like this article? Here are some more that you’ll enjoy: Inquire with an Expert: What is the maximum amount of weight that a horse can carry? Riding Fitness as Described by HorseChannel This story first appeared in the February 2014 edition of Horse Illustrated. It has been updated. To subscribe, please visit this page.

“Am I too fat to ride a horse?”

A picture taken from a comment piece with the remark, “Am I too overweight to ride a horse?” ” data-medium-file=”ssl=1″ data-medium-file=”ssl=1″ Riders who move ‘with’ a horse are ‘lighter’ than someone of the same weight who ‘ride like a sack of potatoes,’ according to research.” width: 600 pixels; height: 400 pixels Set the srcset to: ” ssl=1 600w, ssl=1 300w” sizes = sizing “(maximum width: 600px) 100vw, maximum width: 600px ” Maybe, maybe not.

  1. data-recalc-dims=”1″>Perhaps, maybe not.
  2. Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for the punch line: clearly, this is all a joke, as you can see!
  3. It is recommended that a horse should not be asked to carry more than 20% of its own weight, according to the US Cavalry Manual of Horse Management (1941).
  4. Researchers at Duchy College in Cornwall, England, evaluated the influence of horses on 50 riders who completed 45-minute exercises, and they arrived to the same conclusion as the other researchers: a 20 percent reduction is recommended.
  5. This enzyme is activated when a horse’s heart rate increases to a level where the horse’s body is unable to metabolize the lactate in the blood.
  6. Wider loins and thicker cannon bones aid in the recovery of those who have larger bodies.
  7. For the majority of the 5000 years that men have been riding horses, they have used them to travel to distant locations and kill one another.

The earliest warriors rode bareback and all their horses were sore within three days.

Attila the Hun was the first to use a saddle in war, around 440, figuring spreading the bearing weight over a greater area would make the horse less sore.

Attila stole this idea from the Sarmatian women warriors (400 BC) who built a wooden “casing” on a horse so they would not be ejected when they ran a lance through an enemy ground soldier.

They cut off their right breast so they could more easily pull a bow.

Next, Attila stole a stirrup the Chinese used as a mounting aid during the same period.

The Romans soon visited Attila’s discovery but were quick to establish weight limits.

Add this to 200lb of an average armed warrior and the Roman warhorse carried 300lb, well over 30 percent of horse weight.

Over the next thousand years weight increased even more.

Advance to the South African War (1899-1902) the average weight of an Allied soldier with equipment was around 320lbs.


They carried 250lb to protect his Tiger Tanks.

Those horses packed 250lb.

We are actually enjoying them and, I like to believe, they are enjoying us.

In the last 50 years, we have outgrown airplane seats, cars, furniture and houses.

Today it is 17” and rising.

Clearly, humans and horse are on a weight-impact collision course.

I consider reality rather than scientists, who can crunch numbers and come up with any result they want to push an agenda.

It is easy to imagine that in 200 years humans riding animals will be illegal.

Zoos will be banned.

They are discriminated against in jobs, social situations and almost any human interaction.

Meanwhile, horse lovers are taking note.

Still, he does not chisel that in stone, explaining: “In actuality, we have felt that some riders weighing 210 pounds were easier for horses to carry than others weighing only 175 pounds.” Bottom line: riders who movewitha horse are “lighter” than people of the same weight who “ride like a sack of potatoes”.

The reality is that smaller horses can carry a higher proportion of their own weight than bigger horses.

Mules and donkeys do the same today.

“I went solo and unsupported,” he says.

For questions or comments, email Colin [email protected] call 818 8896988. Colin Dangaard is the founder and President of the Australian Stock Saddle Company, launched with his wife Linda Fox in 1979. They were the first to bring the Australian stock saddle to the USA.» Read Colin’s profile

How Much Weight Can a Horse Carry? (Weight Limit to Ride)

Despite the fact that horses are enormous and strong creatures, they have their limits. Any overloading can result in damage and a reduction in their capacity to function. What is the maximum amount of weight that a horse can carry? This is an important topic to ask whether you are new to horseback riding or an experienced rider who wants to learn more about the horse. Let’s have a look at this.

How Much Weight Can a Horse Carry

The key to a safe and enjoyable ride is to keep an eye out for stiffness in the horse’s muscles. When transporting a human weighing more than 20% of the animal’s body weight, you should be aware that the animal will begin to experience substantial strain and suffering. Consequently, the maximum weight carrying capacity of the horse, including the rider and saddle, is 20 percent of its maximum carrying capacity. Keep in mind that the average western saddle weighs around 50 pounds (22.7 kg), whereas the average English saddle weighs approximately 20 pounds (9 kg).

Furthermore, stockier horses can carry more weight than the typical horse, making them more ideal for riders who weigh more than the average.

Never allow a young or aged horse to carry an excessive amount of weight in order to avoid damage.

Proper Horses’ Sizes for Particular Riders

What is crucial for safe riding is that the horse’s size is appropriate to your own height and body weight. For example, if you are significantly larger than the horse, you will find it difficult to maintain your balance for the whole horse ride. When you are too short for the horse, on the other hand, you will have difficulty using your legs efficiently. For example, improperly wrapping the horse’s legs around the horse’s body might cause the horse discomfort. The breadth and barrel size of the horse will be acceptable for you to ride securely only if you wrap your legs over its sides in the appropriate manner.

weight limit to ride a horse

What is vital for safe riding is that the horse’s size is appropriate to your own height and weight. You will battle to maintain your balance if you are too tall for the horse, as an example, and will struggle during the whole horse ride. When you are too short for the horse, on the other hand, you will have difficulty moving your legs adequately. For example, improperly wrapping the horse’s legs around the horse’s body might cause the animal to become uncomfortable.

It is only after you properly wrap your legs over the horse’s flanks that the breadth and barrel size of the horse will be adequate for you to securely ride it. By utilizing the stirrups, you will be able to command the horse with relative ease.

Weight limit to ride a horse

Horse’s weight Weight carrying capacity – 15% Weight carrying capacity – 20%
700 pounds (317.5 kg) 105 pounds (47.5 kg) 140 pounds (63.5 kg)
800 pounds (363 kg) 120 pounds (54.5 kg) 160 pounds (72.5 kg)
900 pounds (408 kg) 135 pounds (61 kg) 180 pounds (81.5 kg)
1,000 pounds (453.5 kg) 150 pounds (68 kg) 200 pounds (91 kg)
1,100 pounds (499 kg) 165 pounds (75 kg) 220 pounds (99.5 kg)
1,200 pounds (544 kg) 180 pounds (81.5 kg) 240 pounds (109 kg)
1,300 pounds (590 kg) 195 pounds (88.5 kg) 260 pounds (118 kg)
1,400 pounds (635 kg) 210 pounds (95 kg) 280 pounds (127 kg)
1,500 pounds (680 kg) 225 pounds (102 kg) 300 pounds (136 kg)
1,600 pounds (726 kg) 240 pounds (109 kg) 320 pounds (145 kg)
1,700 pounds (771 kg) 255 pounds (115.5 kg) 340 pounds (154 kg)
1,800 pounds (816.5 kg) 270 pounds (122.5 kg) 360 pounds (163 kg)
1,900 pounds (862 kg) 285 pounds (129 kg) 380 pounds (172 kg)
2,000 pounds (907 kg) 300 pounds (136 kg) 400 pounds (181.5 kg)

In any case, if you want to know what horse kind will be able to appropriately transport you, you should consult one of the online calculators.

An Ideal Horse for Riding

These are the characteristics that are most frequently taken into account when selecting a horse for riding:


It is vital to concentrate on breeds since some of them are more thin, such as the Arabian, while others are stockier, such as the Haflinger, and so on. You should select the one that is the most appropriate for your riding abilities and your own preferences.


Confirmation refers to the form or structure of the horse, as well as its proportions. When acquiring a horse, it is important to consider its intended use because this impacts the weight bearing capabilities of the animal.


A horse that has not been properly taught will demand a lighter rider since it is not as balanced as a horse that has been properly trained.


A horse that has never been used for regular labor and has not been allowed to run freely for an extended period of time is likely to be in bad condition. As a result, it will be better ideal for riders who are less in weight.

Body condition

The amount of fat present in the horse’s body is referred to as its body condition. A horse that is underweight or overweight will always require a lighter rider since its carrying capacity will not be at its maximum level.

Horse’s age

It is the amount of fat that is present in the horse’s body that determines its bodily condition. Because the carrying capability of an underweight or overweight horse is not at its maximum, a lighter rider is always required.

Horse breed that fits particular rider height

Rider height Horse and pony breeds
Short rider, up to 65 inches (165 cm) Haflinger, Appaloosa, Fjord, Dales Pony, Highland Pony, Irish Cob, Hanoverian
Average rider from 65 to 70 inches (165 – 178 cm) Irish Draught, Percheron, Fresian, Irish Cob, Haflinger, Fjord, Draft Cross, Cleveland Bay, Quarter Horse, Lusitano, Paint, Hanoverian, Knabstrupper, Holsteiner, Morgan
Tall rider, over 70 inches (178 cm) Clydesdale, Irish Draught, Percheron, Draft Cross, Cleveland Bay, Hanoverian, Holsteiner, Knabstrupper

Rider’s age

When acquiring a horse for a younger rider, selecting a horse that is taller or stockier is the most appropriate option for the situation. It will be proportionate to the rider’s potential adult height and weight. A shorter horse, on the other hand, is more ideal for seniors since it makes mounting and dismounting easier and reduces the chance of injury.

The Best Horse Breeds for Beginners

Equine companions that are simple to teach and retain positive memories of their training are the most suitable for inexperienced riders.


Morgans are a kind and fearless breed that is always willing to satisfy its owners. It will put out great effort in working with any riders and will be consistent in determining their needs.


Because of its lively demeanor and proclivity to roll around in the mud, the Friesian is sometimes compared to a Labrador Retriever (Lab). In addition, because horses are loyal to their owners, it is the perfect option for riders who desire a long-term engagement with their mount.


Many beginning riders are intimidated by the prospect of riding a large horse, therefore the Icelandic horse is a good compromise. A rider, particularly an inexperienced one, will find it more comfortable because of its height and the smooth rendition of a rapid stroll that it offers.

Tennessee Walking Horse

Its walk is so smooth that you may comfortably have a cup of tea while riding it. Additionally, it is a fantastic answer for individuals who have saddle soreness after a lengthy riding session.

See also:  How Do You Train A Horse For Dressage? (Best solution)

Connemara Pony

Connemara Pony started out as a farm worker and eventually became more.

Due to the fact that this horse stands around 14 hands or 56 inches (1.42 m) tall, it is ideal for accommodating shorter equestrian riders. Despite the fact that it is a pony of a smaller breed, it is an athletic animal that will become a faithful companion in future contests for you.

Welsh Cob

Welsh Cob horses were developed via crossbreeding between the Welsh Mountain Pony and bigger breeds such as Arabians or Thoroughbreds. The fact that it may be used in a variety of disciplines makes it popular among European riding schools.

The Best Horse Breeds for Plus-sized Riders

When horse breeders crossed the Welsh Mountain Pony with bigger breeds such as Arabians or Thoroughbreds, they created the Welsh Cob that we know today. In European riding schools, it is frequently seen since it may be used in many different disciplines.


Appaloosas belong into the group of shorter horses, making them more suited for riders who are shorter or larger in stature than other breeds. They tend to have placid demeanor, which allows them to be an excellent fit for riders of all skill levels. Traditionally, this breed has been employed in western disciplines like as cutting and reining, among others.


As a result of their height and the size of their barrels, Clydesdales are the greatest horses for tall and plus-sized riders. However, despite their outgoing personality, they are not appropriate for all riding styles. Although they are not very adept at jumping, they are an excellent choice for pleasure riding on trails, pulling, and driving duties.

Dales Pony

Dales Ponies are a suitable match for riders who are shorter in stature and average in height and weight. They are well-known for their courageous demeanor and for their outstanding performance in driving contests. They are also good jumpers, excellent for dressage, and well-suited for leisure horseback riding as well.


Despite the fact that most of them aren’t particularly stocky, Hanoverians are suitable for riders of all sizes. Because of their exceptional athletic abilities, they make excellent sport horses. This is why jumpers for dressage and competitions are made out of them.

The Horse’s Purpose

Another important consideration when acquiring a horse is determining whether or not the horse is fit for the discipline in which it will be utilized. Horses of a lower stature are more suited to barrel racing or gymkhanas, whilst taller animals are better suited to dressage. Furthermore, some disciplines need a greater amount of horse labor. This covers elements such as how frequently and for how long you bike, as well as how strenuous the ride is. The greater the intensity of the effort, the less weight the horse is capable of towing at a given time.


Because the average rider is becoming heavier, it is important to ensure that the horse does not get overburdened. As a result, if you keep your animal’s weight within reasonable bounds, its performance in the duties you assign it will be improved. As a consequence, you will have a long-term partner in your endeavors in the coming years.

Weight Policy

Horses are exactly like people in that they come in a variety of sizes, forms, colors, heights, weights, ages, and talents, among other characteristics. The perfect size horse for young children is a tiny horse or pony, which may provide them with a great ride, possibly their very first horseback ride. The standard-sized quarter-horse is best suited for riders weighing between 100 and 180 pounds, depending on their height. An apparent advantage of a draft horse is its capacity to carry our bigger riders.

We are really pleased with the fact that our horses at the National Riding Stables are in excellent riding condition, both in terms of training and fitness.

We have a small number of horses that are capable of carrying riders weighing up to 210 pounds.

The second half of our mission, on the other hand, is to give our horses with loving care.

We have implemented the following weight policy in order to assist us in this endeavor and to protect your safety.

Are You Too Big for Your Horse?

Is it true that I’m too large for this horse? This is one of the most often asked questions when purchasing a horse. Even while the size of the horse should be appropriate to the rider’s height, weight alone should not be the sole consideration. When it comes to making the horse’s task simpler and the rider feel confident and comfortable, height and riding ability are important factors to consider. As a result, a smaller horse may be able to cope with a bigger rider in particular situations. In contrast, a smaller but less proficient rider can make it more difficult for a larger horse to carry him, causing the larger horse’s back to hurt and causing limb soundness issues.

Riding Skill

Riding ability is a critical factor in determining how effortlessly a horse can transport a person on its back. This may be almost as significant as the rider’s height and weight in some cases. When a rider is askilled equestrian, well-balanced in the saddle, and has a decent seat, the horse will have an easier time carrying him than when a rider is inexperienced and sloppy in the saddle. The difference between holding a kid who is alert and carrying a youngster who is asleep will be immediately apparent if you’ve ever experienced the difference between carrying a rider who holds himself up and carrying a rider who is loose and unsteady.

Improving your riding abilities allows you to ride more comfortably, safely, and securely on the road.

By taking lessons and paying attention to equitation when you ride, you may make strides in improving your riding abilities.

Considering Weight

When people are concerned about whether or not they are too hefty for their horse, their primary issue is weight. Although there is some disagreement regarding this ratio, the usual guideline is that a horse should not be asked to carry more than 20% of their own weight. It’s important to remember that this weight includes the saddle and other riding equipment, in addition to the rider himself. A horse that is overweight will not necessarily be able to carry a bigger rider. The calculation should be done using the horse’s optimal weight as a starting point.

The Horse’s Age

As a horse is very young, its joints and bones are still growing; when a horse enters its senior years, it is prone to acquire arthritis in its joints and bones. Horses that are too young or too elderly should be saddled with less weight.

The total workload of young horses that are still growing and elderly horses who may be suffering from joint problems should be reduced. This relates to the weight of the rider, as well as the length of time and intensity of any labor done on the bicycle.

Considering Height

Another aspect that influences a rider’s sense of security in the saddle is his or her height. If you are tall, riding a small horse with delicate bones may cause you to feel quite top-heavy. It is possible that a well-built horse, such as an Icelandic or Fjord, will be more comfortable, despite the fact that it is shorter in stature than many other breeds, such as Arabians and Thoroughbreds. Anything that causes you to become imbalanced will make it more difficult for your horse to transport you.

Selecting a Horse and the Right Equipment

When it comes to choosing a horse, it is important to test several various sizes. A foundation type American Quarter Horseor a draft or draft cross may be appropriate for you if you are on the heavier side. If you’re tall and slim, an Arabian or a Thoroughbred could be the perfect horse for you. If you have your heart set on a certain breed of horse, such as an Arabian, opt for one with thicker bone. The bone is measured at the mid-canon of the front leg. The greater the diameter of the horse’s neck, the more strong the animal is.

It’s also critical to ensure that you have the appropriate-sized equipment, like a saddle that fits properly.

Both you and your horse will be more comfortable and less anxious during your rides if you and your horse are matched properly.

What Size Horse Should I Be Riding? Finding The Right Horse For Your Weight & Height

It’s possible that horse riding will be really enjoyable for you; however, if the horse you are riding isn’t the proper size for your height and/or weight, it won’t be at all enjoyable for the horse. Not only that, but it has the potential to do significant harm to the horse. A similar situation arises while riding an overly large horse, as you may discover that the horse is more stronger than you, and as a result is unable to maintain complete control over it. What type of horse should I be riding and what size should I be?

This will imply that the horse will be able to carry the rider as well as the heaviest of western saddles and trail accoutrements without straining or straining the animal.

Am I too heavy to ride a horse?

Despite the fact that there is still much disagreement and controversy concerning how much weight a horse can safely carry, some people believe that the bigger the horse, the more weight it can carry. It’s true that horses can carry a lot more weight than they weigh, but it’s not quite so simple as ‘the more a horse weighs, the more it can carry.’ If you follow that criterion, an overweight horse would be able to carry a bigger burden just because they were overweight, which is where the logic of this argument breaks down.

When calculating the horse’s ideal weight, rather than their actual weight, is employed since the horse’s bones and muscular structure are more essential than their overall weight.

The fact is that even if the horse weighs 600kg (1322lbs), it is only capable of carrying up to 120kg (264kg/19st).

And when I say everything, I truly mean everything, from the tack and any other equipment to the rider himself and his equipment.

If you follow my rule that a rider’s weight should not exceed 15 percent of a horse’s optimum weight, then unless you weigh more than 150Kg (330lbs/23st), you would still be able to ride, although on a robust and sturdy breed such as the Shire horse.

Am I too tall to ride a horse?

When it comes to riding, your height may not seem to make much of a difference at all, but in reality, it makes a far bigger impact than you may expect. If you’re very tall, you’ll probably discover that the horse is imbalanced, depending on the breed you’re looking at. The greater your height, the more the horse’s center of gravity will be shifted, and the more imbalanced the horse will be as a result of this. Horses with stockier, more substantial builds will be able to handle this better than horses with lighter, more sensitive builds.

While height is vital, the proportions of the rider are much more important.

In order for the rider’s legs to be comfortable in the stirrups when seated on a horse, they should neither be too much beneath the horse’s stomach, nor should they be too tall that the horse becomes top-heavy.

This is not the horse’s normal state.

What size horse should I be riding for my weight?

It is recommended that you choose a horse that weighs at least 7 times more than you, so that the horse can not only carry you, but also all of their tack and other equipment. No, it’s not feasible to declare that if you weigh a specific amount, you’ll need to ride on a horse of a given height. Consider that a 16-hand Thoroughbred will not be able to carry as much weight as a similar-sized Quarter Horse of the same height and height. As a basic guideline, the table below should provide you with an estimate of the weight of horse you would ideally want for your weight based on your height and weight.

Rider Weight(Kg/lbs/St) Minimum Horse Weight(Kg/lbs)
32 / 70 / 5 100 / 220
38 / 84 / 6 150 / 330
44 / 98 / 7 200 / 440
50 / 112 / 8 250 / 551
57 / 126 / 9 300 / 661
63 / 140 / 10 350 / 772
70 / 154 / 11 400 / 882
76 / 168 / 12 450 / 992
82 / 182 / 13 500 / 1102
89 / 196 / 14 550 / 1212
95 / 210 / 15 600 / 1322
101 / 224 / 16 650 / 1433
108 / 238 / 17 700 / 1543
114 / 252 / 18 750 / 1653
120 / 266 / 19 800 / 1763
127 / 280 / 20 850 / 1873
133 / 294 / 21 900 / 1984
139 / 308 / 22 950 / 2094
150 / 330 / 23 1000 / 2204

It is recommended that you choose a horse that weighs at least 7 times more than you, so that the horse can not only carry you, but also all of their equipment and other items. It’s not really realistic to state that if you weigh a specific amount, you’ll need a horse that’s a certain height as well. Consider that a 16-hand Thoroughbred will not be able to carry as much weight as a similar-sized Quarter Horse will be able to carry. To give you a good sense of what weight of horse would be appropriate for you, the table below may be used as a general reference to determine your weight.

What size horse should I be riding for my height?

The only way to truly evaluate if your height is a good match for a horse is to actually sit on one of them. Obviously, this seems like a ridiculous statement, but while height is significant, the proportions of your body are far more crucial. Even if you are extremely tall and have long legs but are shorter in the torso, this will almost likely not feel right after your feet are correctly placed in the stirrups, and if you are not sitting properly, the horse will become unbalanced as a result.

The measurement of your inseam, or inside leg, is more relevant than your total height since it is more accurate. To obtain this measurement, just measure from the floor to the inside top of your leg using a tape measure; this will provide you with your inseam measurement.

Inseam(inch / cm) Minimum Horse Height(hands / inches / cm)
24 / 61 10 / 40 / 101
26 / 66 10.3 / 41 / 104
28 / 71 11.2 / 45 / 114
30 / 76 12.2 / 49 / 124
32 / 81 13.1 / 52 / 132
34 / 86 14 / 56 / 142
36 / 91 15 / 60 / 152
38 / 96 15.3 / 61 / 155
40 / 101 16.2 / 64 / 162
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It is a lot of fun to go horse riding, and now that you know how to pick the ideal horse for you, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to spend many hours having a good time in the saddle. What are you waiting for? There is a horse out there for everyone, so what are you waiting for? Enjoy!

Further reading

  • What is a decent first pony to start with
  • Best breeds for beginning riders
  • Best breeds for trail riding
  • Best breeds for eventing
  • Best breeds for all-around performance
  • Horses that are ideal for jumping
  • Horses that are the most comfortable
  • Horses that are ideal for dressage
  • Breeds that are best for barrel racing
  • Horses that are the most costly in the world
  • There are nine of the greatest spotted breeds available

Recommended products

Over the years, I’ve experimented with hundreds of different horse-related things, ranging from different blankets and halters to various treats. Others I’ve liked, some I’ve disliked, but I thought I’d share with you my top five all-time favorite items, the ones I never leave the house without while I’m working in the garden. Please find links to items (which are not listed in any particular order) that I believe are excellent in this article.

  • Mane & Tail Detangler– Even if you never show your horse, you’ll need to disentangle his tail (and maybe his mane as well) from time to time, which is always a difficult task! When I put a small amount of detangler through my horse’s tails every few days, I’ve discovered that it prevents them from becoming matted and makes combing them easier, even when they’re coated in muck. I’m not sure if I should mention it or not, but it also works wonderfully on my hair
  • I’m not sure how I feel about it. TAKEKIT Pro clippers are a good investment. Over the years, I’ve experimented with a variety of various clippers, and while some were clearly superior than others, I found them to be by far the most effective. However, for me, this is a positive attribute because it gives them the appearance of being more strong and long-lasting than many other clippers. Furthermore, because they have a variety of speeds, they are equally effective at cutting your horse’s back as they are at clipping his face. I also appreciate the fact that they come with a convenient travel bag, but I understand that this is not for everyone. They are made by a fantastic firm that is also wonderfully helpful, which is a big plus in these difficult economic times. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it didn’t come with any oil, but it wasn’t a big deal because it’s not difficult to get lubricant elsewhere. Shire’s ball feeder– There are a plethora of boredom-busting toys available, but I prefer to use this one on a daily basis, regardless of whether or not my horses are feeling bored. Horse safe mirror– This is a strange one that many people are surprised about, but I like to put horse safe mirrors in the trailers as well as in the quarantine stalls to encourage my horses to problem solve. I reward them with treats (or pieces of fruit) when they do so, and it also mimics their natural grazing behavior, which helps to keep them calm and de-stressed. It helps to alleviate the sense of being alone by creating the illusion that other horses are around to provide company. Equine herd animals can get quite anxious when they are left alone, but with the use of these stick-on mirrors they will assume that at least one other horse is present with them, reducing their discomfort. This isn’t glamorous, but it’s critical for your horse’s health to be able to check its temperature on a regular basis, and a rectal thermometer is the most convenient method to do so, which is why I’ve included it on the list: Rectal thermometer

Shopping lists

Besides that, I’ve compiled a few shopping lists of necessities that I’ve found to be very useful over the years. Instead of lumping everything together in one long list, I’ve divided the listings into several sections for your convenience. On the other hand, I’ve put together a few of shopping lists of necessities that I’ve found to be useful throughout the years. Instead of lumping everything together in one long list, I’ve divided the lists into distinct categories.

Too Heavy for My Horse?

What is the maximum amount of weight that a horse can safely carry? The thought that I could be too hefty for my horse worries me. Maintaining my physical fitness is a continual challenge for me, and I currently weigh 175 pounds at 5 feet, 5 inches tall. My Quarter Horse-cross gelding is 14.1 hands tall and weighs around 900 pounds. Is it possible that I’m too big for him? -Laurie Handley, a Nevada resident A: Laurie, When determining a horse’s weight-bearing ability, the fundamental rule of thumb is 20 percent of the horse’s total weight, which would be 200 pounds for a 1,000-pound horse.

  1. For the sake of not placing undue stress on his joints and ligaments, a 900-pound horse like your gelding should not be expected to carry more than roughly 180 pounds, including equipment, on a regular basis.
  2. Without regard to his overall weight, the kind and build of the horse would be the first consideration.
  3. With regard to a horse’s bone content, which refers to the size of his weight-bearing major bones, as measured by the circumference of his cannon bone, is directly tied to the sturdiness element.
  4. Additionally, your general fitness (as opposed to just your weight) is taken into consideration.
  5. It also has anything to do with your riding abilities.
  6. Entire, provided that (1) you are adequately fit for riding and possess sound fundamental abilities; (2) your horse is a solid gentleman with decent bone; and (3) your equipment does not add more than 100 pounds to your overall weight, you should be alright.

Author, Comprehensive Guide to Equine Veterinary Medicine, Barb Crabbe, DVMH R, is a consulting veterinarian and author of the book Comprehensive Guide to Equine Veterinary Medicine (Sterling Press)

Suitable rider weights and riding light ~ EquiPepper

There is a great deal of controversy regarding how much riders need weigh in order to ride different sorts of horses, and this is something I have discussed previously, particularly in relation to showing and the new restrictions that have been implemented. However, there are many various beliefs about what the appropriate weight should be, and the deceptive and confusing terminology like as “riding light” and “riding balanced” can cause confusion among riders. As a result, in this essay, I will describe appropriate rider weights depending on the weight of the horse, which has been determined via study.

At the end of this essay, I’d want to discuss the concept that these principles and ideals are not sufficient in themselves.

Suitable Rider Weight

The problem of rider weight originally arose in the pony showing scene, when adults riding little ponies became a popular topic of discussion. However, as ridiculous as it may appear for a 6 foot person to be riding a 12 hand pony, the horse’s height should not be the primary concern when selecting an appropriate rider. A chunkier type of the same height is capable of supporting a bit more weight than a finer type of the same height, for example. As a result, the weight of the horse should be taken into consideration.

The amount of people that have an idea varies depending on the study, but it is often between 10 and 20 percent.

Rider weight
Horse weight(kg) 10% 15% 20%
400 40 60 80
500 50 75 100
550 55 82.5 110
600 60 90 120
650 65 97.5 130
700 70 105 140
800 80 120 160

15% Mark

According to my own personal opinion, the percentage of 15 percent is an appropriate guideline to employ because it is one of the most practical. This is due to the fact that, if we look at the average healthy weight of individuals of different heights, taller riders would be too heavy for most warmblood type horses if we follow the 10 percent recommendation for weight. Take a look at the example below.

Height Weight
5′ 52.65
5′ 2″ 54
5′ 4″ 57.15
5′ 6″ 61.2
5′ 8″ 64.8
5′ 10″ 68.4
6′ 72.9
6′ 2″ 76.5
6′ 4″ 81

Take, for example, taller event riders such as Mark Todd and William Fox-Pitt, who would need to be riding horses weighing 700kg or more in order to maintain a healthy weight for their height. The majority of the horses that Mark Todd rides are superb thoroughbreds that I would estimate weigh approximately 550kg. Neither Mark Todd nor his horses would be considered overweight, nor would they be deemed incapable of coping with the tremendous amount of effort they perform in competition.

However, I believe that the 20 percent scale is too high, even if it includes tack and other such items like that. Scottie’s weight is estimated to be approximately 580kg, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable with someone weighing 110kg getting on top of him.

Riding Light

Although weight is important, it is also important to consider how well you are balanced in the saddle when riding a horse. Research in biomechanics has demonstrated that a more experienced, balanced rider has a less influence on the horse’s style of traveling than a lighter rider who is not as balanced as the experienced rider. This is what people mean when they say they are “riding light.” This term, on the other hand, is perplexing since it gives the sense that being balanced makes you lighter.

  1. It merely makes you less difficult to transport.
  2. For a horse, the situation is the same.
  3. In addition, studies have discovered that horses find it simpler to transport a sack of potatoes than an untrained rider!
  4. Having said that, I personally would prefer an experienced, balanced rider who is slightly above a horse’s optimal weight rather than an inexperienced rider who is slightly under a horse’s ideal weight while riding.

Other Factors

Besides the parameters I discussed at the outset of this piece, there are a few others that should be taken into consideration when considering appropriate rider weights. I’ll go over some of these considerations in more detail and explain why they should be taken into account. In addition to the above, there are other more considerations to consider.

Horse’s age:

There are occasions when I would prefer a lighter rider on a horse, and this is one of those instances. When a young horse begins its rode career, it will most likely have very little top line to support the rider, and the growth plates in their spine will still be open, making it difficult for the horse to maintain balance. As a result, I would prefer a lighter rider rather than a mature horse. Older horses begin to lose muscle as they age, and a lighter rider might be beneficial to them in this situation.

Horse’s condition:

Another extremely crucial issue is the state of the vehicle. Previously raced horses with little or no topline after being retired from racing are not capable of bearing the same weight as horses that have had time to develop such topline after being retired from racing. It is also important to note that horses that currently lack topline will have a more difficult time developing that muscle under the weight of a bigger rider. However, it is not only the muscle that must be considered; the horse’s overall weight condition must also be considered.

Underweight horses will not be able to carry a bigger rider, but overweight horses are already carrying an excessive amount of weight, and adding a heavier rider will put even more pressure on their body.

Levelduration of work:

Because of the higher intensity and duration of the task, it seems sense that a horse would find it more difficult to carry a larger rider. As a result, while a 600kg horse should be more than capable of supporting a 90kg rider for ordinary riding activities, they may require a lighter rider for more intensive training, especially if they are not used to performing that sort of activity on a consistent basis.

Saddle Fit:

Studies have also revealed that while riding with a larger rider, proper saddle fit is even more critical. All riders should understand the importance of a properly fitting saddle, but certain saddles will fit better than others, and with some horse conformations you may never be able to find a saddle that is perfectly fitting. So when you see that a saddle does not fit as well as it should, examine whether the maximum rider weight for this horse should be reconsidered. I would consider decreasing the maximum rider weight to 12-13 percent for horses who have been found as being unable to carry the rider weight that the horse’s body weight implies they should be able to bear.

The most recent update was on December 22, 2021.

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