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.
Every horse is different and capable of carrying a different amount of weight than other horses. As a general rule, anything over 300-350 pounds is too heavy for a horse to carry safely.
A: Laurie, the basic rule of thumb for a horse’s weight-carrying capacity is 20 percent of the horse’s weight, or, say, 200 pounds for a 1,000-pound horse. (Two hundred pounds would be an approximate upward limit, not an average of what he can carry.)
The average horse can carry up to approximately 30% of its body weight. Thus, a 1,000 pounds (450 kg) horse cannot carry more than 250 to 300 pounds (110 to 140 kg). A load carried by a packhorse also has to be balanced, with weight even on both sides to the greatest degree possible.
When horseback riding, the rule of thumb to follow 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.
The Clydesdale horse typically weighs at least 1,800 lbs and is typically at least 16 hands tall or taller. Even at the low end, any adult Clydesdale should easily be able to handle a rider and saddle combo of 360 – 400 lbs.
How Heavy is Too Heavy? One of the most frequently cited recommendations on matching horses and riders comes from the U.S. Cavalry Manual of Horse Management. It recommends that the rider and gear weigh no more than 20 percent of the horse’s weight.
Not if you are riding correctly. If it is a healthy horse who is old enough to be ridden, in fitting and suitable tack with a gentle rider, then no. … Yes, there is the potential to hurt a horse while riding it, just as there is also the potential for the horse to hurt its rider.
A well balanced rider of 18 stone still weighs 18 stone, which is way too heavy to even consider getting on a horse. … Just because a horse doesn’t buckle at the knees when you get on doesn’t mean it’s ok to do so.
You could be medically overweight, or even obese, by your BMI, but if your horse is big, strong and fit enough, with a saddle fitted well to you and him, and you’re fit and balanced, it’s possible you could ride him without an issue.
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.
Every horse, regardless of actual measured height, is too small. It doesn’t matter if it’s 15.2 or 17.3 — prepare yourself for a lifetime of dwarfing impressively-heighted horses into looking like stunted ponies.
Spanish-Norman. This large, weight-bearing horse is ideal for the heavier rider. It is not only strong and sturdy but also extremely elegant – it is a cross between the Andalusian and the Percheron, and combines the best of both these breeds.
The short answer is sometimes they do… and sometimes they don’t. (Sounds a lot like our moods, right?) It’s most likely that horses like or dislike riding based on whether they like or dislike the specific circumstances that occur during and surrounding the activity. Every horse is different.