Horseback riding, especially as a sport, has the potential to be dangerous. Therefore, you and your horse need to be compatible with one another, not only for your safety but also so that you can perform to the best of your abilities in a competition.
There are several essential considerations when estimating how much weight your horse can carry.
The first is the breed. Some horses are bred to carry more weight than others. For example, draft horses are usually heavier and can carry more weight than a miniature pony.
The second is their age. A younger horse can usually carry more weight than an older one. You will also need to consider your horse's fitness level and whether they are carrying any other weight, such as a saddle.
Why is the rider's weight significant?
Knowing the rider's weight is essential because it affects the horse's center of gravity, which impacts their mobility. This can lead to exhaustion and a possibility of the horse falling over, so be careful.
The rider's weight can also affect the horse's health, causing discomfort in the horse's joints and muscles, which can then lead to injuries.
How much is too much weight?
As a general rule a horse on average is able to carry a rider which is the same as or approximately 20% of the horse's weight.
For example, if a horse weighs 1000 pounds then this horse can easily carry someone that weighs 200 pounds.
Still, this number varies depending on the horse's build and musculature.
Horse owners use a few different formulas to calculate how much weight their horse can carry.
The most common one is the Body Condition Score (BCS). This formula considers the horse's height, weight, and body condition.
Another popular option is the Horse Rider Weight Calculator (HRWC), which factors the rider's weight and the horse's height and weight.
Each horse has its unique carrying capacity, and they are all individuals. It is important to explore how much weight the horse can carry.
Does my height matter?
Your height does not necessarily matter when it comes to riding a horse. You do however want to have the correct length stirrup which will help you to be effective with your aids. You can also ask the horse's owner or trainer for guidance on how to properly mount and ride the horse.
That’s why it’s so important to choose comfortable stirrups to always feel in control. Consider trying our Flex-On Aluminum Black Inclined Ultra Grip Stirrups. They’re strong and lightweight, making them the perfect addition to your essential riding equipment.
Choosing the Best Saddle
Never underestimate the importance of saddle fitting. A poorly fitting saddle can cause many problems, ranging from back pain to behavioral issues. Not to mention, it is just plain uncomfortable for both you and your horse and you don't want to face any horse-riding injuries.
It is essential that the tree—the main component of the saddle, which comes in many sizes/width—is what is selected to fit the saddle to the horse. Some saddle brands may not actually be a suitable fit for your horse, so consider getting a professional saddle fitter to make sure you and your horse will be comfortable.
Making sure you take the time to find a saddle that fits both you and your horse well creates all the difference in your horse sports and games.
Tips for keeping your horse healthy and safe while carrying a rider
Ensuring that your horse is healthy and safe while carrying your weight is essential. Here are some tips for keeping your horse healthy and safe when being ridden:
- Make sure that your horse is in good health. Check with your veterinarian to make sure that your horse is healthy enough to carry the weight of a rider.
- Allow your horse to get used to the extra weight by gradually increasing the time you have a rider on its back.
- Make sure that you know the weight limit for your horse and do not exceed it.
- Pay attention to your horse's body language. If you see that your horse is uncomfortable or in pain, stop riding and check to see if there is a problem with the saddle or tack.
- Prioritize your horse's nutrition
We hope you feel more comfortable about how to tell if you and your horse are the suitable matches. If you need an easy horse weight calculator, try this one for your estimation. You can also contact us with your questions and we'll be more than happy to guide you.