17 Stone beginner rider

Keith_Beef

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And how long did those horses last as useful, working animals? A riding school, for example, that treated their horses like horses were treated in e.g. WWI would be quickly shut down!
When I wrote about those wars (Napoleonic, Boer, WWI, WWII), I was thinking of lighter cavalry for carrying out reconnaissance or skirmishing and striking at a long distance from the main body of the army. These units are more lightly armed, usually not armoured, and might have to carry rations and at least bedrolls (rather than requiring local populations to house them overnight).

If you think in terms of repeat business, having one horse that can carry, say 18st, isn't really enough for a riding school to advertise a weight limit of 18st, because what if that one horse goes lame and you have to turn them away? You also don't really want a horse working right at its weight limit all the time. So, we had a stated weight limit online, but we were flexible with it in reality- and we still had people we needed to turn away due to weight.
The problem of keeping enough horses to carry different ranges of ability and weight is a tough one to solve, you're absolutely right. Where I ride, there are close to 30 riding school horses, of which I think five or six are suitable for me. So depending on the day of the week and the time of day, there might be only one or two that can work for another hour, so any lame horse might put me out of luck... And then, there is an added complication: a couple of them are used by the showjumping and eventing teams, and might be having a rest day before a competition. As I improve, though, another three or four horses will become available for me.

And it's true for most businesses, that you don't want to work your plant and machinery or your staff at anything near to 100% of capacity for long periods of time.
 

Wishfilly

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When I wrote about those wars (Napoleonic, Boer, WWI, WWII), I was thinking of lighter cavalry for carrying out reconnaissance or skirmishing and striking at a long distance from the main body of the army. These units are more lightly armed, usually not armoured, and might have to carry rations and at least bedrolls (rather than requiring local populations to house them overnight).
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I was thinking more of the attitude towards horses as generally disposable. My understanding is that any horses that went lame or were no longer useful were fairly quickly shot, which wouldn't really be acceptable to the average riding school customer. They weren't looking to keep those horses in work for years and years necessarily- so weight becomes less of an issue within reason.

The problem of keeping enough horses to carry different ranges of ability and weight is a tough one to solve, you're absolutely right. Where I ride, there are close to 30 riding school horses, of which I think five or six are suitable for me. So depending on the day of the week and the time of day, there might be only one or two that can work for another hour, so any lame horse might put me out of luck... And then, there is an added complication: a couple of them are used by the showjumping and eventing teams, and might be having a rest day before a competition. As I improve, though, another three or four horses will become available for me.

And it's true for most businesses, that you don't want to work your plant and machinery or your staff at anything near to 100% of capacity for long periods of time.
It's definitely tough and I think regular customers are more likely to be understanding about a horse being lame or only available at certain times- whereas as a trekking center a lot of our business over the summer was one offs- if you couldn't accommodate someone, they were likely to take their business elsewhere and sometimes leave a bad review.

Like I said previously, I do think some lower weight limits (e.g. 12st) are fairly extreme, but equally if you can run your business successfully that way then fair enough! I do know a riding school which basically just has ponies with a few larger horses and usually caters to children/teenagers, I imagine their weight limit is pretty low and it seems to work for them!
 

cobgoblin

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Like I said previously, I do think some lower weight limits (e.g. 12st) are fairly extreme, but equally if you can run your business successfully that way then fair enough! I do know a riding school which basically just has ponies with a few larger horses and usually caters to children/teenagers, I imagine their weight limit is pretty low and it seems to work for them!

On the other hand, unless you are going to forcibly weigh customers, you can be pretty sure a large number will either lie or guesstimate their weight downwards perhaps to the tune of 1-1.5st. Then add on clothing and saddle weight of approx 1.5st and suddenly the horse is carrying 15st.

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Wishfilly

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On the other hand, unless you are going to forcibly weigh customers, you can be pretty sure a large number will either lie or guesstimate their weight downwards perhaps to the tune of 1-1.5st. Then add on clothing and saddle weight of approx 1.5st and suddenly the horse is carrying 15st.

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Oh for sure- I think this is another reason riding schools have to be conservative with their weight limits, because everyone rounds down, and some people definitely actively lie.
 

SEL

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When they are back open again, Cannock Chase Trekking Centre has a weight limit of 16 stone and a few weight carriers (they do lessons as well as treks). Obviously, he’ll still have to lose a little. It’s a 35 to 45 minute drive from Burton.
I was going to mention the trekking centre as well - they have some good heavyweight types including a part bred Ardennes. He's got the chunky stamp, but bigger and more designed for riding than pulling. You can only get a 16.5" saddle on my pure bred which is only good for titchy bottoms!
 

Tiddlypom

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On the Adventure Clydesdale website:

WE DON'T TAKE BEGINNERS.
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE HAVE A WEIGHT LIMIT OF 16 STONE FOR THE 2 HOUR RIDE AND 14.5 STONE FOR THE 3 HOUR AND FULL DAY RIDES, THIS IS FOR THE WELFARE OF OUR HARD WORKING HORSES AND WILL BE STRICTLY ADHERED TO. THESE WEIGHTS ARE FULLY KITTED OUT FOR RIDING, NOT ON THE BATHROOM SCALES.

WE DO HAVE SCALES AT THE FARM AND WILL ASK PEOPLE TO WEIGH IF WE ARE IN DOUBT.

Quite right, no messing with these people.

http://www.adventureclydesdale.com/rides/daily-rides
 

2ndtimearound

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I was going to mention the trekking centre as well - they have some good heavyweight types including a part bred Ardennes. He's got the chunky stamp, but bigger and more designed for riding than pulling. You can only get a 16.5" saddle on my pure bred which is only good for titchy bottoms!
True, and he's still going well, considering his age! They've also intentionally bought a couple more weight carriers in the last couple of years or so to better accommodate larger customers too.
 

Frumpoon

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I must admit I can't see anybody in this thread being judgemental for the sake of it. It's perfectly ok to say that somebody is too heavy for horse X without there being anything personal or malicious in it.

I'm much more concerned with animal welfare than peoples feelings though
 

Kat

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I think many people have no idea what a specific weight looks like, especially on a tall man.

Many people would say my husband shouldn't be riding anything other than a huge weight carrier if they stood him on the scales but seeing him standing in front of them would be happy for him to ride some pretty lightweight horses, because he doesn't look fat, he wears 32" waist jeans and can fit in a 17" saddle as long as he can have long stirrups.

The MINIMUM weight for endurance is 75kg, and it was the same for eventing back in the 80s. That is just under 12 stone. So all of those fine endurance horses are carrying around 12 stone.

Mark Todd talks about crash dieting to be close to the minimum weight before a comptition. So he was almost certainly galloping and jumping a 15.3hh TBx while weighing more than 12 stone.

I know riding schools are different and beginners are hard on horses but I think threads like this get a bit extreme about weight, and risk really upsetting people.
 

Chinchilla

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This is what your friend needs GW ...... Breton mule :D (sadly not mine), due to hybrid vigour they can carry a greater % of their body weight than horses or donkeys (seen figures quoted 20-30%, 30 seems an awful lot though).

Sorry, I AM being a bit silly - but just wondering if you had found anywhere yet or come to a solution? I hope your friend can learn to ride.

breton mule.JPG
 

ycbm

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The MINIMUM weight for endurance is 75kg, and it was the same for eventing back in the 80s. That is just under 12 stone. So all of those fine endurance horses are carrying around 12 stone.

Mark Todd talks about crash dieting to be close to the minimum weight before a comptition. So he was almost certainly galloping and jumping a 15.3hh TBx while weighing more than 12 stone.

I know riding schools are different and beginners are hard on horses but I think threads like this get a bit extreme about weight, and risk really upsetting people.
All the sports horses carrying those sort of weights are not only very fit, but as part of being very fit are carrying little body fat of their own. Charisma when eventing, for example, was maybe 30 to 50 kilos lighter than if he was in an ordinary leisure home. So you could knock that 30 to 50kg off the rider's weight before calculating how much the horse could carry.
 

Nari

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All the sports horses carrying those sort of weights are not only very fit, but as part of being very fit are carrying little body fat of their own. Charisma when eventing, for example, was maybe 30 to 50 kilos lighter than if he was in an ordinary leisure home. So you could knock that 30 to 50kg off the rider's weight before calculating how much the horse could carry.
And this is my view on my welsh cob's weight, if he's not carrying much excess and is fit enough for the job he's doing then he can cope with a bit more rider weight. But I have heard people completely misunderstand the rider as a % of horse bodyweight argument and take the approach that if their horse is fatter it can carry more as 20% of it's bodyweight is now a bigger figure.
 

Bernster

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Late to this thread but this got me thinking about rider weight v total weight. Found some old hho threads noting that kit could add on 2 stone!

Is the 15% ratio (on a not fat horse) just rider weight or total inc kit?
 

Chinchilla

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Late to this thread but this got me thinking about rider weight v total weight. Found some old hho threads noting that kit could add on 2 stone!

Is the 15% ratio (on a not fat horse) just rider weight or total inc kit?
Late to this thread but this got me thinking about rider weight v total weight. Found some old hho threads noting that kit could add on 2 stone!

Is the 15% ratio (on a not fat horse) just rider weight or total inc kit?

It's the total weight the horse has to carry as a % of its ideal body weight
 

Tiddlypom

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Late to this thread but this got me thinking about rider weight v total weight. Found some old hho threads noting that kit could add on 2 stone!
That might have been me. My riding kit inc all tack and my riding clothing added 2.5 stone to my nekked weight :oops:.

That was an 18” Ideal event saddle with wintec girth, Mattes sheepskin correction numnah, bow balance stirrups, snaffle bridle, HS1 crash hat, jodh boots, half chaps, hit air vest, jodhs, polo shirt.
 

cobgoblin

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That might have been me. My riding kit inc all tack and my riding clothing added 2.5 stone to my nekked weight :oops:.

That was an 18” Ideal event saddle with wintec girth, Mattes sheepskin correction numnah, bow balance stirrups, snaffle bridle, HS1 crash hat, jodh boots, half chaps, hit air vest, jodhs, polo shirt.
I think I did the same on that thread, with a lightweight saddle my lot came to something like 27lbs.
.
 

Keith_Beef

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That might have been me. My riding kit inc all tack and my riding clothing added 2.5 stone to my nekked weight :oops:.

That was an 18” Ideal event saddle with wintec girth, Mattes sheepskin correction numnah, bow balance stirrups, snaffle bridle, HS1 crash hat, jodh boots, half chaps, hit air vest, jodhs, polo shirt.
I'm tempted to take the bathroom scales up to the yard, especially when we go out on an all day or a three day ride. We have a support vehicle carrying the midday picnic for us and the horses, but we carry some extra gear on the horses.

In addition to the usual tack and clothing (and Leatherman), I'd typically carry
  • a lead rope,
  • 3m of paracord with a magnet attached,
  • two 1L bottles of water,
  • small first-aid kit,
  • high-vis jacket and reflective bands,
  • head torch,
  • pocket torch,
  • waxed cotton jacket (or an unlined drover's coat),
  • folding water bucket,
  • small bag of barley or oats,
  • small bag of horse treats (or a couple of apples).

I might have forgotten a couple of items, but that must add about 3kg at a rough guess, but on the other hand we often have lightweight saddles for that kind of outing.
 

cobgoblin

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I'm tempted to take the bathroom scales up to the yard, especially when we go out on an all day or a three day ride. We have a support vehicle carrying the midday picnic for us and the horses, but we carry some extra gear on the horses.

In addition to the usual tack and clothing (and Leatherman), I'd typically carry
  • a lead rope,
  • 3m of paracord with a magnet attached,
  • two 1L bottles of water,
  • small first-aid kit,
  • high-vis jacket and reflective bands,
  • head torch,
  • pocket torch,
  • waxed cotton jacket (or an unlined drover's coat),
  • folding water bucket,
  • small bag of barley or oats,
  • small bag of horse treats (or a couple of apples).

I might have forgotten a couple of items, but that must add about 3kg at a rough guess, but on the other hand we often have lightweight saddles for that kind of outing.
The 2L of water would be 2kg for a start.. So I would say that lot was more than 3kg.
.
 

Bernster

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I'm never sure why people are so keen on percentages when there is no decent research to support any of those numbers.
presumably because of the absence of any other useable guidance? % do seem to be the standard/accepted approach.
 

ihatework

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presumably because of the absence of any other useable guidance? % do seem to be the standard/accepted approach.
Yes I think the 15-20% is a reasonable guide. It’s a bit of an art, not an exact science and the horses age, fitness, conformation all have to be considered as well as the rider ability and type of work expected.

I can well see why riding schools set weight limits reasonably low. Those horses, day in and day out have novice riders thumping around on their backs.
 

Surbie

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And this is my view on my welsh cob's weight, if he's not carrying much excess and is fit enough for the job he's doing then he can cope with a bit more rider weight. But I have heard people completely misunderstand the rider as a % of horse bodyweight argument and take the approach that if their horse is fatter it can carry more as 20% of it's bodyweight is now a bigger figure.
I've heard that too - makes me really eye-rolly.
 

J&S

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When I had a NF pony 30 odd years ago, I bought as many editions of the breed society book that came my way. I had some pretty old ones and I noticed that they would have the results of the New Years Day Point to Point from the previous year in them. When I read about 13 st men (or more) riding 12.2 - 14.hh ponies I was a bit horrified. My farrier at the time was a real old time Forester/owner/breeder and had a wealth of information so I would always quizz him. He said the reason these ponies could gallop the approximately 3 mile race accross the forest with these weights was because in those days they were so fit, most of them spending their days between the shafts or some other activity. This race was a day off for them! He pointed out that for the average leisure pony to be ridden 5 days a week for an hour or so was just no comparison. My vet made similar mention of this when my mare was suffering from a bit of congestion.
 
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