Riding Schools in Suffolk that take heavyweight riders

zoeshiloh

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My friend wants to learn to ride, but he is 16.5 stone. He has never ridden before, and is a complete beginner. Everywhere I have spoken to says they will only take 15 stone maximum. All he wants to do is learn to walk, trot and canter. He is not interested in jumping or dressage, he just wants to be able to buy a horse to hack out, and perhaps attend the odd hunt meet (although just trot along at the back). It seems he only way he will learn to ride is by buying a horse and getting lessons on it himself. Does anyone know of any riding centres that do take heavier riders, or is he just destined to end up with his own horse?
 

bailey14

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Sorry I don't know the answer to that one. If he were 16.5 stone and already a competent rider it would be differenet but a 16.5 stone unbalanced new beginner is a little too much to ask of a horse. What a shame you can't find anywhere for him. IMO it would be disasterous for him to go out and buy a horse without having gained experience with one on loan first. There is so much to know and learn about horses and he might be in for a bit of a shock if he knew how much work was involved. I suggest you try to find a 16hh heavyweight type on loan for him to be kept at the horses present yard so if he runs into trouble (which he will if he is on a sharp learning curve on his own) then there will be someone around to assist and who knows the horse.
 

zoeshiloh

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Sorry, should have been clearer - he is very competent looking after horses on the ground, and very confident handling them etc. Horse would be stabled with me, and I would also ride anything he looked at to make sure it was 100% suitable for him. But, ideally I want him to ride at a riding school first, more because I don't want him to buy a horse, and then in a few months decide riding isn't really for him.
 

Woody78

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I can only suggest Newton Hall, near Ipswich. I do not know whether they have a weight restriction but I would have thought it worth a phone call. Good luck!
 

GTs

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I would personally recommend him to loose the 1.5 stone - it is only 21lbs, really not that difficult.
 

zoeshiloh

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Thank you Jess - thats great, will give them a call.

GTs - whilst he is a little overweight, he actually used to be a body builder, and currently works in the steel industry, so a fair bit of his weight is muscle. Physically he is very fit.
 

GTs

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I was not really concerned if he was overweight or not - horse riding isn't made for heavy people and wish more people who rode or want to ride took their weight slightly more seriously.
 

merlinsquest

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How tall is he?? 16.5 stone on a short person would be far different to if he were 6ft plus.

I actually agree with GTs on this one.... no horse should be expected to carry weight just because it is a well built horse.

ets There is a good reason why heavier riders are excluded from many riding schools...... and its that they cant afford the physio on a weekly basis to sort out the problems that these larger riders cause
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Sorry, it sounds rude, but not meant personally
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Pearlsasinger

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One reason Riding Schools have a weight limit is because they do not wish to keep very expensive-to-feed, big horses which can carry heavier weights, when most of their riders can easily ride smaller cheaper to feed horses. Also many true weight carriers (but not all) tend to save their energy and so are not good for more experienced/adventurous riders.

OP could you find some-one with a true weight carrier, say ShireX, who would let your friend borrow the horse for lessons with a freelance instructor if you can't find a riding school?
 
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