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Would love to take up riding again... am I too big?

54 replies

awakemysoull · 23/10/2013 22:11

I done riding lessons from the age of 10-13 when I was thrown off and broke both my arms. It put me off riding again but I still have a love of horses.

My brother started riding about 2 years ago and is doing it 3 times a week now. He has built a fantastic relationship with a horse and is hoping to buy her soon.

I don't know what he weighs, but he is a lot bigger and taller than me.

I'm 5'8 and 18st 2lb (size 20) at the moment. I'm on the Cambridge plan so losing about 7lb per week.

He has offered me the chance to start lessons with him.

I'm scared I'm too big and will hurt the horse. I know he's a lot heavier than me and the horse seems fine but I'm just scared I'll hurt her.

Any advice?

I'm not even sure the actual size of the horse but she is massive

OP posts:
Eve · 23/10/2013 22:21

Sorry... I would say you are too big.

If your brother is heavier, can't imagine that's fair on the horse either.

Strumpetron · 23/10/2013 22:23

I'm sorry to say I think you're too heavy, but maybe it'll help you towards your goal?

awakemysoull · 23/10/2013 22:30

That's no problem I was pretty sure I was too big too at the moment.

I wouldn't want to harm the horse in any way so ill wait till I've got a few more stone off before I take it up again

OP posts:
Strumpetron · 23/10/2013 22:34

Why don't you visit the riding schools and see what they think? Depends on the horse too. I think it's something like they shouldn't carry more than 20% their own body weight (please correct me if I'm wrong)

Good luck to you on your weight loss!!

Loshad · 23/10/2013 22:34

We can't make that judgement really accurately though unless we know the size, breed and bone of your intended mount.

edam · 23/10/2013 22:36

There must be horses big enough to carry you, how on earth did all those knights in shining armour manage? Big bloke, full armour = 18 stone and much more.

My dh is 17st and he went riding this summer - we just told the stables his height and weight and they found a horse for him.

awakemysoull · 23/10/2013 22:44

My brother was selected as the 'main man' of our local common riding. I'm not sure if anyone knows what a common riding is but every town in the Scottish Borders has one every year. It's a tradition that's been going on for decades.

Most of the week is spent on horseback and he was given a horse that is actually massive. I will try and find out the size of the horse but I do think I'll be leaving it until this weight is off.

I put it on the past few months being given pregnant with dd2 who is now 4 months old. I have no excuse anymore so it's coming off and staying off

OP posts:
Littlebigbum · 23/10/2013 22:47

Go to the stables, it is more about balance than weight.

awakemysoull · 23/10/2013 22:47

I have been Informed that the horse is 16/3

OP posts:
awakemysoull · 23/10/2013 22:48

I also have the option of a horse which is 17/3 if I was to take it up again.

The stables seem quite happy but I thought I'd get other opinions before I started again.

I'll lose a few more stone and treat myself to lessons then a horse

OP posts:
elastamum · 23/10/2013 22:54

I dont think you are too big for a 17/3 horse, but getting up there can be a challenge - I struggle to get on my 16.2 from the ground.

you might find you balence not as good as it was if you are heavier than you were when you last rode.

I have a similar problem in a way. I have just been given the most amazing TB mare, but she is only a very slight 15hh, and I am nearly 11 stone - so I suspect I will be too big for her. I am going to school her on, but I think she will have to go to a teenager Sad

My other horse is a 16.2 WB, so used to carrying a lump like me Grin

awakemysoull · 23/10/2013 22:57

Thanks elstamum

I don't suppose it would do any harm to go down to the stables and have a chat etc.

Even if I helped out voluntarily for a bit to build my confidence back up with the horses again. I'm still a bit shaky being up close. It was a nasty throw I got and really painful

OP posts:
Pixel · 24/10/2013 17:27

Well, sounds like you are doing brilliantly and at the speed you are losing weight I'd be inclined to say wait until after Christmas before thinking about riding. It will be a good incentive/reward and you will enjoy it much more. You've had a bad experience in the past so why not give yourself the best chance of feeling comfortable and relaxed when you start again? Smile.

(that wasn't meant to be as patronising as it sounded btw. I've struggled to lose nearly 2st this summer and I can feel the difference it has made to my riding. I'm sure dhorse appreciates it too!).

sleeton · 26/10/2013 01:22

I have also heard that the equation trumpetron gives can be used as a rough guide, that is shouldn't carry more than 20% their own body weight.

So that is a horse of 571kg. Our 16.1hh slender TB eventer is 518kg, so it does seem likely that there will be many horses out there that are capable of accommodating you in a gentle re-start of riding awakemysoull, even while you are still working to loose weight (and well done on that, BTW).

In fact, when I think of it, I used to know of a chap of nearly 17 stones who regularly hunted and I don't imagine you want to hunt just yet.

Best wishes with your return to the saddle!

dappleton · 28/10/2013 06:11

There was a study done recently, read about it in horse and rider (I think, or similar) mag and on some American website that sends daily updates of equine research. The problem is that saddles tend to only go up to 18inches and the pressure caused under that surface area by more than 99kg (fully dressed rider) starts to cause long term damage to the entire structure under the saddle - blood flow, muscles etc.
Since I read this my belief is that a rider should be a maximum of 20% of the horses body weight upto a maximum of 99kg in full riding gear.

chloeb2002 · 29/10/2013 15:38

Interesting how things change.. Not so long ago we had to wear weights as female riders to " create a fair competition" I'm sure that was up to 13 stone. Plenty of bigger horses Carry over 100kg. Just as they pull great big loads! Go find a nice Clyde cross or similar and enjoy! Wink

Amandine29 · 29/10/2013 16:27

I thought the 20% rule was an absolute maximum and the ideal was supposed to be 10%?

FoxyHarlow123 · 29/10/2013 20:37

It is NOT more about balance than weight. A well balanced rider of 18 stone still weighs 18 stone, which is way too heavy to even consider getting on a horse. It is a privilege to ride a horse, not a right and we have a duty of care to them. I wouldn't let anyone anywhere near a horse of any size if they were over 14 stone. Just because a horse doesn't buckle at the knees when you get on doesn't mean it's ok to do so.

Naoko · 29/10/2013 20:54

This is interesting and a little worrying to me. I'm hoping to get back into riding in the next two years or so as hopefully my income will increase to the point where I can manage to. Most of the schools around me have weight limits of 13 or 14 stone, and of course I understand that this is for the protection of the horses. The thing is, I'm 6ft tall. At 6ft, 13 stone puts you at a BMI of 24.7, which is in the healthy range. 14 stone is overweight, but not by very much. I'm less than 13 stone at the moment, and I've never been more than 12 and a half stone, but at my height, it's certainly not impossible that I could approach the schools' weight limits without being a danger to my own health.

Are there really no horses for tall, average or only slightly overweight people to ride without doing the horses harm? I haven't ridden in any serious capacity since I was 14 and already most of my adult height but a super skinny size 6 so it wasn't an issue then, and I've always preferred big, solid horses anyway, but it's a depressing thought that I'd not be able to ride as an adult just because I'm tall and a healthy weight :(

ChippingInNeedsANYFUCKER · 29/10/2013 20:59

Based on what, other than opinion, FoxyHarlow?

MissGuineapigsInAPumpkin · 29/10/2013 22:26

At my heaviest when I had lessons, I was 18st. The horse I learnt on had no problems with me. The riding school told me they knew of much larger (and heavier) women than me who rode.

Pixel · 30/10/2013 01:30

Naoko, I have a solid cobby sort (only 15.2 but takes up lots of leg so you wouldn't look tall) and the vet tells me he could take 15 stone so I'm sure you will be fine. I asked him because someone at the stables was asking to ride him and I thought she was too heavy so wanted to be able to 'blame' the vet iyswim to avoid ill-feeling so don't go thinking I am 15 stone Grin.

TheTruffleHunter · 30/10/2013 01:36

I got back into riding a few years ago & my sister was keen to join me - that particular stables had a cap of 14 stone as no big horses there but when we looked around the max seemed to be 16 stone (even at the garrison so a few muscly fellas there).

I agree with Foxy, don't take the P, not fair.

octopusinastringbag · 30/10/2013 01:45

OP I'm about the same size as you but a little shorter and there is no way I'd get on a horse, sorry. Well done on the weight loss, keep up the good work. I'm doing the same and will ride again at about 12 stone or so.

FoxyHarlow123 · 30/10/2013 07:12

Miss guinea pigs, how do you know the horse had no problem carrying your weight? They can't talk, they won't buckle at the knee but it doesn't mean they won't suffer discomfort and back problems.

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