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How much can a mini pull??

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  • How much can a mini pull??

    Ok this may be a dumb question but how do you work out what the ideal weight is for a horse to pull. Riding they generally say 20% of the horses body weight (as a rough guide). Is there such a guide to what a horse can pull?

    If not what would you say the max weight would be for an avg mini?
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.

  • #2
    The rule of thumb for a horse in draft is 15 to 20 percent of the horses weight in draft for and all day effort. That isn't the load weighing 20% of the horse but the force exerted on the tugs being 20% of the horses weight. Horses are capable of much more for short periods of time.
    Lostfarming in Idaho


    • #3
      Appreciate though that the above is just a rule of thumb.

      Its also dependent on how fit the horse is, that its correctly harnessed with traces and collar at optimum height for the work its doing and the vehicle its harnessed to. And also what breed it is: e.g. shetland ponies are stronger (in terms of weight bearing and pulling) in porportion to their body weight than say a thoroughbred horse.

      Other thing is that in truth a "mini" isn't really going to be pulling at all other than when its in draft and so such as when first sets off or is going up hill. Most times the light harness horse is "floating" or in the neutral position between its collar and britching. And unless you're working such as an agricultural harness horse, you don't want it "pulling" much at all.


      • #4
        You have to take in account how deep the going is, how rough the ground is, how big the wheels are, and so on and so on.
        Very roughly speaking, we don't like for a horse to have more than it's weight behind them. So if the mini weighs 250#, your carriage and driver shouldn't weigh any more than that as a max on flat ground. When you change one of the dimensions, like adding hills or sand, you change the equation. Then you can shorten the time, increase the fittness, etc, etc, etc.
        My pony weighs 1000lbs and with the carriage, me and a gator, she is pulling about 650-700lbs up and down the mountains. That is a max as far as I'm concerned for her even when she is very fit.


        • #5
          I should clarify. The 15% to 20% is the old horse farming rules for pulling an implement all day. Thomas is correct about a carriage horse spending most of the time in the neutral position. For short burst the horse is capable of much more. A large wheeled wagon on hard surface a horse could pull a huge weight but stopping it would be the problem.

          I know of an old horse that was used in the train yard to move loaded cars. That old horse would tighten everything up and just lean into the load until it started rolling. He was moving cars loaded with grain. LF
          Lostfarming in Idaho


          • #6
            LOL pricestory you have one stocky pony! My 16 hand Half-Arabian only weighs about 900 pounds according to the weight tape, he's all legs.


            • #7
              Originally posted by pricestory View Post
              My pony weighs 1000lbs .
              That's a heck of a porker for a pony! Did you type it wrongly?


              • #8
                Don't want to change the subject, but the free scales at the last two National Drives changed my whole perception of horse weight and weight tapes. Sparrow "taped" at 970 pounds -- but she tipped the scales at 1130. I bought a new tape and she taped at 980. Fairy Luna, erstwhile neglect poster child, tapes at 900 at 13h3", so I'm thinking she's easily closing in on 1000. Once upon a time I would have thought 1000 pounds was heavy for a pony, but it no longer seems heavy for a cobby pony.


                • #9
                  WEll there is a longer formula that I have seen in equine science textbooks that uses the horses heartgirth and his blanket sizeto more accuratly estimate his weight, does anyone have that handy?


                  • #10
                    Nevermind, I found it, it is:
                    Measure girth in inches
                    Measure length in inches (point of hip to point of chest)
                    Multiply Girth X Girth X Length, Divide by 300, Add 50
                    Example 70" x 70" x 65" = 318,500 / 300 = 1061.67 + 50 = 1111.67 lbs.
                    This formula is accurate to +/- 3%.


                    • #11
                      the little formula on Rural Heritage is pretty good

                      Alex is 15.2 and a drafty perchxTB and clocks in at 1400lb
                      Cooper is somewhat taller (at least 15.3 and we arent measuring again) but not so drafty and is closer to 1300lb

                      we have friends with a haffie pony that is easily 1000-1100lb

                      My old 15.2H Hackney horse was a good 1200lb


                      • #12
                        Ok, she's on a diet and she keeps telling me, muscle weighs more than fat, VBG.
                        Actually with a tape she is 900, with a scale 1000. She is a very cobby Morgan and she is fat and on a diet, really. Beep and suppliments, soaked hay.
                        But we were talking about a mini, remember (ducking and running and changing the subject, again)


                        • #13
                          Back on the subject of weights they can PULL...

                          It is often said that a horse on marathon will be pulling 50% of their body weight while the minis are generally pulling 100-150% of their weight. At least for the mini side of the equation I have found that to be true. I only weigh about 100lbs but with me and a 110lb cart that's already 210lbs and my very slight mini weighs 220lbs according to the vet's VERY accurate scale. (It gets me at exactly 98lbs, which is what my dr's office scale says I weigh.) Add a spares box, camera case, a water bottle, maybe a picnic lunch, and he's at 100% of his weight for the entire duration of his effort. And that's with a very light person! If I bring a fairly light passenger like my mom he's hauling 330lbs. Frankly I think that's too much for him on anything but flat pavement for short amounts of time but he does it quite willingly. Other minis of the same height are built much more stoutly and can pull the same amount of weight with ease. I know it's true, I've driven them!

                          What everyone has said about the other factors involved is absolutely correct. Condition, harnessing, footing, size of the wheels, all of those have tremendous impact. A mini in a neck collar with low draft can pull a lot more than one in a breastcollar. I agree that ideally the horse should not be in draft most of the time but the fact is a lot of the time they are. Any time they are in an arena, on soft turf, loose gravel, heck, just about anywhere except pavement or packed dirt they will be pulling. It's the price you pay for small wheels and a lot of weight.

                          Hey look, I joined ANOTHER forum! And you thought horses were addictive.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MySparrow View Post
                            Don't want to change the subject, but the free scales at the last two National Drives changed my whole perception of horse weight and weight tapes. Sparrow "taped" at 970 pounds -- but she tipped the scales at 1130. I bought a new tape and she taped at 980. Fairy Luna, erstwhile neglect poster child, tapes at 900 at 13h3", so I'm thinking she's easily closing in on 1000. Once upon a time I would have thought 1000 pounds was heavy for a pony, but it no longer seems heavy for a cobby pony.
                            Are you sure you're using the right weight tape?

                            You do know that a pony and horse weight tapes are different?


                            • #15
                              I'll look at my tapes when I go to the barn this evening but I have never heard of a horse tape or pony tape. I think they all here are the same thing. I know mine goes from pony size to horse size for sure. Can't wait to see.


                              • #16
                                No they're different.

                                You might find this of interest:



                                • #17
                                  My weight tape does not say horse or pony. One side is the weights, the other is heights.
                                  I did watch the video and her discription of how to use the tape is different than what I was taught. Her scoring system is also different as we use a 9 pt. scale. But it was interesting and I liked what I was hearing.
                                  Thanks for sharing.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thanks guys that was incredibly informative
                                    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Renae View Post
                                      Nevermind, I found it, it is:
                                      Measure girth in inches
                                      Measure length in inches (point of hip to point of chest)
                                      Multiply Girth X Girth X Length, Divide by 300, Add 50
                                      Example 70" x 70" x 65" = 318,500 / 300 = 1061.67 + 50 = 1111.67 lbs.
                                      This formula is accurate to +/- 3%.
                                      Just curious, in measuring this horse. Point of hip, to point of chest. Would that be the point of hip, beside the flank? I also am not familiar with point of chest, but am familiar with point of shoulder. I guess I don't know WHERE the point of chest would be. The two points just seem like a very odd place to measure.

                                      Would one measurment possibly be the blanket length, center of chest to point of rump? Along with the girth measurement, worked by your formula, to come up with the weight?

                                      The Rural Heritage measurements don't work for my horses. Their girth and length sizes put into that formula, make them weigh 1796#s!! They are big, but NOT HUGE! They just can't weigh that much.

                                      Something I have noticed on our horses, is that the body length, is usually equal to the girth, on the last 10 I measured. It was noticable because it made them so much easier to remember for sizing harness and blankets.

                                      The old horse we no longer have, had very odd proportions. She was fun to bring out, have folks guess her sizes, mouth, head from lip to lip, girth, height, body length, shoe sizes. They NEVER got more than the height correct. She was very evenly proportioned, went together well. Yet she measured a lot bigger in most places than folks would EVER think she was. She was the demo lesson, for learning to fit tack, bits, saddles, on your Pony Club animal. Showed the NEED for a tape measure, not guessing by breed. Taught some folks that TBs, don't ALL wear 4.5" bits, just because they have a refined head. Their TB was much bigger than this little horse and was VERY HAPPY to FINALLY get a bit that fit her mouth comfortably.


                                      • #20

                                        Hey I wanted to really know so last summer I stumbled across a platform scale for sale and bought it. Tapes and looks can definately fool you. Our chunky 12.2 pony actually weighs around 850 pounds while our shire X TB mare who looks enormous weighs 1500. She certainly looks like she should weigh double what the pony weighs. I was also shocked that Caspian pony that Annie plays with from time to time is the heaviest Caspian in the herd. He always looks a little weedy to me and my guess had him 20% below his actual weight.

                                        Haul 'em down to the feed mill and put 'em on the scale.