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Help! Horse for a Big Man?

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  • Help! Horse for a Big Man?

    Hello ladies and gents!

    I'm on the hunt for a horse for a 6' tall, 220 lb, all-muscle man. He's currently riding a Perch/TB cross but I worry that he's too heavy for her to carry on top of her own body weight. I recently read that there is a lot more involved in how much a horse can carry than the old adage about a certain percentage of their body weight... any ideas?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Originally posted by Windsor1
    Actually, high fashion costs money. Style is . . . priceless.
    : Cheers to that!

  • #2
    Originally posted by anev View Post
    ... but I worry that he's too heavy for her to carry on top of her own body weight...
    Seriously??

    I'm in the region of the weight of your friend though only 5'10". I have comfortably ridden and jumped everything from 15hh QHs to draft crosses to 18hh warmbloods with no issues whatsoever. My current riding horses include a 16.2hh TB x Warmblood and a 17hh draft cross. I have been riding them both for years with no ill effects to man nor beast.

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    • #3
      I agree with GoodyTwo. Unless she's unusually frail or has some sort of serious back injury/defect, why on Earth would she not be big enough? There are Quarter Horses who aren't even 16hh who'd be fine carrying someone his size.
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      • Original Poster

        #4
        She isn't very big, maybe 15.2 - I should have clarified. Also, she is owned by another man who doesn't do enough work with her so she rides SUPER forehand heavy. She has had some back issues in the past that were due to poor saddle fit. I guess it is just such a heavy picture to watch them go that I wanted to be sure. Although from what GoodyTwo said, maybe some height and a little less width since the man is larger than she is but her mounts are both upwards of 16hh?
        Originally posted by Windsor1
        Actually, high fashion costs money. Style is . . . priceless.
        : Cheers to that!

        Comment


        • #5
          I hate seeing 200+ pound men on 14.3hh horses, sitting on their pockets, slumped at the shoulders. It's all over the place but I don't think it's ideal. On the other hand if these men were well balanced, it wouldn't bother me.

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          • #6
            You want to look at cannon size versus weight. I have seen my fair share of QHs carrying around cowboys that weight 200 lbs or more with no problem. My husband who is about 200 lbs has sat on my pony for a few minutes without any problems. You don;t need a draft horse just because you weigh 200 pounds.
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            • Original Poster

              #7
              I guess that's my question: Do we need to find a QH or is there some other breeds that would be may be a little finer but still be able to schlep him around safely? I think he'd eventually like to fox hunt with me and the small group I go with
              Originally posted by Windsor1
              Actually, high fashion costs money. Style is . . . priceless.
              : Cheers to that!

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              • #8
                Hint: Polo players are regularly 6 feet tall and 220 lbs. The average polo pony is 15.1hh. And guess what breed most of them are: Thoroughbred or some variant of Thoroughbred.

                My uncle is 6'5" (yes, really) and gets around very happily on a horse who is 16.2hh.

                I'd be more interested in evaluating the individual horse, and its balance, than the breeding. Like you said, you want something fairly uphill that balances well. And at that size, you want something big enough to carry a saddle that will suit him.
                Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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                • #9
                  I would worry about the body length of a 6' rider who is hunting a 15.2h horse. When a person has a torso that is too long for the horse, it seems to make it harder to stay on. Top heavy riders seem to end up on the ground more easily and more forcefully than those with a smaller torso or a larger horse. One of the many explanations that I heard for Christopher Reeve's accident was that he was too tall for his horse.
                  Do you have access to a taller draft cross that might be more suitable?

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I don't currently have anything taller but my end goal is to start looking for one that he, and the guy that owns the perch/tb cross, can ride more comfortably. The perch x is a lovely mare and I feel bad for her. She likes a light rider (me at 120 pounds) much more and goes much better when she isn't compensating for the man-puddles on her back. I definitely agree with AKB about the upper body length, part of the "heaviness" of the picture of him on this mare is that he is very broad and tall in the shoulders but doesn't know how to counterbalance her in turns so everything just falls in and forward which is just begging for him to fall off one day in the field.
                    Originally posted by Windsor1
                    Actually, high fashion costs money. Style is . . . priceless.
                    : Cheers to that!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I hate to be the bitch in this, but maybe he needs some lessons, and not from you, of course she'd like a lighter rider, better communication, that's why we ride everything from 14' to 17+-(the reason I said lessons from other than you was, within the family, I told them, showed them, and when shit hit the fan, they forgot everything, cuz, there's a difference in "MOM's" horses cuz they do everything for her-and she just 'sit's there' and then they go where ever she wants them. Like I said teaching family is a pain in the ass. My 2nd husband said at one time," just because she's your daughter, doesn't give all your memories, or all your abilities

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                      • #12
                        There are a ton of nice big boned horses that are currently fox hunting on this fb page https://www.facebook.com/groups/hunthorses/ So many so that my DH fears when I sell the current three sales projects that I may go on a buying binge

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                        • #13
                          I have a RID/Appy cross who, without shoes is just a hair under 15.1hh but has a 9" cannon bone. I have put heavier riders on her without batting an eye. I agree with others who say dude doesn't need a bigger horse. He needs lessons and training to learn how to balance himself well. A good rider looks fluid and comfortable - as if riding is second nature. If he looks goofy, unbalanced and uncomfortable he simply lacks training. Out of the saddle he might want to look at remedial fitness training to build core strength. Sounds like his training might be more focused on developing Hulk arms than a balanced total body fitness routine. A good rider can identify the horse's natural center of gravity. He clearly cannot do this. I don't blame the horse for preferring any other rider to him. I can't imagine how distressing that is for the horse. My suggestion is video tape him riding and have him get a visual for his lack of skillz. That may make him realize that the issue really is him - not the horse.

                          One woman came to me (well, my brother was friends with her hubby and my brother gave her my number... Long story) and she was morbidly obese. Like over 400 pounds. She had a pannus that hung over her hips and wanted to ride. Her husband bought her a 15hh fine boned paint and I had to have the conversation with her that she was simply too big to ride that horse. She was short - 5'3"-5'4" and wanted something pony sized. I had to explain to here that there would be very few ponies that would be suitable considering her current level of fitness. She left me and got hooked up with a shady dealer with whom she played goldilocks with horses for a while.

                          Over the next year she went through a multitude of horses, buying, trading and selling because she couldn't find that magical horse that made riding easy and that she felt safe on. She wanted to ride into the sunset on her pegasus and was dismayed that she just couldn't find *that horse*. Realistically what she needed to do was lose at least 150 pounds, take a year or two of lessons and then find a horse. She eventually gave up on horses all together which I believe was the right decision in the end.

                          Moral of the story: 99% of the time the issue is not with the horse but with the rider.
                          Last edited by Snowflake; Apr. 26, 2013, 10:24 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Especially for foxhunting, the Irish Draught or Irish Draught Sport Horse (ISH) are great horses. They normally have plenty of bone and in our area I know a lot of men who hunt on them.
                            Epona Farm
                            Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by anev View Post
                              She isn't very big, maybe 15.2 - I should have clarified. Also, she is owned by another man who doesn't do enough work with her so she rides SUPER forehand heavy. She has had some back issues in the past that were due to poor saddle fit. I guess it is just such a heavy picture to watch them go that I wanted to be sure. Although from what GoodyTwo said, maybe some height and a little less width since the man is larger than she is but her mounts are both upwards of 16hh?
                              For clarification, I shouldn’t probably have indicated the height of my horses. Their height has no bearing on their weight carrying abilites. I was really using them to illustrate the type of horses I’m currently riding – a TB cross and a draft cross.

                              I do agree with those who have intimated that (provided the rider and horse aren’t grossly mismatched size-wise) the importance lies in the riders being better, quieter, more balanced riders.

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                              • #16
                                I second the recommendation that you get both of these guys to invest in some lesson time. See if you can find a good male trainer in the area or even a clinic taught by a man. DH's riding made a huge leap forward after his first clinic with a man. The explanations he got about how to use his upper body strength and account for his broader shoulders were things that our great female trainers just can't address in the same way.

                                In the interim, sit down with them both and talk about how they can help the mare. When they're not riding, talk about what she needs to be happier and more comfortable and agree on a plan. You can agree on ways that you can help them and how they can practice solo. If they understand that the mare's comfort is driving the need to learn new skills (ride softer & help her off her forehand), that will be very motivating. Again, this approach was a huge success with DH.

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                                • #17
                                  DH needs a thick horse. Height is irrelevant to weight-carrying ability. Look for thick cannons.

                                  You do need a horse with a strong back and balanced or uphill build. A short back might help. Do avoid even an otherwise strong horse with a weak back. That could well be the issue with this mare, sounds like.

                                  He should also have a saddle that fits him and the horse, as that will help him balance.

                                  And lessons!! Even focusing just on position at first.
                                  Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Thanks for all the responses! I am now armed with some more information to help the man, our dear friend, and his dear mare. We're going to look at the Irish Draughts on horsetales recommendation as a starting point because he is too tall for dear mare and I think having a horse who has a little more height will make everyone more comfortable. Both men are beginning lessons with a male trainer at the beginning of May which is another reason we're looking for another horse. Thank you all, again, for all your suggestions!
                                    Originally posted by Windsor1
                                    Actually, high fashion costs money. Style is . . . priceless.
                                    : Cheers to that!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by anev View Post
                                      Thanks for all the responses! I am now armed with some more information to help the man, our dear friend, and his dear mare. We're going to look at the Irish Draughts on horsetales recommendation as a starting point because he is too tall for dear mare and I think having a horse who has a little more height will make everyone more comfortable. Both men are beginning lessons with a male trainer at the beginning of May which is another reason we're looking for another horse. Thank you all, again, for all your suggestions!
                                      Might contact Bridon ID, they are in VA and both her & DH hunt, so they may know something that would fit the bill
                                      http://www.oakhillirishdraught.com/
                                      Epona Farm
                                      Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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