Horse Riding & TrainingHorseback Riding

Horseback Riding Weight Limit: How Much Can a Horse Carry?

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Think the horseback riding weight limit is the same for all horses? Think again! Discover the surprising truth about how each horse’s individual weight limit is determined. Shocking revelations that shatter myths and provide clarity about horse carrying capacities.

We all want to take good care of our horses as riders, but how do you know how much weight is too much? Is it 250 pounds? 450 pounds? Or something completely different?

We’ve all seen a big rider on a horse, which can start a heated discussion about how much a horse can carry. For riders over the horseback riding weight limit for a horse, it can be tempting to believe certain myths of horse carrying capabilities.

There is no set weight limit, but there is a general rule as a baseline that is followed by most and that has research to back it up.

However, there is no single answer that works for all horses. The actual weight limit for each individual horse needs to be determined by a handful of factors that we will discuss further down in the article.

So, if you’re a new horse rider, a horse owner, or a concerned equestrian, it’s important to know horses’ weight limits to make sure you’re not putting too much stress on their back.

riders are a bit too big for ponies

Horseback Riding Weight Limit: How Much Weight Can a Horse Carry?

I’m glad you asked this important question.

It shows you are responsible and care about the horses’ well-being.

There is no one weight limit (such as 200 lbs) that applies to all riding horses. 

However reputable equestrian centers, horseback riding tours and trail riding businesses usually have their own weight policy, which can change depending on the types of horses they have. 

Most stables have a weight limit of 250 pounds for riders, but the 20% rule says that some horses, though not most, can carry up to 400 pounds. We’ll talk more about the 20% rule in a minute.

Even though this may seem unfair, it is actually in the best interest of both the rider and the horse because it keeps them both safe.

Because of this, it’s best to plan ahead and look up the weight limits for where you are going to horseback ride before booking your ride to make sure you will be permitted to ride and everyone has a safe and fun time.

If you want to make sure you don’t go over a horse’s limit, you can get a basic idea by looking at the chart I made with weight limits based on horse size on this page, or you can use an online calculator to find the best horse for your size.

To most accurately find out a horse’s weight limit for horseback riding, you need to consider a list of factors, such as:

  • Size
  • Conformation
  • Body condition & Fitness level
  • Hoof condition
  • Tack
  • Age
  • Horse’s Skill & Balance
  • Duration of Work
  • Work intensity level
  • Fitness and Skill Of The Rider

As you can see, with all the factors to consider, determining the weight limit a horse can comfortably carry while being ridden, is not an easy thing to do.

Back to the 20% rule:

This general rule gives us a starting point.  The average healthy horse can carry 20% of its own body weight. For example, if the horse weighs 900 pounds, and the tack is 40 pounds then the rider needs to weigh 140 pounds or less. It is important to ensure that the saddle, rider clothing, boots, and other equipment are considered in the total weight that is placed on the horse. 

This is a good general rule, but it should be looked at in the same way as a vehicle’s towing rating. This was a pretty good analogy that I recently read. Just because a vehicle can tow a certain maximum number of pounds in ideal conditions doesn’t mean it can do so safely all the time or in all conditions.

However, by following this recommended weight limit, you will be much closer to helping make sure that your horse is not overburdened and able to perform at a higher level.

This 20% rule was originally used by the United States Cavalry. In 1920, the U.S. Cavalry Manuals of Horse Management said that a horse shouldn’t have to carry more than 20% of its own weight in both rider and equipment.

More recent studies conducted in the past 20 years support this.

One study tested the effects of varying loads on eight adult horses, with tack and rider weights between 15%, 20%, 25%, and 30% of their body weight. 

During the study, the horses’ heart rate, creatine kinase activity (CK, an enzyme released into the blood when a muscle is injured), and plasma lactate (lactic acid made by muscles when they work out) were all measured to see how the weight of the riders affected the horses’ health.

Before and after the horses were worked, a massage therapist checked the horses’ muscles for pain and tightness.

The results were eye-opening. When the horses were carrying 25% of their body weight, their heart rates were significantly higher, and they experienced more significant muscle soreness and tightness. 

These effects became even more pronounced when the load was increased to 30%, with an increased amount of lactic acid in the muscles.

In light of these results, it’s important for all horse riders to know the weight limit for each horse to make sure they have a safe and successful ride.

The study also suggested that the weight limit that horses can safely carry may vary depending on the equine’s conformation.

It concluded that for most horses, a safe carrying weight is 20% of their body weight. However, it was also discovered that there is a correlation between the conformation of a horse and its weight-bearing capacity. 

Horses with wider loins and larger cannon bone circumferences were not as affected muscle and musculoskeletally as horses with narrower loins and smaller bone circumferences.

The study concluded that more studies needed to be done, but also that it seemed these thicker-boned, wider horses could hold slightly more weight than the narrower, thin-boned horses.

So horses with wider loins and thicker cannon bones may be able to carry slightly more than 20% comfortably, but not much more than 25%.

Next, I am going to cover in greater detail all the factors that contribute to how much a horse can carry comfortably.

horse can comfortably carry riders weight

Factors That Contribute To How Much Weight A Horse Can Carry Comfortably

The reasoning for these factors that influence the greatest amount of weight a horse can safely carry is speculative and based on logic. There hasn’t been enough research done to adequately back them up.

However, after reading about each of these considerations, it should be clear that they may help you decide how much weight your horse can carry without negatively impacting their performance.

With all of this information, there is no exact equation to figure out how much a horse should be able to carry. Use the 20% rule as a starting point. Depending on your horse’s limitations, abilities, and other factors, you can add a little more weight or take it away as your horse requires.

The Horse’s Size (Height and Weight)

The most obvious way to figure out how much weight your horse can carry is to look at its size. By size, I mean how tall and how heavy the horse is.

The general idea is that a horse can carry more if it is bigger. But a horse’s size alone isn’t always a good way to tell how much weight it can carry.

Some tall horses with narrow, thin bones might not be able to carry as much as a shorter horse or pony with wider, thicker bones, which takes us to the horse’s build and conformation.

The Horse’s Bone Density

The next thing you look at is whether the horse is thick or thin-boned. 

The horses with wider loins and bigger cannon bone circumferences will be able to carry a little more weight than the horses with narrow loins and small cannon bone circumferences.

Based on this idea, you can use your weight and the circumference of the horse’s cannon bone to help figure out if you are too heavy for the horse.

“Bone” is the measurement of the circumference of the foreleg cannon bone, just below the knee. One useful formula for determining if a horse can handle your weight is: Add the weight of the horse, rider, and tack together, divide this number by the cannon bone’s circumference, then divide that figure by 2; the result should be between 75 and 85.

When the number is higher than this, you are too heavy for the horse.

-Scarsdale Vets 

The Horse’s Conformation And Balance

Conformation, which is how a horse’s body is built, is a big part of how much weight it can carry.

Horses with a good build and balance can usually carry more weight than those with a less-than-ideal build or other problems with their conformation.

But the weight-carrying capacity will depend on the specific conformation and faults as well as how bad they are.

A horse with a long back, for instance, will be able to carry less weight than one with a shorter back.

But keep in mind that the horse can only carry weight on a certain part of its back.

This is measured from behind the scapula to the final rib in the back.

If you are bigger than this weight-bearing area and put weight on these areas that don’t bear weight, you will make the horse uncomfortable and hurt it over time.

The Horse’s Age

The age of a horse can also affect how much weight it can carry. Most of the time, a horse in its prime age can carry more weight than a young horse or an old horse.

When horses are between 2 and 6 years old, and sometimes even older, their muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons are still growing. So, you don’t want to put too much pressure on these young horses, especially when they are between 2 and 4 years old.

Most horses’ bones are fully grown by the time they are six years old, but some draft breeds can take as long as eight years.

Tendons and ligaments often break down in older horses, and it’s harder to keep muscle on them. They also often have some form of arthritis or old injuries.

There are always exceptions, but older horses shouldn’t usually carry as much weight as younger adult horses.

The Horse’s Body Condition, Health & Fitness Level

When figuring out how much weight a horse can carry, it’s important to think about its health, body condition, and level of fitness.

A well-muscled horse with a higher level of fitness will be able to carry more weight than a horse that is out of shape, needs to be conditioned, or is out of work.

A horse that is in good health, has a good body condition score, and is in good shape will be able to carry more weight than one that is overweight or underweight, has arthritis, or has an old injury that makes it more challenging for it to carry heavier weight.

The Horse’s Hoof Condition

Another important factor is the state of the horse’s hooves. Weight puts more pressure on the feet of the horse.

If your horse’s hooves are healthy, strong, and well-kept, it will be able to carry more weight than if its hooves are weak, brittle, or in bad shape.

Type And Intensity Of Work The Horse Will Be Doing

When it comes to evaluating the maximum weight for riders, the nature and intensity of the task it will do are also crucial.

Light-work horses, such as those used for leisurely strolling and trail riding, may carry more weight than horses undergoing rigorous, high-energy exercise, such as cross-country jumping or racing.

There are many activities in between, but the point is that it is easier for a horse to carry a heavier rider while walking around than while cantering and jumping over a course of jumps, which also puts the horse at risk.

Also, I mention trail rides as a low-intensity activity, but I know that is not always the case. Long distances and difficult terrain can increase the intensity, as well as obviously doing more than just walk. So keep that in mind.

The rider weight range should be lower the harder the activity is for the horse.

The Horse’s Skill And Balance

When figuring out how much a horse can carry, you should think about how skilled and balanced it is.

A well-trained horse with good balance will be able to bear more weight than a less experienced or unbalanced horse.

Because of this, it is important to make sure your horse gets good training and is in good shape. The horse’s balance will improve as he gets fitter and more trained.

A well-balanced horse will be able to distribute its weight evenly across its body, making it easier to move and less likely to get hurt.

The Duration Of The Horse’s Work

The duration of the horse’s work also affects how much weight is possible for the horse. The longer a horse is going to carry a rider, the less weight it should be expected to carry.

It is important to make sure you are working the horse for a duration that matches the horse’s fitness level as well to ensure that the horse is not overworked.

The Horse’s Gaits

The horse’s gaits are yet another consideration. Horses with smooth, even gaits can generally carry more weight than those with choppy or uneven gaits. 

This is because the rider will be more balanced, less likely to bounce around or lose balance and fall back down onto the horse’s back.

There will be less strain on the horse than a horse that has big bounding gaits and more pressure coming down on their back and legs.

The Rider’s Fitness And Skill Level

The rider’s fitness and skill level can have an impact on the horse. You don’t need to be in phenomenal condition to ride, but you should have a baseline fitness level to ride decently. A balanced, experienced rider is easier for the horse to carry. A skilled and fit rider will be better able to manage the horse as well as affect its movement and balance.

This suggests that an inexperienced rider may be harder for the horse to carry comfortably because of changes in the rider’s balance, bouncing on the horse’s back, confusion about how to use the aids for different gaits, and a decreased ability to follow the horse’s movements well.

If the rider is skilled but unfit and out of shape, this can affect how well the person rides. There will be more occurrences of loss of balance, getting tired, less control of their own body. 

So the rider’s fitness is as important as his or her skill. A less fit or inexperienced rider should not be on a horse that is maxed out with its weight-carrying capabilities.

The Horse’s Tack And Saddle Fit

Finally, the horse’s tack and saddle fit are also important. If your horse’s tack and saddle are not properly fitted, it can make it more difficult for him or her to carry weight, so it’s important to ensure that they fit correctly.

The saddle fit is the most important. With more weight comes more pressure on the horse’s back from the saddle. If there are any saddle fit issues or points under the saddle that are pressing into the horse, this will get worse with more weight. 

Basically, the more weight on the horse, the more uncomfortable the saddle will make the horse.

Saddle fit is very important for the comfort of your horse. It seems to affect the horse more with English saddles because there is less weight distribution and surface area than a western saddle.

So despite an English saddle being lighter and a Western saddle being heavier, the wider weight distribution in a Western saddle can be more comfortable for horses.

That said, western saddles can still cause issues if they don’t fit properly and can still make your horse uncomfortable.

rider is within the horseback riding weight limit

Finding The Proper Sized Horse For Different Riders

Figuring out how much weight a horse can carry is part of finding the right sized horse for you. You need to know the horse’s weight in order to calculate the rider’s weight limit. However, there is more to finding a horse that fits you than just the amount of weight they can carry. 

A horse and rider combination that fits each other should also consider the height of the horse and rider and the barrel size of the horse, along with the length of the rider’s legs.

For more information check out my blog post about finding the right sized horse for you. This is especially useful for those of you looking to buy your own horse.

Can You Ride Horses If You Are Overweight? Problems For Overweight Riders

The short answer is yes, but let’s go a little deeper into this subject.

It’s not just about the horse. This section talks about the problems an overweight rider faces, even if they are within the horse’s weight limit.

Being overweight can also put more stress on the rider, making it harder to maintain a balanced and supportive posture, which is important for good riding technique. Because the horse causes a lot of movement, you are more likely to pull something or hurt your back if you are out of shape.

Physics says that if you fall, you will hit the ground with more force the heavier you are, which makes you more likely to get hurt.

It’s also important to be physically fit if you want to be able to go on more difficult rides, because if you get tired easily, you won’t be capable of communicating with your horse as well, which will make for a worse performance.

All of this said, there is a difference between a rider who is fit but a little overweight and a rider who is not fit but is a little overweight or very overweight. You don’t have to be skinny to ride a horse. Even skinny riders who aren’t in shape aren’t ideal.

What you want to have is stamina, strength, and flexibility, whether you are skinny, average size, or overweight.

So, if you’re overweight and want to ride horses, you should focus on getting fit and know that losing weight will make it easier for you to ride and let you ride more horses. However, what’s most important is how strong your core is, how well you can control your body and keep your balance, how flexible you are, and how much stamina you have.

You want all of this, plus a horse that can easily carry your weight.

Small steps toward a healthier lifestyle can make a big difference in the long run. Soon, you’ll be able to ride better and your horse will be happier. 

If you are unfit and have excessive weight to the point that no horses can carry you comfortably, or you are highly likely to get hurt while riding, you can still do other things with horses while you work on getting healthier and in better shape.

You could groom the horses, work with them on the ground, and walk them around the barn, in a field, or on the trails. You could drive a horse-drawn carriage (they can pull more than they can carry). You could spend time with your horse in its stall or paddock.

Try new things and let your imagination run free.

rider too tall for horse

Potential Problems For Riders Who Are Too Big for Their Horse

In this section, I’ll go over the issues that riders experience when they ride a horse that is too small for them, whether they weigh too much or are too tall for the horse.

Legs Too Long and Hang Down Too Far

One of the most typical problems that tall riders encounter while riding a horse that is too small for them is that their legs are too long and hang down too far, causing their legs to shift about more than usual.

This can make it difficult to keep your legs steady and secure, as well as confuse or agitate the horse and make it more difficult for the rider to balance.

Top Heavy

You’re likely to be top-heavy if you’re too tall for your horse.

This might make you feel unstable, thereby making it easier to fall off if the horse spooks or moves fast unexpectedly.

To counteract this, sit deeper in the saddle and make sure your weight is equally distributed. This improves the horse’s balance and makes you more steady.

But ultimately, riding an appropriate horse for your size is the ideal scenario.

Effect on the Horse

A rider who is too large for the horse they are riding will often have a significant influence on the horse’s performance.

The extra weight or height can throw the horse’s balance off.

If the horse is off balance, it makes it more difficult for the rider to balance and can result in the horse having difficulty staying straight, rushing gaits, and difficulty getting into or maintaining the canter, just to name a few.

Potential Negative Effects For Horses Carrying Riders That Are Too Heavy

Dr. Hayley Randle from the Duchy College in Cornwall said,

“People tend to think that because horses are so big, they must be fine, and they don’t pay attention to the weight issue of riders.” “But the effects on the horse’s health can be very bad and happen quickly.”

It’s important to know what could go wrong if a horse is carrying too much weight so that riders can take the steps they need to protect their horse’s health.


Lameness is one of the things that can happen when a rider is too heavy for a horse.

According to research, excessive rider weight can place undue strain on a horse’s legs, resulting in lameness.

A study that was published in the Equine Veterinary Journal found that if the rider was overweight, the horse was much more likely to develop lameness.

This lameness can be due to a variety of things, such as damage to tendons, problems with the joints, or damage to soft tissues. To keep the horse from going lame, it is important to make sure that the rider is not too heavy for the horse.

More Likely To Get Injured

When too much weight is put on a horse, it puts the horse in a position where it is more likely to get hurt.

This is because a rider who is too heavy can make the horse more unbalanced and unstable, increasing the likelihood that the horse will take a wrong step, trip, or fall.

Also, the extra stress on the horse’s joints and muscles makes them more likely to pull a muscle or get hurt in some other way.

Long-Term Physical Damage

Over time, the extra strain from the excess weight can cause long-term damage to the horse’s body.

This can hurt the horse’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. A horse is also more likely to develop a swayback in the long run.

Muscle Stiffness

Muscle stiffness is another problem that can occur if a rider is too heavy for the horse.

The rider’s extra weight can cause the horse’s muscles to work too hard, which can cause pain and stiffness.

Also, the extra weight can make it hard for the horse to move properly, causing it to strain or hold its muscles in a way that isn’t natural.

This can even cause injuries like pulled or strained muscles. To keep muscles from getting stiff, it’s important to make sure the rider on the horse isn’t too heavy.

Back Soreness

Back soreness is another problem that could happen. You may notice that with riders who weigh too much, the horse drops its back from the extra weight.

The rider’s weight can cause the horse’s back to be overstretched, strained, or even compressed, which can cause the horse back pain.

This is not only bothersome for the horse, but it can also cause bigger problems like spondylosis and osteoarthritis.

Keep in mind that a horse with a longer back is more likely to get back pain than one with a shorter back or that has a balanced, proportionate body.

To keep the horse’s back from hurting, make sure it isn’t carrying a rider who is too heavy. You can also do exercises to strengthen the horse’s back.

Another important thing to do is make sure the saddle fits right. An ill-fitting saddle is another cause of back pain, which gets worse as riders get heavier.

Respiratory Issues

In addition to lameness, muscle stiffness, and back pain, horses with too much rider weight can have trouble breathing.

The rider’s added weight might make it harder for the horse to take deep breaths, causing them to get short of breath.

A recent study found that a horse’s respiratory system can be strained by a rider’s weight. This can cause problems like coughing, wheezing, and rapid breathing.

To keep the horse from having respiratory problems, it is important to make sure that the rider is an acceptable weight.

Behavioral Issues

Last but not least, a horse’s behavior can be affected by a rider who is too heavy. There may be less desire to work, less desire to move forward, and more resistance to the rider.

The extra weight of the rider can make the horse nervous and stressed, which can lead to bad behavior like bucking, bolting, and rearing.

To avoid behavior problems, it is important to make sure the horse is not carrying heavy riders for prolonged periods of time and to evaluate your horse for any signs of pain.

Many times, horses seem to misbehave when the underlying issue is discomfort or pain.

What Kind of Horse Can Carry a Heavy Rider?

Even though draft horses, cobs, and warmbloods are options for bigger riders, you should still think about all of the things that were discussed in this article. There are horses that can carry heavier riders.

The Icelandic Horse is a horse breed that can carry more than most horses its size.This is due to the horse’s build. Whereas most horses can only carry around 20% of their weight, Icelandic horses are recognized to be able to carry even more. According to one study, they can carry up to 25% of their weight without the negative consequences that a heavy rider might have on a horse.

Another breed that can typically carry slightly more than 20% is the Quarter Horse. Now, it depends on the horse because some Quarter Horses are more dainty than others, but typically they have short, strong backs and develop fairly well-muscled bodies.

Despite being broad boned and having massive hooves, draft horses with longer backs may be able to carry less than 20% of their total weight to prevent problems. A long back is weak and can’t carry as much weight as a short, strong back.

If you are interested in buying a horse, you definitely want to take the time to find the right horse and know how much your horse may be able to carry safely.

I have written an article about the best horse breeds for bigger riders, if you are interested in reading it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Horseback Riding Weight Limits

rider too large for horse

Why Is There A Weight Limit For Horse Riding?

One of the primary reasons for a rider weight limit is to avoid overstressing the horse.Although horses are strong and powerful animals, they can only carry a certain amount of weight. If a horse is overloaded with a rider who is too heavy, it can hurt the horse or, in the worst-case scenario, result in a deadly accident.

Furthermore, an overweight rider can create bad posture, joint strain, and tension in the horse. They can also make it difficult for the horse to move and do specific moves, causing the horse and rider to struggle considerably more with certain activities than if they were properly matched in size.

A weight limit is also there to make sure the rider is comfortable and safe. Not only is it more difficult to do certain exercises, but a rider who is too heavy for the horse can cause the horse to become unbalanced and difficult to manage, which can lead to a dangerous riding environment in which the horse appears to be acting out.

Having a weight limit promotes the horse’s general health and well-being. Horses can only carry so much weight before they get too tired and find it hard to work while being ridden. So, it’s important to know the horse’s maximum weight limit and not go over that limit.

How Much Weight Can An 1100 Lbs. Horse Carry?

Horses can carry heavy loads because they are sturdy, athletic critters. But how much weight can a horse that weighs 1100 pounds carry?

The average weight of a horse is between 1000 and 1100 pounds, but how much weight it can carry depends on its size, health, training, and all the other things I talked about in this article. In general, a horse weighing 1100 pounds can carry 15-20% of its own weight, or between 160 and 220 pounds. This includes the rider’s weight, as well as the weight of the saddle, bridle, and any other gear the horse is carrying.

The actual maximum weight a horse can carry varies depending on the kind of riding. Most of the time, a horse that is used for light riding, like trail riding, can carry more weight than a horse that is used for competition. Most of the time, the weight limit is lower for horses that compete.

There is no clear answer to the question of how much weight a horse that weighs 1100 pounds can carry. Finally, make sure you understand the particular weight restriction for each horse.

Can You Be Too Heavy To Ride A Horse?

Yes, the answer is yes. Horses can only carry so much weight, and the bigger you are, the harder it is to find a horse that can carry you safely and comfortably.

Still, it’s not just about weight. Riding a horse is a sport that requires strong muscles, balance, and stamina, especially if you want to trot, canter, and jump. If you’re too heavy to ride most big horses comfortably, you’ll probably be weak in these areas.

That’s why it’s important to get fit and strong, at least to a certain level, before you ride. If you’re too heavy for the horses that are available, you’ll need to lose weight before you can ride them. In the meantime, you can still find other ways to work with horses. Not only will it make you more comfortable while riding, but it will also make your horse safer.

At the end of the day, you should be fine to ride as long as you stay within the horse’s limits and ride safely at a level that is within both your and the horse’s abilities.

Can A Horse Carry A 200 Pound Person? Or A 300 Pound Person?

Based on the 20% rule and taking into account tack, a horse that weighs 1200 pounds or more can carry a 200-pound person comfortably. But don’t forget to think about all the other things we talked about in this article.

Depending on how tall you are, some 200-pound people are not overweight. Many tall men weigh this much. If you weigh 200 pounds and are 5’4 tall, you are clearly overweight.

When you are very overweight, you presumably are not very fit. It’s important to be fit so that you can hold yourself well, keep your balance as the horse moves, and have better control over how your limbs move.

In theory, a horse that weighs about 2,000 pounds could carry a person who weighs 300 pounds. Most likely, they won’t be in very good shape. They won’t be able to keep their posture, balance, and center, and they won’t have enough core strength to stay stable while controlling all of their limbs.

Even if the horse can technically hold your weight, how well you ride will affect the horse’s comfort, balance, and both your safety.

So, I personally believe that if you weigh 250 pounds or more and are very overweight for your height and not fit, you shouldn’t ride a horse until you are fit enough to ride safely, even if the horse can hold your weight.

What Are The Weight Limits In Jockey?

When it comes to jockey weight limits, safety is the most important thing. Racing with an overweight rider might put too much strain on the horse’s back and cause damage. A heavier jockey can also make it hard for the horse to keep its balance, change its stride, and give it an unfair advantage over other horses. Because of this, racing commissions set clear weight limits that are always followed.

There are some exceptions to the rules about how much you can weigh. In some races, a jockey who is underweight may be able to run if they wear a special vest that holds the extra weight. This is frequent in steeplechases, although the weight is normally limited to five or six extra pounds.

In the U.S., most jockeys are men, but some women compete in races where they are given a special allowance. In the UK, more women are allowed to ride horses and compete in races. But even in this case, men and women have the same weight limits.

In the end, jockeys have to meet certain weight requirements in order to race. Even with their gear, jockeys can usually weigh no more than about 126 pounds. There are some exceptions for jockeys who are too heavy, but most of the time they can only put on five or six pounds. Racetrack commissions make sure that horses and jockeys meet the weight requirements to keep them safe.

Conclusion About Horse Riding Weight Limits On Horses

Riding a horse is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and interact with a lovely animal, but keep in mind that a horse’s body is not built to handle riders who are too heavy for them.

When you go horseback riding, you should always put your safety, the safety of the horse, and the horse’s comfort first.

Extra rider weight can cause lameness, muscle stiffness, back pain, breathing problems, and behavior problems in horses, so it is important to create a weight restriction for each individual horse.

So, whether you’re a seasoned or novice rider, just starting out, it’s critical to only ride horses that can handle your weight without difficulty, no matter your riding ability.

Cheers, Kacey

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Disclaimer Notice: Please be aware that horseback riding and related equestrian activities carry inherent risks. The advice and experiences shared on this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional training or advice. Ensure your safety and that of your horse by wearing appropriate gear, practicing safe horse handling, and consulting with certified equestrian professionals. Remember, each horse is unique, and techniques may vary accordingly. Always prioritize safety, respect, and patience in your equestrian endeavors.

Kacey Cleary Administrator
Kacey has been an equestrian since 1998. She was a working student at several eventing and dressage barns. She has owned horses, leased horses, and trained horses. Kacey received an A.S. in Equine Industries from UMass Amherst, where she rode on the dressage team. She was certified with the ARIA and is licensed to teach riding in MA. She has been a barn manager and has run her own horse farm.
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