Horse Riding Lessons For Beginners

Does My Weight Prevent Me From Taking Riding Lessons?


If you’re on the heavy side you may worry about whether you should start taking horse riding lessons for beginners. Depending on certain factors, your weight need not necessarily be an obstacle.

Weight Ratios

As a general rule of thumb a horse should be able to carry up to 20% of his body weight, which includes not only the rider, but the tack, too. This applies only to an equine in top condition, which most riding school horses are not. It should be considered the maximum that even a fit horse should be asked to carry, and clearly a horse in good condition can carry more than a poorly conditioned horse.

Rider’s Experience

A horse will always find it easier to carry an athletic, heavier rider who is well-balanced and skilled than a lighter, clumsy and uncaring horse person.

Mount the horse as quickly as you can to avoid hanging on one side of the horse, which is not good for his back. Be careful not to land heavily - instead lower yourself gently into the saddle.

Weight Carrying Breeds

If you are a heavier person interested in horse riding, how to find a horse to comfortably carry you becomes important. Here are some breeds to consider.

At 14.2 hands the Highland pony is ideal for the shorter person. He is strong and sturdy but with a touch of Arab in him to give his head a refined look.

A breed which used to carry knights in full armor then became a high-stepping carriage animal, is the Friesian. This strong ex-warhorse from Holland stands between 14.3 and 15.3 hands high, and is fast becoming popular as a riding horse.

The Cleveland Bay is another strong breed which is used to pull carriages but is also a riding horse noted for its sensible temperament. Its height is approximately 16.2 hands.

Even the Shire Horse is becoming less rare in the riding school horse and at horse competitions. This breed has an exceptionally docile temperament, which suits the beginner rider.

Your Fitness Level

As a heavier person, you need to ensure that you are fit enough to start horse riding lessons for beginners. If you’ve not been taking regular exercise or have any medical conditions which may be exacerbated by riding, such as a heart problem or asthma, you should consult your doctor before beginning a horse riding program.

You’ll find you’re far from the only heavier person wishing to take horse riding lessons for beginners. With a little judicial research you should find a horse riding barn to accommodate you.



Read more topics at the Horse Riding Resources page.


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