Am I Too Big For My Horse?

Kay Rice
by Kay Rice
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QuestionHI I was just wondering if you can be "too big" for your horse. I have a 14.3-15hh quarter horse gelding. He is some what stout but not really. Anyway, I weigh 156 not including the 35+ pound saddle. Am I "too big" for this guy? (Danielle Hembree, - Colorado)


In general, the horse must be large enough that your legs don't dangle to the fetlocks, but small enough that you can mount unaided, and not so wide that you can't wrap your legs around it. Whether or not your horse is finding it hard to cope with your own size depends on more factors than just your weight and/or height. For example, what type of discipline are you and your horse taking part in?

If you plan to show, consult a trainer or instructor in your discipline to see if your size is well suited to your horse for the particular discipline. If there are any signs of injury or tenderness to the feet or back, this may be an indicator of weight incompatibility, and your vet's suggestions as to the cause of such discomfort will lead you to the answer. Likewise if her conformation is suffering a vet will need to access her weight bearing ability.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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Added on Aug 29th, 2010
I personally wouldn't think that you would be to big for your horse, but thats a hard question.
I was watching a parade the other day, and a very large lady was riding a 14hand'ish gelding. He was moderately stocky and he didn't look perkey to be there as all the others horses were. She was spilling out of her 16"saddle, to try to explain how big she was. Is she to big, in my opinion yes.
Maybe the expert would give there opinion on this?