How Much Weight Is Too Much Weight for a Horse to Carry?

It is recommended that the rider plus their tack and other equipment weigh no more than 20% of the horse’s weight.

So, for a typical 1,100-lb horse, the rider, tack and any extras should weigh no more than 220 lbs.

Research shows that horses start to show signs of stress when loads reach the 25% point. Elevated heart rates, respiration and temperature were noted. Horses that carry heavy loads face an increased risk of developing lameness.

When shopping for that perfect horse or pony, keep in mind how much weight you will be asking the individual to carry, and find the right horse for the job. You will both be happier!


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