Rider Weight?

Discussion in 'Horse Riding' started by pso, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. maxntaz

    maxntaz Well-known Member

    I hear ya princeton! **)

    I dont remember a day i havent been on a diet or what ever.:( Yep unfortunately I have been overweight since practically the day i was born and it SUCKS... next option surgery and i have been there once before already... :(

    Yep i know that i am overweight, I know that it hinders my riding, but i still try and i definately dont over do it on my horse - he is a solid type. I wouldnt go out and ride a pony or smaller horse its unfair.

    but i still think its great that there are a few of us fatties out there that are still having ago and have gone past listening to some of the snide remarks i have heard in the past :(
  2. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    Lol, this is a nice thread hey *#)
    Ahh to be skinny :rolleyes:

    *off to go for a walk*
  3. sambo

    sambo Well-known Member

    I do believe people that have never had a weight problem have no idea what it is like to battle the bulge.

    I think the person who is blaming the horse for it's bad performance is a shit rider, regardless of what she is blaming it for. Any rider who blames horse first, for what ever reason needs a reality check.

    I am a larger rider and have not ridden my horse until i have lost weight. I also didn't feel safe to ride when i was at my heaviest, so Fox had some time off.:D I also go to gym 3 times a week and try to make my body better able to handle riding and not be a hindrance. In saying that it is a constant slog and one has to be consistent!
  4. Babe

    Babe Well-known Member

    OMG PSO....I tried to drop some kilos before the weekend! Honest!!*#)
  5. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    I was guna say this but couldn't figure out how to say it nicely..
    You put it so much better lol.
    Just got back from my work bahaha.. it poured down..

    The thing i like about this thread is after reading it yesterday my diet was re-kicked.. :)
  6. buggalugs

    buggalugs Well-known Member

    normally i wouldnt comment on a section like this but im bored lol

    very rarely will you find a rider at any sort of commendable level in riding that is fat. Quite simply the amount of time and effort (not to mention stress and lack of money to buy food lol *#)) means that anyone riding 5-6times per week several horses will have MORE than enough exercise to stay at a weight required to maximise the horses potential (i.e. remaining less of a hindrance to the horse)

    back to reality - i have several male friends in excess of 100kg who at one time or another have ridden any one of my horses. Having worked at a riding school who took great pride in horses staying sound well in to their late 20's and even 30's i have seen regularly riders in excess of 100kg riding horses who i can tell you were NOT 1T beasties (well one is about 800kgs)... all these horses dealt with the weight fine - however they were never asked to do serious work. i think it is very much a horses for courses (excuse the pun :) )... if you seriously want to ride at a higher level then you need to be fitter than the horse. simple. yes many underestimate the battle of the bulge - however if you were riding you horse to collection/jumping decent heights then i am also guessing that you are fit enough because you have to keep your horse in work to get to those levels. so all i can say is that to me - for the serious rider - it is not an issue. the rider and horse should be developing fitness together. for the pleasure hack - it may become an issue however i would think that it needs to be addressed on an individual basis...
  7. princeton

    princeton Well-known Member

    God I would love to school my horse 6 days a week.... Damn work and other commitments getting in the way! Lol
  8. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    super interesting comments here.
    congrats Finding_nemo on doing so well!

    i have also battled with fatness in my living memory & was always the chubby kid at pony club with fat little legs having to pull out the fat on my thighs so i could use my leg/seat properly whilst all my extremely tall & skinny friends would wait for me to get sorted out, haha. i've lost 10kg in the last 9 months or so - going to gym, doing yoga etc. stopped gymming it for the past 3 months (for a variety of reasons & i feel intense guilt over it) but i have increased my riding dramatically as well since april (poor pony didn't know what hit him) to improve my pony & i've found that my own *riding* fitness has improved so much too. i used to feel intense pain & breathlessness during a lesson but i don't get that anymore (tho i still sweat like a pig!) & i can go for ages & ages on trot work (tho don't test me, dear instructor! please!). i've dropped a dress size & am able to fit into stuff i never thought i could! combined with lessons & regular work on myself as a rider, i really feel myself improving for my horse's sake. plus, being conscious about core strength & sitting up straight & not being so defensive, has also helped.

    i used to be quite into PC eventing as a kid but time & again my german jumping instructor would despair at my fatness & tell me i'd never get anywhere (because of my fatness, he'd have lovely comments like, "SHEIZEN! YOU VOULD DO SO VELL IV ONLY YOU VERE SKINNY!"). lo and behold i am NOT an olympic rider, haha, so who's right? i also have a friend who trained with george morris & he told her she needed a boob reduction before she'd do any better!!!

    my old boy was a big stocky horse & i chose my current riding horse for, amongst other things, his short back & potential load bearing capabilities. i also have a squat little standy who carries me just fine, but i don't ask anything challenging of him at all.

    weight is a sensitive issue & i really don't think people who have never been overweight (and i'm not talking 5kg over your 'ideal' weight either) understand the complexities involved. it's not just 'being overweight'. i know with me there are years of bad habits, depression, emotional eating, childhood memories etc that are all bundled up with food & what it means. it's not just about being 'fat'. i've even been referred to a psychologist about my 'relationship with food' so i can try and work on it (for health issues, not just weight issues).

    really, now many of us are into horses for the competitive aspect? very few. most of us do it because we love it, we feel wholesome, at home, unjudged. we feel we can be ourselves around our horses.

    so even tho someone may think they're right in judging someone, and telling them that their weight is what hinders the horse & rider succeeding as a team, that person is also inadvertently destroying another person's hopes, dreams, and 'safe place'.

    it's a sensitive topic & i guess if the horse is your ONLY priority, then it's okay to be blunt. but i'd want both horse AND rider to succeed.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  9. chanel

    chanel Well-known Member

    now thats a story^^^^^^^^^

    just had to put that in
  10. Andhi

    Andhi Gold Member

    Well said Blitzen, better said than I could have put it.
  11. Denny

    Denny Well-known Member

    This is a very interesting and very sensitive subject!!

    I really appreciation your comment Blizen about how many of us are involved in horses in a competitive aspect... that very few are...

    PSO bought the topic up after one of WA's largest Dressage events for this year... Most of the riders riding in the Offical classes from at least Elemenatry and above would be riding a little more competitively than the average Joe. I think her questions would be to these riders who would spend a considerable about of time and $$$$ on lessons, gear, feed, shoeing etc for their horses but prehaps don't think to consider their own fitness and wellbeing as part of their competition equasion.

    I would LOVE to drop 5-10 kg too... I don't consider myself grossly overweight but I shudder at any pictures I see of me and find it very difficult to watch myself on video.

    But - for me my body shape and fitness plays a large part in my overall training to be the best rider I can possibly be. I have 2 horses in full time work. One is young and worked about 4 days per week - the other is training "somewhere between medium and St George" and is worked about 5 days per week. I do weight training 3 times a week with a PT who is very much aware of what area's of my body I need to tone and strengthen to help my riding. I play netball one night a week and other nights try and jump on my cross trainer for cardio.....

    I too find it difficult when I speak with other riders who complain bitterly about their horses misbehaving etc when they are unfit (not necessarily overweight!!!) and unable to be an athelete like their horse!!!

    But I'm very very lucky.... My coach thinks the same way I do - she suggests exercises for my PT to help me as she does the same regime and I do. I also have a fairly supportive husband who understands that after years of working my butt off (unfortunately not literally!!) and unfortunate directions that life has taken me that I am now able to carry out all this extra training!!

    I think that we often focus so much on our horses wellbeing and fitness that we sometimes forget our own!!!!
  12. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    yes, interesting. i know that if i ever get serious about competition i would need to lose a considerable amount of weight to be competitive as a rider. just like in any sport really.
  13. princeton

    princeton Well-known Member

    Yeah not us Blitz, the proper ones ;)
  14. pso

    pso Gold Member

    This thread was not about who is fat and who isnt....It was about how important you think it is in regards to your horse!

    I always view my horses welfare as paramount- so I'm strange!*#)

    I KNOW my fitness is affecting my horse...I am working towards improving this problem....I just find it amazing that so many people think it isnt important! (the horse does all the work anyway- right?!)

    In Eventing there used to be a MINIMUM weight rule of 75kg...alot of the girls had to 'beef up' so they didnt have to carry lead...I'm not sure if this rule is still used?

    And no- it wasnt aimed totally at competitive riders...:}
  15. nannygoat

    nannygoat Gold Member

    It IS a sensitive topic - but does that mean we should just ignore it?

    Should we not discuss it for the sake of the horse that does not have a voice?
    Does the persons hopes dreams and safe place include hurting the object that gives them this?

    Is it okay to whinge and whine about bad training methods/horsemanship/ownership and yet ignore an obvious facet?

    I don't doubt that losing weight is HARD - but you know much of life is hard and we do what we have to do.
    Training a horse the correct way for any discipline is hard.
    Learning to ride correctly for your own benefit and that of your horse is hard.

    Some will always take up the challenge and strive to do better and others will always take the back seat and get their backs up and make excuses.

    Blitzen, this is not aimed at you, I have always had respect for the way you face your challenges with yourself and your horses.
  16. Andhi

    Andhi Gold Member

    What I find 'amusing' is that people assume that if your a bigger rider - a fat chick that you don't take your weight seriously and how your weight effects your horse.
    When in reality this is completely false.
    It's something I battle daily; and am winning...SLOWLY...
    I have goals and I have things that I want to achieve, however I know if I want to do those things then I need to be SIGNIFICANTLY fitter and lighter than what I am now.
  17. Babe

    Babe Well-known Member

    Well good for you then Andhi! If you believe you can achieve something then you will**) Takes a lot of dedication and discipline to do this for yourself and also your horse.

    I really have nothing to add to this thread...as I am not overweight...sure I whinge about an extra kilo here or there...but definitly if I were overweight I would not expect my rising 4 year old fineboned wbcross gelding to carry me without getting sore.

    I really do feel that people see themselves differently in the mirror to what they really appear on the outside....and it may take a huge wakeup call to realise what the truth really is.
  18. Denny

    Denny Well-known Member

    Very well said Nannygoat!!!

    Previously I've taught a various ARC's and riding schools and seen month in month out the same overweight/unfit riders huffing and puffing about making excuses about why they cant keep up during a lesson. They joke about needing to lose a few kg's and get a bit fitter but never do anything about it... Of course there are the few that do - and they find how much easier it is not only for them but their horses!

    So who's job is it to mention to these riders who, unlike Andhi and others, are not aware that their riding could improve so much if they helped themselves??? Surely not the poor old ARC instructor.... or is it???

    Congrats to you Andhi and your determination!
  19. biscay

    biscay Well-known Member

    Sadly for a lot, they have a lot more than "just" horses going on in their lives. I am fortunate and stay slimish enough - but certainly not FIT enough for competitive riding ( hence I dont do it yet lol).

    HOWEVER, in saying this - seriously??? how the heck would I find time to do a fitness regime for myself on top of everything that I am doing now. I am stretched to the limit and yes, I do want to compete - so just what gives?? I have a husband and kids that have to come first - the horses are second ( in saying that though - the health and wellbeing are paramount ) - but if we are talking purely on a ride not being dedicated enough to get themselves fit, I can honestly say I can understand why some of them perhaps cant ? Horses are time consuming enough.
  20. springbok

    springbok Well-known Member

    Ok ... From what I can see there are 3 issues here:

    1) The rider with excessive weight causing the horse harm. THIS to me is the welfare issue and priority. EVERYONE should address this whether a pleasure rider or top class competition rider.

    2) The horse is effected by the riders physical state but it is not a welfare issue ie. having to carry more weight over a jump or losing the length of stride in dressage due to carrying extra weight ... Now obviously there is a fine line here with (1) however the point I'm getting across is from a competition aspect the horse is disadvantaged. A horse will recover better from a XC course carrying a 50kg rider than an 80kg one. This IMO is only an issue if a) the rider doesn't reconise this and change their horses fitness regime accordingly (assuming they won't change their physical condition) OR the rider is at or aiming for top level competition and this factor is impinging on them.

    3) The rider unable to ride as well as they could to the highest level because of weight or fitness issues but this does not impinge on the horse (lack of effectivness of the aids I guess *#) ). This is only an issue IMO if the rider is aiming to become a top level rider or if the rider IS a top level rider and impinged by their physical fitness. For those riders having fun I don't believe it's an issue until the horse is blamed.

    This is a pretty personal topic for everyone yet I am a little surprised at some peoples strong opinions (annoyance?) with other peoples situations ... Unless the situation is a welfare issue, I don't have a problem with (2) or (3) because it is the riders problem and not my role to make comment. If the horse isn't suffering then I believe it is their business and their business only.

    The reason I say this is because I *know* what it's like to be judged without people knowing the full story. I suffer a chronic condition which has changed MY physical condition from a pretty fit, healthy person to a cripple in constant pain (I'm 21) in the last 3 years. I am aware of it yes and I've changed what and how I ride to ensure I can still ride safely. Unfortunately I feel I constantly have to justify what I do because to the un educated eye it doesn't appear "normal" and people can't fathom why I don't just get into shape and change my riding? Well I can't.

    Unless you know a persons goals and situation I don't think you have a right to make judgement. MY goals have changed from training a horse to high level eventing to being able to actually get ON a horse ... Which for I've been unable to do many days in the last 2 months (usually the nice, sunny fine ones too grrr) ... I got a dressage test back on the weekend - horse is stiff in the right canter. Now, 2 years ago yep - I would have got back and worked on the HORSE because my mentality was the HORSE was stiff to the right and I have to fix that. Now I know that, because my right hip is about 4cm higher than my left and I physically can't drop it because I have fluid sitting on my spine I physically can't sit straight therefore, I need to find another way around it or accept that hey - I just can't do it. It's not the judges fault or the horses fault or - sometimes the hardest bit to accept - my fault. It's just the way I am right now. Why I have to justify stuff like that is beyond me and that is my point - before you make comments such as not understanding why people don't change their physical condition to suit the horse think that perhaps there is more to it than eating a few less pies and jumping on a tread mill ...

    I guess my situation has taught me to try not to judge others and make assumptions on their activities based on what I see ... Because I don't know what battles they go through to get where they are or what goals and aims they may have. I think perhaps others need to do the same? To some people, gaining a top 3 placing in high level competition is the easiest thing in the world, to others physically getting to the competition is the achievement and the competition is the enjoyment.


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