Horse rider weight chart

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Horses, donkeys and ponies play a significant role in various parts of the world and handling them with utmost care are essential. The amount of weight in which these domestic animals carry is really vital, and it has a significant impact on their overall well-being and performance.

Observing maximum weight limit will aid improve their overall well-being, avoid injuries associated with overweight and improve their performance significantly.

In this article, we shall be focusing on the recommended hose rider’s weight. We have designed for you a horse rider weight chart that you might consider using for your horse’s better health.

Horse rider weight chart

Horse’s height Age of the horse Maximum carrying weight Tack weight Rider’s maximum weight
12 hands high 8 years 41 kg (6.5 st) 6.36 kg (1st) 35 kg (5.5 st)
13.2 hands high 6 years 63 kg (10 st) 6.36 kg
57 kg (9 st)
14 hands high 15 years 57 kg (9 st) 6.36 kg
50 kg (8 st)
15.1 hands high 12 years 95 kg (15 st) 9.5 kg
(1.5 st)
80 kg (13.5 st)

· Tack weight

To obtain the accurate weight record of your tack, you should weigh the tack on its own. If you do not have the correct tool for measuring you cannot perform the measurement by yourself, it will be best for you to add 6.36 kg (1 st) for ponies while big horses a 9.35 kg (1.5 st) will be best for them.

· Maximum carrying weight

This is the recommended maximum weight for a horse to carry when a horse rider and tack are included.

· Rider’s maximum weight

You should note that this is not scale-weight; instead, it is the riding weight. These measurements should be taken into account whenever you allocate a rider to a horse.


Horse and rider combination assessment


Before allocating a rider, any horse should consider assessing the following;

· Riders with the same weight scale might feature a different riding weight. For instance, when you have a rider who is unbalanced and have low core stability, they tend to become heavy while ridding. This means that you will have to make some extension regarding scale weight.

· A tall rider on a small horse causes unbalance hence adding the weight of the load.

· You should always have an updated record of every individual rider’s weight as well as the clothes they wear while riding the horse. Furthermore, always check the scale on a regular basis.

A chart on sample rider’s weight

Scale weight What to add Recommended ridding weight
38.1 kg (6 st) 10% 41.28 kg (6.5 st)
57.15 kg (9 st) 0% 57.15 kg (9 st)
76.2 kg (12 st) 5% 79.38 kg (12.5 st)

How to calculate the recommended weight load of a horse

If you lack the scale that is large enough for your horse to stand on, you might consider calculating your horse’s weight using the following relatively easy formula;

Weight in kgs= Girth2 (cm) x length (cm) divide by 11800

To obtain girth, you will have to measure from 1 inch behind the point of wither and go all around your horse. The length you will obtain by measuring from your horse’s shoulder to its buttock.

Once you have your measurement, divide the total body weight by 6 in order to achieve the maximum carrying the weight of your horse in kgs.

By following this mathematical formula, you will be able to get the maximum weight load which often happens to be 16.7% body weight of a horse. You should always take this into consideration when allocating a horse to a horse rider.

Assessing your horse maximum load capacity

The maximum load capacity of a horse includes the weight of the tack plus rider’s weight. Usually, horses are different; therefore, maximum weight if every horse should be assessed by a person who is knowledgeable and they must agree with you as the horse owner.

Furthermore, the weight of a horse is evaluated in accordance with the breed, body condition score, conformation as well as age and height of the horse.

Horses that are powerful and have strong bone are able to carry long backed or lighter boned animals of the same height.

A horse that is soft or old and severely over-weight or features low body condition score are able to carry a load that has less weight than a similar horse with incredible muscle and in a good health condition generally.

A horse with unusual signs of reluctance or irritation might be trying to let you know that the rider is either poorly positioned or have excess weight load.

Therefore, you should consider assessing the rider’s position; however, you should not go around bumping about or badly tilting on corners. You should as well consider checking on the rider’s weight.

If everything is as recommended, you should consider checking on the horse’s general well-being and ensure that they are not in any pain.

For your horse to perform incredibly well, you should weight the calculations and write them on the charts. This will make it easy to assess the recommended rider’s weight of every horse.

Things to consider before riding a horse

horse rider

There are several essential aspects that you need to consider as a horse rider before riding it. These key factors will profoundly affect the functionality of your horse, and they include the following;

· Height

One of the obvious reasons you need to consider before riding a horse is its height. When riding a horse and your feet keeps hitting poles or is being dragged then you should consider riding larger horses.

Moreover, riding a horse that is small or narrow, will make the rider unbalanced, which ends up hurting both the horse and the rider.

On the other hand, by riding a winder or a larger horse, you will be able to improve its performance and prevent any injury from occurring.

A rider’s height is as essential as the horse’s height. As a tall rider, you should consider riding longer horses rather than short horses. This will profoundly affect your weight distribution significantly across the back of the horse.

· Weight

By now, you must have understood how significant a rider’s weight is when it comes to riding horses. The amount of weight you put on the back of a horse is an essential factor you will need to consider.

By carrying an overweight rider, you will make your horse highly uncomfortable due to soreness and can result in long term damage on its back.

According to a study conducted in 2008, found out that horses that weighed 400 to 625 kgs are capable of carrying ideal weight ranging between 15% and 30% of their total body respectively. Most researchers agree that a horse should not carry a load that is 20% more than its ideal body weight.

It is said that when horses carry 25% more their body weight, they start developing signs of physical stress. Their breathing tends to increase, and their heart rate is elevated among other symptoms such as elevated lactate levels.

Additionally, their muscle becomes sore, and they become very uncomfortable as their muscle tightens.

· Other factors to consider

Having a saddle that is well-fitted on your horse’s back will aid in distributing weight evenly hence preventing your horse’s muscles from soring. This is highly essential irrespective of the rider’s weight.

Furthermore, a saddle will aid the rider to be well-positioned on the horse’s back which prevents the horse from straining and become more active.

You should as well assess your horse’s physical well-being in determining the rider’s weight or position. When the rider is overweight or poorly positioned, the horse will appear to be stressed.

Most of the horses will remain stoic and suffer in silence. You should, therefore, become responsible and take the most appropriate measures in preventing long term injury on your horse.

Why is the weight of a horse rider essential?


A light horse rider represents approximately 10% to 11.7% of a horse they ride while an average rider represents 12.8% to 15%. A heavy rider, on the other hand, represents 15.3% to 17.9 % and a very heavy rider represents 23.6% to 27.5% weight of the horse they ride.

As previously mentioned, a rider’s weight or a load capacity profoundly affects the functionality of a horse.

Excess weight on a horse’s back increases the risk of injuring its back and causing muscle soreness and stiffness.

As a rider, you should always consider assessing the weight limit on every horse, your posture on the horse’s back and using a saddle. By doing this, you will be able to prevent any injuries from occurring.

Horses tend to be profoundly affected when carrying a horse rider with their weight unevenly spread on their back. To avoid such cases, using a saddle will help significantly.

Point to note

As a rider, you might not want to feel too big for a horse ride; however, it will be best for you to be honest when it comes to horse riding.

Whether you are worried about your weight or assessing someone’s weight, the horse’s well being should remain to be the ultimate concern rather than your weight.

You should, however, be nice when it comes to approaching this topic since most people find it to be sensitive.

By putting the horse’s wellbeing is your top priority, it will be perhaps the best way to broach the subject.

It will be best for you to let the rider understand why they will not ride a particular horse without escalating tempers between you two.

Let them know why a rider’s weight is significant for the general well-being of a horse. As a horse owner, always do the right thing for both the horse rider and the horse.


Q. 1. How does a rider match their horse?

Answer: To match the horse you ride, you will have to assess your skills and confidence while riding.

q. 2. Do riders have an age limit for riding a horse?

Answer: No! There is no age limit for a rider to ride a horse; however, there is a weight limit in riding a particular horse.

q. 3. Does height limit a rider?

Answer: Yes! Height will significantly affect the horse you ride. A tall individual will be best for them to ride horses that are high to avoid dragging their feet.

q. 4. Does weather effect on riding a horse?

Answer: You can ride a horse in any particular weather. However, you should assess if the weather is capable of compromising the horse’s safety.

q. 5. Is riding a horse difficult?

Answer: Learning how to ride a horse can be a bit tricky for most individuals. Before becoming a skillful rider, you will have to bare patients during your training.


A real horse rider should understand that a horse is an animal and not a machine. Just like humans, horses do get tired, and they can get injured while carrying a load that surpasses their maximum weight limit.

Therefore, it will best for you to watch your weight as a rider and the maximum capacity of a horse before riding it. By doing this, you will be able to improve the general performance and well-being of the horse.

As we conclude, we hope that this article will aid you to enhance your horse’s well-being by preventing it from carrying an excess load on their back.

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