It can be difficult to determine what size horse is best for your needs. There are quite a lot of variables that go into deciding if a rider is too tall or heavy for a particular horse. You can follow these guidelines, but ultimately each case needs to be evaluated individually.
Consider the following:
- How much experience you have as a rider
- The horse’s fitness
- Your own fitness level
- Type of riding you plan to do
- Weight of your equipment
An experienced rider will be balanced, whereas beginners typically need a few more years under saddle before they are completely centered at all gaits. Furthermore, an hour ride in the arena at a walk or trot is much less intense compared to a six hour trail ride in rough terrain. Weigh your factors carefully when making a decision on an appropriate size.
Try This Size Chart
In general, a horse can carry 20-25% of their weight comfortably. Make sure to include your saddle, saddle pad, and any extras.
How to read: If your horse weighs 1,000 pounds and carries 20% of their weight, then they can carry up to 200 pounds between the rider and tack. To increase their carrying capacity to 25% of their weight, a 1,000 pound horse can support up to 250 pounds.
|Max Rider Weight /||Horse’s Weight 20% /||Horse’s Weight 25%|
- Calculate the total weight of horse, rider, and any equipment.
- Measure the circumference of the cannon bone.
- Divide the weight by the cannon circumference.
- Divide that number by 2.
- Keep the value between 75 and 80.
Remember, there’s no hard and fast rules when it comes to deciding if a horse is the right size for you. These guidelines can be helpful as a starting place though!
Looking for another fun read? Check out: Estimate Your Horse’s Age By His Teeth!