Thehorse.com - Full Article
Researchers found that if a rider is excessively heavy for a particular horse, equine performance can be negatively impacted.
By Edited Press Release | Mar 13, 2018
Results of a new pilot study on the effects of rider weight on equine performance show that high rider-to-horse body weight ratios can induce temporary lameness and discomfort. In simple terms, if the rider is excessively heavy for the horse in question it can have a negative impact on the performance of the horse.
Ultimately the study should help with the development of guidelines to help all riders assess if they are the right weight for the horse or pony they intend to ride to enhance both equine welfare and rider comfort and enjoyment.
“While all the horses finished the study moving as well as when they started, the results showed a substantial temporary effect of rider weight as a proportion of horse weight,” said study leader Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust’s Centre for Equine Studies, in Newmarket, U.K.
“The results do not mean that heavy riders should not ride but suggest that if they do they should ride a horse of appropriate size and fitness, with a saddle that is correctly fitted for both horse and rider...
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