Rider size

Mary-lou83

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Aug 29, 2019
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I'm beyond stressing out. I keep raking my brain asking everyone who knows me and sees me with my mare including my vet and farrier. I'm 37yrs young 5.4 and around 14 and half stone max. My mare is a very sturdy leg in every corner 13.3 cob. Iv got back in the saddle after I put 2 stone on and 2 sizes up in clothes after a nasty fall and other numerous health problems. Just to say I do not intend on staying this weight I am shaking it off but it has to be slowly as I would like to keep it off.Iv got over 20yrs experience in the saddle and am well balanced (I use a treeless on her due to her exceptionally flat back and no withers). I got nasty comments off size 6 girls on huge 17h thoroughbred about being too big for my pony. I'm looking for some advice on if I should quit while I'm ahead. We only go for small hacks between half hour and 1 hour long. Am I too much for my little girl.please help.by the way my partner is 6ft 2 stood with her. I have very low self esteem and am really worried what people think of me. My animal's are my absolute life mary has brought me through hell and back literally saved my life twice. The thought of hurting her is beyond thinking about.
 

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carthorse

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Without seeing you both together it's impossible to say I'm afraid. Does she feel to you like she's struggling or unhappy? Soundness problems or soreness/tension when seen by a back person or vet?

My gut feeling is that she's probably ok with what you want to do, but I could be wrong. I am a bit uneasy about the use of a treeless saddle though, most of them are designed for lighter riders so you may be creating pressure points. Nowadays there are plenty of saddles out there for wide, flat backed horses with very low withers and a good saddle fitter should be able to help you.
 
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Huggy

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Personally, I don't think you're too heavy. So much depends on the horse, and if your cob is not showing any signs of discomfort or reluctance, and you're only riding her for such short times, I doubt she's suffering at all. I sometimes think these people just don't like seeing someone having a lovely chilled time with their horse. They probably look like a pea on a drum anyway! Theres nothing I detest more than equestrian snobbery. I agree with carthorse about the treeless - I thought one would be ideal when I got my flat backed, no wither chubby cob, but he hated it. Thorowgood are good for cobs. I'm 5'2, 9 st (Well, less now) and I honestly think mine sometimes has to check he's got a rider! She's gorgeous by the way :)
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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I'd agree with both @Huggy and @carthorse about the treeless saddle. I really wanted treeless when I started riding again 10 years ago, but my short-backed, chunky Connie cross pony told me clearly that he preferred treed saddles. He was tricky to fit but we found a Kent & Masters cob saddle with adjustable gullet that did the trick.

As for your weight, it's so hard to say without seeing you on her. Your mare looks a proper weight carrying gyosy cob, though, and my gut tells me that for short, slow hacks such as you are doing, it would be perfectly fine.

As for skinny girls on great big posh horses, well, I must tell you about a time when I was just really settling down with Ziggy. We were out for a hack and were passed by a girl on just such a horse, who didn't say Good Morning or anything like that, just looked down at us as if to say that she was a Bentley and we were a Ford Escort.

Guess what? Half a mile later we caught up with her. Her 17.2 warmblood had turned into a snorting dragon monster because some Duke of Edinburgh kids were approaching him with backpacks AND THEY WERE GOING TO KILL HIM. The kids politely pulled in to wait at the side of the track to let him past, backpacks turned away so as not to be scary, but would he go past them? He would not.

Personally I would have got off and led, but she wouldn't or couldn't (this was a very tall horse after all). She kicked him and swore at him and insisted vigorously and he would not go. She didn't hit him, but I couldn't get past her because the big horse was all over the track, and it was a bit awful to watch, so after a few minutes I said, "Would you like a lead past?"

She could hardly bring herself to say anything but eventually muttered, "Oh, OK." I clucked to Ziggy and he lifted a pony eyebrow at the big horse and strolled on, followed by the fire-breathing monster sweating and snorting in his wake. When we got past, she didn't even say thank you, just sent her horse into a trot again and left us behind.

We laughed. So did the DoE kids!
 

carthorse

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Are we in danger of being as biased about people on big flashy horses as the riders in Mary-lou83's post were about her on her cob? I've known rude opinionated riders on both, and likewise friendly considerate ones.
 

Mary-lou83

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Aug 29, 2019
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Without seeing you both together it's impossible to say I'm afraid. Does she feel to you like she's struggling or unhappy? Soundness problems or soreness/tension when seen by a back person or vet?

My gut feeling is that she's probably ok with what you want to do, but I could be wrong. I am a bit uneasy about the use of a treeless saddle though, most of them are designed for lighter riders so you may be creating pressure points. Nowadays there are plenty of saddles out there for wide, flat backed horses with very low withers and a good saddle fitter should be able to help you.
She doesn't show any signs of soreness or pressure.my farrier and my vet (well 3 diffrent vets) have said I'm looking for nothing it's in my head as I have mental health illness I'm an over thinker and born worrier. Its my own self confidence that has triggered this snowball effect off. I was recommended to use a treeless as they are apparently more comfortable for horses with less pressure points. I do have 2 other saddles for her a thorougood cob wide which fits her fine and a dflex cob saddle also fits good. The flex saddle doesn't fit me as good as the thorougood. I personally have never had treeless in my life before due to slipping ect but I know I'm well balanced as I forgot to tighten girth up last time I rode and it didn't move at all. It does however have the extra support to lift it off her spine but she seems so much more comfortable in it than a tree saddle which confuses me as to which to use. I read all good reports and advise then I also read some bad reports ??
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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If she is comfortable and happy, then don't worry, would be my thought! It sounds as though you know her well enough to know if she is uncomfortable. I was hopeless when I started - I once rode Ziggy for an hour with a crease in his saddle cloth, and spent the hour wondering why my normally forward-going pony was so sluggish today!

@carthorse of course you're right, there are some lovely people who ride big blood horses and some horrid ones who ride hairy cobs.
 
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carthorse

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You aren't the only one who worries about things like this, it isn't a mental health issue it a being a horse owner issue.

If you really like the treeless then maybe your best bet would be to get in touch with the manufacturer and ask if they recommend an upper weight limit on the saddle.
 
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Mary-lou83

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Iv known my mare since she was 2yrs old shes now 8yrs old. I broke her myself and yep I know all her little traits. I do have bipolar disorder so when it comes to overthinking I go all out in that department lol. She has never been a forward going mare she only thinks about food and were the next slip of grass is coming. Only problem she has is shes a big baby and scared of EVERYTHING outside her paddock. I'm basically alone rider as I dont have anyone to ride with so have to nudge her to come out for little walks either ridden or in hand. Shes safe but spooky and winnies a afair bit. If she wasnt comfortable with me on her or the saddle she would 100% buck me off. I used to have a 6st rider for her but mary just kept chucking her off even if I watched and talked her through everything she just sont like light riders 3 have tried and failed. But we do have a very good strong bond between us she would follow me to the moon an back and do everything I ask of her.
 

Huggy

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I'd agree with both @Huggy and @carthorse about the treeless saddle. I really wanted treeless when I started riding again 10 years ago, but my short-backed, chunky Connie cross pony told me clearly that he preferred treed saddles. He was tricky to fit but we found a Kent & Masters cob saddle with adjustable gullet that did the trick.

As for your weight, it's so hard to say without seeing you on her. Your mare looks a proper weight carrying gyosy cob, though, and my gut tells me that for short, slow hacks such as you are doing, it would be perfectly fine.

As for skinny girls on great big posh horses, well, I must tell you about a time when I was just really settling down with Ziggy. We were out for a hack and were passed by a girl on just such a horse, who didn't say Good Morning or anything like that, just looked down at us as if to say that she was a Bentley and we were a Ford Escort.

Guess what? Half a mile later we caught up with her. Her 17.2 warmblood had turned into a snorting dragon monster because some Duke of Edinburgh kids were approaching him with backpacks AND THEY WERE GOING TO KILL HIM. The kids politely pulled in to wait at the side of the track to let him past, backpacks turned away so as not to be scary, but would he go past them? He would not.

Personally I would have got off and led, but she wouldn't or couldn't (this was a very tall horse after all). She kicked him and swore at him and insisted vigorously and he would not go. She didn't hit him, but I couldn't get past her because the big horse was all over the track, and it was a bit awful to watch, so after a few minutes I said, "Would you like a lead past?"

She could hardly bring herself to say anything but eventually muttered, "Oh, OK." I clucked to Ziggy and he lifted a pony eyebrow at the big horse and strolled on, followed by the fire-breathing monster sweating and snorting in his wake. When we got past, she didn't even say thank you, just sent her horse into a trot again and left us behind.

We laughed. So did the DoE kids!
Your Bentley/Ford escort analogy made me smile. I used to call Ramsey my Ford fiesta - small, neat and cheap to run! Now, what would Hogan be? ? Suzuki jimny?
 
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carthorse

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I think Little Un would see himself as a hot hatch, or maybe a small flashy sports car that sounded impressive but was never going to hold it's own against the proper ones. He'd like go faster stripes in the paintwork and a noisy engine so people stop and look as he goes by :D

Jim I can't think of any one type that would have suited - in the days he hacked over open ground he was the ultimate 4wd, but too refined and too much speed to be a Land Rover Defender, whereas in the school for all his bulk he was a high end sports car (his handling and agility meant he'd never have fallen into the American muscle car category) and you really wanted to be careful with the controls!
 
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Mary-lou83

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I think Little Un would see himself as a hot hatch, or maybe a small flashy sports car that sounded impressive but was never going to hold it's own against the proper ones. He'd like go faster stripes in the paintwork and a noisy engine so people stop and look as he goes by :D

Jim I can't think of any one type that would have suited - in the days he hacked over open ground he was the ultimate 4wd, but too refined and too much speed to be a Land Rover Defender, whereas in the school for all his bulk he was a high end sports car (his handling and agility meant he'd never have fallen into the American muscle car category) and you really wanted to be careful with the controls!
Mary has always been like a defender she hasn't got much power upfront and not to good at corners but she would pull a house down with her pulling power. Shes definitely not a graceful pony. She does look good though I think.
 

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PePo

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Without seeing you together, it's difficult to tell but honestly, you'd probably be the upper end of what I'd be comfortable with asking her to carry weight wise.

There are some variables but the general consensus is no more than 20% of the horses ideal body weight including their tack and you dressed in riding gear. I personally try to stay around the about 15% mark myself for my 13.3hh native.
 
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