Viewer needs specifics on finding the right size horse

I'm 5'7" and an very overweight (aprox. 370lbs). I have been asking everyone that I know about what breed and size of horse I need to look for. At this time I have a 30+ year old Racking horse (now retired). I am a beginner rider ...I'm 5'7" and an very overweight (aprox. 370lbs). I have been asking everyone that I know about what breed and size of horse I need to look for. At this time I have a 30+ year old Racking horse (now retired). I am a beginner rider ...

Story originally posted by: Maggie FlowersHorseCity.com Training Director

Dear Maggie,

I’m 5’7" and an very overweight (aprox. 370lbs). I have been asking everyone that I know about what breed and size of horse I need to look for. At this time I have a 30+ year old Racking horse (now retired). I am a beginner rider therefore I do know … that I need and want a horese that is not going to want to fly out on trailrides.

I’m am 44 years old with some health problems, weight and arthritis being the major ones. Please help me with trying to figure the best horse for me. I do love draft horses but their size does frighten me do to the fact that I have had injuries caused by a bigger horse (not a draft). I had a dislocated shoulder due to him rearing up and landing on me. I truly love horses and would grearly appreciate any advice that you can give me that would help me with my problem (arthritis is in my knees and ankles mainly).

Thank-you for your time and any advice you may have.

Thanks again,
Karen Smerdon

Hi Karen,

Finding a horse for you to ride is not a problem. The one question you must be will to answer for yourself is, how much am I willing to spend? With that question answered, I can then suggest several options for you to consider. A person of your stature, needs to make sure that what ever breed you choose is of at least 1000 to 1300 pounds (3x their weight) and anywhere from 14.2 – 15.2 hands in height.

The options here would be horses such as, a Quarter Horse, Barb, Spanish Andalusian or any of the (cold bloods) "gentle giant" such as the Friesian, Haflinger, Tarpan or any of these breeds’ crosses. Some of these horses are gaited (natural) which lend themselves well to your medical condition. I am glad the you have retired your Racking Horse, though I can acknowledge the attachment between the two of you. At the age of 30+ he has earned it. Also, his racking action could not have been particularly good for you knees or ankles.

Some of the horse above, as I mentioned are gaited, but they are gaited smooth and natural which will not be such a jolt on your knees or ankles and in which also require light leg pressure to get them into the their gait. They also have tremendous versatility and stamina. Some even require smaller amounts of feed, as they can survive with meager rations.

This is just a few suggestions for you to be able to continue to enjoy one of your loves in life. By the way … don’t ever let anyone tell you, you shouldn’t or can’t (I hate that word) ride a horse. You and you alone know your limitations and your will. So to them I say…PHOOEY!!!

Good luck and I hope you find yourself a new riding partner. Happy Holidays to you from your friends at HorsecCity!

Maggie Flowers

Editor’s note: For more information please see another recent article on finding the right size horse in the general section of HorseCity.