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Yikes! Are Americans Getting To Fat To Ride Horses?

photo of Promise, Steph Barber

I’m kind of squirming a little as I pose this question. It hits close to home. Are we becoming to fat to go horseback riding? A recent survey indicates that we might!

According to a study conducted by the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, one third of horseback riders are to overweight for their horses. This puts the animals at risk for significant health problems such as lameness and back pain. The resulting behavioral issues like bucking and rearing should not be over looked either. Hayley Randle, one of the study authors says “People tend to think horses are such big animals they must be okay, and not to take notice of the weight issues of the riders. But the health impact on the horse can be quite extreme, quite quickly.” Veterinarians suggest this guideline. The rider should not weigh more than 10% of the horse’s weight.

This new study might just explain some of my horse’s behavioral issues! If you will excuse me, I need to go apologize! His name is Promise.

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