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What size horse would we need to carry a rider who weighs 225 lbs?  Her saddle probably weighs about 30 lbs.  She is an excellent rider who has been away from horses for several years and wants to get back into trail riding.  We plan to start her out on several flat land rides that are fairly short (2-3 hours, maximum).  I would appreciate any advice anyone can give. 

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A bigger horse of 1000 lbs or more. She can always use a stump or log to remount. Think of the horse and if you will be later going on longer rides and hills.  Look for a stockier one also with short strong back. Have fun! My husband weights a little more than that and he loves riding.

Rule of thumb is rider and tack should be 20 percent of horse's weight. If you are a very well balanced rider, you can push that a bit, but a newby really needs to stick to this rule. I let someone ride that was over this weight ratio that hadn't ridden before for just one day and it streached my horses back tendons. Had to put him up for a couple months. Hind-sight and all. 

I have a big quarter mare I can put her on, but the group she is going to start trail riding with rides gaited horses.  The gaited horses, in general, seem to be built smaller.  Can anyone recommend gaited breed/bloodlines that are stouter-built.  If we go by the 20% rule, she is probably going to need a 1200+ lb horse. 

They are out there, we've got one gaited mare that will be at least 1100 if not 1200 lb. that we need to let go, cheap, but she is green. Not sure if someone just getting back into horses would want to take that on. Real freindly, smooth gait, just not enough time under saddle. 

She will have to have something that is broke to death to get her started back.  She is a great rider, but has no confidence in herself at this point in life.  She probably needs a giant, gentle gelding that has about a million trail miles on him. 

Take the horses weight and divide by six, this should be the max amount horse has to carry. Width of the loins is very important. The coupling should be well muscled, not long and weak. Conditioning is a major factor for the heavier weight rider. Common sense tells us, the more weight the horse carries, the more stress and strain...which can lead to major problems for your horse. Your smart for trying to find the right size horse, sadly some people don't care.

And make sure the saddle fits the horse, not just the rider. At heavier weights a saddle that is marginal could really cause problems with a heavy rider pushing it down into the shoulders, withers or loins.

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