About the weight of a rider

October 7 2020 | General

Icelandic horses have been bred for centuries for agricultural use and riding over long distances. Despite their relatively low height at the withers and the resulting lower weight compared to other horse breeds, Icelandic horses have been used as a riding and working horse for centuries and are considered a strong, resilient, and sturdy breed.

Recently, the Veterinary Association for Animal Welfare in Germany has updated its leaflet on rider weights to the latest scientific findings. As there is no simple answer to the question of how much weight a horse can carry without damage, the Veterinary Association tries to examine this difficult topic from several points of view, and to give horse owners reasonable criteria  for dealing with this in practice. Based on latest studies, the height at withers is not the only criterion for how heavy a rider the horse can carry. A more detailed evaluation of the actual load-bearing capacity of a horse can be obtained by looking at for example the width of the loin and the circumference of the cannon bone. Research from Germany has shown that the general weight bearing index of the Icelandic horse may be somewhat higher compared to that of comparable breeds. This needs to be studied further.

The FEIF breeding goals for Icelandic horses continues to put a clear emphasis on a strong, broad, and well-muscled back with strong and broad loins and with robust legs with well-developed joints and bones. Moreover, ……