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[RC] Does Weight REally Matter? - Howard Bramhall

It might not matter much to you but weight definitely matters to your horse. And, that's all that matters. The horse is the true athlete in our sport. I don't care how many miles Jim Holland tails. I bet Jim doesn't carry a backpack when he runs behind his horse; or the saddle. I think the only reason Jim runs is to keep his hiney tiny (not that I'm looking). He's not trying to top ten when he runs 12 miles in a 50.

To answer your own question, actually switch horses sometime. You ride your husband's horse and he rides yours. See if there's a difference there, with the horse's frame of mind and his/her ride times. I can guarantee you there will be a difference. An 80 lb difference. ONe of the tricks in this sport is to train with more weight, or a heavier rider, and enter the endurance ride with a lighter one. My daughter used to beg me, fat Daddy, to train her horse before a ride. It worked out, for her, quite well.

I've spoken with Susan on this becaue of her study at Tevis years ago which I found the results to be a bit confusing. This was before she became an actual vet and disappeared on me. I can tell you her answer. Weight matters (and, after all, is not weight "matter").


----Original Message Follows---- From: "Marlene Moss" <marlene@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> To: "Ridecamp" <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Subject: [RC] does weight really matter? Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 08:35:55 -0700

I've been pondering this for a while.  I think my conclusion is that
weight doesn't matter except to spread awards around a bit - which I
have appreciated!  But I don't think weight should even matter for BC,
or at least be valued less.

Here's how I look at it.  My husband and I condition together and
compete together.  He weighs 80 pounds more than I do.  His horse is
conditioned to carry his weight (our saddles and stuff are similar
except I carry more water) and mine is conditioned to carry my weight.
Now unless we suddenly switched horses, I don't think either of us has
an advantage.  I don't notice his horse more tired after a ride than

And as others have mentioned, many riders are on the ground, sometimes
even for significant periods of time.  Not me unless we find and
entirely downhill ride!  But if someone really wants to "take advantage"
this is as far as you have to go to give your horse a benefit.
Otherwise, ride your ride as the horse was conditioned and weight really
doesn't matter.

Maybe Susan G could do another weight study (or maybe sufficient data is
already available?) to put some of this to rest?  The only reason I can
think of for all this scrambling for weight is to be in a smaller weight
class (aside from the BC issue).

So I don't really care how many weight divisions we have - 3 seems
easier.  But it doesn't seem to mean a whole lot to me!

Marlene Moss
www.mphr.org (Mustang Performance Horse Registry)
719-351-5037 (cell)
719-748-9073 (home)

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