Most, but not all, horses are born with at least some degree of body fat (about 50%), and many adults are overweight.
Most professional riders are much heavier than their top competitors – this is not necessarily a bad thing. If you are a big, heavy guy with a long, lanky body, your chances of winning races are reduced, but this does not necessarily mean you can’t make a decent time or make the front of the field or be a top contender. The weight of your body does not mean you are any better or worst than your competitors, merely that you are lighter or heavier for a reason.
A more serious problem occurs in the horse racing industry when many top riders use high level dieters to get around the “unhealthy horse” rule of eating only about 2-3 times a week. This allows the rider to get a good day of fuel in without going to a special diet. This is known as “feeding frenzy” – it is a practice many people think is good, but is more likely to cause you to fall ill and have to get up out of bed and find another job the next day.
So it appears that weight varies from horse to horse, but all horses are heavier than their top competitors.
How much weight do horses carry?
In some circumstances horses can carry as much as 30-50 pounds. Many of the top professional riders weigh as much or more than 100 pounds.
How much can I expect to see at the height of horse racing?
There is no set number of pounds a horse can carry. While many horses will carry far more than the specified amount in the initial pre-season races, these measurements are the maximum for what is considered to be a good level of weight for a rider. It is the minimum in many cases.
How much weight can a rider expect to see at his/her top racing weight?
If you look closely at many of the riders I have interviewed over the years you will probably see that the best times are achieved by about a pound per day or 1% per year.
This is because the heavier a horse is, the less time he/she is spending in the saddle. When a rider rides the horse for a certain period of time the amount of stress the horse is under will decrease.
If a rider continues to ride the same horse for many years, it is likely that he will be able to ride the same horse with less stress, though
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