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Can you tell me how much weight a mustang can carry on his back. My daughter wants to ride my mustang but she thinks she weighs too much for him to carry. She weighs over 200 lbs., without disclosing her weight. He is over three years old and about 13 hands. Can you please answer this for us?

Thank you,

-- J. H.


My greatest concern is less your daughter's weight than it is how close to three years old your mustang is. With many breeds, the back doesn't fully firm up until after age three. At 13 hh, I'm guessing that your horse is close coupled, and that shorter back can help it carry more weight. Two hundred pounds shouldn't be too much for a sound horse. The more solidly built, the more weight a horse can carry. If you've read Laura Hillenbrand's book, Seabiscuit, you may recall a horseman named "Cowboy Charlie" Irwin, whose weight ranged between 400 and 540 pounds. He needed a special saddle on an oversized horse, but Irwin spent a lot of time in the saddle.

If your horse is closer to four than to three, and if your daughter doesn't bounce around in the saddle too much, I don't think you'll have a problem. On the plus side, if she can control her appetite, the riding can go a long way toward helping your daughter lose some weight.

Tell your daughter to ride a bit on the cautious side. Her weight will raise the horse's center of gravity and may create some balance problems in the beginning.

I hope this helps! God bless!

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