Maximum Carrying Weight


Overloading Causes Stress and result in injuries!

Every equine should have a strict weight limit clearly defined.

The Equine Committee are here to help you measure your equines the easiest way possible. On this page you will find examples and also a calculator

A few facts:

• Total Maximum Carrying Weight: This is the maximum weight (rider plus tack) the pony should be asked to carry

• Tack Weight: Add 6.35kg (1stone), for ponies, 9.35kg (1.5stones), for larger animals.

• Maximum Riding Weight of Rider: This is the “operative” riding weight NOT scale weight and must not be exceeded when allocating riders to equines. (See Section 4 for calculation)

• It is possible for a light pony of 14hh may carry less than a 13.2hh of a stronger/native build (ref. Flash and Snowy)


Max. weight Calculator 

Please click here to access the Max. weight Calculator (it will download in a Microsoft Excel document)

So how do I measure a horse? 

Where do I measure the length and girth of a horse?

The Formula 

If you would like to work out your horses weight manually then please find the formula below.

max weight formula

Assessing a Pony’s Maximum Carrying Weight

  • The Maximum Carrying Weight of an equine is the maximum Total Weight (Load) it should carry (See Section 1).  It includes the Riding Weight of the Rider (see Section 4) plus 6.35kg or 9.5kg for tack.
  • Each equine is different – its Maximum Carrying Weight must be assessed by a knowledgeable person and agreed with its owner/registered keeper
  • Maximum Carrying Weight is assessed on breed, conformation, body condition score and age not height.
  • Powerful short coupled animals with strong bone will carry more than lighter boned or long backed animals of the same height.
  • An equine which is old or “soft” and overweight or has a low body condition score can carry less weight than a similar animal that is well muscled (fit) and in good general condition.

Donkeys – The recommended maximum weight for a “fit” donkey is 51kg.  (This includes Riding Weight of Rider plus Tack).

Note:  When calculating weight it is important to remember that moving slowly in confined spaces with frequent start, stops and turns is hard work for an equine, especially if they are old or have an unbalanced rider.

Be aware an equine which is described as “up to 63.5kg” may have an unbalanced rider who weighs 57.15kg on the scales but rides over 63.5kg (See Section 4) plus tack weighing 6.35kg.  He is carrying nearly 70kg.  This is overloading and should be corrected.



Page Last Updated: September 18, 2018