A riding school in the Netherlands is drawing consequences. Before getting on a horse, riders have to weigh themselves – all for the well-being of the horse.
Sorry – you’re too heavy!
The COVID-19 pandemic has created new and unknown circumstances, and with these new circumstances come new rules and regulations. Now, a riding school in Glimmern (NL) has introduced their own new rules – a weight limit for riders. The reason? COVID kilos. A lot of people have gained weight during the pandemic, and are now too heavy for the horses backs.
New rule raises eyebrows
“De Bongerd”, a riding school in Glimmern (NL), has already integrated their decision to weigh riders into their riding school rules. It is stated there that the maximum weight of a female rider should not exceed 90 kilos and the weight of a male rider should not exceed 100 kilos. So before getting onto a horse, every rider has to weigh themselves – and the weight includes riding clothes and gear such as helmets and boots. It is not understood why the riding school has decided to differenciate between female and male riders regarding the maximum weight. The only thing that is certain: everyone is required to step on the scales. If a rider is too heavy, they can kiss the saddle goodbye.
Accepted by members
Simone Lameijer, an employee at the riding school, has stated that the members at the school are understanding and accepting of this new rule. The wellbeing of the horses is important to all of them.
According to Lameijer, several different aspects made it difficult to decide where to draw the line regarding the weight limit. On one hand, it makes a difference for a horse’s back whether an experienced rider or a beginner is sitting in the saddle. The reason for this is that inexperienced riders would put more pressure on the horse’s back. On the other hand, every horse is individual, so one horse could be able to carry more than another horse.
Nevertheless, riders are now stepping onto the scales before sitting in the saddle.