A teenage horse-owner fat-shamed her friend who wanted ride one of the elder horses.
Redditor "Jolly-Secretary" laid down the law by forbidding her overweight friend "Amber" to ride her horse, claiming that she was "way too fat" and could "seriously hurt him."
According to Helpful Horse Hints, horses should be able to carry a rider and saddle totaling 20-25% of their body weight, and there are many breeds of naturally heavier horses that can accommodate larger riders.
But even that statistic was challenged in the comments.
The Original Poster (OP) did not give specific information other than the horse Amber wanted to ride was "too small" and "pretty old" at 20-years.
The two got into a major altercation after the OP insulted her friend and is now asking Reddit, AITA (Am I the A**hole).
"Ok so I had two friends over yesterday to my house. One of them is about as tall as me 5'5 and pretty skinny let's call her ruby."
"And my other friend is probably around 5'7 and she's my friend I'm not trying to be mean but she is fat and she knows it because she said it before let's call her amber."
"But anyways so we go outside I have two horses. One is a very big horse and needs an advanced rider because he'll misbehave and spook a lot."
"My other horse is older he's 20y/o for a horse that's kind of old but not that bad like 55 in human years."
"I let ruby get on my 20 y/o horse who is also kind of small, a few inches taller then a pony. I get on my larger horse because I know I can handle him."
Initially, Amber showed no interest in going out for a ride, which made the OP relieved.
"Amber said she would rather stay back and just chat with my brother and play with the goats. I was kind of relived because I didn't have a horse for her to ride."
"Ruby and I went on a short ride in the woods maybe 20 mins and came back. When we came back This is how the conversation went."
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"Amber: ok I want to try riding a horse: Me: uh I dunno they're probably pretty tired maybe next time Amber: yah that's a lie you've told me you've gone on trail rides for hours. Let me just ride the 20y/o around."
"Me: umm amber I think he's to small and he's pretty old to Amber: well let me ride the big one just to try Me: Idk if that will help with your fear of horses he'll probably buck you off and you might get hurt."
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Things got ugly after Amber refused to take "no" for an answer.
"Amber pushes past me to try and get on my 20 y/o and ruby is just watching. I push her away from him. Me: you can not get on him! You are way to fat he's old and you can seriously hurt him!"
"I'm not going to let you break his back! And you can get on my other horse because you have no idea how to ride ok! So just back off."
"That's when amber goes on to say about how we're calling fat and I'm so fake and that I'm just being a petty b*tch."
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Amber eventually got a ride, but not the kind she was hoping for.
Later, Ruby berated the OP for being an a**hole.
"Then she calls her mom and gets picked up. Ruby said that I was being an a**hole and I should've just let her get on for a second and I should probably text her apologize."
"But I'm going to put my animals health before her. AITA for doing what I did?"
These Redditors believe ESH (Everyone S*cks Here).
"ESH - c'mon you were terribly rude. It also kind of seems like you would've excluded you friend from this activity if your brother hadn't been there."
"She s*cks for trying to push past you." – applesunderatree
"OP is at least partially the AH for engaging in an activity with one friend that she'd have to exclude another from."
"She should have ridden with neither on that day, then maybe had her smaller friend around another time. ESH" – Operation_Timberwolf
Missing information makes it difficult to assess the situation.
"We don't know how big the horse is we don't know the health of the horse. We don't know the build of the horse maybe it's a small arabian."
"we don't know how much she weighs. I think we should trust the owner to know what's best for the horse."
"My dad can't ride my 11yo also cause she's almost ponysize, he is skinny but she is just not built to carry someone heavier than me. Although it seems she did tell her off rather rudely, but this person is not entitled to ride her horse." – Mirinamee
The following people singled out the OP as YTA (You're the A**hole).
"Also, someone has to be *exceptionally* obese for a horse to not carry them. Most men who ride for a living (not rodeo, like out in the back-40 farm and ranch work) tip the scales at 250-400 lbs."
"They're not even always overweight, these are some BIG dudes. 6'6" and taller. They weigh a lot, even thin."
"YTA, and not the best horseman."
"(And as for the horse's age, unless he's got other issues, a 20 year old horse is perfectly capable of handling someone overweight with no impact on their health.)" – VeryVeryTexan
"YTA - you knew Amber would not be able to ride either horse from the beginning but still picked to do that activity."
"You could have easily just said no to both your friends and done something different everyone could enjoy." – sharperview
"She was 'relieved' when the girl volunteered to stay back, but I'm willing to bet that she only volunteered when she realized they were saddling up 2 horses. She may be fat, but she's not an idiot and she can count."
"OP was dead wrong here and should have NEVER brought the horses out if she didn't have one that the other girl could ride. You don't just assume someone in your group is going to want to play with your farm animals by themselves and hang out with your brother, that is SO awkward."
"She can call her a 'friend', but she's not friends with this girl and needs to stop being a fake mean girl. Nobody who cares about the people they are hanging out with willingly leaves them behind by themselves." – techleopard
However, these users defended the OP for protecting her horse.
"I don't know what ranchers you know but no rancher I've ever met would be dumb enough to get on their horse if they were more than 15% of the horse's weight."
"The horse is a living animal not a toy for your amusement to jump on and potentially injure because of your weight."
"OP is NTA at all. F'k anyone who would risk injuring a horse because they were too fat to ride." – tahyo_46
"Weight is damaging to horses spines. I have a very very big horse. He is not a weight carrier. He's not the right shape to carry a big heavy man despite being big and heavy himself. I say NTA." – Hannahzoe1
"It's not safe for horses to be carrying too much weight. Just because you know big guys who ride horses doesn't mean it's ethical..." – RootandSprout
Along that note, this user disagreed with the earlier statistic that horses should be able to carry a rider and a saddle totaling 20% of its own weight.
"A horse should definitely not carry 20% of it's own weight. Additionally, saying someone else does it is not argument, especially with horses."
"So many are handled wrong or willfully abused. Plus, you have no clue about the horses physique, which is a major factor."
"Some horses are built to carry or pull some weight (definitely not 20% on their back!) and have the bones and muscles for it, others simply don't and are quite slim."
"Without knowing anything about said horse you cannot decide how much weight they can carry." – ahcrapnoidea
The user added:
"There are different races build for different purposes. Quarter horses are bread to be fast when it comes in short distances, purebred Arabians are bred for long distances in rough conditions."
"The old coldblooded working races of Europe (e.g. Clydesdale) are historically bread to pull or carry a lot more weight then thoroughbreds, but in recent times even coldblooded races are bred to be slimmer and faster (the demand for draft horses is marginal)."
"Plus, a horse needs muscles to carry weight healthy. The biggest horse with the sturdiest legs (also a big factor) will not be able to carry a grown person if it has no muscles or the wrong muscles are trained due to bad riding/neglect."
Even if the animal is capable of carrying 20% does not mean they should.
"Nope, a horse CAN carry 20%, but there is now evidence to show this damages the horse, so horses should not be carrying a rider that is 20% of it's body weight." – LilzHr0
"There is a huge difference between a working rancher and a fat lady who can't ride. If she sits up there like a sack of potatoes it will damage the horse's back."
"The horse doesn't need sore wounds just for somebody's validation. Unless she can ride bareback then certainly she will be soft." – Draigdwi
"There are recent studies (go google them) showing the bad side effects of someone weighing more than 15% to 20% of the horses body weight. OP was correct and NTA for protecting her horse from injury." – LilzHr0
This is not how we talk to friends.
"I feel like she probably could have explained the situation better instead of just going to 'YOUR FAT AMBER.'" – Im_debating_suicide
"Yeah, she was right not to let her friend ride, but she was totally an a**hole for taking her other friend out riding when not everyone could participate. She set herself up for this situation." – meningeal
The OP could have avoided the altercation if she let the horse decide.
If Amber was allowed to mount the elder horse, it would display signs of discomfort if it was not capable of accommodating her weight.
Aussie Saddles manufacturer Colin Dangaard recommended riders should avoid riding a horse that displays the following signs:
"First, the horse is reluctant to go forward. He wants to stand so his front legs remain as close as possible to his back legs, thus giving more support to the 'bridge' that is his back."
"If you can get him to move, he will take shorter steps. This is a horse's natural way to handle great weight."
"Going forward, breathing becomes heavier after a fairly short time, like half an hour on flat ground."
"This is as much because of stress as it is because of physical exertion. The horse has trouble going up a hill, he stumbles because he cannot get his front legs under him. He cannot sufficiently lift his front end."
"Of course, a different horse may not exhibit any of these symptoms with the same rider."
"Simply put: some horses can carry more weight. They have genetically stronger skeletons. But each and every one has a limit."
The OP provided a positive update after reading through all of the comments.
"I texted amber telling her I was sorry for going off on her and saying what I said was pretty messed up."
"That maybe when my bigger horse is better trained we can go on a trail ride sometimes just the both of us. She texted back saying she was just about to apologize for being so pushy and that he's obviously a pretty small horse and should have respected what I told her."
Well done, ladies.