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Big riders mean big horses on Western trails

| April 24, 2014 | 0 Comments
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) – As Americans get heavier, it’s meant more of a burden for the horses at ranches in the West where tourists go for the experience of getting on a horse and setting out on an open trail.

Some ranches have imposed weight limits on riders — but that could mean thousands of dollars a year in lost income.

So now, instead of limiting the size of the riders, they’re just getting bigger horses.

The ranches say they’re using draft horses, the diesels of the horse world, in greater numbers. At Sombrero Ranches in Colorado, they now have 20 draft horses, including Belgians and Percherons, and 25 draft-horse mixes.

Some of the bigger horses can weigh up to 1,800 pounds.

One Idaho rancher says he always “felt bad about telling people they’re too big to ride.” Russ Little says, “You just feel better about having a big person on a big horse.”

A spokeswoman for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance says it’s “wonderful” that larger people are being accommodated. She says more businesses should become “size savvy.”

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Category: National News

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