How much power does it have compared to the weight of a horse?
At the time of this posting, the official American Society of Horse Physiologists (ASHPA) Handbook of Basic Horse Performance does not even cover horse weight. There does, however, exist a few other books and online resources:
The most extensive book about horses and horse power is probably this one: How Horsepower Works which covers how the horse is powered. It covers a lot of theory but is very well written and easy to read.
The Horse Racing Academy has one of the most thorough books on the subject. The most thorough of course is this one: The Scientific Theory of the Horse.
As for practical usage of this topic, as in, how do you do one? Well, for starters…
The standard practice is to use a horse that is able to carry its bodyweight. This does not mean that you cannot work with other horses or work with a bodyweight other than that of the horse. You can. However, the point of the standard practice is to maximize power and efficiency, while minimizing weight – or more precisely, minimizing the amount of weight that you have to carry.
In a world where horses are becoming an increasingly rare sight and where horses are generally going to weigh in the vicinity of 1,500 to 1,700lb when alive, this type of use of heavy weight is actually very productive on a horse. While there are a wide variety of different weights, you can generally determine which one will work to your satisfaction most of the time with some trial and error.
A horse will typically need anywhere from 1000lbs of weight to 2,000lbs or more of weight. On average, I find you can get by with 500lbs of work and 2,000lbs of weight if you do not push your horse that hard. If you work on that same horse hard and consistently, you’ll get close to 2,000lbs of work by the time you are done. It is worth noting that, while this is generally true; these days many horses are bred for the weight as well as the power of their hind legs. Some horses are more likely to be able to push 2,000lbs or more than others.
This is important to recognize if you are beginning an extensive amount of research into horse power and your horse. If you do not consistently push your horse hard, you are not going to be able to get the power you need to complete your project. At the
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