Heavier Population Means Bigger Horses for Riders

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-04_b4a19fb328.jpgiStock/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- A weightier population is forcing dude ranches to turn to draft horses that can accommodate heavier tourists. Some owners say there's been a "significant change in people getting larger." Russ Little of Dry Ridge Outfitters in Idaho has noticed the difference in size, and of his 45 horses, eight are of the sturdier breed.

"I've never felt good about having a weight limit," Little said. "You know I just feel bad to tell someone they're too big to ride."

The rides can be physical, and a lot of customers come from the city for vacation. Year-round appeal comes from variation in animals and scenery, including baby moose, elk, and deer. Still, tourists putting on weight mean changes for the ranches. Where quarter horses were previously used, they have been replaced by stronger draft horses, known for pulling farm machinery at the turn of the century.

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