You all should know that I have been getting as much out of writing this blog as people who are reading it tell me they get out of it. It is so encouraging to be able to talk to people "out loud" about things that have been floating around in my brain for so long. It inspires me and makes me want to keep going, and work toward a goal.
So, without further ado - more inspiring ladies!
First is Ariel, with her gorgeous horses!
I started working for a Hunter/Jumper trainer 6 years ago and we exchanged work for lessons. So thats when my life dream became complete. I learned on a few different lessons horses - a HUGE qh, an older thoroughbred, or a stocky paint. But I began progressing faster than even the students she had for years before I came into the picture. (A Fat Girl In: YES! It's true! Plus sized riders can be JUST AS or MORE talented than regular sized riders!) And soon I got to the point where those three loves of my life that had granted my wish couldn't teach me anymore and I was teaching them, so i meet my true love - an overweight percheron qhx gelding nicknamed JuJuBee and Clompy.
With this big guys help, I went through the lower levels in a show faster than anyone can say blue ribbon shower! But with my big 200lb+ shape in all the wrong places, I couldn't look perfect like the skinnier girls, so I went off on my own way, and turn our bigger than average butts into jumpers. Everyone laughed at us when we walked in the arena but as soon as the whistle blew telling us our time was bout to start, off we went! We always walked out with jaws dropped and everyone clapping. When I decided to stop showing, we worked on our height and last summer we hit our 5' mark and called it a year. =) No one in my trainers history had gotten that high that fast or even at all. Now that I know what to do and when to do it right, she puts me on all the green horses - Arabs, Qhs, thoroughbreds, large ponies and when I'm lucky I get the big warmbloods to hack. Even though I'm big and people judge me for the way I look, it's always nice to know that I can get on anything and show them my true colors.
I attached three pictures, one with a tb mare that I was retraining (Addy), and two with the love of my life - My big boy JuJuBee. I gotta say I love your site. Keep going and encouraging all those girls to keep riding. Theres nothing better than giving your trust to an animal with wings. =)
I think Jujubee is freakin' adorable!!
And I think that Sarah's story is pretty inspiring!
I have ridden for about oh - I guess on and off for 18 years now. I find riding to sometimes be the source of my greatest joys and also at times, my greatest frustrations. To have my body not work as it once did makes me extremely frustrated at times but usually I keep plugging away. I am lucky and have a wonderful relationship with my coach and have been able to bum rides off of her as I am not in the position to own my own horse (it's in the 5 year plan though!). My latest love was a horse she had in for training - he has since been sold to a wonderful forever home but this past summer I did something I didn't think I would ever do at my present size - and that is enter a local training show - we didn't win - although we would've had I not nailed a wrong lead right in front of the judge and although at the time I was a little dissapointed (I am extremely competitive) now I can look back and be really proud of it. A few years ago - I was ready to be done with riding - I had got to a camp where they kept putting my tall (5'11") large frame on smaller ponies and the ponies would zig and I would zag and I got my 2nd good concussion and I just decided that riding hurt too much and that I was done. Of course, time heals all wounds and though the help of two wonderful coaches and 3 lovely horses I have made it back to loving riding again. I do wish the sport was a little less sizest (I can hardly get my arms in any of the show shirts in Greenhawk) but I can't control that and I have accepted that truth. Anyway, I have just given you my whole horsie life story - I will attach a picture of me and Bismark - a wonderful warmblood (TBxClyde) who was my partner in crime this past summer. Although he isn't far removed from a draft he is an excellent example of a horse perfect for we bigger gals! :0
This next one is Shelly - she is a gal from my area and I follow her Facebook and occasionally see her in local equine publications. :) It always makes me smile to see the pictures!
So let's see... I'm 5'9" and usually hover around the 270lb mark. Willow is a 14.2hh Appaloosa cross mare. I've owned Willow since the day she was born and did all of her training myself. I do everything with her. Until this summer we competed soley in western, winning countless ribbons and awards, including many provincial titles. This summer we gave english a try and took home ribbons on the flat and for crossrails. We've also logged many hours out on the trail, doing overnight wilderness rides and sometimes being in the saddle over 8 hours a day.
And one of me and Maggie too. Maggie is a 15hh registered AQHA mare. I bought her as an untouched 2 year old and broke her to saddle a year later. She's a bigger horse than Willow but it actually took her longer to physically mature enough to be started under saddle.