2015-12-15: Hi! You're probably here because you did a Google search for 'plus sized horseback riders' or you saw my content quoted elsewhere. There are a couple of things I'd like you to know.

I am still here! But I am living away from my horses and not riding often. I could tell you a lie and say that I am, but I have always endeavored to give you the truth here. As a result, I'm not feeling terribly motivated to write blog posts and I feel out of touch with the community.

I'd love for you to stay a while and look back through the archives. Visit the links listed below. We still have an active forum community and I post on the Facebook page from time to time.

I have tentative plans to try to get more involved in the horse world in 2016, and I will absolutely share whatever that adventure becomes with you, so keep checking back!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Horses In My Backyard

I used to fancy myself quite a poet back in high school. At the time, I was plagued by depression and most of my poetry was about unrequited love (needless to say, I had very little confidence in myself or my complete cuteness - I look back on videos and pictures from high school and go "Come on, you were SO adorable! Why weren't you braver?!"). I used to stay up late at night scribbling endless scattered prose about one boy or another that I was too shy to even talk to, torturing myself with the endless possibilities that would never come to fruition. Teen angst at its finest.

I still write poetry, occasionally. Sometimes my heart is so full of feeling, I have to put it down - even if it's just one line. More and more frequently, horses or the feeling that horses give me are the subject of my mad ramblings.

Tonight, I was feeling inexplicably melancholy, generally emotionally volatile - a feeling I completely hate, and try to diffuse as soon as it starts because I dislike not being in control of my emotions (Who am I kidding? I cry all the time, especially when I am watching The Biggest Loser!). Usually, diffusing this feeling consists of sitting on the back of a horse - not working, just sitting, just feeling, and being. Tonight we had minus stupid degree weather with windchill so sitting on a horse wasn't really an option, but sitting with a horse was.

I took to Ari's stall. I love Bronwyn, but Ari is my favourite (And who am I kidding? Bronwyn would never tolerate the foolishness that Ari does!). Ari's unwavering sweetness is comforting and predictable. She is so many of the beautiful attributes that her mother had. I stood for a while with my arms over her back, my cheek pressed to her withers, her long furries tickling my nose. Horses are in my blood.

After a little bit of that, I took an overturned bucket and sat in the front of her stall while she munched hay quietly, and sat as close to her as possible, my arms wrapped around her front right leg, my cheek resting on her forearm. I must have sat like that for thirty minutes. It just felt good. Occasionally, she'd crane her neck and brush her upper lip through my hair.

Sometimes, I wish I had access to an indoor arena and didn't have to get out of bed to feed in below zero weather, but I would not trade the immediate access to the above for anything. I am jealous of those of you who have your horses at boarding stables, but at the same time feel sorry for those of you who can't keep your horses at home for whatever reason. I always used to be resentful of horses at home, but now I count myself lucky to have them here.

Anyways, back to the poetry. Tonight was one of those "full" feelings so I scribbled a little ditty. Though it's a little silly, I thought I would share, because I feel like you guys are my family. :)

Horses In My Backyard

I give up the finer points in life,
like indoor arenas in the winter,
stall mucking done when I arrive,
never having to worry about a missed feeding,
to have horses in my backyard.

I get to enjoy some of the hardships,
riding in the rain, or snow or sleet,
just to get that workout in,
mucking stalls before I can make time to ride,
and climbing out of bed, in the cold, hung over or sick,
to have horses in my backyard.

I love the benefits -
a furry therapist whenever I need it,
instant eau de cheval,
horse hair on every article of clothing I own,
a soft place to land.
Front-leg-hugging therapy cures all ailments.

I have horses in my backyard, and I wouldn't trade it for a thing.

- Amanda Neal

Thanks, Ari, for keeping me grounded when I need it the most.


  1. I'm not lucky enough to have my horse in my backyard, but the boarding stable is just 4 miles from home. I can be there in under 8 minutes if I need a dose of pony therapy. :)

    In fact, I took a little dose of that today myself... We are going through a rough patch in our marriage right now, so I drove over and spent time just brushing and grooming Mocha to clear my mind of the swirling emotions that were driving me mad...

  2. It's so great to have that option, isn't it?

    I felt a little guilty as my dad cleaned the stalls while I was just sitting there feeling sorry for myself and reminding myself that I don't appreciate that little mare nearly enough - but he didn't say too much - he knows when I needs what I needs! (And I did push the wheelbarrow out for him, to be fair!)

  3. My boys are home thankfully, and I am going to be taking one of them to a barn with an indoor, but they are only about a 5 min drive from my place, and I'll still have one at home.

    My boys wouldnt put up with my cuddly foolishness, mostly because if i dont have food they really dont care. Soo I'd have to physically sit on their hay for them to pay me any attention.

    I will admit to cuddly with my cows before though. When I used to take my calves to shows for 4H, during those stressful times (for me and the calf) I'd always curl up at the front of the tie stall with their head in my lap and take a nap. I wouldnt do this at home, because it's not quite the same, but when they miss their herd and I'm a little nutty from the competition, it always seemed like we bonded. Plus freshly clipped calve faces are soft enough to give a horses nose competition. <3

  4. I love your poem. I have my babies in the backyard too. Sometimes it is great, then there is the other morning when my perchie took out a gate and everyone was enjoying the yard. lol

    I just wanted to suggest Vit D for feeling melancholy. I used to cry at commercials or stories that were not particularly sad. I was really tired a lot too. It turns out that I was very Vit. D deficient. I take a Vit. D3 supplement now. I spent a lot of time outside too but it wasn't enough. Especially this time of the year when the sun is a rare treat.

  5. I brought my boy home last week - nothing compares to having them at home.