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!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years' Resolutions: Fail, Sorta Fail or Succeed?

Once again, the new year sneaked (snuck? spellcheck tells me 'snuck' is wrong, but then again, spellcheck tells me 'spellcheck' is wrong, too!) up on me! I hope that everyone had a safe and fun New Years' celebration and now you can get down to the nitty gritty - those resolutions that plague us every year.

I was with a group of some of my very best (and most supportive, ever - seriously, two of them are not really 'horsey' but read my blog and watch my vlogs anyway!) girlfriends last night and we took a few minutes to reflect on last year's resolutions and how we did.

Over the years, I have discovered that it is easier for me to succeed with my resolutions if I make them pretty general - instead of "I want to lose X pounds", or "I want to go to X horse shows", I say "I want to focus on my health", or "I want to become competitive with my horse" - this way, at the end of the year, I can look back, sum it up and decide if I succeeded or not - and I am rarely disappointed. I seem to be able to at least find some ways to say that I have succeeded and bettered myself.

Last year, I made the horsey resolution to take Bronwyn to a show. That didn't happen. This year, I am going to aim a little differently. I want to be "visible" with Bronwyn - in whatever context that ends up to be - horse show, clinic, demos and trade fairs,

This year, I also want to be talking about plus sized riders in person. I go to a lot of equine trade fairs, shows and events with my mother who runs a small home based horse show clothing business (yes, she does make plus sized clothes). I'd like to take a flyer or maybe some business cards along with me. Maybe someday it will develop into talks and demonstrations. Have to start small!

Last year, I made the non-horsey resolution to start taking my health more seriously. To do this, I made an appointment with my general practitioner and (gasp) had my first ever physical and internal exam. It was scary and quite daunting (I wavered between taking my pants off or just running out of the office when I was left to undress!) but I survived it. (It doesn't hurt that my doctor is also a horseperson that I grew up showing with and has pictures of her horses in her office that I can stare at when things get uncomfortable!)

It turns out that I hadn't been to the doctor in nine years (I had been to the hospital for sprains and cuts and burns in the ER though)! I had a variety of small health issues (nothing too serious) that had been bothering me for the last few years and I finally addressed those.

I can definitely say I succeeded on that resolution - I now feel completely prepared to talk to my doctor about other things that might come up, and in fact, am planning to talk to her about tackling my weight at our next appointment (within the month). I am also thinking I might get to pick her brain a little bit about my next mythbusting entry, "Horseback Riding is Not Exercise And Fat People Are Being Lazy By Pretending That It Is".

This year, my "non-horsey" resolution is also health related. My resolution this year is to allow my health to take priority on a daily basis. This means taking the time every day to prepare myself healthier foods, go for a walk, work out, etc. This also means looking after my mental health, which is likely going to mean more time spent on horseback.

I also have a non-horsey resolution to get my completed romantic suspense manuscript into the hands of an agent - ideally published by the end of 2010 (or at least in plans for publication), but into the hands of an agent is a good start.

But enough about me - I want to talk about YOU!

I hope that this is the year for those of you who haven't been riding to start up again - I hope this is the year for those of you who need it to start taking your health more seriously - I hope this is the year for those of you who are showing to meet personal success goals.

Talk about your goals in the comments... because I love to hear what you guys have to say!


And also, my girls all have a "Happy New Year" sentiment to express in photos. :) Enjoy - the large drafty looking thing that isn't black is Freckles (3yo perch cross), then we have the black one - Bronwyn (5yo draft cross), and then the sorrel mare with belly white is 11yo APHA mare, Jessie, and the sorrel mare that looks like Hidalgo is 6yo APHA mare, Ari.


  1. Great blog!!

    I have 2 main goals this year:
    1. Enter more competitions. I was only able to get to two events last year. I have a good start on this goal as I just bought a dually truck - now I just need to get a trailer.
    2. Get my sewing/craft room straightened out - it's a mess!

    SmartPak carries larger sizes of equestrian clothing. They have odd sizing though - you order a size that is 6" less than your actual measurement. They go up to a size 40 which would be a 46" waist. I'm not to sure if I like the name of the clothing line though - it's called 'Fuller Fillies.' I am happy to say that they do not use size 0 models so you get to see how they would actually look.


    I'm looking forward to your 'Horseback riding is not exercise' entry - should be interesting. One of our local schools gave the kids an exercise assignment and told them that horseback riding does NOT count!!! Obviously they have never ridden.


  2. I wnat to lose 25 lbs by March!!I am going on a horse holiday and find it uncomfortable to have that spare tire around my middle. And ride more of course, I am aiming for every other day at the very least, considering the horses are in my backyard and I am in the barn 2x/day ! I would like to go into my first show ever, and a reining competition, seeing how my new horse is trained for that.

  3. TMG - I think "fuller fillies" is kind of cute! I guess I am always not sure how to feel about "mainstream" references to "fat".

    Look up the music video for "Skinny" by Lo-Rider... it is a music video featuring several plus sized women in lingerie doing suggestive things - but they're really, really sexy at it! It makes you think about fat differently - because it shows that fat women can still be really sexy... but the moral part of your brain immediately goes "I don't know how I feel about this! This is kind of making a mockery of us! Skinny people will think it's an opening to start saying horrible things!"... but I think we need to stop thinking that way.

    I need to stop typing though because I really planned to write an entry about it!

  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwQCwxKbSmo

    Love the video!

    This year I want to be able to get out and ride more. I have a lung disease that makes it quite hard to do things some days though. But I will still try my best to get out there.

  5. I am always looking for comfortable pants for riding in larger sizes. Does your mom have a website for her riding clothes? I don't necissarily look at riding as excercise per se, but look at everything I do with my horse and horses in general as excercise. At the barn where I board, I often help bring in horses for feeding since I am usually there around that time....but lots of grooming, groundwork, and riding make up my time with my horse....and it DOES burn calories. I weigh myself every day - so I know. I personally believe large riders get the criticism so that less than perfect riders in other ways can feel better about themselves. A smaller rider who is polite, confident, and has integrity won't say negative stuff about a large rider.

  6. Fun video - I will never look at a washing machine the same way again!! LOL

  7. Yay! I cannot wait for your mythbusting blog on horseback riding not being an exercise. Too many times I have gotten done with a ride (I show jump) and have not been able to even sleep comfortably due to my muscles hurting so bad!

    To all the people out there who say "as long as you have good balance horseback riding is easy" or "horseback riders are not real athletes" I would like to know why all Grand Prix Show Jumpers are practically size negative 22 (ok MAYBE an exaggeration, but it feels like that to me), and why one lesson with my irons taken away is more tedious than the thought of going to the gym.

    Keep us updated on any traveling your mom and you plan on doing! I think it is safe to say we would all love to come out an support you!

  8. The best thing we can do for our horses is have 'the irons taken away.' Good balance is everything - a lightweight rider bouncing all over is much more injurious to a horse than a heavyweight who has great balance. Bareback riding is also good for learning balance - I spent many years riding that way.


  9. I burn calories just feeding! I have to trudge through the snow to get to the hay. Then I have to trudge all over the paddock to get them fed. Then I have to trudge back to the the old man's beets and then back again to feed him.

    The whole time I am shivering because Idaho weather sucks and I am stupid and never wear enough layers, lol.

    It is an interesting way to lose unwanted pounds, hahaha.

  10. I am with you on the New Year's Resolution. I need to lose about 15 lbs. Each year it seems like 5lbs seem to creep up on me. I have mostly been pleasure riding the past few years, but I was recently offered an awesome dressage horse to come live with me. She has also been pleasure riding for the past three years. Sooo...the plan is to get in shape together. I would love to do some showing this spring.

    You are completely right about prejudice in the equestrian world. I have scribed for many dressage judges. Some of them have a problem with heavier riders and deduct them because of that. I had one write on a child's test one time that the child needed to lose weight. Mom was NOT happy!

  11. The Art Of Dressage - I can imagine that the mom was not happy! Wow... I don't know what I would say if something like that was written on my test as an adult, nevermind my child's test! Part of the reason why I write this blog is because there is an immediate assumption that plus sized riders are not good riders, and it is because of their weight...

    I'd like for people to see that plus sized riders ARE contenders! Sometimes it is hard for people accustomed to seeing a very specific body type in a sport to recognize that another body type, though less common, is just as good.

  12. Okay, resolutions:

    1. Get Kieran to a point I wouldn't call him "green" anymore, even if that takes till Dec 31st!

    1a. That also means getting him out to all sorts of things. More trail rides, schooling shows, team penning nights, whatever. Also want to work on driving with him (and learn it myself).

    2. For myself, I'd like to drop a dress size. I'm not going to angst about the pounds, but being able to fit back into some older clothes would be fine with me.

    2a. And I don't think I can do an actual programmed plan for food. I think for me I have to remember I have a choice every time: Go and get that breakfast biscuit or eat a bit of cereal (not a huge bowl, but like a cup. *sigh* I love cereal.). I can eat the bag of chips because I'm bored or I can get up and do something. Get that soda or drink water [which is what I really want anyway even if soda is more tasty]. And so on. Each individual moment is where I make the "plan" happen, but looking at it as one monolithic thing I have to follow forever is...daunting.

  13. My horse goal is to meet Miranda's horse, and my non-horse goals include weight loss, moving out of my parent's house (didn't I already do that?), and getting a super great job, and maybe if I have any energy left taking a course.

  14. I just found your blog - what a great topic!
    I'm a fourty-something, heavish, very begining rider and horse owner and I'll be looking forward to reading more!

  15. Would you post a link to your mothers website if she has one for the plus sized riding clothes?