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!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bravery And Solitude...

Yesterday, I was expecting a friend who wanted to go on a pony ride on Bronwyn. She's never done one before but she's quiet enough that I could lead her around with someone aboard, and make it no big deal. I was beyond excited to have someone to come and "play ponies" with me but he ran quite late (like, by an hour and a half!), so I got saddled up and was just going to warm Bronwyn up so that she would be in fine form for her pony ride.

I have kind of made a pact with myself that in order to improve my balance and posture, I am only going to ride her bareback or in my English saddle. After some helpful suggestions from the internet world, I decided to move the saddle back several inches (I am used to western saddles that, due to the weight, settle where they should even if you sit them quite far ahead to begin with!), and it has opened up her stride considerably. Her walk is forward and animated. I like it very much!

Anyways - I warmed her up a little in the spot where I have been riding but since it has been a while since I rode last, there was some snow that had crusted over and she was not crazy about the part where she sank a couple of inches after she broke through the crust. Overall, she was reasonably behaved but not thrilled about working up there, so I got the crazy idea in my head that we should go outside of the paddock and up the driveway, which is about 1/4 mile uphill toward the road.

Right off the bat, she spooked out from under me when I was mounting up - I wasn't all the way up so caught myself easily, got her back under control and got on. Then, she thought the van in our yard was the scariest thing in the world - granted, she did have to walk through a space only about 8 feet wide with a snowbank on one side and the van on the other. I eventually convinced her the van wouldn't eat her and we got past that. We did alright up until we started the incline toward the top of the hill. All of a sudden, every snowbank that had some mud on it was going to eat her and the trees wanted to decapitate and skin her alive! I definitely ended up riding her more distance sideways than forward!

There was a time that I would have bailed off as soon as a horse started to give me a little trouble. What Bronwyn was doing definitely would have scared me off of her back. I have learned, little by little, with Bronwyn, what I can and can't handle - and let's just say she hasn't sent me anything I can't handle just yet. I have developed a much more secure seat and better balance. I hardly even thought about the fact that I was just on a wee little banana seat with no saddle horn until I was coming back down the hill, having successfully defeated and vanquished all snowbanks and trees with malicious intentions!

Another really awesome thing that I "taught" Bronwyn (or that she just started doing) is to slow her footfall at a walk without me touching the bridle. "Eas-y... Eas-y... Eas-y..." in a deep but soothing voice makes her slow herself down and, in turn, helps her start thinking about other things when she is getting scared. It's a completely useful tool that I intend to try and teach all of my other horses from now on!

In the end, my friend didn't ride (he is a dancer about to leave for a contract and we thought if we could do everything in our power to avoid breaking the thing he makes his money with, that would be good), and all the riding I did was while I was alone. I also never would have been brave enough to ride when no one was home at one time - but lately, it has been 'ride when no one is home or don't ride at all'. How many of the rest of you are faced with this issue?

I've become braver since owning Bronwyn... I'm proud of myself, and I'm proud of her for the distance we've both come, together.


In other news, I have been working on getting Rex refreshed. I have mentioned on this forum that he has been brought to the brink of being backed time and time again, but he will be four next month and he is ready to have a real job. I have been ground driving and lunging him every other night and he has been doing fantastically. As I lose the weight, I am getting more and more excited about riding my "not fat horses". :)


  1. Don't you love that incidental learning. I love when they just learn something I didn't actually set out to train. EASY is a handy command too.

  2. I have to ride alone a lot. My neighbor used to ride but her horse has had a gimpy leg for sometime and so it's just been me and Gilly.
    Last time I rode he saw the neighbor moving a round bale of hay, all he saw was the top of it moving and saw cows moving away from it. He thought it was a predator after them and got spooked. We did more sideways moving than forward, took us an hour to go one mile!
    But....I got to ride!!! Each spook that I ride out I build more confidence too, we are getting there.
    Like you blog!
    Jane and Gilly

  3. I have been wondering what you have been up to lately. Sounds like you have your day full of challenges and fun. Still getting used to this site. I am going to start blogging here more often. I think I write better than vid. LOL Peace,

  4. I was very lucky last summer to be able to ride with my son and my husband. On the times that they couldn't go with me I went a head on my own. I used to be scared to death to do that but thankfully Scooter helped me through that.

    Believe it or not my fall from Scooter made me braver too. I found out that I do still bounce and I can still keep my mind in the right place as I fall, ker thud, lol. After getting back on from that fall, had to cuz I wasn't walking 4 miles back to the barn, I was at ease with myself.

    I rode him alone more often after that and had a blast! I will miss being able to ride this summer but I will have tons of ground work to do with my Arab boys.