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, April 21, 2010

That One Big Fear

Bronwyn has lots of little fears, but her One Big Fear is cats.

While many things startle her and momentarily make the record kind of 'hiccup', when she sees a cat, she can't focus... there is very little I can do to make her sit up and pay attention. You just never know when a cat is going to levitate STRAIGHT UP IN THE AIR, scamper under her feet, or attack with machetes! Those cats... they are scary and dangerous and it takes some considerable effort to convince her otherwise. However, the right amount of sweet talk and support helps her work through it, and gradually it is getting better.

Back in May, Bronwyn dropped me on my butt (okay, well, more like shoulder and butt and head all at once!) because of a levitating cat. It seems as though the cats have learned this and are now making it their goal in life to attend every single ride that I have, and so generally congregate around (I swear, we don't have THAT many cats!) when they see anyone up in the riding ring.

It is getting better and better, but I suspect that cats will always make her ears prick and distract her. Last night, a cat came prowling out of the woods by my roundpen and while she looked long and hard, she kept it together. I call that progress!

I know I talk here about the many different types of support that we as plus sized riders need - a riding network, a supportive home network... support for our (sometimes) hefty breasts (!!)... but I just can't stress enough how it really helps sometimes to have someone along to help us face our fears.

I don't have One Big Fear - I have a lot of little ones. Sometimes they get in the way of things.

As many of you know, I am currently in training for a new job working with accounts that can sometimes range from very very large to very very small, but there are definitely numbers involved. I am not a particularly math-y person (and they didn't test my math skills), but my excellent customer service skills and aggressive attitude about customer impression wowed them in the interview and got me the job. After nearly a week and a half of training, we approached MATH (!!) for the first time.

I am almost embarrassed to say that I had what I consider to be a small panic attack (not unlike what Bronwyn seemed to have when she dumped me!). My heart began to pound and I could feel tears welling up in my eyes... I was even getting the right answer... but I felt overwhelmed by something that has never been a friend of mine. Fortunately, my trainers recognized that I was struggling in that moment and reminded me that I am a very intelligent girl (if I do say so myself!), and that my problem with math was not because of a lack of intelligence, but a lack of comfort. Once I had a few opportunities to both succeed and fail without the world ending, I would feel better. They guided me through, ensuring that I understood exactly what we were talking about and by the end of the day I felt a little better.

This morning, I felt even better. And this afternoon, I feel like I could take math on in a sudden death cage match if I had to! I might not win, but I would at least put up a dang good fight.

Failure is not your enemy.

With the appropriate support network, you CAN fail without the world coming crashing to an end.

Make failure your friend.

Success makes you feel good, but failure makes you grow.

I'd rather keep growing than just feel good all the time - you eventually hit a threshold of good feelingness, and then what do you do? You find your "limited" successes no longer make you feel that good and start saying "Is there more to life than this?".

All of this ties in to my visit with Carina in Arizona. She can correct me if I am wrong, but I think she does struggle with fears every day - there is nothing wrong with having fears. I saw a brave woman face many of her fears while I was visiting her, and I got prouder and prouder as the week went by.

Something about being that supportive person really appealed to me and was something I have discovered I enjoy. I know what it is like to find yourself in the boxing ring with fear, to a certain degree, whether it is with horses, or in my daily life.

I think there are many of us who let fear hold us back - either because we haven't found the right support team or because we have never let ourselves believe that it is possible to come out of that boxing ring (or cage, if you will!) alive at the very least, and sometimes unscathed. Whether it is trying a new discipline, taking your horse to a show, or even getting on a horse again for the first time - you at least deserve the opportunity to step into the ring with that Fear.

Have a good (almost) weekend, everybody!


  1. Wise words grass hopper.
    I too have a fear of math. I can learn from what you wrote. Thanks

  2. "...not because of a lack of intelligence, but a lack of comfort."

    A very profound statement.