As a motivator to get me writing more, even when there is not anything going on with Bronwyn and I, I want to start a weekly favourite feature... a product, website, concept, horse, person, etc... something that I LOVE. It was really convenient that someone on the forum brought this over from Facebook today (or maybe it was yesterday, the days are blurring together!). It takes many points that I try to make on a regular basis and sums them up in one nice, easy to read commentary... So without further ado... from Jane Savoie's Facebook Fanpage... something for all of you ladies out there who aren't riding right now, or are second guessing yourselves at every turn - a letter from Moshi, the horse:
Weight. There, I said it. Human society is incredibly obsessed with body size. How many people don’t ride or stopped riding because they think they are too fat? How many people hide their talents and abilities behind a wall of shame because of their BMI (Body Mass Index)?
When I hear people talking about weight issues, it makes me so glad I’m a horse! We are expected to have a big, round “hip” and be well fleshed. Unless you’re a racehorse, it’s perfectly okay to be plump. In fact, we are “fattened up” for halter classes and viewed as healthier when we have some meat on our bones. Why aren’t people like that? I hear it’s mostly because of movies, TV, and magazines. Back when food was scarce and only the rich were plump, “Rubenesque” women were all the rage. But now that food is abundant for almost all people, you’re expected to be waif thin and wrinkle free if you want to be “in.” The media perpetuates this ideal simply by glorifying the skinny and the young.
I understand there are health ramifications for being obese, but that’s not the point here. Plump is normal for a lot of people. Your hormones, genetics, age, and body structure have a whole lot to do with what is normal and healthy for YOU as an individual. You can be very fit and still look “fat” based on what you’ve been conditioned to believe. Are you one of those who stopped doing what you love in life because you don’t fit the Hollywood ideal?
Horses are incredibly strong. Light riding has a lot more to do with balance and technique than what a bathroom scale says about you. You can be overweight by today’s standards and still be very comfortable for your horse to carry.
If you want to make some changes, decide to be as fit as you can so you can ride well. Decide you’re going to be strong and healthy, no matter what you weigh. Exercise with the idea of being fit, not simply with the goal of being thin, and you will find a different kind of inspiration to keep going. If you’re one of those whose nerves I’ve just agitated, please know that I do understand how painful this issue might be. You just have to put your focus on your successes and not concentrate on the mental feedback loop that says you’re not okay. You ARE okay, just as you are! If anyone says anything different, it’s their problem, not yours.
I realize this is a very prickly subject for many people, but I want you to know that the “Scarlet F” need not stop you from living life to the fullest. Take a deep breath, recognize your worth, and realize that extra pounds do NOT decide you who you are. Get out there and ride your horse! He can carry you!
With that said, I am going to take a snooze. It's been a long week, and I have a full day ahead tomorrow. Topping that list would be dislodging the resident pig from my horse trailer and combing the summer paddock for the halter that Bronwyn has already lost twice! Have a great long weekend, everybody. :)