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 4, 2012

You shouldn't believe everything that you read on the internet...

My boyfriend and I have just finished watching season 1 of Game of Thrones (hey, it IS horse related!) and during the course of it, I began telling my boyfriend that our dog, Morrie (who is a miniature Australian shepherd) is a dire wolf... well, a baby dire wolf, since he's pretty small. He maintained I was not telling the truth until I lamented to my friend that he wouldn't believe it until it was in print and then, poof!, Wikipedia's article on dire wolves briefly (while my computer conveniently melted down so I could not screen cap it for posterity) mentioned that they are extinct "(except for Morrie)". And then, as quickly as it was there, it was gone. And the truth is (and I will ONLY admit this here because my boyfriend CLAIMS he doesn't read the blog!) that Morrie is not actually a dire wolf, even though I read it, IN WRITING, on the Internet!

Heck, I am pretty sure there are still people out there wondering about "Fiona", Bronwyn and Rex's love child from 2010 (I'll be a long time waiting for THAT foal, since Rex no longer has eligible parts!)... because they read it on the INTERNET.

I am incredibly gullible, I will admit to it. Though I might have a niggling in the back of my mind that you're pulling my leg when you tell me something far-fetched, I have this overwhelming sense of respect/consideration which seems to over-ride even my sense of self preservation by times (ask me about the time that I rolled down my window to talk to an angry looking man who got out of his car at a red light to yell at me for "burning a red light" (whatever that means, by my estimation, I made a legal right turn on red and he was nowhere in sight when I did it)). If I believe you to be the sort of person who does not regularly tell lies, I will most likely take what you say at face value until it is proven otherwise. Because that's just how I roll.

The thing about the Internet is... a lot of people have a lot to say, sometimes more than they would say in person. The Internet leaves a lot of room for speculation and anonymous insults, and other things that, when you head in that direction, can be an extremely slippery slope. I have to say that I am still always surprised that, even though on the Internet, you have the chance to fully investigate, get all your ducks in a row and THEN make a comment that you may or may not be able to take back, people still say some pretty crazy, ridiculous things. After all, sometimes things live on the Internet for EONS.

Since I started writing this blog, I remind myself every single day - when I write a new entry, or when I check the Facebook fan page, or when I get a notification of a new comment - that there is rarely an in-between when it comes to this subject matter. People love it and support it or people hate it and insult it. There is rarely an in-between (or at least, I don't hear about many) and fortunately, the former far outnumbers the latter. Occasionally, someone is so offended, not by the fact that I am writing about plus sized riders, but by the fact that I am riding at all, and that I am torturing my horse, that they see fit to make a comment.

That's fine - I mean, I put this material out there, publicly - I need to expect some feedback once in a while that isn't all wonderful and friendly like the lovely and kind comments I got when I was featured on Horse Nation just yesterday (now there are some words on the Internet that I encourage you to believe, haha!). But it's incredible the things that people "say" when they think that they are advocating for something. And let me just say - despite what some of the negative comment-leavers choose to believe - I have not deleted one unkind comment - from my blog or Youtube or Facebook. If someone wants to say something, I feel like they are entitled to say it - the same way I am entitled to write this entry and poo-poo on it or reply to their comment, advising them of the actual truths. And I'll let it stand - because I feel like they should own it - and I'm not going to pretend it didn't happen. Good or bad.

Whoo, I am getting off on a bit of a tangent here. All of this was to talk about this particular Youtube video that I posted over a year ago while I was participating in a Youtube vlogging community. I have posted 32 videos so far on that Youtube channel and for some reason, unknown to me, this video has gotten 50,000 more views than any other video that I have posted on Youtube. The comments run the gamut, but I thought I would share some of my favourites:

Actually, you know what... I'm not going to bring that negativity to light. I'm sure anybody out there who has ever admitted, online, to being a plus sized rider has seen the type of comments that I am thinking of. Not only are there rambling diatribes about cruelty to the horse, but additionally all of the inferences that because you are fat, there cannot possibly be anything else good or redeeming about you, that you are clearly lazy and unmotivated, and should stop stuffing yourself with "Doritos and ice cream" (honest to God, real comment I got, on the blog, I think... I had to LITERALLY LOL because I DO love Doritos and ice cream but I can count on two hands the number of months since the last taste of Doritos I had, though I do usually have a stock of frozen yogurt in my freezer which I engage in about twice a week (and dutifully track on my calorie counter)) - as if it were that simple, as if the commenter has been inside of your life, as if the fact that you are carrying extra weight completely overshadows any other personality trait that you might have, as if the negative commentary changes everything. People seem to forget that if you are overweight, you generally already know it, you don't need to be reminded.

But the fact of the matter is... all of these words, these letters on screens - they do not determine your value as a human being, your right to dream and to do and to be generally wonderful. Some of the demeaning things you read on the Internet (on a very public blog, even, earlier this month!) are quite simply put - GARBAGE. Just because it is in print does not mean that it's true. Discerning the truth that you know from that which others try to impose on you based on the very small amount of information that they know about you is not always an easy task but I can tell you that having a strong sense of your own truths and your own abilities and value, without taking into consideration the opinions of people who may not know anything about you besides the fact that you don't "look" like the picture of an equestrian - that is a completely worthwhile and valuable ability to have.

At the end of the day, there have been a million, million times more GOOD comments, emails and messages and Facebook photos that have made writing this blog worthwhile, while I am, on occasion, accused of abusing my horse, and having absolutely no regard for her welfare. And you know, even one of those good comments, emails or messages overrides the senseless drivel I occasionally have to put up with. Don't feel sorry for me! I am 100% humbled by most of the messages of hope and support and gratitude that I receive. Most often, I think that I am just little old me and don't deserve the thanks - I am just writing about my little old life and sharing truths about plus sized riders, afterall - it's no new information! But I appreciate it. And as long as there is one person out there who believes what I write above the anonymous negativity commentary about your worth as a human being because of the weight that you may carry, writing this blog will always be 100% worth writing.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am going out to ride Fiona!


  1. Great reading. Keep up the good work. I am too heavy to ride either of our 2 horses at more than a walk, mostly because I don't have the flexibility any more but if I can ever afford a draught type for myself I would be out there with my 2 skinny daughters and the flexibility will come with exercise. Despite my weight I have been told that I 'ride light' as I have ridden all my life until recent years and I count the days until I can get back in the saddle again. In the meantime, it cheers me to read blogs like yours. Keep at it, please!

  2. I love that you write this blog. And I love that you have the confidence to do so. Balancing weight issues is something I have always had issue with, but looking back now, I am not so sure that its my weight that was the issue or how OTHERS perceived my weight. I am healthy and strong at a size 14. I was ALWAYS told that I could do better, be better, or compete better being skinny. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! and the sorriest part is that that kind of nonsense led me away from riding and doing more--because when you are overweight or perceived as overweight I find I want to hide. Keep up the awesome work! You are inspirational!

  3. I actually read a thing on Yahoo about a trio of models that had a photoshoot or something without makeup or airbrushing or photoshopping the image, and one was a Victoria Secret model(she looked anorexic to me), Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and a "plus size" model- they said she was plus size at size 12- what is this world coming to? I've stayed as active as possible on the forum, ALWAYS read the blog and it gives me a glimmer of hope to one day be more than I am now. Beauty is only skin deep- yet also only in the eye of the beholder. You don't judge a book by it's cover why are you judging humans by their skin? I had a doctor tell me that I should be 140 or less. I looked her in the face and laughed, Said I'll never go below 165 and that was a promise for I am not anorexic. For anyone that has met me in person, even they could take one look at me and tell you I'd never be 140 or less without some kind of problem.

  4. Thank you SOO much for another wonderful Blog :) I look forward to these and the Facebook updates constantly. I have taken your advice to heart and use the links you provide as training aids. Being plus it is hard, but to know there are other wonderful ladies out there that have the same issues makes me feel so much better :) I have started to trot again, and it feels great. I can't wait to get up to a canter or more. Average weight of a woman is 152lbs... I'll never be close to that, I may make it down to an average weight of a male 187, but still.... My point is that horses used to carry knights in armour and gear 400lbs +... have they gotten weaker? No... People just don't remember their past. Our long past together. Again, Thank you for all you do!!