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, June 8, 2012

Friday Favourite! Riders4Helmets/International Helmet Awareness Day

As an aside for those who are wondering - Bronwyn is doing fantastically at the new boarding barn! She has settled in, is turned out with a friesian mare and gelding (I am hoping their friesian-ness will rub off on her! :)) and seems to fit right in! I stopped by on Tuesday night and gave her a good grooming and longed her a little bit - then braved up and rode. She was as good as I could expect considering her inexperience in indoor arenas - she eventually settled some and I considered it a success!

I wish that last night I had had my camera with me when I first arrived at the barn and saw her hanging her head over the gate of her paddock with Jesse, her new boyfriend. She was NOT wearing a halter. Remembering that I had specifically asked that her halter stay on because she is known for being a little difficult to halter/catch with new people (or so I thought, anyways, apparently she has proven otherwise!), I told another girl at the barn that I was sure that it was in a pile of poop and that she had removed it herself. It was, afterall, a brand new halter just put on her for the first time on Sunday when I moved her. I scanned the paddock and eventually found it, sure enough, stomped into a pile of poop under one of their shade trees. She let me walk up and put it on her. I had a lesson on the big Friesian mare and had hardly enough energy to ride her (I have begun a running program this week... stupid. LOL), so I didn't ride Bronwyn but did give her a good grooming and turn her back out.

I have to say that this has been nothing but good for her so far - putting the halter on, catching her in the pasture, letting the BO (a man (strike 1) who is a stranger (strike 2)) work around/handle her, hardly bats an eye when the dogs at the barn are making noise (dogs were previously a non-negotiable "absolutely NOT!"). I think the busy-ness of the barn will ultimately help a lot of the spooks she still has, and am really looking forward to seeing further positive improvements in her disposition as we work here!

I woke up this morning to SEVEN texts from my coach. Fearing the worst, I opened my phone to find the photos that she had been happily snapping away whilst I groomed last night had been sent to me - here are a couple of my favourites (and then I PROMISE that my sister is going to bring her camera to the barn tomorrow!):

In the process of measuring her - I guess she sticked at 15.2hh which surprised the crap out of me!

Looking pretty pleased with my mane-brushing work!

Okay, that was a longer aside than I intended, but I have this problem with gushing. I digress...

My Friday Favourite (and I know I am not consistent with these, no matter how much I promise I will be!) today is the group Riders 4 Helmets. Saturday, June 9th, is International Helmet Awareness Day.

When I was about 14, two things happened - a dear friend of mine lost her brother following a riding accident, and our governing provincial equestrian association, NBEA, implemented a rule that any junior, regardless of discipline, at any sanctioned NBEA show must wear a helmet. Previous to that, I did not even own a helmet, and spent a good deal of time on horseback. I went with it easily due to events in my personal life, and my mother embraced it wholeheartedly and began to wear a helmet on every ride as well. Since then, I can count on one hand the number of times that I have mounted up without a 'brain bucket' on. (If you're curious, it has been twice - once when I took kids to 4H camp and did not know I would be riding - the horse program did not have enough helmets for me to have one on one of the rides we went on, on the other, I did wear a helmet, and once when I had photos taken of myself on Bronwyn.)

This next part won't make me popular, I am sure... I do believe that it is your right to choose not to wear one, I just don't know why you would choose not to. I have heard a lot of reasons why people don't wear them, and if I am honest, I don't think any of them are good enough. There are people out there who will aggressively say that you're being overcautious and going to get hurt if you wear one (the last time I checked, people don't get hurt more often when they wear seatbelts in a car...)... others that say they don't like them and they feel uncomfortable (with the range of helmetmakers out there, you can find something that will fit, be comfortable AND be in your price range without a whole lot of difficulty), some "can't afford" to buy a helmet (if you can afford your horse, you can afford your helmet - you can get them as inexpensive as $40!).

With that said, I don't judge anyone who chooses not to wear a helmet - that, again, is your right to choose. I don't, however, believe that you should let your children ride without a helmet, even if the child "chooses" not to - but that is a whole other kettle of fish.

Accidents happen - even with professionals - look at Courtney King-Dye. From the R4H website:

Olympic dressage rider Courtney King-Dye suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) in March of 2010 when a horse she was schooling tripped and fell. She was not wearing a helmet at the time. King-Dye’s accident inspired the creation of Riders4Helmets. The goal of the campaign is to educate equestrians about the benefits of wearing a certified, properly fitting and secured helmet.

They are doing some great stuff for helmet awareness out there. Life is dangerous enough as it is, why tempt fate?


  1. I totally agree. I always wear a helmet when I ride, I paid enough for my college education that I'd like to keep all those expensive brain-bits in my head. http://punkskidrock.blogspot.com/

  2. I've landed on my head twice in my life, so I won't get aboard ANY horse without a helmet, no matter how trustworthy he/she seems. I also require anyone who rides with me (i.e family, friends) to wear one as well (or they don't ride with me)...it's non-negotiable. I do not ,however, give my barn friends any lectures about whether they do or don't wear them...because as you say, it IS a person's choice whether we like it or not.

    I'm not too suprised that Bronwyn got better about being caught at the new barn. I've seen several hard-to-catch horses come around completely when moved to a boarding facility (as opposed to the owner taking care of them at home). My theroy as that they catch on real quick who brings them in, feeds them, and doesn't work them...LOL Even those evil men can be appealing if they are nice and have FOOD. LOL!

    ...and if it's not that, another thing to consider is that if she is in a pasture where all the other horses come in -- she will follow their lead so she doesn't have to stay outside by herself ;-O

    Bronwyn looks very relaxed at her new "home." ....and you look happy in the photos too :)

  3. I would never lecture anyone about it, but if it is someone I really care about, I would definitely encourage them to... and if it's my horse, on my property, absolutely would enforce it.

    She seems to be enjoying it! I just got pictures from my coach this morning of her all doped up having her teeth floated. :)

  4. You guys look great! Love the tie dye as always. :o)

  5. I've taken a turn to always wearing one. I have ridden several times wihtout one and it feels wrong. people don't bounce.

  6. I love your blog.

    In Finland everybody who rides in riding school must wear helmet.
    Only those who own a horse can choose ride without helmet in teir free time.

    Sorry if my english is bad, hope you understand what I meant :D