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, October 17, 2012

Broken Pony is broken no more!

I don't know if I have really expressed the magnitude of the problems we have been having over the last month or so - between the ill-fitting saddle, and on to the severe behavioural issues that we began to experience following it.

Even after the saddle fit issue was resolved, Bronwyn would still work for about 20 minutes and then begin being outright "naughty" when I asked for a little more - put leg on and asked her to extend. She would crank her head up and to the side, and stop up instead of moving forward. I tried various saddles, bridles, bits and girths and then put my shingle out looking for a chiro or massage therapist to come and take a look at her because something was clearly wrong. Though Bronwyn has spent much of her life being silly or scared of things, never once has she been naughty - and her work ethic has been pretty awesome all summer. The big difference, though, is that her body has changed quite significantly - in shape and in fitness.

I got replies from several people suggesting Christa - and was pleased to find that she had been to my barn recently to work on a horse that was dealing with lameness issues and that this mare had gotten much better after a session.

Fortunately, she was able to come out quite quickly for me. Bronwyn was really quite at ease with her, I think largely due to the fact that she is constantly talking to her during the session, which is what I do with just about every horse. (As a side note, I was largely ridiculed for this when I worked with race horses "back in the day", but I had the quietest horses in the barn, who, when they went to another groom who wasn't as verbose as I tend to be, suddenly were uptight and nervous around their handlers. Imagine!)

She immediately could see that her neck and her pelvis needed adjustments, and then proceeded to spend about an hour working on her muscles - I could see a visible change in the shape of some parts of her body right away!

I have to say that I felt bad at the beginning when she found the initial problems. I think every plus sized rider wonders if their weight could be affecting their horse, even if they adhere to the "20% rule" or any of the other governing guidelines for determining if you are too heavy for your horse, and that was what I initially was concerned with. Without asking the specific question of if I had caused it, Christa reminded me that these sorts of things could happen in any way - rolling over a rock, etc - and I know someone who adjusts her horse post birthing, etc. 

I have to admit to being a little bit nervous when she adjusted her pelvis and neck. Even for humans, the idea of manipulating the bones and the spine kind of terrifies me, but as Christa has a pretty impressive resume, I trusted her while she adjusted the pelvis (not TOO bad) and the neck (admittedly, much scarier). And two days later, when I was advised to go out and ride her again... I had a different horse.

Overall, I think Bronwyn was thrilled with her new friend!

Bronwyn earned the nickname "Ploddius" over the summer, due to her short, heavy strides. Let's just say she is Ploddius no more! It was quite interesting to feel the difference in the ride - she carried herself lightly - I have never realized that she wasn't moving that lightly, because she probably never has! Overall, it was worth every penny.


  1. I am sooo glad to hear about your success! I used to be a bit of a sceptic, but a few years ago I had a phenominal experiance with a equine osteopath. My mare had a dislocated stifle that the vet couldn't do anything with. She consulted vets a the the Vet School in Saskatoon and well known equine surgeons. The answers varied from being able to do nothing to recommending surgery. Wierdly, Belle was not lame, her patella just poked straight outsidewase like a childs fist every step she took. Because she wasn't lame i refused the surgery option. I heard about the Osteopath coming to our area and booked an appointment despite my scepticism. I thought that it may not help, but it wouldn't hurt. Between the initial appointment, the home work (stretching excercises) she was BETTER than new at her 3 month follow up appointment. Previous to that appointment she had a hitch in her hind step that i could feel but the vet could not see or find in a soundess exam. Not only was her stifle back in place, but that hitch was gone and she felt like a well oiled machine. Alternative practitioners are not miracle workers, but they should not be discounted. As you have experianced they can be a valuable additional resource to traditional vetrinary medicine. Sorry, this got so long winded.... but i am so happy you have experianced this success with Bronwyn!! Good riding days are ahead!

  2. Delighted to hear that the Chiro helped.
    I hope you'll take it easier on yourself and try not to blame yourself - although we all get the guilts when the professionals tell us what's 'out' in our little darlings. Or at least I always do as i berate myself for not noticing/calling the profs in sooner.

    You go above and beyond to keep your horse, happy, healthy and sane - you do more and take more care of her than many in this world. Unfortunately for equine kind they are not all owned by such a kind & compassionate owner as yourself.

    Long may the progress continue, i for one cannot wait to hear what more adventures ye get up to now! :D

  3. Awwww She was a great patient! :) If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at christaveinotte@yahoo.ca. I have been treating horses since 1999 and have completed over 14 000 massages. Also, I have a valid passport and will travel! :) Take care.
    Christa Veinotte, RMT

  4. Christa worked on my boys and she did amazing things for them. I highly recommend her to anyone and everyone. My old guy looked forward to her visits every week and was visibly "ticked" off if she did not come out that week.