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 10, 2012

Full Disclosure


I'm Amanda. I am 27 years old and I have been what most would call "fat" (with a varying tone of disdain depending on who you are, I guess) for just about my whole life. I was born 10lbs 11oz, and at my highest, I weighed 325lbs. I have enjoyed horses my entire life.

My job makes me deskbound (I am tied to a phone, quite literally), but just about every day, without fail, I walk my dog for a minimum of 2 kilometers (sometimes 4 or 6), I ride my bike at a speed of roughly 10 miles/hr over about 4 miles (with hills and flats), and two or three times a week, ride a baroque-style horse for 40-90 minutes (and work up a sweat). At 260lbs, I ran a 5K race and finished in about 43 minutes.

I eat when I am hungry (surprise), and sometimes when I am bored. Rarely when I am sad. Most days, I eat a salad for lunch (and I'm not talking about a McDonald's salad with breaded chicken and cheese, although I do, sometimes (gasp!) eat McDonalds when I am hungry). I really enjoy ice cream, frozen yogurt and baked goods, though the first and last in that list, I try not to purchase very often, because then I will eat it!

Right now, my body seems to have settled right around the 250 mark. I wear a 1XL shirt and size 18-20 jeans, depending on the cut.
My horse is a 7 year old draft cross of some variety that I have ridden in varying stages of weight (her and myself!). She might be 15hh if she is a day, and almost as wide as she is tall. I have no idea how much she weighs. I ride in a size 36 or 40 breech, but would probably be more comfortable in a 38 (I just haven't bitten the bullet to buy a pair yet!), and depending on the saddle, an 18-19" seat. I am not an expert rider, by any stretch of the imagination.

She has never taken a lame step in her life (*knock on wood*!). We have recently begun to see a chiro/massage therapist. We run the gamut on saddles as her body seems to be constantly changing. I have no idea what her life was like - physically - before she came to me - all I know is that she foaled somewhere, lost the foal, and was physically emaciated. She is a dominant mare in the pasture and likes to put chase to the other horses when she can.

When I was in grade school, I once sat on a porch swing that was jimmy rigged with twine on one end at a child's birthday party. It broke on the end I sat on, of course, and the children teased me mercilessly about my weight afterwards. Nevermind that there were five children on the swing... I cried on my own after I left the birthday party.

In 2005, I went to London, England - probably weighing roughly 275-290lbs (can't remember for sure!) and my girlfriend and I were out on the town for the evening. As we walked by a man standing on a stairway smoking, he said "hey biggie" under his breath and touched my bare arm with the cherry of his cigarette. Even my traveling partner did not know about this.

A few years ago, I put the first ride on my mother's then-six year old stallion. I was very proud of myself, and him. He was 15.2hh and a solid, well built guy (if anyone is familiar, he is an own son of RH Mr Imprint), and went blind in one eye as an adult horse. I posted the pictures from the first ride and was told that I was overloading him. I allowed myself to believe, even if for a brief time, that I was too heavy to ride any horse, not just this one. I almost made up my mind not to ride any horse, at all, anymore.

I have never - no, not once, been inspired to lose weight or learned something new by someone saying to me that I was fat (with the level of disdain you would imagine), or that I should "eat less, move more", or the favourite - "it's simple - consume less calories than you burn". Though I have lost approximately 75lbs over the course of the last several years, it has never been that simple. Never. And I have never "sat on the couch stuffing my face with Doritos and ice cream". Never.

I have never assumed that someone was naturally skinny because they are anorexic, because they had an unhealthy addiction to exercise, or hated food. I dislike using the terminology "skinny" rider - but have on occasion referenced "average sized" riders. I would never imagine calling someone skinny - to their face, or in their absence, on the internet or in person anything derogatory relating to their physical appearance, whether they were being cruel or not -- though I may have a few choice words about their personality!

I have also never considered myself to be superior to someone who weighed less merely based on the number on the scale. In fact, let me just state, that in the last couple of years, I have not considered myself, either, to be an inferior being to someone who weighed less.

My body is my body, in whatever state that it is, and my fundamental value as a human being is not tied to the number that appears on the scales when I step on them, that is printed on the back of my pants, or stamped under the flap of my saddle. It's the same with your body, believe it or not.

I use this blog to catalogue my adventures and progress with Bronwyn, and encourage others to live their lives at whatever stage they are at. I encourage other plus sized people to ride horses that are suitable for them, for periods of time that both the horse and rider can physically handle.

There. Now maybe you can look at a picture of me riding, a snapshot in time, and judge what is going on.

I want to thank all of you for reading the blog. I want you all to know that you are not any less human for carrying a few (or several, or too many - however you want to describe it!) extra pounds, and do not allow any other person, real or "internet persona" to make you believe otherwise. I want you to be healthy, and strong, and I don't want you to stop living your life because someone makes you feel bad about it.

B & Me


  1. You're awesome and so brave for putting that out there. You probably have no idea how helpful your words are to other people who are above what the world considers an ideal weight. I too am 'fluffy' and the older I get the less I care what people think, the more comfortable I am with how I look. The world is very superficial and materialistic and it values the completely wrong things. People are more than what they look like and it truly is more important what's on the inside than the outside. Your blog is wonderful. I hope you keep writing it. I'll keep reading.

  2. It's very well written and done Amanda! If it wasn't for the ladies on the forum and especially you for putting the forum together- I'd probably not ride and I would have kept just some pasture ornament horses or get mini's and drive- but never ride again because I am fluffy!

  3. Very Well written and Inspiring to us "above average" people! While I don't ride or own at the moment; I did while in high school. I've always been over 200lbs; and have struggled with my self image. Thanks to reading your posts, I am becoming more confident in myself, and worrying less about that number on the scale! Thanks for being so brave, and Thanks a million for the inspiration!!!

  4. What a gorgeous photo! Pretty girl, pretty horse, pretty Fall day. Truly lovely.

  5. Wonderful post! I applaud your honesty and your wisdom. I, too, am a plus-size rider and your posts are inspirational.

  6. Thank you for posting this! I really want to get back into riding,i stopped after my instructor told me i was too big for all of his horses, i have since lost 100lbs and though i am still overweight i am thinking about taking the risk of finding a nicer place to start riding again.

  7. Wonderfully inspiring post as always Manda!