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!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why It's OKay To Be Fat

I sometimes feel like I have two different personalities.

The first one looks at herself in the mirror and says "You are good. You are beautiful. You are worthy. Your value is not measured by the number in the back of your pants or on the scale. This body is a good body." This one strides confidently through the grocery store in breeches and tall boots and a little bit of horse snot on my shirt. She gets on her big horse and goes into the woods for a couple of hours and doesn't think there is a thing wrong with it. This one feels confident and in control when she is only wearing a bra and panties (or less, even!) in front of her boyfriend.

The first one doesn't care what other people thinks, she thinks she is pretty awesome. When people talk about seeing "gross" people on the street, she gets indignant and shouts from the rooftops that as long as she is healthy, it is not HER responsibility to be attractive enough for someone else's eyes. She thinks that she would be just fine in a bikini at her glorious current 256lbs at the beach and sometimes she thinks about not shaving her legs.

That one gets to exist for a vast majority of the time. She writes this blog, in fact. I would say probably 80% of the time, she is alive and kicking, and happy.

The second one trips her whenever she gets the chance. Fortunately, the first one is pretty sure-footed and usually just keeps trucking - but once in a while... once in a while, she lands on her knees and the second personality jumps on her back and holds her down.

The second one doesn't seem that bad on first glance. She almost seems like she is helpful, at first - trying to look out for her own best interests. She wouldn't want anyone to be embarrassed. She will look at herself in the mirror and say "You're alright, but you would look really good if you lost another 40lbs." She goes out to eat and thinks to herself "You should pick a healthier food choice - because even though you've been eating well for the last x days and this is a time for a treat of something you enjoy, those people watching you are going to make assumptions about your level of health and motivation." - sometimes when she is at the gym or otherwise working out, she reminds herself that people are probably judging her for "getting to the state you're in" in the first place, and criticising her form. Sometimes, in those cases, she thinks it might just be better to not exercise because then people can't criticize her silently in their minds.

She doesn't think she should go to the beach in a bikini because "nobody needs to see that", and she hesitates before she undresses for bed with her boyfriend in the same room because "what if he doesn't find this body attractive after two and a half years?". She gets on the scale obsessively, several times per day, sometimes, to see if she has lost even an ounce - because that, that is success - more than her physical fitness or good food choices or overall health - and when she has, she celebrates, and when she doesn't, she says "you are going to try harder" - she sometimes uses the mantra "hard work. dedication." when she fails to make herself feel like when she fails she has been lazy and undedicated.

She sometimes operates under the guise of self love but at the end of the day, the only thing that comes out of her mouth is criticism. She just wants to fit in - to fly under the radar and not experience any critical eyes, and she is her own worst enemy.

And when I read about Health At Every Size and Radical Self Love and Healthy Is The New Skinny, the first personality embraces it, rolls in it, RUNS with it. She loves it - she thrives on the idea that if she takes care of herself, and she doesn't lose weight, that is perfectly okay. The second one says "but what will people think?". She has read too many trash magazines bashing this actress or another for gaining TEN POUNDS. She has heard too much talk about the "obesity epidemic", and the tricks and turns you can make to be skinny - like skinny is the only thing worth being (I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it, it just ain't gonna happen for this body!). She worries that if she lets the first personality take over completely and doesn't qualify her existence with excuses about how she is "working on it" or "losing weight" then people will think she is lazy or slovenly or that she doesn't try hard enough or care about herself - when we both know, in reality, that letting the first personality take over is caring about herself.

And that is just how those two personalities feel about the physical - the emotional is a WHOLE 'nother story.

I have been training the first personality - she was not so sure footed before. The division of time I spent being one personality or the other used to be a lot more even - more like 50/50, and for a brief part of my late teens and early twenties, it was more like 20/80 in favour of the second personality. The problem is that the first personality is not  invincible all of the time. She doesn't pay as much attention, but she does see the trash magazines and the media, she hears society telling her she is lesser because she is greater from time to time. Most of the time, she can ignore it, but sometimes it distracts her and that is when the second personality finds it so easy to trip her up. So when I found this video, my first personality took heed.


I found this gem on a friend's Facebook profile today, and I think it's brilliant. I think this needs to be mandatory viewing.


  1. It is the 2nd personality that usually breaks out for me.
    I like the idea of "body love" but the problem I have is there are things I want to do but can't because I'm too big! I would love to go horseback riding again, but the horse I was riding is now too old and off limits for me. I have not found another stable for me to ride at, and I can't afford to buy my own.
    I would love to do zip line, but again, weight limit. Rides at parks, oops don't fit.
    How do I work around that?

  2. I have just found your blog and after 20 years with no horses ( I grew up eventing) and realizing I no longer have the body for the pants, it is refreshing to see someone who has the same two personalities I have. I do also have some confidence issues and a few relearning riding issues to work through but feel as though the last half of my life should be lived at least partly on the back of a big, fat, beautiful animal. You are inspiring. As one fat girl to another, you go girl and your fat horse too!

  3. I just found your blog and am so happy! I'm a 34-year-old re-rider at a stable with lots of itty bitty things, and it is so hard not to develop a complex even though no one has mentioned my weight. I am trying to lose a bit just through getting back in shape, but I will never be skinny, and I really identify with the warring halves of myself - being O.K. with being fat but then not *really* being O.K. with it. I think getting back to riding has actually really helped with my self-acceptance, because it's something physical that *I can do* which is kind of amazing. Anyway, thank you for writing!

  4. There is another common thread here: health. I love your blog and your message, and while physical fitness has merit when discussing riding I think some "body positive" people are missing a piece of the puzzle. Even if someone is not healthy (whether it be by choice or something like SES or disability) that is still not a valid reason to judge another human. The "as long as I'm healthy..." mindset does not necessarily need to be the reason you decide that others can arbitrarily decide your worth based on your outward appearance.