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, July 23, 2010

So much to say...

So much has been going on in the last couple of weeks – many times, I have tried to sit down and write about it, but I can’t seem to get my heart into it.

Wednesday of last week (the 14th), I had my first lesson with my new coach, who comes to my place to work with Bronwyn and I. She has started many a horse and carried a very successful Appaloosa breeding program and competed at the National level with her horses. I have known her my entire life (actually, I have my existence to owe to her as she was the one who introduced my mother to my father!), and enjoy her company and value her opinion. The lesson went very well. At the end of it, both Bronwyn and I had relaxed significantly and both of us were moving pretty well – Bronwyn with her head down, relaxed, carrying herself even on a loose rein. We worked on getting her off the forehand, balancing out some transitions (because she rushes quickly into upward transitions), and other things. I am also trying out a new-to-me wide saddle on trial. So far so good, but things have been so hectic the last week or so that I haven’t been able to ride in it more than 2 or 3 times.

That night after the lesson, I was preparing to drive my coach home on a road I have driven a million times before. My father kept insisting that he come, and I tried my hardest to get rid of him – all I wanted to do was analyze my ride with my coach the whole way… but I couldn’t get rid of him. It’s funny how, in retrospect, you see that things are the work of something much larger and more significant in this world than you are. As we were driving my coach home, we struck a large cow moose with our Dodge Caravan. My father was at the wheel, and had the foresight to drive defensively enough that we ended up with absolutely no injuries and very minimal damage to the vehicle (in fact, I drove it to work the next morning). Anyone who lives in an area that is populated with moose knows that there are few instances when someone walks away from a meeting with a moose. Believe in God or don’t believe in God, but it was no accident that my father insisted on coming and was at the wheel – I would not have been able to think quickly enough to hit her the way that he did, which saved our lives. If I had been driving, there may not have been anymore blog entries, ever.

I was reminded how lucky I actually was on Monday morning when I received a call at work informing me that our 4H club’s dairy leader was killed in an accident involving a moose early that morning. It happens that quickly. I, along with a plethora of other 4H leaders and members, not only in our club but across the province and into other provinces, even, was heartbroken. The past week has been very stressful – his oldest son is in my light horse project and was very close to his father – this has been extremely hard on him and his two sisters and brother, all of which were 13 and under.

This is an article about the kind of man that he was.

The rest of last week was spent kind of trying to get back on kilter. The funeral was yesterday. I was told this morning that I looked more like myself than I had all week. You just don’t realize how quickly it can happen.

So, while this isn’t “fat horse” related, ladies (and gentlemen who may be reading), please drive carefully, love deeply and appreciate life (and those around you who are important to you) to the fullest.


So, as many of you know, our forum is down.

The company that I hosted it with for free went under, it would seem. Unfortunately, there were no backups, and no chance of recovering old screen names or posts. I haven't had the time to be upset about it with a lot of things going on in my life at the moment, but I do have some exciting news to share:


And by that, I mean, we will be at www.afatgirlafathorse.com -- with our own forum so I can make backups and take care of any issues (AND choose whether or not we have ads, woot!)... the blog will also be hosted on our domain, and this will also allow us to move in some other directions with this whole thing. It's exciting, be excited!

It is happening soon -- it may take another week or two to work out design issues for the main page but the first thing I plan to do is get the forum up and running again, so that we can at least be able to chat while construction is going on.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Forum Woes...

Hey Ladies!

It looks like the forum is down, but don't despair! I am looking into things and will keep you all updated. You can check out the Facebook fanpage if you need to get your need to chat out! :)

Thanks for your patience!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The way that horses heal...

As discussed on The Land Before Time between Petrie and Duckie:

“I flyed?”
“No, you falled!”

Yep, I falled. It’s funny – I told my mom last night that I am almost relieved when I fall, because I know it’s going to happen eventually, and some people have falls once a week – I have been very fortunate in that area. I have fallen off of Bronwyn twice, including last night – May 2009 when she teleported out from underneath me when a cat levitated into a tree before her very eyes, and then last night, when my saddle slipped at the canter and, whoops!, I landed on my back on the ground. The worst part? Having enough time to realize I was falling, see my foot caught in the stirrup iron so I couldn’t kick out and even attempt to dismount in a way that was even fractionally graceful. I think it’s better to just land on the ground and see your horse hightailing it to the barn than to have time for the proverbial “OH SHIT, THIS IS GOING TO HURT!” moment.

I was also a little peeved that apparently I don’t know how to tighten a saddle up very much because when I fell, I had JUST gotten back on after dismounting to reposition the saddle after a wee bit of slipping. You would think that I would have made extra double sure to get it together, but I was so excited to get back to that magnificent canter work that we were doing that I didn’t think anything of it when my saddle felt like it “locked” into place when I put my foot in the stirrup to remount. Dumb, dumb, DUMB!

I like to think of every fall as a learning experience (which is why I kind of wish I would have more). So far, I have learned to watch out for other-worldly cats and always double tighten my cinch. Fair enough, right?

But the thing that really made me the happiest about the fall last night (I know, happy when you’re stiff as a 2 x 4, riiiiiiight.) was that it gave me the opportunity to spend some time ‘in touch’ with Bronwyn. She was quite warm still after I fell off, so I stripped the saddle and got on her bareback. She was rushy and anxious so I laid the reins over her neck and took a handful of mane and let her cool herself out at her own pace, in whichever direction she wanted to, and I let myself focus on just feeling the muscles in her body that move when she does certain things, letting my own body figure out how to move with hers in the most effective way, and just spending time with my hands on her, stroking her neck, speaking to her, and letting myself come down from the adrenaline pump of the fall. I spent time communing with my horse.

I think that I have expectations for myself and for her that make the both of us a little antsy and anxious sometimes. I get uptight, she gets uptight and I think I sometimes lose sight of my actual love for horses. I know I love horses, and that is an underlying current in everything I do but maybe I sometimes forget the REASON I love horses, which is the way they can make you humble… and the way that you can become fully in tune with them… the way their rules apply to your world and how you have to forget a lot of your rules to be able to communicate effectively with them. They don’t behave like people do – they don’t do things for personal gain or to make others feel bad. Their rules and laws are clear and simple and if we all applied a few more of them to the way we interact with other people, I think the world would be a happier place.

I am so interested in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and personal growth using equines and the lessons they teach us right now…I so firmly believe that horses heal and improve us… new career path to follow?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Just a note to say I feel like a dunce.

In my brain, I have had images of laminitis, long term treatments, chronic lameness and a pasture sound only mare over the last two or three days.

I soaked her last night because I figured it was an abcsess - or at least that was what I was determined to decide that it was because the other options were too scary and daunting. After that, I brought her out into the yard to take some pictures of her feet as some members on a forum I frequent wanted to see. She was MORE lame than before, so I figured "hey, abcsess is drawing out!". Squared her up to take some pictures of her (mostly to prove that she can't be obese enough to be laminitic - or that was my argument anyways), and then lifted the "bad foot" to brush it off and take a picture of the sole.

After some digging with my bare fingers, I discovered a small black crescent shaped rock lodged in the spot where her frog divides toward the heel. I had looked over her feet time and time again looking for something but never noticed it. The soak must have drawn it out a little - dug it out and there was a bit of a hole, so we're going to go aggressive to avoid any infection. Why did my farrier miss it? Because it appeared to be a natural part of her hoof! I missed it for days.

I've never been so relieved in my life! I was completely ready to pursue aggressive treatment for whatever lameness she had to figure out what was going on with her, etc. Boy am I ever glad I didn't call the vet out and run up a few hundred dollars' worth of diagnostics bills! Hopefully she will be right as rain within a few days - I'm going to keep soaking her to keep it clean and keep some dressing on the hole to avoid infection.

In the meantime, here is a picture of her *sad face* "Why do you torture MEEEEEEE?" last night while I was soaking her. Yes, there is too much water in there - I was trying to get the temperature right!

Monday, July 5, 2010


Yep, I am one!

I had the farrier out yesterday, which is always a treat. He is so patient and good with the horses - they are straighter with healthier looking feet than they have had in a long time, and Bronwyn LOVES him so it's a big bonus.

However, Ari is worrying me. She felt a little off when I rode her last week... but he didn't see anything when he got into her feet, and the hoof testers didn't turn anything up. No heat, no swelling, no visible or palpable bruising. I don't have a lot of experience with them but I think this might be an abcess working its way out?

What a pain in the butt - right when I have gotten up the courage to ride her and am so looking forward to riding her more, we're looking at time off! I am going to soak her and try to draw it out - if nothing comes out, I'm definitely going to go to the vet to pursue it further, because now I won't be satisfied with just having a pasture puff, now that I know how much fun she is!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Like a Proud Mama Hen

That's how I feel these days - I am practically bursting with pride! My day to day "horsey life" has accelerated significantly in the last couple of weeks due to... I have a buddy to ride with!

Last weekend, my sister and I helped my mom out at an App/Open show where she had her booth with her show clothes (we also got to see one of her beautiful intricate jackets get shown in, too!). This was actually the open show I had planned to bring Bronwyn to but then decided not to, so I was a little sad that I wasn't in the ring but I enjoyed watching and supporting riders that I used to ride with or know through the trade fair circuit we do. Anyways - my sister got bitten by the horse show bug - I mean, who wouldn't, with all of that gorgeous bling and leather and horses.... *floats off to a romantical place*

Oh, you're still here!

Anyways, after we came home from the show that day, my sister, Shay, asked me to give her a riding lesson (I know, I know, before anyone goes on about how I'm not qualified, etc...) and a showmanship lesson. She has this gorgeous little paint mare, Jessie, that she has had since she was a weanling - the two of them grew up together and they like to putter around... Shay doesn't like schooling as a general rule, she just wants to get on and RIDE and Jessie likes that, so there's no argument there. With that said, she just gets on and RIDES maybe two or three times a year.

Since that show (last Sunday), Shay has ridden three times. She's filled her yearly quota... but she doesn't want to stop!

I just wanted to share a few pictures from her rides this week.

We never rode bareback a lot as kids but now I feel like I get more bareback rides in than rides with saddles, and Shay is becoming addicted to that "zen" feeling, too! She cools out here mare after almost every ride bareback.

Yesterday, her mare was a little off. We put her away and then SHE suggested that she ride Bronwyn. I have been trying to get anyone and everyone to ride Bronwyn for me since I started her - mostly because she is a very "one person" horse and I think expanding her horizons is healthy for her and will help her later on in life if for some reason I can't keep her (I think someone would have to pry her from my cold dead hands, but you never know in this life!). Anyways, Shay has always been scared, I think - she has seen how Bronwyn sometimes likes to push my buttons and try to step out from under me and spook at foolish things and she doesn't feel secure enough in her seat to try to sit it out. So when SHE suggested she ride Bronwyn for her "lesson" instead, I jumped on that right quick! She was very nervous at first...

But then she settled in and really enjoyed herself, I think. She even asked to canter, which she did, and had this huge grin on her face and said "That was like riding a ROCKING CHAIR!". Bronwyn didn't place a foot wrong and overall, I think it was a super useful and productive session for the both of them. I couldn't be prouder!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Straying Slightly...

I STARTED this mare 4 years ago 75lbs heavier... and got, oh, a half dozen rides on her, and then stopped riding (lost her dam and wasn't riding at all) for a year... during that year, it got into my head that a draft or draft cross was all I was suitable to ride... I literally felt sick to my stomach going up to the riding ring today... what if I am still too heavy? What if she buckles under my weight? What if I hurt her? My sister told me to shut up and get on. LOL It felt AMAZING. I'm all choked up... this is the closest thing I have to my Angel and I have been denying myself the permission to even get close to her and spend time with her because of the weight. RIDONKULOUS. NEVER AGAIN.