For anyone whose mind just did a double take when I said I was a fat girl who rides horses, my fat horse and I are here to change the way you think. For anyone whose mind just took a wistful trip down through their childhood memories in which they once rode horses but now feel they are too fat to do so, my fat horse and I are here to change the way you think. And for anyone whose mind did an acknowledging little nod and said "Mhmm, you go girl!", I am here to celebrate with you.
When I sat down to write my first blog entry for this blog on November 29th, 2009, I didn't know what to expect. I knew that I was taking a foray into waters that have, in the past, been controversial, so it could have ended up in one of two ways - I would receive copious amounts of backlash due to my content, or I would receive accolades. I knew from the beginning that there would be few out there who would be impartial to the things I would be saying - there would be either hate or love and one would certainly outweigh the other.
I did not know that there was a whole community of ladies (and some men!) out there who could relate to the things that I was saying. A supportive, wonderful, funny, talented, knowledgeable base of women who were already doing the things they loved without worrying about what others would say. I did not know that there was a whole community of ladies (and some men!) who would need the encouragement that I would provide, that would take the words that I would type and let them bolster their confidence and help them to do things that they may not have otherwise done, like get back into the saddle, start taking riding lessons at a public barn, or purchase their first horse in years.
So many things have come of this blog - so many positive things, that may not have happened without it - and I have benefited from it as well. I have developed more courage, more confidence and more character as a result of this blog. I have felt more love, shared more joy, and celebrated more successes of others as a result of this blog. I feel comfortable, excited and happy to share photos of myself, and I think there are others out there who feel the same way now, too.
I was reminded of why I started writing this blog in March, when I went to visit with my dear friend, Carina, and helped her rediscover the joy of riding. (I have to say, I was also pretty spoiled on this aspect because I got to ride a great horse and enjoy the lovely weather while doing it!)
I "met" the amazing Suzanne Wild, who wrote a guest blog for us, of Fuller Fillies who is facing the same potential for controversy that I do in writing my blog by creating her clothing line.
I have had many a personal revelation that aren't always horse related to share with my readers.
We developed the Forum where someone posted words that completely made my heart swell a couple of weeks ago - "I feel safe here." This is exactly what I had been hoping for, exactly what I had envisioned in beginning to share my journey with everyone. The forum has become a tight knit, supportive community for those who are foraying out for the first time into the world of horses, or who want to get back into it, or who are living it to the fullest. We encourage a community of respect and honesty and so far, have done well. I love those girls and there are parts of each of them that I aspire to be more like.
I love writing this blog. I love hearing the stories, receiving the emails, photos, and feedback from people who are living differently now or who are feeling differently about themselves. It is heartening to me to know that by simply sharing my fat horse with the world, that others are seeing things in a different light. This blog makes me feel safe.
So, a year later, Bronwyn and I want to thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts for the support, encouragement, and sometimes even the criticism to take a second look at what I am doing and how I am doing it and change things. Here's to many more years just like this one has been!