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!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I remember...

It seems like as long as I can remember, it always comes down to me and my dad, and a horse.

I've made it no secret that my parents were the ones who fostered my great love of horses. I had a pony from the time I was old enough to sit on one alone, and before that, I spent enough time on the front of a saddle that I actually have a recollection of a real trail ride when I was about 2. My mother and father took a lot of pride in the breeding and training operation that they ran and we always had good, sound, sane horses and a steady guiding hand. Together, they supported us, but I have more than a handful of memories of my dad and I and a horse.

My dad is a fine horseman. He has just the right touch of "cowboy" to look at things logically and get them done when it comes to a horse. He is compassionate and though he hates to admit it, cares very deeply about our animals - he'll hate for me to admit it - but I have seen the tears in his eyes with every dog young and old that we have put down in the last ten years. He is an excellent father - he will let you make your own mistakes, learn your own lessons, and be there at the end to make sure you got the lesson straight, and comfort you when you've made a mess. My dad would give the shirt off his back or all of his waking hours to help a neighbour and if I someday have children who have a father who is even half of the man that my father is, I will be a blessed woman.

My father and I are more alike than we like to think. We are both fairly sociable animals, both of us are a little bit emotional. We both can have the patience of Job at some aspects of our lives and absolutely no patience in other areas. It frustrates the both of us when someone or something does (or doesn't do) something because they "should know better". The first place either of us will usually go to cool down after an argument or a blow out or when we're just feeling down is the barn.

And so I remember... I remember when I was 16 and my father who had been a trucker and only sporadically present most of my childhood came home off the road and tried to step immediately into an authoritative father role and I balked at the idea, and we finally came to see eye to eye across the withers of my old sorrel gelding, Boots. I cried a lot of tears into Boots' mane when we were struggling to understand one another, and so it was fitting that we figured things out with Boots standing between us.

I remember when I was 20 and my Angel was dying and we both knew it and we stood in front of her stall and he watched me say my last goodbye to her and he ushered me into the house so that I didn't have to see her final painful moments. I remember him standing in the doorway of my bedroom while I cried and cried with her silly poofy pony forelock that I hated so much - I don't think he knows how much grief that little braid of hair got me through after losing her. I remember him telling me that "everything happens for a reason" and me resenting that for over a year... until Bronwyn came into my life and I began to realize what a profound role she would play in my life.

I remember when I first got Bronwyn and we tied her for the first time so I could give her a good grooming and he stood with me while I painstakingly combed tangles out of her tail while trying not to move too quickly and frighten her. When he tied her in her straight stall for the first time, when he held her so I could swing my leg over her for the first time, when he later told me that he had had his concerns about her hurting me but that first time that she let me sit on her and I sat there with confidence, that he would never doubt the mare again. When he hauled me to our first trail ride, and then our first horse show and when he rode shotgun with her while I tried to figure out how to pull a trailer with a horse in it for the first time. When he played doting groom and ribbon holder at the quarter horse show and held her for me at our first trail ride and tried to play nice even though the two of them are not the best of friends.

I remember when I first doubted being able to ride as an overweight rider. When my dad said "stop worrying and just ride", when he reminded me "you're not going to hurt that horse". My daddy is many things, but he is not a liar. He may have had to say it to me a million times, but eventually - I believed him. It is largely because of him that I began to write this blog at all.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Favourites: Maya Angelou

I can't even remember where or when, but somewhere, once upon a time, someone on the internet pointed me in the direction of this incredible poem by the beautiful, inspirational, strong Maya Angelou, and while it doesn't have anything to do with riding, it has a lot to do with how I choose to think about myself and the life that I try to live. At the time that it was shown to me, it was something that I really needed. I printed it out and it hangs on the wall of my bedroom so it is the first thing that my eyes go to when I get out of bed. Sometimes I say the best bits aloud to remind myself of exactly what I deserve, who I am, and where I am going.

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Happy Friday, ladies. I have been working on a "real" blog entry for some time now but Friday always seems to sneak up first! LOL Working on it, I promise!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday Favourite: Soft, silky foals...

So! Those of you who are on the Facebook Fanpage are aware of this already, but the horse, Robin, that we bought from Wyoming in the fall foaled this week! She was a little bit early (a few weeks) and there was some touch and go time at the beginning where she just COULD NOT figure out the nursing thing but she is slurping and sassy as ever, now.

She is truly a blessing. We have called her "Serenity" - my mother wanted to call her Patience but I think Serenity is a little more suitable, and it will be hilarious when she's a grown up "red mare" type of spitfire with a name like Serenity.

So without further ado, because I know that all you come here for is pictures... welcome Serenity - out of Perpetualized Kid and by Hot Scotch Te Go.

There will be better pictures after this weekend when she takes her first trip out into the pasture, I expect! Happy weekend, everyone - I have another blog post coming soon!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Favourites: Spanish Norman Horses

I don't think it's any secret that I am drawn to the "war horse" archetype when it comes to horses - I mean... look at mine!

I have also always been a fan of the Baroque breeds, with Andalusians topping the list. You can see where this is going, right?

If money were no issue, I would have a barn full of these:

(okay, so I can't imbed the image, but follow the link below to see the gallery)

(You can see the full gallery here. Get a tissue ready for drool wiping!)

Seriously. If any of you loyal readers out there ever win the lottery, think of me. :)