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, November 29, 2013

AFG&AFH Is 4 Years Old Today!

It is hard not to feel blessed out the wazoo today.

On top of being it being the Thanksgiving celebrations (I was definitely craving turkey yesterday!) for our US friends, yesterday, I celebrated my 3 year anniversary with G. I have talked about him a few times through the blog but I don't know if I've ever communicated just how awesome he is, how much he "gets" me, and how supportive he is (even though he is not even an inkling a "horse person"). And then today, four years ago today, I wrote my very first blog entry: The Beginning Is A Good Place To Begin. Since then, there have been over 200 blog entries written, over 2300 fans on Facebook and almost a quarter of a million independent views.

I had no inkling then what this blog would become, and I can't honestly say if I knew then how it would come about if I would have done anything differently. I have had my lows and my highs and my readership has been through them all with me. I have grown so significantly as a person - both as a direct result of the friendships I have made and stories I have heard through the readership and through the research and reading I have done online about body positivity and acceptance - things I didn't even know really existed when I started the blog. Yes, I have even grown through the (relatively small amount of) negative feedback that I have gotten.

When I started writing, I did know a few things -

1) I was a fat girl riding a horse
2) the online equestrian community (at least at that time and what I had been exposed to) was largely not in favour of fat girls riding horses
3) I was not the only fat girl riding horses
4) I wanted to write about it because people didn't talk about it and I wanted others to know they weren't alone
5) the response was either going to not exist or be terrible.

I could not have anticipated the way that people would respond to the blog, and pretty much every single day, I feel like I am not worthy or qualified to have your ear. I regularly get emails and messages asking for advice and support, and sometimes am so overwhelmed that I can't reply to all of them, and the ones I do reply to, I feel like I am not an expert on any topic (I'm really not) and would be better off directing people to other venues to get their information (for the record, when I can divert someone to someone more qualified, I do, but how do you qualify someone's expertise on existing as a fat person in a world dominated by a different body shape?). I have had opportunities to learn how to be kinder, how to be tougher, and more professional. I have, from my online family community on the forum, learned many things about how to deal in day to day not-horse-related life. I've gotten riding tips, and horse management tips and enjoyed spreading the word in person as frequently as I could.

I changed from someone who secretly wanted to be different than the "fat girl" to someone who loved herself completely in whichever state that I was in, and who, in turn, could then love someone else completely. And I don't think that I could have done that without writing this blog - so as much as it was FOR all of you, and as much as it IS for all of you, it has also been for me. It has been for the girl who always used to qualify her very existence by tagging on "but I'm losing weight", and the girl who would tell people "we are all works in progress", but in her mind knew that was about losing weight, not about developing personally, the girl who pined after the things she wanted but never went out and got them because she didn't think she deserved them. This blog has been for the girl who was shy to go out in public, who worried what other people would think about her, who thought she could stay that girl forever - the one who thought if she lost weight, her life would magically be better and she would be happier - the one who put off things "until the right time" but really meant "until I lose the weight".

It has also been for the new girl that has emerged over the last four years - the one who no longer feels the need to qualify her existence for anyone, who can truly and genuinely say that she is happy, who understands motivation and seizing the day and not being afraid to speak her mind, the one who (kind of, secretly) enjoys the look on someone's face when she suggests that maybe not every body is meant to fit into the same silhouette and that maybe there is more to life than being thin or losing weight. It's for that girl who can be called names like "fat cow" and "buttered pig" and lift her head high because she knows her truth, and that those words and opinions speak volumes about the other person and absolutely not a thing about her.

I hope that the last four years has done something like this for you, too.

1 comment:

  1. I just discovered your blog and I love it - so inspirational! Looking forward to reading more!