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 13, 2018

Day 3

Day 3 [I promise these won't all be this long, some will be 'we lunged for 10 minutes. there were bugs. the end.']
IT TURNS OUT that my hypothesis that I would do better if I was accountable to an audience was correct.
(By the way, thank you all so much for all the kind comments and encouragement last night on my post. I stayed up WAY TOO LATE reading them and trying to respond to every one, and then my child woke up 4 times between 1:30 and 5:30 am...)
... which leads me to... I wasn't going to work her today. I have an overnight shift tonight and do a lot of prep (including a nap) during the day prior. I wasn't exactly energetic this morning before the day started getting warmer. BUT... I thought about all the comments from last night, all the people who are 'glad to see me' and I changed out of my nightgown and even put on a bra (!!) and went to the barn. (Don't mind the stain on my shirt, this is Life With Toddler lol).
We did the same as the last 2 days -- 5 minutes in each direction, any speed. I walked in place for at least 8 of those minutes. There was less trotting today. We might be sore/becoming aware of our muscles, or it might have been the heat. It was 23C but neither Bronwyn nor I love the heat (I also don't love the cold, but I'm pretty sure B is part yak).
I just wanted to talk for a minute about fear, as it specifically pertains to my situation. We talked about it a bit in the comments last night.
I often tell people B is 'squirrely'. She's hyperaware of her surroundings and is the type to leap first and ask questions later. I know that about her. I think that is part of what is intimidating me about riding, especially at this fitness level. I can say a lot of other stuff (and I will, on another day) about making time for what you love, and excuses, priorities, and self care. But at the very deep bottom of this, there is this:
I am a mother and someone depends on me not to be hurt. If I'm hurt (or God forbid, worse), there's a kid that needs me. And yeah, it's better now that I don't have to carry him everywhere, but at the end of the day, somebody's gotta drive the car to the splash pad and make his cheese sandwiches and while I have a very engaged parenting partner and extra help from my parents, a very significant part of the time, that somebody is me. I already have all that weird mom guilt that comes with doing anything that takes away from the enriching engagement that a lot of moms strive for - like when he's independently exploring the variety of toys he has while I write or do admin stuff for my author job - an injury or time out of commission that is 'self inflicted' feels worse, somehow. Selfish, maybe? Because I did it while I was doing something leisurely, a hobby that's just for me?
I think a big component of my fear is that I just haven't been spending as much time as I used to with Bronwyn, so it feels like I'm out of touch with 'who she is', so to speak. I used to never sweat falling off because I knew it was inevitable -- I tell people she's 'predictably unpredictable' and that's how we get along -- but I feel like I'm out of touch with her nuances since it seems all I do is turn out, muck, bring in, hold for trimmers these days. I'm interested to see how that progresses as we move through this.
Thanks for being along for the ride!
Amanda & Bronwyn

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Day 1 & 2

(Check out my FB page where all this stuff gets posted. I am copy posting everything to the blog for reference/timeline/retrospect, but it'll always be on the Facebook page first, because I had overwhelming response that people would prefer to see our journey chronicled there. I just can't let go of a blog. LOL.)

Day 1 & 2
Ride by my birthday; Countdown: 70 days
I'm going to try to post daily. Definitely easier that way.
So, in October it will have been 3 years since I rode. Wild, right? First pregnancy kicked my butt and then winter, and then the rest kind of got away from me and here we are, with my kid turning 2 in September. So it's time for me to do some things I want to do, return to my roots, and benefit from the whole reason we bought this property in the first place -- to have my horses nearby so I can do stuff with them!
(ICYMI, I got married in October 2015, found out I was pregnant in January 2016, bought a house in April 2016, had my baby in September 2016, and here we are. In the last 4 years, I've also built a (small but exciting) career as a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary western romance as my alter ego Amity Lassiter, Romance Author, which started in September 2014. So that's the down and dirty of the last few years.)
Anyways, Bronwyn and I have reached critical mass (har har). I think the both of us are as unfit and chubby as we've ever been and it's time for that to change. I'm not the only one in this partnership who enjoys working together; Bronwyn loves being in regular work, and despite being in my backyard for 2 years now, she hasn't gotten any of that. So here we are.
Through the blog, I've always encouraged everyone to ride a suitable horse at whatever weight. So I feel a bit hypocritical saying I feel too heavy to ride right now -- truthfully, it's not even that, really -- it's fitness. I've *always* talked about fitness over weight loss, and right now, the idea of tacking up and going for a ride feels like overwhelmingly too much work -- like I'd be too tired from struggling into breeches and boots, tacking up, and warming up, to even execute any kind of ride, nevermind carry out my duties as a mother, wife, and keeper of the house, afterwards. So that's where *I* am working from.
B is working from three years since she was last ridden and longer still since she's been in any kind of shape besides 'round and jiggly'. Yes, she's cresty. Yes, she's creaky. She is definitely in desperate need of losing weight. So we're working from that point for her. Plus, I don't think her saddle would fit her right now.
I'd like to get on by my birthday, September 20th. That's 70 days. I think it's doable (I didn't say it had to be a hunter pace, lol). Just a little plod around.
I'll have to work around naptimes and heat waves and writing deadlines and day job, but I hope that by posting it, I'll feel more accountable and keep going.
So day 1 -- it was nice and not too hot when I went to turn the horses out for the night (they stay in out of the heat and bugs during the day) so I decided to lunge Bronwyn. 5 minutes in each direction. A couple of trot circles, but then beyond that just walking, forward motion at the speed that she chose, as long as it was forward. I set a timer. She was done by the end. 
Day 2 -- the same again. 5 minutes in each direction. A tiny bit of trotting and then mostly walking. She didn't even get warm, so I'm not too worried. But we're both going to start slow. For my benefit, I marched in place for the last five minutes. I kid you not, it was tiring enough -- that's how out of shape I am!
Tomorrow, I start a round of night shifts, so I'll have to get creative. I'll probably do a midday or morning work out tomorrow and then do mornings right when I get home the next couple of days. We will probably take Monday off because I get ~4 broken hours of sleep between Sunday at 4 and Monday night at bedtime.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, horse, sky and outdoorImage may contain: horse, sky, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: horse, sky, outdoor and nature Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sky, horse, outdoor and nature