Advice: friend too heavy for horse - Page 7 - The Horse Forum
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post #61 of 71 Old 02-23-2013, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Just thought of something.....a change of direction. Get her interested in driving. She can help with buying the harness and a cart. Horses take to driving (pulling) like ducks to water. In order to use your horse she has to provide full care when she's out, everything you would be doing, feeding, stall mucking, bedding, picking hooves, etc. The exercise will help tone her muscles. Of course she will have to walk behind the horse to teach him the preliminaries before he's hooked up to the cart.
I like that idea. And if she can meet up with a person or group that drives, maybe she can work off lessons or gear with them, since money is tight for her.
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post #62 of 71 Old 02-23-2013, 12:11 PM
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I'm a husky rider as well and was close to 300 when I first stared taking lessons as 14. The trainers flat out told me my butt wasn't going to be in a saddle until it fit in a saddle. It was the encouragement I needed to lose the weight and be healthier. So while you're worried about hurting her feelings it could also encourage her to put a bit more effort into losing it. I've had to turn away a few people before and although it sucked, I had to keep the horses in mind.

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post #63 of 71 Old 02-23-2013, 12:19 PM
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Tessa7707...How is it going with your friend?

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #64 of 71 Old 02-23-2013, 12:48 PM
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I would like to add just a slight twist to this. You are a business owner and your horse is your capital. You would have to make this decision about appropriate weight and fitness anyway to screen clients. This conundrum with your friend has prompted you to define your horses current limits. I would talk to her in person about it and share with her what you have decided on this issue based on farrier, vet, and your own knowledge of your horses limits.

I bet your friend will surprise you with her response. Sometimes our dread of a situation makes it worse. My old friend and mentor who passed 2 years ago used to say "swallow the frog first thing in the morning." He was right about that!
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post #65 of 71 Old 02-23-2013, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Here's an update. We met today and I told her she wouldn't be riding Breezie, that I'm putting her on light duty but that we have a bunch of other stuff we can do. I explained everything with her issues and weight limitations and she took it rather well, and I think I didn't a pretty good job of letting her know it was mostly due to the horse's condition and size. We got to talking with another boarder, who has very fit, healthy, bigger horses and he invited me to go trail riding at this camp/trail head, and he turned to her and asked her if she had a horse. She said no, and he said "well, then, you can ride one of mine" she got so happy, I thought she was going to cry. Until then, we're going to be ground driving, lunging, and a bunch of other stuff. We went over anatomy today, and lunged another horse in the round pen. She got to go out and hang out with horses in the pasture, and she was loving it. So much has been going wrong in her life lately, her cat passed away, which might not seem like such a huge deal, but this cat was her baby, she loved him, and he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in a period of a couple months, she just found out her boyfriend is seeing someone else, all of her family lives in England. I do think that me telling her she couldn't ride my horse was a blow to her self esteem, even if she wasn't showing it. We did a lot of talking today, and at one point she was just so down on herself and I said "you know, the world is going to knock you down more times than you'd care to count, so don't do it to yourself" we set up a time for her to come out every week and get her pony fix and work with horses. She was in such a great mood when she left. All in all, I think it went well, it was still really hard, but I'm glad it went the way it did.
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post #66 of 71 Old 02-23-2013, 10:11 PM
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Glad to hear it went fairly well, Tessa.
You're probably right in the sense that it did bother her, she just didn't show it. I'm the same way. I deal with things on my own until I'm really called out or until I explode.
I would let her know, though, that if she does need any help or encouragement if she wants to lose weight, that you'll be there to help her.
Even if you guys take two yearlings for a walk (if you have time, of course, I have no idea what your schedule is like) a couple days a week, that will help. :)
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post #67 of 71 Old 02-24-2013, 01:30 AM
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You are a good friend. I'm sure she appreciates it.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #68 of 71 Old 02-24-2013, 02:55 AM
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being kind was the best way to go. You got her to understand, and the kind person at your barn was a blessing in disguise. Hopefully she will continue on the weight loss and if she finds food as comfort it will be hard. Offer to go on walks with her, or to go grab dinner once a week, salads etc. I have always had to watch my weight , smell food and gain ten pounds.. lol.. So remember to be kind to her, especially when it looks like she is not dropping a pound. It is very frustrating to 'diet' and not drop weight.
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post #69 of 71 Old 02-24-2013, 08:51 AM
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She will learn that it's not always about riding as she spends more time with horses and learns their individual traits. A friend, who'd nursed her mother during her last six months, was falling in to depression. After the funeral it began to worsen until she could barely function. She had always wanted a horse and they did have an empty barn. One day a trailer pulled into the yard and she met her new horse. She spent hours with it just being with it. Within weeks she felt her heart lighten and she began to partake of chores and feeding. In hindsight she acknowledges that the horse played a huge part in her recovery, how, she has not idea but she's smart enough to not try to figure it out. It just did.
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post #70 of 71 Old 02-24-2013, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by stevenson View Post
So remember to be kind to her, especially when it looks like she is not dropping a pound. It is very frustrating to 'diet' and not drop weight.
Also keep in mind muscle weighs more than fat and you do tighten up as you get fitter. To me it's more motivating to keep track of how your clothes fit than judging progress by how much you weigh

We grow too soon old, and too late smart.
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