I read this forum quite often so in the end I decided to sign up, too.
As the title says, I am from the small and unknown country of Lithuania, which is situated in the northern part of Europe.
I'm 28 years old, and have been riding for about 16 years. Most of them were spent in professional training - every day in the stables, 8am till 8pm, riding up to 10 horses, competing in jumping, working for a member of the National SJ team, preparing young horses for competitions, etc.
Then after a serious back injury my 'pro career' halted, and I turned my attention to training horses and riders - something I've always wanted to do. I still rode, but much less, and couldn't do a lot of jumping or even sitting trot because of the condition of my spine.
So since around 2006 I have been establishing myself as a trainer/instructor, and have studied and worked in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, and, of course, Lithuania.
In 2011 my son was born, and I was off riding for the longest period ever! It's been almost 2 years, and I am only back in the saddle now - or rather trying to get back in to it which has proven rather difficult because of the weight gain and some physical problems and surgeries which I had in the past two years.
The most difficult thing is that in the past 4 years I have literally doubled in size... In 2008 I weighed around 65kg which is around 135lbs, and today I weigh around 270lbs... In the equestrian world it is not easy being the fat girl! Especially in my country where most people are size 0, and I have NEVER met ANYONE of my stature riding horses here in LT. Luckily enough my reputation means I still have a lot of riders and am asked to travel round the country for lessons, however, I seriously limits my ability to get back in to the ridden part of my job. The people at my stable are amazing friends, and I've never heard a word from them, but I do get stares from strangers even when I teach others, they probably think 'what does this fattie know about riding, her ass is the size of a tractor'.
It's not easy losing weight for me now because my metabolism has been slowed down as a result of the meds I'm on, and it also makes me crave food. Doesn't help that I'm a comfort eater and have depression - so every time I feel bad - I eat It's hard but I'm hoping to reach at least 220 to begin with, so that at least I don't feel and look so ridiculous.
Well I've been rambling on for too long now, so I'll stop If you want to read more about me check out my website which is on my profile, I've also posted some photos in my album (mind you the ones in which I'm in were from the 'good old slimmer days').
Glad to be here :)