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Being plus sized and reality checks

This is a discussion on Being plus sized and reality checks within the Plus Sized Riders forums, part of the The Horse Forum Community category

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        01-03-2014, 03:00 PM
      #11
    Yearling
    I think you have many valid points GH. I don't know if I would consider myself to be a plus sized rider or not.... (considering I'm around 5'8 and fluctuate between 190lbs and 220lbs if I'm muscled up from working) but I think when I make a comment about anyone riding their horse I always take into account that a picture is a moment in time. I've had pictures of me and my girl that I'm sure some would be sickened by because she looks in pain, she's not though, just grumpy . The guy on the arab.... yeah he may be a bit big for her but with anyone I always keep into account that pictures don't tell the whole story. Watching the horse move and how it acts in person does.

    I've encountered some of that negativity but at the end of the day what does it matter? I know my horses better than anyone and not all of us can be built like sticks! And I'm always pretty blunt about what I think, I'd like to think that others would do the same to me.

    Ps. I think you look fine on the bay arab you're on. :)

    Zexious: it's funny you say that about your trainer; when I did western pleasure us bigger people would use vet wrap and 'tie down' all the excess of us so that our horses looked smoother and easier!
         
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        01-03-2014, 03:15 PM
      #12
    Green Broke
    Golden--You make a lot of interesting points, for sure!
    Do you think people are just too sensitive these days? While others are just too blunt?

    Incitatus-- Forgive me, I'm very naive to the ways of Western riding. What does that look like? (:
         
        01-03-2014, 04:36 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    When I got back into riding, I told my coach I was plus size. I started out on a clydes x tb. He started having some behavioral problems, so he became a lease horse only instead of lesson pony. When I met my other lesson horse, I was quite concerned about being to big for her. I never brought it up with my coach, but I don't think she would put me on her if she didn't think it was okay.

    I feel the most comfortable riding her now. I understand riding her, and I still feel like a big fat person. But I don't look to terrible on her. She never looks uncomfortable from her body language.
         
        01-03-2014, 04:36 PM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Pictures are only one piece of the puzzle.

    Granted, the large man in the grey t-shirt on the light gray horse is an obvious HUGE mis-match.

    But the pictures you posted GH, you obviously already know you are a plus-sized rider, and you keep that in mind. But I don't think that is what you are getting at. As TinyLiny mentioned, it really matters a lot by how well you ride and you can't judge that by pictures alone. Mr Gibbs appears to look perfectly comfortable. Emmy ..... maybe borderline comfortable. Can't tell by pictures alone. Would need to see videos of movement.

    Even if a horse is sturdy and capable of carrying 300 pounds (just pulling a random number here), if that 300-pound rider has horrible balance and is leaning all over the place ... well the horse wouldn't do as well with that person, as it would with a 300-pound rider who does have good balance and good cues and is not leaning all over the place. It doesn't change the fact that the person is 300 pounds, but it does help in the way they ride.

    Would the horse be more comfortable carrying a 150-pound rider? Absolutely and without a doubt. (You go carry a 50-pound backpack around for one hour, then take off 25 pounds and do another hour. Of course it would be easier carrying half the weight in the backpack.)

    We've got a good family friend who's always at most of the horse shows we go to. She is quite over-weight. She knows it. (She's actually recently lost quite a bit.) But she is a GOOD rider and she rides big-boned horses. This is myself and her doing the sack race together. The video quality is not the best, but I truly and honestly see very little difference between my riding and hers. She handles her body as if it weighs less .... if that makes any sense.



    Anyway, if I would see someone post a mis-match in rider weight to horse, I'd say so. But the vast majority of people .... that's not going to be a new concept. As I said above, you already know if you are a plus-sized rider. It's not going to be new information for me to say it. And what one person views as an honest reply, the next person would view as rude. But sometimes, pictures just do not tell us the whole picture.

    Yes, it'd be easy to say: Well if you are plus-sized, why don't you lose weight? But we all know it is not that easy.
         
        01-03-2014, 06:19 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beau159    
    We've got a good family friend who's always at most of the horse shows we go to. She is quite over-weight. She knows it. (She's actually recently lost quite a bit.) But she is a GOOD rider and she rides big-boned horses. This is myself and her doing the sack race together. The video quality is not the best, but I truly and honestly see very little difference between my riding and hers.
    I watched the video. Several times. I spent as much time watching the horses as I did the riders after the first few watches - and if you look close, the thing I noticed is that the horse that the plus sized rider was on had his ears back (and pinned a few times) almost the entire racing portion of the course. The other horse only turned back to listen to his rider, then pricked again.

    That, speaks volumes.

    That's also, as I said above in my last response, the sort of thing I look for when I, as a larger rider myself, ride a horse for the first time. The horse may be doing everything you ask, sure, but it's silently speaking to you nonetheless.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beau159    
    Yes, it'd be easy to say: Well if you are plus-sized, why don't you lose weight? But we all know it is not that easy.
    But on the flipside, it's not fair to ignore the issue and just keep riding, either. And before anyone jumps on me for that comment, I remind you all about my earlier post again when I mention I lost 70#'s so that I *could* start riding again. I now weigh 220, so do the math. When I weighed close to 300# I did NOT ride. With only a few brief exceptions (a few trail rides on drafts, and a few walkabouts) I didn't ride for over 15 years, actually.
    beau159 likes this.
         
        01-03-2014, 07:15 PM
      #16
    Trained
    [quote=Zexious;4443562]Golden--You make a lot of interesting points, for sure![,quote]

    Thanks, I do try and get people to think and not just react, LOL sadly I sometimes fail, or my point is misunderstood.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zexious    
    Do you think people are just too sensitive these days? While others are just too blunt?
    I think it is far easier on the internet to be both oversensitive, because you react with what you think you read, or you put your own interpretation on what is said, rather than ask for clarification. I also think that people may lose their sensitivity filter because of the anonymity of the internet when they are posting.

    But to me the fundamental here is that plus size riders are not, and should never be excused or given a pass because they are big. It should be acceptable to say that you need a bigger horse, as I say we say it to kids growing out of ponies, if it is a fact. It should not be done in a denigrating way, but in a factual way, if that makes sense.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beau159    

    Anyway, if I would see someone post a mis-match in rider weight to horse, I'd say so. But the vast majority of people .... that's not going to be a new concept. As I said above, you already know if you are a plus-sized rider. It's not going to be new information for me to say it. And what one person views as an honest reply, the next person would view as rude. But sometimes, pictures just do not tell us the whole picture.

    Yes, it'd be easy to say: Well if you are plus-sized, why don't you lose weight? But we all know it is not that easy.
    This is true, we do know how big we are, it's not like you are going to say to me "You're fat" and I'm going to look in the mirror and say "WOW, you're right, how did I not know?"

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PrivatePilot    
    But on the flipside, it's not fair to ignore the issue and just keep riding, either. And before anyone jumps on me for that comment, I remind you all about my earlier post again when I mention I lost 70#'s so that I *could* start riding again. I now weigh 220, so do the math. When I weighed close to 300# I did NOT ride. With only a few brief exceptions (a few trail rides on drafts, and a few walkabouts) I didn't ride for over 15 years, actually.
    You say that like you maybe believe that Deb Bennet is correct that 250 pounds is the maximum any horse can carry? While yes we would all do better to lose weight, if we are carrying extra, 300 pounds is not a limit, it does cut down the amount of horses that are available to you. Every 10 pounds you lose means more horses become available to you.

    There are some great pics here somewhere of the Hiphophorseman The Horse Forum - View Profile: HipHopHorseman he is a BIG guy, I mean tall and solid, but I have no issues with him riding, with the pics he posted. He will have far less mounts to choose from than the 100 pound teenager, but he found a good one!
         
        01-03-2014, 07:33 PM
      #17
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
    You say that like you maybe believe that Deb Bennet is correct that 250 pounds is the maximum any horse can carry? While yes we would all do better to lose weight, if we are carrying extra, 300 pounds is not a limit, it does cut down the amount of horses that are available to you.
    I don't think that there's a magic number, but there are limits. A draft is not necessarilly a magic solution either as most of us know here that it's a bit of a misnomer that they can carry a bigger rider.

    I subscribe to the 20/25% rule personally and with tack and gear probably push that boundary with my current lease. However, like I've said, I would put the wellfare of a horse ahead of my desire to ride. I didn't not ride for 15 years because I didn't want to, I didn't ride because I knew it would be potentially unfair to the horses, nor could I ride at the skill level I wanted to with the body I had.

    But still, there comes a point. The "dead" weight of a rider is one thing, but all the dynamic forces involved in riding can multiple those weights twice over, or likely, even more during a spirited ride. Example, try lifting a 50 pound sack of potatoes. Now do it while skipping rope.

    And AGAIN, before anyone gets insulted (not my goal, but I am speaking my opinions) I still weigh in excess of 220 pounds right now, so I'm speaking in the plus size forum AS a plus sized rider.
    AFull99 likes this.
         
        01-03-2014, 08:48 PM
      #18
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PrivatePilot    

    And AGAIN, before anyone gets insulted (not my goal, but I am speaking my opinions) I still weigh in excess of 220 pounds right now, so I'm speaking in the plus size forum AS a plus sized rider.
    Not insulted at all, whatever your size you are entitled to your opinion, and you should express it, especially they way you have put it.
         
        01-04-2014, 08:28 AM
      #19
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
    Oh yes someone said something, details of which are available by PM on request.
    (internet hugs) PM me my friend...
         
        01-04-2014, 08:41 AM
      #20
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PrivatePilot    

    But still, there comes a point. The "dead" weight of a rider is one thing, but all the dynamic forces involved in riding can multiple those weights twice over, or likely, even more during a spirited ride. Example, try lifting a 50 pound sack of potatoes. Now do it while skipping rope.
    That is true, plus balance and seat can make a huge difference in how a given horse travels with a bigger rider. Before I lost weight I weighed more than my beginner spouse but since I have ridden all my life I was much more balanced in the saddle. He on the other hand was very stiff and not "in tune" with the horse's motion and it was totally apparent when he rode. The horse in question was all of 16 hands with good bone. I could ride him with no issues, but when the spouse got on the gelding's motion changed dramatically.

    For the OP...I hate to resort to a meme but here is one I think applicable:
    Golden Horse and flytobecat like this.
         

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