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Showing while fat

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  • Fat buttoned by a horse
  • Becky holder fat

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    01-02-2013, 07:40 AM
  #11
Foal
I think it depends on your geographical location, too, depends on the flavour of riders in your area, what is seen as more "acceptable". There is always someone out there who will ignore the obvious skill or talent of a pair because of rider size, even if they are well horsed, but I have found it to be more the exception than the rule.

You'll never know until you try and if you go out there knowing you have done the best that you can and have not sold yourself short by going unprepared, etc - that means more than that particular judge's opinion on that particular day. Good luck!
     
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    01-02-2013, 08:30 AM
  #12
Showing
In the horse world being overweight and accepted can be a challenge. At one show there was one overweight rider in an english class in amongst slim riders. She could barely button her jacket which didn't present a nice picture. Anyway a young lad, hollered out, "Hey Mom, how come a pregnant lady is riding a horse" No ill intent on his part, it was a legit question. She wasn't pregnant.
     
    01-02-2013, 09:34 AM
  #13
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLauren    
It was so exciting for my instructor to mention that I should show this coming spring season. It then occurred to me that being fat in a world of notoriously thin people could be difficult.

How much will being fat affect my experience? Should I expect rude remarks, bad scores, looks of derision?

I realize that every person is different, and that there are plenty of wonderful and non-judgmental people out there, but I also know that people believe fat people shouldn't be on horses.

I'm really excited to show, but I want to mentally prepare myself.
Lauren, pretty is as pretty does. Take your riding clothes to a tailor or even some dry cleaners will do this. Have your riding clothes professionally fitted to your body. This will allow the coat to break properly along the saddle, not gap in front and give you a smooth look. There are tricks to keeping your shirt tucked and you can google these. If your discipline permits, monogram your collar or the cuff of your shirt. Make sure your hair is pulled back and tidy. Only earrings should be small pearls or gold balls. When it comes to boots, I take them to a cobbler. For a few dollars they can make even old boots shine like glass.

As for horse and tack - begin early. Deep clean your tack and polish all medal on a regular basis. Keep a favorite saddle pad strictly for shows so it's bright.

It is my belief a horse should always look as though they are going to a show; socks clean, face and legs clipped and a healthy shine to the coat. No cheating! A beautiful coat comes from hard, regular grooming.

Never let your weight affect your love of the sport. Everyone has their day in the sun and this is yours! Ride like the winner you are. :)

(Advice provided by an old horseshow mom)

Oh, and don't forget to take safety pins for your number, an extra set of gloves, reins, stirrup leathers, a stain stick and lint brush. See if you can recruit someone to stand ringside to give your boots and horse's bit a final wipe. Now go shine!!!
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    01-02-2013, 09:49 AM
  #14
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziptothestar    
I'm 28, quite overweight and just got back into showing after a 5 year hiatus. Was I the heaviest rider in my division? Yes. Did I like that fact? No.

However, no one was rude or stared. I just focused on my horse and did my job in the ring. We didn't get any ribbons, but I'm pretty sure that was due to my bad spots or missed lead changes :)

No matter what your size,you need to show for the enjoyment of it above all else. There will always be someone thinner, or with a nicer horse or more money etc. just do your best and get great pictures!
Great advice!!
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    01-02-2013, 09:52 AM
  #15
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Domino    
Great advice!!
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Oh, and if the judge is a male, give a cheeky wink. If a woman, a big, warm smile. I know it sounds silly but it relaxes you and the judge. I will never forget when my daughter, 7 years old, winked at a judge as she started down center line. He grinned so big. It was a hoot!
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    01-02-2013, 10:11 AM
  #16
Foal
I don't think your weight matters in the show ring if your ridding correctly with correct tack, horse, ect. I've been to a plenty of shows where heavier riders rode just as well as skinny ones. I've never heard any rude comments but one truthfully about any riders balance and grace. If your a good rider skinny or chubby your going to blow their socks off.
I know its hard some times im more on the chubby side and I want to show our pony so I have been trying to loose weight which will be healthy for the both of us.
I hope you have fun and even if you hear anything don't let it get to you, its your time to shine. :)
     
    01-02-2013, 10:21 AM
  #17
Super Moderator
I will say that a thinner longer legged person definitely puts on a pretty picture with ease. Heavier folks and even shorter legged folks tend to look a little less "regal" yet, if you are riding well and doing your job, the weight SHOULD not be a factor.

I know there is a girl that shows AQHA that is really heavy yet wins most of her equitation classes. In fact she placed at congress which is pretty impressive so to say that heavy riders are judged unfairly is not really a true statement/

The important thing is you and your horse are well turned out and do you best.

Good luck!
     
    01-02-2013, 10:25 AM
  #18
Trained
If you want some inspiration, Becky Holder is a big name eventer, she used to be very overweight and still competed at the highest levels. She now has lost a ton of weight and she did it for her horses !
     
    01-02-2013, 03:23 PM
  #19
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
In the horse world being overweight and accepted can be a challenge. At one show there was one overweight rider in an english class in amongst slim riders. She could barely button her jacket which didn't present a nice picture. Anyway a young lad, hollered out, "Hey Mom, how come a pregnant lady is riding a horse" No ill intent on his part, it was a legit question. She wasn't pregnant.
My mother self-made herself into a seamstress for this very reason. There used to be a time that as a woman of size, you could only pick two of three - affordable, flattering/in style/aesthetically pleasing, in my size. She started making show clothes and has sized up many traditional patterns for plus sized riders.
     
    01-02-2013, 04:15 PM
  #20
Trained
Oh, and I highly recommend buying showshirts like these






Smart enough to be formal, and looks great with a jacket buttoned over, but no danger of popping a button, great for less formal attire as well
     

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