ED's in horse riding?

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ED's in horse riding?

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  • George morris tells riders to push away from the table
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    11-17-2012, 12:39 PM
ED's in horse riding?

Since getting back into riding after taking a long break (I quit riding at age 13 when I attended my first figure skating nationals) this is something that has been in the back of my mind. I am a recovering bulimic (granted only under 2 months into recovery) and I am curious about a few things: Is there any kind of pattern of eating disorders in the English / showjumping world (my primary discipline)? Is there any kind of focus on the rider's size? Has anyone here ever struggled with some kind of struggle with disordered eating?
I am new to the world of showing and these questions are out of curiousity. When I told my therapist I was going to start riding again and showing in the Spring, she wasn't 100% sold on the idea! I find schooling very therapeutic for me, especially sice I am working with a nervous/anxious mare that still has some green in her. I am finding that this is a continuous learning experience for both of us. However, I am not sure what to expect in the show world.
Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to be considerate on this very sensitive issue!
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    11-17-2012, 12:53 PM
Good question. DON'T judge the physique of equestrians by the catalogs that sell us show clothes. They are ALL models, and we can tell by the way they handle the reins, etc. of the horses in the pictures, LOL!
Judges prefer riders that aren't pudgy bc it is an athletic endeavor. Probably the closest athletic look is that of sprinters. However, Endurance riders spend a great deal of time walking in front, or letting their horses pull them up steep slopes by the tail, so they look a lot more than long distance runners.
Even though we ride, we all spend mucho hours on the ground, grooming, cleaning stalls, moving cavaletti, jumps, barrels and other contraptions for training.
The equine/human accessory industry still tries to sell us stuff that doesn't fit--too small--and the best example is hunt boots. Hardly anybody has the calves to fit "thin" width boots, even if they barely weigh over 100 lbs. The ones on clearance are ALWAYS that size!! Our calves are muscled.
I think you'll feel very much at home with equestrians. Nobody is winning ribbons bc they wear size 0 jeans! It's much more how you perform and how you handle and treat your horse than how you look, in our world.
Almost forgot--George Morris has a favorite exercise for riders in his book, Hunter Seat Equitation. Push yourself away from the table (when you're full.)
Good luck with that mare!
    11-17-2012, 05:13 PM
Green Broke
One of my old cross country coachs has been fighting with anorexia for as long as I have known.

I have friends in the hunter world who battle EDs as well.

However there is no big push or focus on riders weight. I compete against a jumper trainer who is a big boy. He rides big ol warmbloods and even competes in the grand prix jumpers.

Welcome to HF and good luck with your journey. As I mentioned I have friends who fight with EDs and I know how hard of a struggle it is for them. As long as you and your horse are safe there is no reason to stress about how your breeches fit. I am a bit over weight right now as I am struggling with health issues that put weight on me. I dread the white breeches but I know at the end of the day as long as my weight isn't interfering with my horses there is no reason to stress myself over it.
    11-17-2012, 05:34 PM
I was wondering what riding had to do with erectile dysfunction. Ahem. Didn't know ED was also used as an acronym for eating disorders.
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    11-17-2012, 05:44 PM
This! I thought it was going to be a thread about horse Viagra!

On a more serious note, there is a small amount of trainers who are biased against larger riders. And there are plenty of riders at shows who snark on other riders and will absolutely pick on weight (but they will also pick on the brand of breeches and how old your truck is, etc)

I'd say that there's no real push to be thin as a horse person but I will also add that for the more serious riders (like Olympic riders) the amount of work they put into riding pretty much makes it difficult to impossible to be on the heavy side.
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    11-17-2012, 05:58 PM
Green Broke
It does make it hard to be on the heavy side. But please remember that its because they work out a lot and get lots of exercise, not because they count calories.

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