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Shenandoah
Oct. 15, 2007, 09:52 AM
Do you think a rider who is overweight is less likely to score as well as someone who is not overweight? An overweight rider sometimes detracts from the whole impression and I'm wondering if the judges are prejudiced or biased. I know it shouldn't matter, but a rider who is heavy does not sit as well IMHO. Asking because I am overweight and am curious as to what the general concensus here is.

Halt At X
Oct. 15, 2007, 09:57 AM
Maybe some judges could chime in on this one.

I do agree that an overweight rider does detract from the overall picture. However as long as that rider is riding correctly there really should be no reason for scores to reflect the rider's weight.
I have not shown in about 8 years so I do not know if anything has changed. I was not an overweight rider when I showed but I am going to get back in the show ring in the spring and I still have about 15 pounds left from being pregnant that needs to go.
I am interested to see the answers to this as well.

Fantastic
Oct. 15, 2007, 10:41 AM
thats silly! A good rider is a good rider, regardless of weight. A bad rider is a bad rider, regardless of weight. Effective riders come in all shapes, sizes, weights, and forms.

I have a friend who is a rather large gal that has taken her Leonidas son from unbroke to Prix St. Georges in the show ring and her scores are consistently between 65% and 75% at all levels.

Reminds me of a basketball player that asked me out on a date when I was in college. I turned down the date, and he went off whining about me not wanting to date him because he was xyz nationality, blah, blah, blah, on and on. I said no, I'm simply not interested in going out with you.

blackhorsegirl
Oct. 15, 2007, 11:33 AM
We know that there is a body type that has the "look" and being slim and long legged is not how all of us were made. These same factors can be applied to women who are short legged. What is important is to be in balance. No matter what size, be sure you fit your horse. Make sure your saddle fits you both in the seat and leg. Make sure your clothes fit you neither too small nor too large. I'm tall and long legged but would be considered plus size and I've followed the suggestions above. I've shown both schooling and licensed shows and received good scores. While working on my weight, I've made a point of staying strong with weights and Palates. While volunteering as a scorer I've never seen a judge comment on weight but I have seen a comment on athletic ability or lack there of.

We know that George Morris has been more than happy to slam the overweight. I'd be curious to hear from the dressage judges and trainers.

JSwan
Oct. 15, 2007, 11:36 AM
I don't recall anything on the score sheet that scores the rider's physical beauty.

News flash - women aren't supposed to look like prepubescent boys. No matter what George Morris says.

blackhorsegirl
Oct. 15, 2007, 11:50 AM
Unfortunately, in our society, it is assumed that the overweight are fair game. They--mostly women--can be ridiculed and laughed at and it's considered acceptible. Have you noticed the sitcoms on TV? The guys are fat slobs but the little wives are tiny gorgeous things that look like fashion models with plunging necklines.

The question is: Can judges and clinicians overcome personal feelings about the overweight to be fair?

flshgordon
Oct. 15, 2007, 12:06 PM
I think in dressage, the impact of a rider's weight is VERY little, as long as they are not having adverse effects on their horse because of it. The only place where that might come into play is the rider coeffecient. If the horse puts in a nice, accurate test then there's no room in there for the judge to mark down unless they see something specifically effecting the horse's way of going.

Rhiannonjk
Oct. 15, 2007, 12:16 PM
I am heavier than I would like (I have gained 15 pounds or so since long ago when a clinician bluntly told me I needed to lose 50 pounds) BUT I have found, in looking at pictures of me riding, that when I am sitting correctly and riding effectively, I look good - as opposed to when I'm nervous (at shows) and not sitting tall. Riding correct makes me look skinnier. I guess that is true in general for good posture?
I have never ever felt that my score was negatively affected by my weight. MANY times, it has been negatively affected by my poor riding(friggen nerves).

xQHDQ
Oct. 15, 2007, 12:37 PM
While scribing at shows I have never noticed a judge commenting on weight. Ever.

Yes about ineffective riding in general for many body types. But, no judge has ever even commented that if a rider lost weight they would be more effective (not even off the record). I can't say if they think it, though.

NCSue
Oct. 15, 2007, 12:50 PM
I am not a little person, nor would I be even if I was the ideal weight. I wear a size 11 shoe and an extra large helmet. I don't think it has effected any of my scores. And it most not offend every judge b/c while scribing I have been extended an invite to come ride with more than one judge and had one even offer me a lease on one of her dressage horses for a season. I think it all depends upon how well you are able to ride and your desires. I have seen very slender women not able to sit the trot as well as heavier women. There are undergarments that any well endowed women should utilize for health purposes as well as appearance. So to answer your question -- if the rider can ride then the scores will be reflective. And vice versa. If you can't ride or have a bad ride then scores will be reflective.

MyReality
Oct. 15, 2007, 01:01 PM
A rider's weight has nothing to do with the scores whatsoever. But a rider's weight compromise her athletic ability, and has direct impact on the way the horse goes and its expression. In that sense it will affect the score.

If you see an overweight horse, you will be concerned and cut down his feed. Overweight in horse adds strain to his legs, reduce his athleticism resulting in less expression, also reduce his endurance. We ask our horse to perform athletically and carry appropriate weight, it's only fair we ask the same for ourselves. On the same token, I don't want to see skinny rider either, if it means no muscle tone and no energy.

GreekDressageQueen
Oct. 15, 2007, 01:31 PM
I'm overweight and never had a judge score me differently because of it. I also ride horses that are quite big-boned, heavy muscled types so I don't look like a huge round beach ball balancing on a narrow twig. Although I did ride and show Arabians in the late 90's and still never had anyone score me differently. I earned enough championship ribbons to prove it.

You want to know what is really distracting? Big boobs. My butt sits in a saddle big enough to take it, but my boobs just go up and down, up and down. THAT is truly awful! Wearing two sports bras doesn't even work.

At least the judge will know they are real and I was just gifted that way. :lol:

blackhorsegirl
Oct. 15, 2007, 01:52 PM
GreekDressageQueen, you are too funny! Try Equestrian Collections. They use to be 1824 which provided for the larger rider. In fact, I modeled for them back when they mailed out a catalog. Now they have expanded. They have a very good selection of unusual sports bra that might help you.

mjhco
Oct. 15, 2007, 01:58 PM
I do have the guaranteed No Bounce Bra. It is NOT. I wear an underwire under it and still have bounce but not so bad.

Yes, I am overweight. Most judges give me good rider scores.

BUT, human nature is human nature. I do NOT make a good first impression. So when we start around the arena the judges tend to think in terms of 5's where when my trainer who is incredible looking generates thoughts of 8's and 9's. So be it.

Would I ride better if I were not so heavy? Yes. Would I get better scores? I am sure. But until I get there I am going to continue riding and working and not wait around until I am a 'perfect' weight.

Sdhaurmsmom
Oct. 15, 2007, 02:03 PM
I don't recall anything on the score sheet that scores the rider's physical beauty.

News flash - women aren't supposed to look like prepubescent boys. No matter what George Morris says.

Hear hear! J. Swan - how refreshing!

Petstorejunkie
Oct. 15, 2007, 02:07 PM
You want to know what is really distracting? Big boobs. My butt sits in a saddle big enough to take it, but my boobs just go up and down, up and down. THAT is truly awful! Wearing two sports bras doesn't even work.


I have heard good things about he enell bra (smartpak sells them) I am a 34DD and I am not overweight (5'10" 155lbs), and yes i curse my great grandmother for these monsterous things UGGH.
I have been riding in a Champion hook closure that is 1 or 2 sizes too small, that seems to hold them in, but it tends to throw my ribs out of place... ::sigh:: ya just can't win.
Going to buy an enell myself once the vet bills stop rolling in....

Coreene
Oct. 15, 2007, 02:08 PM
I'm overweight and never had a judge score me differently because of it. I also ride horses that are quite big-boned, heavy muscled types so I don't look like a huge round beach ball balancing on a narrow twig. Although I did ride and show Arabians in the late 90's and still never had anyone score me differently. I earned enough championship ribbons to prove it.

You want to know what is really distracting? Big boobs. My butt sits in a saddle big enough to take it, but my boobs just go up and down, up and down. THAT is truly awful! Wearing two sports bras doesn't even work.

At least the judge will know they are real and I was just gifted that way. :lol:Check out the Womanly Sized Riders Unite thread on Off Course. A wealth of info.

eggbutt
Oct. 15, 2007, 02:13 PM
You want to know what is really distracting? Big boobs. My butt sits in a saddle big enough to take it, but my boobs just go up and down, up and down. THAT is truly awful! Wearing two sports bras doesn't even work.

At least the judge will know they are real and I was just gifted that way. :lol:

Thank goodness for Title 9 multi-barbell guaranteed to not move "harness" bras (I think they are also Enell)!!!!!:yes::yes:

eggbutt
Oct. 15, 2007, 02:18 PM
I've witnessed an L graduate who most certainly does comment about weight....actually has been known to call the rider over and tell her she's hurting the horse then she'll ask her scribe, score runners, anyone who will listen if they think overweight people should ride! :eek::eek::eek: She's not frequently invited back!

blackhorsegirl
Oct. 15, 2007, 02:19 PM
MJHCO, don't be so hard on yourself. I've found getting stronger worked better than losing some weight. If you have the money, hire a personal trainer. If not, buy Betsey Steiner's book and start the exercises. It also helped that my trainer and I have worked to help my horse stregthen his muscles so he can carry himself and me easier.

If it makes you feel better, I've seen skinny little riders who don't have the strength to gather up their warmbloods. In society's eyes, I'm a loser but in the judge's eye, I'm getting the better scores.

akor
Oct. 15, 2007, 02:23 PM
I'm a lower level rider now. When I was showing a bit, there seemed to be a pattern of the "better" judges gave me higher rider marks. I don't mean to infer that I can necessarily tell a better judge than another, but it seemed that the higher rated the judge, the better my marks. I would get either 7 or a 5 same horse, same tests. Now, I may have just sucked that day.
With the x3 now, it makes a big difference.

Now, was it weight? Not sure.

I am biased, being larger, but based on my experience, I thinner a rider is by default a 6 or so. Maybe even a 7, and they have to err to go down.

The heavier rider has to "prove" an upgrade to a 6 or 7.

In dressage, you can always ask. After your last test, ask the judge!

FancyFree
Oct. 15, 2007, 02:26 PM
Of course a rider wouldn't be marked down for being over-weight, but would a judge be influenced by it nevertheless? I don't know, maybe. At my old barn, I found the dressage riders to be very obsessed with being thin. Maybe that's just a Southern California thing in general. About six years ago, I was interested in taking a clinic with a BNT who was visiting in San Diego from Germany. A fellow student of my trainer told me "You know he'll tell you to lose some weight." According to her, he liked riders to be thin. I was a little surprised because, at the time I was 5' 10" and 150 pounds. Not "thin" but not overweight, imo. Maybe she was just being snotty though. ;)

I do definitely think there's a pressure to have a slim figure in the dressage world. But maybe that just my area.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Oct. 15, 2007, 02:50 PM
I have not heard that nor has anyone who is an overweight rider that I personally know complained to me, for whatever that's worth.:D

Rider's weight though does have an effect on the horse, and that doesn't even mean "overweight". My trainer is tall and slim, weighs about 180 lbs, has a horse who is 16.1 who has trouble with his weight -- he goes much better with a 120 lbs rider (and yes, some of you may say oh maybe he's just not riding well, but IMHO I can rule that out). It may not be as apparent at the lower levels, but when balance and collection become more and more important, an appropriate weight of the rider is a factor.

Welkin007
Oct. 15, 2007, 03:07 PM
I have not heard that nor has anyone who is an overweight rider that I personally know complained to me, for whatever that's worth.:D

Rider's weight though does have an effect on the horse, and that doesn't even mean "overweight". My trainer is tall and slim, weighs about 180 lbs, has a horse who is 16.1 who has trouble with his weight -- he goes much better with a 120 lbs rider (and yes, some of you may say oh maybe he's just not riding well, but IMHO I can rule that out). It may not be as apparent at the lower levels, but when balance and collection become more and more important, an appropriate weight of the rider is a factor.

That is a good point! I'm no feather-weight, but I'm about 135lbs, at 5'5 with a 16 h TB. He carries me just fine, but once a heavier rider got on, who was about 200lbs just to walk him around, and he had a lot of difficulty.

HOWEVER; this rider was also not in good control of her body, she was not riding-fit. My trainer is about 6' and atleast 180, and my horse carries him around without an issue. He groans a bit the first time he gets on, and I tease my trainer about it, but once they get going it doesn't seem to be a problem.

I do believe rider and horse should fit, as much as possible. In my barn there is a 5'1 or so girl who is about 100lbs soaking wet, with her upper body and legs about the same porportion! She rides alot of ponies even though she is over 18, because of her stature. She got on my TB once, and she had a lot of difficulty riding him. I can get on my trainer's 17.2 TB and ride, but I have to carry a whip because my leg can't wrap around him well at all.

So, I do think rider body porportion, weight, body control and style of riding are very important. I'm never going to be super thin, but I'm trying to get stronger so I can ride better.

blackhorsegirl
Oct. 15, 2007, 03:17 PM
Yes, I'm sure all horses would love to have 100 pound riders all the time but that isn't the real world. The ability to carry weight has to do with bone and muscle mass. Horses can carry 20% of their weight. A 1500 lb horse can carry 300 lbs including the saddle. Men because of their muscle mass weigh more and most between 160-200 libs. I don't know why this horse can't carry a 180 lb rider.

SuperSpike
Oct. 15, 2007, 03:25 PM
Not meaning to hijack, but I thought this was interesting (sort of):

A clinician recently told me that I was too thin.

Me: "Do you mean that I need to get stronger? I've started lifting weights at my trainer's suggestion."

Clinician: "No, you seem to be fit enough. I just think your arms are too skinny to create an appealing picture in the ring. It's just a suggestion; it may make a difference."

Me: "Um, ok, I'll keep lifting weights. Thank you."

This was after she referred to me as "the spider" throughout the clinic. WTF? Can one ever get away from objectification?! :mad:

enjoytheride
Oct. 15, 2007, 03:27 PM
I hate the PC generation we are in when you can't call someone fat, they're big and beautiful. Overweight and unhealthy is just that, it's not a fashion statement. Taking steps to improve your fitness will be healthy for you and better for your horse, you might never fit into those size threes but finding your natural and healthy size will be much better.

You can be a larger built woman who is fit and athletic and does not hamper your horse. But if you are flopping around on his back, skiing off his mouth, and huffing and puffing then you deserve to get marked down on the rider portion of the test.

snoopy
Oct. 15, 2007, 03:33 PM
OKAY:

I personally have "trouble" with over weight riders....I am not a judge, nor do I play one on TV, but riders are infact athletes....and should in therory look at themselves that way....when we think of "athletes" we think of someone who is in good mental and physical shape...one is "conditioned" for the job. We expect our horses to be athletes because of the way we train them. The very same principals of a good dressage horse should be applied to the rider as well.
I actually get quite annoyed when I see riders huffing and puffing when riding a test, clinic, or schooling. I think that we as riders do the horse a dis-service when we expect them to carry themselves and the weight of the rider when we ourselves do nothing or very little to help them by being unfit, overweight, and un-athletic.
This is a partnership...both horse and rider should be part of the training.

NOW:

Before I get absolutely murdered by remarks....lets look what I have said again.

I am not saying that a rider should be stick thin. To me that is not healthy either. The rider's body shape has alot to do with it. What I am saying is that a rider should be fit and strong according to their body type. I know some very athletic ladies, who could never be super models....but they are in good shape, present a nice picture, and most importantly have control over their bodies. What I do not like to see is a rider who is all over the shop because she is unfit and overweight.

Is it a distraction? For me sometimes, but the distraction comes from poor riding, which comes about from someone who has no body/weight awareness because of excess pounds and lack of fitness.
Is it a distraction for the horse? Many times it is....the horse is being asked to do something and the rider's lack of athletism is getting in the way.

Now before the bitch bites make their way up and down my back....
I have no problem with people's weight. For what ever reason a person carries excess weight, that is for them to deal with. I am only talking about weight and lack of fitness where riding in concerned.

snoopy
Oct. 15, 2007, 03:34 PM
enjoy the ride:


YOU BEAT ME TOO IT!!! I agree totally with what you are saying!!!

TBROCKS
Oct. 15, 2007, 03:40 PM
I am biased, being larger, but based on my experience, I thinner a rider is by default a 6 or so. Maybe even a 7, and they have to err to go down.


Um, no.
Sorry, but threads like this really annoy me. I'm 5'10" and 132 pounds. Guess what? I've made 4's and 5's on a test when I rode crappy, and 8's when I've done well. No judge "defaulted" me for being thin. That's a bit insulting.
Yep, I'm tall and thin and *newsflash* I still have bad days, my share of bad rides, have gotten passed over for promotions, and have my fair quota of problems.
The widely popular theory of heavier folks having all the problems and life is perfect and you get all the breaks if you're thin is BS, sorry.

Pielover
Oct. 15, 2007, 03:48 PM
I've shown as a fat rider - I mean fat not overweight or plump but fat, 50 pounds of extra fat . I did get decent scores, bless my horse for packing me . I was not fit or I wouldn't have been fat . I have ridden all my life and I'm a decent rider but it did effect my riding . I have shed that fat and I am now thin and fit and I am a much better rider and my scores are better .

snoopy
Oct. 15, 2007, 03:51 PM
I've shown as a fat rider - I mean fat not overweight or plump but fat, 50 pounds of extra fat . I did get decent scores, bless my horse for packing me . I was not fit or I wouldn't have been fat . I have ridden all my life and I'm a decent rider but it did effect my riding . I have shed that fat and I am now thin and fit and I am a much better rider and my scores are better .




Let me be the first to thank you for your HONEST take on YOUR situation.
Lets face it, when a trainer has been hired to work with both you and your horse...and to address certain problems, being unfit and overweight are one of those problems. We all know that what is happening on top of the horse directly effects what is happening beneath the rider.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Oct. 15, 2007, 05:21 PM
I don't know why this horse can't carry a 180 lb rider.

It's not that he can't. It is that he's doing much better with a lighter rider. At this point he gets lower scores with a heavier rider.

Bluey
Oct. 15, 2007, 05:37 PM
To answer your question if being heavy impacts scores, just think if you know of many women dressage riders at the top that are heavy.

As many riders there are a little heavy, you think that at least a handful would have made it to the top, if it really didn't matter a little?
Just wondering...

~Freedom~
Oct. 15, 2007, 06:07 PM
Of course a rider wouldn't be marked down for being over-weight, but would a judge be influenced by it nevertheless?


In all the time I was judging it never directly influenced my scoring. The overall look was always the aim. If the weight of the rider affected the horse's way of going negatively then that is different and the score would reflect this.

I would like to point out that riders that have a "big butt" DO seem to have a better position. I am not talking about an overly obese butt but one that seems to have enough weight there to "secure" the balance point from the upper body and lower legs. It also seems that a rider that is not too tall ( upper body) is often a more secure rider. I myself was pretty skinny when I was showing and with a very tall upper body had enormous problems with keeping it centered. I gained some weight during the years and while I still had to really concentrate on my upper body the extra pounds in my butt certainly did help later in competition.

carolprudm
Oct. 15, 2007, 06:17 PM
You want to know what is really distracting? Big boobs. My butt sits in a saddle big enough to take it, but my boobs just go up and down, up and down. THAT is truly awful! Wearing two sports bras doesn't even work.

At least the judge will know they are real and I was just gifted that way. :lol:
My breast reduction surgery is Nov 15:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Bluey
Oct. 15, 2007, 06:38 PM
My breast reduction surgery is Nov 15:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Ace bandages are your friends, when two bras don't cut it.
Smoshes them in there, if tight enough, just be sure you can breathe.;)

GreekDressageQueen
Oct. 15, 2007, 09:30 PM
Good luck on your surgery!

Until I have a butt reduction, the breasts will stay. I would look really awful in normal clothes if the trunk didn't match the headlights so to speak...:lol:

I am sure every overweight and fat person out there would do everything better if they lost weight. I am sure there are a ton of skinny people that need to eat more to gain more muscle mass and fitness, which will make them better at everything too. This is not a newsflash.

I just don't care. I'm riding horses, not training for a marathon.

The happiest people in life know their place and how they fit. I'm just a bigger piece of the puzzle. :)

Oh - one more thing - all I can say is: Becky Holder. The woman should be the Womanly Riders Unite! pin-up girl. If she can do it, by gosh I can too! And she is an eventer - twelve minutes of dressage is hardly as intensive as twelve minutes of galloping 7 miles cross country over jumps in two-point.

pintopiaffe
Oct. 16, 2007, 01:41 AM
I have purposely not read the other answers.

I have never felt my score was anything less than deserved even when I was at my highest weight, which was 100lbs over my ideal.

I ride a small horse. I often get 'nice pair' and 'lovely turnout' and not for dearth of 'anything nice to say.'

I make a HUGE effort to be neat and clean and spit and polished, both horse and myself. No floppy jacket to hide the fat... a well fitted one, even if it means tailoring. Correct show clothes are hard to find, but they are out there (and it's getting better... see the womanly rider thread!)

Now, I carry/hide the weight well, no one ever guesses what I was at my high. I've got 30 more lbs to go to ideal, and to be honest, I am having trouble riding right now with 65lbs lost. I feel like I was a better rider when I was bigger. But that's because I was balanced, and knew where my center was, and I've lost all that. I was also MORE FIT about 20lbs ago, due to an accident in early summer that has had me not working out, not doing anything really beyond *just* riding. Hoping that changes soon as I just started PT.

I have not shown above First. I will be next year. I'll let you know how that goes. Even at my goal, I will be curvy and not skinny. I will be 'rubinesque.' So my ultimate goal is to be fit and capable. (well, that, and to fit into a shad, and look presentable in it by the time we are ready for it. ;) )

Hang in there, and get out there. It is so NOT about *anything* else but getting out there and DOING it. Truly, it's the minority who are there, saluting at X.

pintopiaffe
Oct. 16, 2007, 01:45 AM
I am sure every overweight and fat person out there would do everything better if they lost weight. OK, catching up on the other posts now (I didn't want to be swayed in my HONEST experience!)

As posted above, I don't necessarily agree. I was a better rider 30lbs ago. Do I hope to get back there? Yeah. Will I SUCK again before and/or when I loose 30 more to hit my goal, YES. :yes:


A rider's weight has nothing to do with the scores whatsoever. But a rider's weight compromise her athletic ability, and has direct impact on the way the horse goes and its expression.

I cannot disagree more. If the horse is suited to the rider, and the rider is FIT AND STRONG, the lbs and oz have nothing to do with it. I find it interesting that for quite a time I weighed nearly the same as my teacher. But he is a man, and of course, carries/shows that weight much leaner than I do. No one would ever say he was 'too big' for my horse, or that he compromised the horse's health or way of going. DEFINITELY not expression--the horse is to die for when teacher rides. (Very humbling.) You can be a big girl and fit, or a petite thing and unfit. What counts is strength, balance, fitness and finesse--oh, and of course SKILL at actually RIDING. :winkgrin:

Does the picture look as elegant? Maybe not at first. But when things start coming together, no one notices. Hilda isn't a small woman. She's not huge, but she's not built as a 'natural' rider. And her tests can be quite inspiring. :yes:

A huge horse isn't always the answer either. My guy is little, but Arab. No trouble at all with the weight he's asked to carry. I've been put on (and own) much larger horses which would be deemed 'more suitably matched' to my size, and they have not tolerated me as well. It's about the RIGHT match, not the biggest match. I wish my guy had a bit more barrel, he's not the easiest thing to ride because my balance is somewhat precarious due to not his size, so much as his SHAPE. Shorter/smaller Norwegian Fjord was the ultimate for me, I was tall and elegant and ideally matched on her. I have fondly known many small, stout, scrappy ranch horses who are sound and sane and carry me or a male ranch hand of similar weight for a full day (12-13 hrs) without a complaint. They move beautifully to boot. Not one of them would have a problem getting their pony card. :lol: I'm not saying that a big horse *can't* be the right match--Of course they can and I know several gorgeous draft and draft cross, WB and WB cross pairs who just look fabulous... but it's not the ONLY answer for a bigger rider. The answer is the horse that you are comfortable on, that you ride well.

As to the upper body bounce, one word, ENELL. I used to have to wear THREE bras. An underwire under a Playtex 18 Hour Posture bra, under a sports bra. Now I wear ONE, and the girls DON'T MOVE. I can run in it, I can sit the trot in it. It does occasionally cause a neck-ache, but only if I'm not paying attention to the fact I've been in it for hours on end. Search this forum. Then go to Ebay, Title 9, or SmartPak. They are very pricey, and worth EVERY PENNY.

doccer
Oct. 16, 2007, 02:16 AM
An overweight rider can score just as well as an average. In fact, imo, it does not matter what body weight/shape you have... as long as you are moving with your horse and riding correctly. Apparently, most judges feel the same way.

Personally, the scores i recieve on my tests are an indicator of my riding abilities ... yes, when i get a 6 on RIDER, i deserve a 6. When i get an 8 I'm ecstatic because i've earned it ... my average rider score is 7, and most of the pack of average weight ladies are earning 6's.

If you think an overweight rider detracts from a dressage test, look a little harder at the ability of a rider in general -- and not just the asthetics of weight and/or shape.

Sabine
Oct. 16, 2007, 02:17 AM
great thread- a lot of tact and honesty. I do believe that horses feel the weight and there is no way to hide it...it affects the mobility and lightness and freedom of movement and expressiveness. At the same time- horses are made to carry a certain amount of weight- and most likely won't take harm doing it. Judges most often will judge what they see- if it's labored and uncomfortable - they'll mark it down...overall the scores will go up if the rider is lighter and fit....

username
Oct. 16, 2007, 04:25 AM
since we're being frank, my question is butt/saddle fit. I am 60-something and have had my share of body-mass ups and downs including no stomach muscles to speak of following the births of three separate 10-lb+ babies over a 10-year stretch. fitness is not the issue. at my age, reaching to put on my own socks is "fit" so whatever that means to you young'uns you can be sure it means something different to me. (btw, I'm laughing here)...

my question is this. some of us with more flab than firm look pretty darned good while standing or walking (even is relatively form-fitting slacks) but when sitting in a saddle, all the excess baggage kind of gets shoved up near what used to be my waist and hangs out, spilling all over and making me look as though I am wearing a pillow behind me. I have actually been told I should tuck my butt underneath me. Lord! what I wouldn't give to be able to tuck all that ballast!


does this really distract from my riding? I never worried about it till I saw a video of myself. and that doesn't even begin to adress the other issues such as wiggle underarms, etc.

basically, at what point does physical appearance genuinely detract from your ride?

JSwan
Oct. 16, 2007, 06:35 AM
.overall the scores will go up if the rider is lighter and fit....

Mutually exclusive words. Lightness does not equate fitness, neither does physical appearance.

Good riding is good riding. Whether a person is pear shaped or apple shaped should not enter into it. A slender rider may be considered more "beautiful" according to today's standards - but don't try and pass that off as fitness.

What y'all are talking about isn't fitness or riding ability. You're talking about physical beauty according to today's standards. In another era a slender woman was not considered beautiful. Some folks just aren't born into the right era, more's the pity.

If a rider is being ineffective - they are simply being ineffective. You forget that we're all used to living in the bodies we have - we don't wake up the day of a horse show fat or skinny, short or tall. Our horses are used to us, we are used to them.

Tall people may have some advantages over short people, yet short people are not marked down because their legs may stick out. There is no bell curve in scoring.

I'm not talking about morbid obesity - I'm referring to the fact that there is a very large range of weight which is acceptable within a height. Not muscle - just a number on a scale.

A judge is there to judge riding and the horse. Not a number on a scale (which no one knows except you), not a hip/waist ratio, not the size of your nose, and not the color of your skin.



One thing I have noticed across disciplines that can and does make a rider look bad, is that many riders don't take advantage of a tailor on their riding habits. I'm sure we all have the same complaint - these things seem to be modeled after asian gymnasts or something.

In our work lives, we won't hesitate to have something hemmed, or taken in, taken out, darts put in, etc. But we never think to do that to our riding clothes.

The goal should be to look neat and tidy - whether we are a waif or tubby. The type of vent on a coat can affect our appearance dramatically - making us look 20lbs heavier - or frumpy or slovenly.

I'd say have a friend take some pictures of you on your horse - in show attire (horse too)

You may find that your coat isn't cut to flatter your figure, or your horse would do better in a shaped pad rather than square. You may see your helmet strap (if you wear a safety helmet) dangles and looks sloppy, your stock tie sticks out and is distracting,that sort of thing.

Those things can be easily corrected. Even if the good Lord gave you generous bosoms or a distinct and unyielding pear shape. ;)


A good friend of mine spent a fortune on custom Vogels with a zipper up the back. Unfortunately, the things are cut horribly and pooch out in the back of the calf so much her legs look enormous. That plus the cut of her coat makes her look much much heavier than she is. Her BMI is perfectly normal, she exercises - but a poor choice in riding habit makes her look frumpy.

I saw a picture of myself in my new hacking jacket I bought for hunting. When I bought it I thought I looked fabulous.

On a horse - I look like crap. The thing adds 20lbs to my midsection. The hip area is fine - the cut is correct. The shoulders are fine. But the torso needs to be altered a LOT.

So once the formal season starts I'm off to the tailor to get this jacket fixed.

Just a thought for folks - check the cut and fit of your habit.

Samantha37
Oct. 16, 2007, 07:15 AM
Thank you J Swan- you have made some excellent points!!!

I am a TOTAL pear shape- I am 5'6, 150 lbs, and I wear a 34B bra and have a 16 1/2 inch calf - whoa!! :)

I was told that I need to lose weight by a trainer so that I can create a silhouette. I am very small up top, and obviously not so small on the bottom, and I must say that I was offended. I am happy with my size- could I lose 10 lbs? probably, but any more and my upper body wastes away.

I have seen heavy riders or large chested riders, ride fantastically!!! And their scores reflect that..

I DO think that people who are heavy should carefully tailor their wardrobe- like J Swan said...

I have never had a judge take off points for me being heavy- just for me riding badly ;)

Oldenburg Mom
Oct. 16, 2007, 08:20 AM
A rider's weight has nothing to do with the scores whatsoever. But a rider's weight compromise her athletic ability, and has direct impact on the way the horse goes and its expression. In that sense it will affect the score.

This is what I have found when scribing. Not 100% of the time, of course, but many times this is the issue.

Example: one show I scribed at over the past 12 months. Rider is clearly ow. Individual does not have the strength to sit the canter, so each time the horse strides, said rider bounces up and slam, down on horse's back. It made me cringe...

Did the judge make any remark about the rider? No, but the collective marks reflected not the rider's size...but the rider's lack of ability. BTW, the horse's ears were pinned almost the whole time. Not one word was said, by anyone, about the rider's weight.

I don't know ... what would you think? Weight played a factor? Yes. But I've also been scribing when normal/thin people were riding the same way. But there is a difference on the horse's back ... or am I missing something???

Lambie Boat
Oct. 16, 2007, 08:33 AM
one need only to scribe for a few judges to know the real answer to this question. and some of them could stand to lose a few pounds themselves.

mbamissaz
Oct. 16, 2007, 09:49 AM
I've been on both sides of the fence. I have judged some smaller schooling/4-h shows and can honestly say that good riding is good riding, and I've never placed an exhibitor lower simply because they were overweight. That being said, I have been overweight on and off while competing and do feel it made more of a difference in hunter equitation and less of a difference in dressage.

Of course, this whole thread is about speculation....no judge is going to dare come on here and admit to being bias....or outwardly reference "weight" either verbally or in writing on a test. We have no idea what goes on in the judge's mind when he/she places the class (or scores the test...whatever the case may be). I would say it depends on the judge...but I'm sure it definitely plays a role in placing with some, sadly.

On a personal note, quite some time ago I rode was instructed by one of the posters of this BB...I was a freshman in college and she talked to me about needing to lose weight after one of my lessons with her. It was the hardest advice to hear and best advice I've ever received from an instructor...I respected her for being honest and ultimately she was right. I am a better rider now that I've lost weight and am more fit. To that instructor, if you're reading this...thank you.

eggbutt
Oct. 16, 2007, 09:51 AM
Well, let's really open a can of worms here....what about any western discipline with the 25+ pound saddle coupled with a larger rider? Good ol' Quarter Horses don't seem to have a problem as a rule.:)

I am at least 50 pounds overweight. I am very aware of my weight, particularly when riding. I work out every day and have fairly good strength for my age. I ride horses suitable for my size. My horses are also quite fit. BUT, I don't compete....is that because I'm concerned about bias? I honestly don't know, but I suspect I would be much more willing to enter shows if I lost weight because my personal confidence would be much higher. I applaude the heavier woman who DOES have the courage to compete.

I do agree with previous posts about the preferred "image" portrayed in the US advertising being thin as a rail. I've seen stick thin women on huge warmbloods look like they are perching and losing control. To me that picture is not a pleasing one to look at anymore than a larger rider in horribly fitting clothes.

TropicalStorm
Oct. 16, 2007, 10:29 AM
Looking back, I believe that I was really marked down in hunterjumper because of my weight. I wasn't obsese, but when you're competing with other 12-15 year olds who are stick thin, any extra weight-and *gasps* boobs! tend to stick out quite a bit.

In dressage, I'm still about 20lbs overweight, sadly all around my middle. So far, I don't think I've been marked down. My scores have been all over the board, from 49%-71%, but they've mostly been reflective on the actual ride and not my own weight.

But as an overweight rider, personally, I don't think I'm in shape. I'm lacking the core strength that I need to properly sit the trot - probably because all of my extra weight is in my middle. So it's something I'm working on.

I hope though, that while I'm competing in training level and posting, and really NOT interfering with my horse, no one would be so shallow and judgmental as to comment or mark me down

eggbutt
Oct. 16, 2007, 10:32 AM
TropicalStorm, I LOVE your tag line! :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

TropicalStorm
Oct. 16, 2007, 10:47 AM
TropicalStorm, I LOVE your tag line! :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
:D

MagicRoseFarm
Oct. 16, 2007, 11:06 AM
I was competing two years ago, where a USDF judges clinic was being held. Over 30 people were observing the arena I was competing in.

I am 48, 5'8" and at least 50 lbs overweight, the gain caused by several health issues. My horse is 18 hands and fits me EXTREMELY well. Riding IS the most available way for me to maintain some level of fitness as one of my health issues involves a leg which prevents excessive walking or jogging at all.

I rode a lovely 1st 4 test for this bunch of people, scoring around 68%, including a 7 for my riding, and "Wonderful pair" in my comments..It was 105 degrees that day and jackets were FORBIDDEN... as I was leaving the arena I hear the clinician going over the test with the learning judges... not discussing the test AT ALL but discussing my weight.. and telling the prospective judges that the entire test should be SEVERELY PENALIZED for my size.. A friend was in this group, and was already a L judge, she was appalled at this woman and how she went on and on. The clinician was maybe 5'4" 115 lbs....obviously the type that never gained an ounce after a 2 lb bag of chips.

There ARE USDF officials out there, in control, who are encouraging future judges to make a BIG issue out of weight...

akor
Oct. 16, 2007, 11:37 AM
TBRocks; Thanks for backing me up ;) As a "thinner" rider, you are marked down when you are not up to snuff, but marked up when you ride better. You are judged on your riding. Bigger riders can get "caught" in the rut of a 6 no matter what. It's not always so clear that we are judged on our riding. It's almost like a 6 is the "top." That's my main point, perhaps I did not make is so well in my first post. If so my apologies.

I don't see what is so wrong about admitting that thinner riders look better, on average. It's a prettier picture. I'm the first one to say it.

Also, re 'not thin" riders, people with their body weight lower tend to look slightly better than those with lots of upper body weight. It doesn't mean anything re ability.

I said in my earlier post that I think the "better" judges are more "fair" regarding weight. perhaps you have more experience with "better" judges than I do.

I have some very thin friends. I realize life isn't perfect all the time and there are great challenges out there.

But, for a moment, just take some time to realize that EVERY TIME we open a magazine, or see an ad, we likely see someone who looks like YOU, not like US. We don't look as good in the clothes made to fit you. While it would be great if we could just not think about that and not let it "get to us" it does, more often for some of us than others, but thin people are consistently "rewarded" for being thin and not thin "consistently" told they could do more to be like the thin people. You may not do that, but lots do.

petitefilly
Oct. 16, 2007, 11:42 AM
... as I was leaving the arena I hear the clinician going over the test with the learning judges... not discussing the test AT ALL but discussing my weight.. and telling the prospective judges that the entire test should be SEVERELY PENALIZED for my size.. A friend was in this group, and was already a L judge, she was appalled at this woman and how she went on and on. The clinician was maybe 5'4" 115 lbs....obviously the type that never gained an ounce after a 2 lb bag of chips.

There ARE USDF officials out there, in control, who are encouraging future judges to make a BIG issue out of weight...


OUCH! #$%@#$%#%#

Damn. That is not right. A few older people have weight due to being old! :) We are not youngins, we will never be youngins again, and that extra bit of puddin' is here to stay. Is that wrong? Is it a failing? Should it have anything to do with judging a horse in a ring? MHO I do not think it should enter the ring unless the horse is blowing hard and taking his fetlock and pointing it upward with rolled eyes.

I do believe there are certain individuals with weight obsession, and they are usually thin people who have a downright fear of anyone overweight to the point that they are horrified of anyone over a *ideal* thin weight. George Morris is one of the primary bearers of this syndrome. Many thin dressage riders are right there in line behind him. Their numbers are in the judging forums also, so I can see why a leader of a forum would bring it up. I hope other judges without such a biases will step up to the plate and speak on behalf of the pudgy ones out there doing their best to do what they love to do.

Mozart
Oct. 16, 2007, 11:53 AM
Theoretically, as has already been pointed out, the only mark where this could come DIRECTLY into play is the rider's mark. If a large rider is riding well despite their extra size it should not matter. MagicRose's post is very disheartening. Either she deserved her 7 or not. If she did, clinician was out to lunch or had a negative bias.

Now, as anyone who has ridden both correct weight and overweight will honestly say, it is harder to ride well when you are overweight. However, it is certainly possible to be overweight and have a strong core, have decent aerobic fitness and have learned to cope with a top heavy balance and ride well. It is certainly harder to do though.

I can think of a very small handful of top riders (male and female) who are not sticks yet ride very well. Obviously they have learned to compensate. In fact you could probably argue they are VERY athletic for being able to ride so well notwithstanding their larger size.

Trying to decide what makes for a good picture is a bit ludicrous really. Then you will also have the very thin riders penalized, and oh how about the really short ones. And do you really want to see grey hair sticking out from under that hat? I mean, how well could an old person really ride? They would be weaker and less able to react quickly right? (I don't need an irony icon here, do I?)

pintopiaffe
Oct. 16, 2007, 12:02 PM
I was not fit or I wouldn't have been fat

I don't know how I missed this last night. Blame it on the 14 hours of travelling I did.

This is simply not true. I could run, do pushups and situps for my PAT at my higher weight. I cannot now. I was fit. Cardiowise I was perfect. Musclewise I carried a lot. I could not, at the time, loose fat due to diabetes and PCOS. When I first found the right diet, (Atkins) that worked, but eventually had to find the right meds. I was WAY more fit back then, as since June I have had very little in the way of either cardio OR strength due to a fairly traumatic back injury.

Perhaps it's true in some cases, but certainly not all.

:sigh: I suspect this is going to go poorly and I am going to try to be disciplined and not check back in. I stopped going to the UDBB over a similar thread where basically I was told I was lazy (uh, no) and should not be on a horse period, not to mention doing dressage.

And again, I mention Hilda Gurney. She is not fat, except maybe by a few people's standards-- but also is not the requisite sizes in breeks and shad. She is stronger than I'll ever hope to be, and VERY fit, to be riding the number of horses she does, to get through those FEI tests... And if she isnt' at the top of the game, I don't know who is.

flshgordon
Oct. 16, 2007, 12:08 PM
I was competing two years ago, where a USDF judges clinic was being held. Over 30 people were observing the arena I was competing in.

I am 48, 5'8" and at least 50 lbs overweight, the gain caused by several health issues. My horse is 18 hands and fits me EXTREMELY well. Riding IS the most available way for me to maintain some level of fitness as one of my health issues involves a leg which prevents excessive walking or jogging at all.

I rode a lovely 1st 4 test for this bunch of people, scoring around 68%, including a 7 for my riding, and "Wonderful pair" in my comments..It was 105 degrees that day and jackets were FORBIDDEN... as I was leaving the arena I hear the clinician going over the test with the learning judges... not discussing the test AT ALL but discussing my weight.. and telling the prospective judges that the entire test should be SEVERELY PENALIZED for my size.. A friend was in this group, and was already a L judge, she was appalled at this woman and how she went on and on. The clinician was maybe 5'4" 115 lbs....obviously the type that never gained an ounce after a 2 lb bag of chips.

There ARE USDF officials out there, in control, who are encouraging future judges to make a BIG issue out of weight...

This is the point when you should be sharing said official/clinician's NAME with all of us so we can make sure not to have him/her at any shows!!!
What an absurd comment

akor
Oct. 16, 2007, 12:11 PM
pintopiaffe:Now, now, we all know that the only thing keeping you and me from being a size 0 is that we lack discipline. :mad: If we just ate less and exercised more, we'd be thin too.:mad:

Yes, I'd be THINNER, but thin? That's just not my lot in life.

SBClancy
Oct. 16, 2007, 12:12 PM
If this was the case then my horse and I wouldn't be placing as well as we are. Many champion, reserve champion, 1st place first c/t out and we finished on our dressage score. I am at least 50 pounds over weight. I make sure I do everything as right as possible when riding so it doesn't effect my horse. But I think everyone should be riding that way regardless of weight. I've seen thin riders literally ruin horses because they rode consistently terrible. But nobody says anything about them just us plus size riders. My horse has no problem jumping 3 feet with me on him and believe me if he was having an issue he'd let me know. He is very opinionated about everything.

Anyone saying that plus size riders shouldn't ride are prejudice and need to check there attitudes at the show ring gate. People with this attitude to me are ugly people and need to have a reality check.

pintopiaffe
Oct. 16, 2007, 12:14 PM
Um... ok, so one more thought. Old Fat Nuno rode better than I EVER will. There are (or were) several older dressage gods who were getting a bit of a beer belly. They are allowed to proudly stick it out in front and ride and still be gods.

Most of the people talking about the weight affecting the horse are not stopping to realize that a 'slim' man often weighs as much or more than a fluffy female. You're not going to say that he affects the horse's movement or way of going or soundness?


Now, as anyone who has ridden both correct weight and overweight will honestly say, it is harder to ride well when you are overweight

It's funny, because when I was 65 lbs bigger I was agreeing that bigger is worse and I sucked and my poor horse. It's only now, that I'm starting to outwardly resemble a 'normal' weight, and getting into 'normal' sizes, (though I still have a ways to go) that I'm disagreeing.

It's all about the fact that I suck. Not what size I suck at. :lol:

I have scribed a lot. I've never had a judge comment on weight. But trust me, next time (won't be 'till next year now) I will be asking outright from the judges whom I respect. :yes:

Kiljoywashere
Oct. 16, 2007, 12:35 PM
I have not noticed that weight was a problem with the judges.... However, it *really* ticks off the skinny little size 2 DQs when someone who weighs considerably more than them beats them!

knz66
Oct. 16, 2007, 01:02 PM
and I am loving every second of that Kilroy!

I have to say I have seen far more bad riders,(no seat, bouncing on the backs, hanging on the reins, 6" of daylight between their ass & the saddle) on skinny AA riders than my "sturdy and durable" coherts.

Yes, I am overweight, I know it, I think about it every day I slip on my breeches. But I have to say I can sit the trot longer, canter longer than a lot of the "skinny-mini's". I have a horse that I fit, his gait is ridable, suitable for my needs.

We are well aware of how our balance effects the horse, probably more so than the skinnies because we have felt it more often. If I really thought I was damaging my horse, why oh why would I continue to show, continue to put myself out there for the world to judge?

For me, its almost like a mission.. To prove them wrong.. To prove to the skinny german male clincian that I can last longer, take more than the skinnies. That I am there to learn as much as you are willing to teach and have been rewarded for it several times.

Besides, arent dressage shows suppose to be about showing your progress and getting a report back on it?

blackhorsegirl
Oct. 16, 2007, 01:24 PM
Okay. I've been reading this thread for the last couple days. To be honest, I'm not sure what else can be said.

--Non of us wants to be overweight
--Those of us who are ride horses appropriate for us
--We dress in clothes that fit us well
--We work hard at being strong so we are correct and balanced in the saddle

Which one of those statements does not apply to all riders?

I my experience, judges award good riding and don't make it a beauty contest.

Weight loss, which is healthy for us, does not solve life's problems--or guarantee good scores.

If you want to improve your scores, get good instruction, strengthen your core and other muscles, and work hard.

If there is another way to do this, I would like to hear it.

lxt
Oct. 16, 2007, 01:32 PM
Sometimes the extra weight can help you.

I'm overweight - always have been from babyhood on - and I decided not to worry too much about it after working as a bike messenger, riding my bicycle eight hours a day, and still maintaining the same weight and body shape. I just try to be fit and healthy. I think I'm lucky that I'm very pear shaped and have basically no fat on my upper body, just a big butt, thighs, and huge calves.

I find that being heavier (and strong) can help you a bit on the bigger horses including those referred to as "men's horses", of which we have one. If I was lightweight I think I'd have no chance. I've also found that I am less likely to get run away with cross country wrt a strong horse vs lighter riders.

You have to pick your horse, saddle, and clothing right.

Tiligsmom
Oct. 16, 2007, 01:35 PM
This is topic near and dear to my heart. I rode for years with an extra 100lbs. It was difficult to maintain my balance in the saddle because I am short and wore most of my weight around my middle. I looked more like humpty dumpty and had a tenuous balance when the horse made any unexpected moves.

However, I continued to work hard, take lessons, and show. I regularly received scores in the mid 60s - sometimes a 70 now and then. Most of this is because I have a "feel" for the horse - don't know why...it just comes. However, my balance in the saddle was always something I struggled with. I never received above a 6 for rider effectiveness due to my balance.

Now...100lbs lighter...my rider scores are consistently 7s, sometimes 8s. I believe this is because I'm no longer fighting for my balanced with my short legs and heavy torso. My confidence has increased 1000 fold because I know I won't get unseated by a slight spook.

Clearly, 100lbs overweight is extreme. Most of you are talking about a few lbs which shouldn't make a big difference!

I can tell you that underneath that weight was a set of abs with amazing definition!

Pielover
Oct. 16, 2007, 01:41 PM
I don't know how I missed this last night. Blame it on the 14 hours of travelling I did.

This is simply not true. I could run, do pushups and situps for my PAT at my higher weight. I cannot now. I was fit. Cardiowise I was perfect. Musclewise I carried a lot.


Well I said I was fat and I was not fit because I was fat . I rode 3-4 horses a day took care of a small farm and walked my dogs 4 miles up and down hills . I laid down to zip up size 12/14 jeans and told myself, I'm fit . I was packing 50-60 pounds of fat beating the crap out of my body and my poor horses backs . I was not fit, I will never say I was fit because I know what fit is now . Everyone can disagree and tell me how they can run a marathon packing 50-60 pounds fat and they are as fit as the other athletes , great for you . I was fat, I was not fit , I told myself I was -This is my experience and mine only .

Sorry if I've offended anyone but I will never sugar- coat , deep fry or bread the condition I was in again . I was fat , I was not fit , I was beating up my poor horses backs , I was doing my own body harm . This is my experience and mine only .

Back to the original question - I showed the same horse as a fat rider and as a thin fit rider . We have done better as thin and fit . My horse is willing to give me his back now , he doesn't have to try to find a comfortable way to carry me . Videos of those fat rides make me want to cry - that poor horse giving me his best and trying so hard . Me not giving a crap about him, not giving him my best , asking him to go above and beyond to compensate for my lack of self-discipline . This is my experience and mine only .

rothmpp
Oct. 16, 2007, 01:47 PM
I usually do not wade into these discussions - I am a heavier rider. I believe that I carry it well and no one would likely guess my actual weight. I find it isn't the weight that is the problem, but the cardio and core muscles. I have a metabolic condition that makes the weight very difficult to take off. I do both weight training for muscle strength and cardio (currently running about a 8 minute mile for 4 miles a day. Am I not in condition? I'd wager that I am in better shape than half the people at my barn. So the attitude that I sometimes get for being larger is discouraging to say the least.

As far as judges go - I have scribed and managed shows for years. I have heard judges comment on bad positions from both thin and heavy riders alike. They dislike bad, weak riding. I have only heard a judge comment out loud about a rider's weight once. This is a rider that is not just overweight, but probably more than 100 lbs overweight and riding a small Arab at 4th/PSG. Her concern was that the rider was stressing the horse's back simply based on the size of the horse and that perhaps a more appropriately sized horse for the rider would be a better option, not that the rider should quit riding/showing. That being said, she had gotten the horse successfully to PSG. She must not have caused that much harm to the horse with her weight.

eggbutt
Oct. 16, 2007, 01:47 PM
For me, its almost like a mission.. To prove them wrong.. To prove to the skinny german male clincian that I can last longer, take more than the skinnies. That I am there to learn as much as you are willing to teach and have been rewarded for it several times.



WOW KNZ! You inspire me to take a chance. I need to lock this comment away for my very low confidence days!

Bluey
Oct. 16, 2007, 01:59 PM
---" Me not giving a crap about him, not giving him my best , asking him to go above and beyond to compensate for my lack of self-discipline . This is my experience and mine only ."---

Right YOUR experience.
There are as many reasons to be or become heavier as there are people.
Yours may have been lack of selfdiscipline, but for many others it is not.

I know, being over 60 and on medication after a heart attack from a heart defect, having gained 30 lbs in five months.:eek:
After all possible action, only being able to lose 10, I can tell you that some times, you can't help that extra weight.
Dr said not to worry, exercise more than light out of the question, diuretics may help, but side effects may be worse than some extra lbs.:(

And no, I am not as effective rider as I once was, the extra weight one reason, because I am not used to handle that yet.
Plus now have a broken wrist that is not healing right.:rolleyes:

I say that if someone that is very overweight can lose some, any way you can, you definitely will be a better rider for it.
If not that's ok, the world won't end because of it or a few missed points in a class.;)

EqTrainer
Oct. 16, 2007, 02:22 PM
The clinician was maybe 5'4" 115 lbs....obviously the type that never gained an ounce after a 2 lb bag of chips.



You know, I wasn't going to post on this thread. But I am now.

What on earth makes you think that it is ok to post this/think this way but it is NOT ok for that person to have the reverse perspective about YOU?

Maybe she works out two hours a day and watches her weight very carefully because she is diabetic. Or maybe she is very thin because she has thyroid problems. Or maybe she is anemic and has a hard time staying warm and burns all of her calories in an effort to be comfortable on a coldish day.

You display the same prejudice you complain about. Make up your mind. Is is ok for people to be prejudice about weight or is it not? Or is it only NOT ok when it's about you and your weight?

EqTrainer
Oct. 16, 2007, 02:34 PM
From a trainers perspective:

I have never met someone who was overweight who was not aware of it. Every person I have ever taught who was overweight knew it and knew exactly how it affected their riding.

My advice to students is almost always the same - whether they are larger or smaller - we all need to be *stronger and more flexible* to ride well. I have given that advice to countless riders, regardless of weight.

I personally have never had a student that was in denial or unaware of their weight and fitness level. I have had many students who would be considered overweight by any standard. Each one of them has been upfront and honest about their weight before beginning to ride with me. That is my only requirement as a trainer; that you know who you are and can be honest about it. That way, when it comes up as a true issue for any reason, we can talk about it without anyone feeling uncomfortable.

Knowing why you ride the way you do, from all aspects, is what is important IMO. This is like understanding your asymmetries. If you tell me you want to ride 3 days a week and show T1 forever, and you don't/won't take the time/effort to work on your crookedness, that is fine with me. So long as you know it. If you cannot sit the trot because your core is too weak to do it, don't tell me you think it's right to just "go with the motion", if you tell me you don't feel it's worth the time to develop your core because you don't intend to sit then fine - post.

You cannot change anything that you do not understand. And there is nothing wrong with choosing to ride at a certain level and not changing yourself. The work it takes to ride really, really well is HARD. It's hard mentally, it's hard physically. Most people will never commit to that level. It's ok, so long as you aren't claiming you're prepping for the Olympics but refusing to change.

blackhorsegirl
Oct. 16, 2007, 02:35 PM
Please, can we retire this thread?? If this keeps on soon the "skinnies" and the "fatties" will start up a food fight with raw veggies and low-cal dip.
What more can be said that's constructive?

blackhorsegirl
Oct. 16, 2007, 02:40 PM
eqtrainer, I think you said it all: Let's be honest with our goals, desires, and how hard we're willing to work. That applies to ALL riders, the thin and not so thin. Amen

CatOnLap
Oct. 16, 2007, 02:59 PM
Please, can we retire this thread?? If this keeps on soon the "skinnies" and the "fatties" will start up a food fight with raw veggies and low-cal dip.
What more can be said that's constructive?
More fun with whipped cream and choklit syrup. A well aimed carrot can put your eye out.


Weight loss, which is healthy for us, does not solve life's problems
And weight loss is not all that healthy for many people.
Being a few pounds overweight, up to a BMI of about 28, ( would be 5'6" and about 175 lbs) doesn't have any associated health risks in the literature, by itself. But constantly trying to lose weight down to a thinner size has profound effects on bone health. Especially for middle aged ladies, who tend to lose calcium from their bones at a great rate during dieting, and do not re-deposit it if they gain the weight back, which happens most of the time.

I notice among many older retired petite riders, there are many with broken hips and other crippling injuries related to osteopenia/osteoporosis. In fact, thin and petite women are at far greater risk than those who have larger frames and carry more weight. Yo-yo dieters also have incresed risk.

Better to concentrate on fitness, flexibility and strength as others have said, than on actual weight numbers.

rothmpp
Oct. 16, 2007, 03:01 PM
[QUOTE=EqTrainer;2742678]

Maybe she works out two hours a day and watches her weight very carefully because she is diabetic. Or maybe she is very thin because she has thyroid problems. Or maybe she is anemic and has a hard time staying warm and burns all of her calories in an effort to be comfortable on a coldish day.

QUOTE]

See - but the point is - a thin person is assumed to either work very hard to stay that way or have a condition that keeps them skinny, but a fat person is almost always assumed to be lazy and undisciplined. Don't get me wrong - there are plenty who are..., but there are many who work just as hard as a thin person who will never lose the weight. Just as there are thin people who would love to gain some weight, but can't no matter how hard they try.

The question presented for the thread was does weight effect scores based soley on weight - ability and riding equal otherwise... I have to say that based on my experience - very rarely. Most good judges reward good riding, heavy or thin, and we all can look at a ride and say - that rider looks really good or really bad, and there are examples of both for heavy and thin riders. If you are getting fives for rider position from a variety of judges, there is likely a issue with your riding that is not specifically your weight. Look at some video of your riding - if you are all over the horse's back - then you have an issue with your core muscles (and potentially your foundation garments). When I scribe - most people who look - ahem, bad - when heavy look bad through the chest - not the abdomen. Get yourself a better bra.

Coreene
Oct. 16, 2007, 03:06 PM
And as I said yesterday, for the zaftig / Rubenesque / abbondanza / Cadillac sized members of this fine BB who need shopping guidance for the plush sized riding wear, we have a lovely thread on Off Course called "Womanly-Sized Riders, Unite!" which will do wonders for emptying your wallet. ;)

CAJumper
Oct. 16, 2007, 03:24 PM
You know, I wasn't going to post on this thread. But I am now.

What on earth makes you think that it is ok to post this/think this way but it is NOT ok for that person to have the reverse perspective about YOU?

Maybe she works out two hours a day and watches her weight very carefully because she is diabetic. Or maybe she is very thin because she has thyroid problems. Or maybe she is anemic and has a hard time staying warm and burns all of her calories in an effort to be comfortable on a coldish day.

You display the same prejudice you complain about. Make up your mind. Is is ok for people to be prejudice about weight or is it not? Or is it only NOT ok when it's about you and your weight?

I was thinking the exact same thing. I also find the idea of anyone enjoying beating another rider because of their weight (higher or lower, whatever) appalling. This was a good discussion, but sadly seems to be disintegrating into 'us vs. them'.

TeddyRocks
Oct. 16, 2007, 03:27 PM
Good luck on your surgery!

Until I have a butt reduction, the breasts will stay. I would look really awful in normal clothes if the trunk didn't match the headlights so to speak...:lol:

I am sure every overweight and fat person out there would do everything better if they lost weight. I am sure there are a ton of skinny people that need to eat more to gain more muscle mass and fitness, which will make them better at everything too. This is not a newsflash.

I just don't care. I'm riding horses, not training for a marathon.

The happiest people in life know their place and how they fit. I'm just a bigger piece of the puzzle. :)

Oh - one more thing - all I can say is: Becky Holder. The woman should be the Womanly Riders Unite! pin-up girl. If she can do it, by gosh I can too! And she is an eventer - twelve minutes of dressage is hardly as intensive as twelve minutes of galloping 7 miles cross country over jumps in two-point.

How tall is she? I won't ask about weight, but height if anyone knows. I too am inspired by her. She gets it done...:lol:

I have DEFINATE weight issues, I am a yo-yo er from way back, but even with the excess weight, I find myself a stable rider that does not interfere with my horse. I of course would love to be a LOT thinner, but for now, this is me, and my horse is not suffering for it. There are other AA riders at the barn that are thinner and they bother their horses a LOT more than I do mine.

akor
Oct. 16, 2007, 03:35 PM
"Maybe she works out two hours a day and watches her weight regularly"

You described me. Well, for 6 days of the week.

Again, don't assume that anyone not stick thin DOESN'T WORK OUT or doesn't watch her/his weight and what we eat.

That's the biggest complaint of mine. Thin people usually don't get that some of us can do "exactly what you do" and not be as thin as you. Why does that diminish what we do or give you the right to judge?

If these dicussions focused more on fitness and "flabbiness" I'd be much more nuetral.

snoopy
Oct. 16, 2007, 03:52 PM
If these dicussions focused more on fitness and "flabbiness" I'd be much more nuetral.


Once upon a time...a few pages back it WAS!!!
I have read ALL the posts...I have NOT seen this to be a thin/fat argument...just about PERCEPTION. I think both body types face many challenges. But as I said WAY back, I believe that this is about being "fit enough for the job" and that comes in all shapes and sizes. But someone out of shape...whether heavy or thin has an OBLIGATION to the horse to work on that...not make excuses.

There is a saying:

You cannot control how you are perceived...but you can control how you are presented.

Bluey
Oct. 16, 2007, 04:15 PM
---"There is a saying:

You cannot control how you are perceived...but you can control how you are presented."---

That is not quite so either.

You can help some, but we are who we are and no matter how hard we may feel we have to try, we can only do so much.

Take it from someone that doesn't fit too many molds.;)

magnolia73
Oct. 16, 2007, 04:20 PM
These topics always come and go.

For all athletic endeavors, we will be at our best when we are lean, with properly developed muscles and strong cardio fitness. Carrying extra weight is not helpful, nor is being so thin that there is no muscle either. This is also, most likely the point at which we will have the best appearance.

The effort required to be our fittest varies from person to person, and the efforts required vary. For the thin woman, it may be hours of weight training and getting in a lot of lean protein to build strength. For a heavy woman it might be taking up running and cutting some calories. For some people it might take 30 minutes of easy cardio a day and cutting out the daily donut. For others it might be intensive cardio and a trip to the nutritionist to deal with a sluggish metabolism.

My brother typically stays at a peak fitness. It is time consuming in terms of meal preparation, scheduling work outs etc. He could NOT fit a horse or children into his life and has only a moderately demanding job. I also know a guy who is flat out fat. Never exercises, eats crap, sits on his butt all day. Most of us are somewhere in between.

There is great reward for making the effort to be fit and lean, but sometimes it just isn't possible. Do you want to sacrifice limited riding time to take a run or lift or do pilates? Do you want to spend 1/2 a Sunday preparing healthy meals for the work week? We should always seek to be healthy, but sometime that ultimate fitness can simply be out of reach due to time constraints.

Judge's may mark off indirectly for the side effects of being heavy but - who knows- maybe the time that person spends hauling to a good trainer, but eating McD's on the way results in better scores in other areas.

ESG
Oct. 16, 2007, 04:22 PM
I don't recall anything on the score sheet that scores the rider's physical beauty.

News flash - women aren't supposed to look like prepubescent boys. No matter what George Morris says.

Well, his opinion is somewhat biased on that point, after all. :winkgrin:

A good rider is a rider who rides in balance and harmony with his/her horse. Competence is not determined by a scale.

Of course, there are those who will use their weight as an excuse as to why they don't score well. But that's fodder for an entirely different thread. :yes:

JSwan
Oct. 16, 2007, 04:31 PM
I think it's funny that y'all are obsessed with this subject. While dressage riders are sticking their fingers down their throats, or having railside hen parties to diss competitors with a big butt - the rest of the horse world (all shapes and sizes) is out there getting the job done.

And those jobs involve a lot more strength, endurance and riding ability than doing dressage. The hardest I've ever worked in dressage pales in comparison to even a slow day hunting. XC riding, (eventing and hunting), endurance, polo, ranch work/some Western disciplines - those folks and their horses seem to get along very well - superbly, even. Tall short, top heavy, bottom heavy, big boobs, no boobs, big butt, small butt.

If the fashion is becoming that judges penalize for physical appearance - I predict dressage shows will become few and far between. If the USDF wants a particular "look" - put it in the score sheet and rule book and see what happens.;)

Coreene
Oct. 16, 2007, 04:41 PM
Lovely sweeping generalization. Not.

JSwan
Oct. 16, 2007, 04:55 PM
Well, what do folks expect? It's just as much a sweeping generalization to say that a rider who does fit a particular "look" isn't an effective rider, or has trouble balancing, or all the other comments I've read. I never have figured out why hunters and dressage riders talk about this subject so much. Women in particular. I have never once, in all my years, heard a man ask if his coat makes his butt look big.


It's about being a good rider. The heck with a person's waist measurement. Make sure your clothes fit you properly, and go in the ring and ride to win.

EqTrainer
Oct. 16, 2007, 04:57 PM
[quote=rothmpp;2742781][quote=EqTrainer;2742678]

Maybe she works out two hours a day and watches her weight very carefully because she is diabetic. Or maybe she is very thin because she has thyroid problems. Or maybe she is anemic and has a hard time staying warm and burns all of her calories in an effort to be comfortable on a coldish day.

QUOTE]

See - but the point is - a thin person is assumed to either work very hard to stay that way or have a condition that keeps them skinny, but a fat person is almost always assumed to be lazy and undisciplined. Don't get me wrong -

No. That was not what was said. The post by MagicRose included a very ugly statement about skinny person that, if it were turned around and had been written about someone overweight, would have had everyone up in arms.

Prejudice regarding weight is prejudice, folks. You cannot have it both ways. If you mutter "skinny beyotch" when a skinny person pisses in your corn flakes, then you should not be surprised, offended or shocked when someone refers to YOUR weight in a derogatory manner either.

magnolia73
Oct. 16, 2007, 05:01 PM
Because dressage, hunters and eq have a subjective component and rider (and horse) appearance do play some role.

marta
Oct. 16, 2007, 05:08 PM
those of you in search for an effective no bounce bra check out title 9. i have their frog bra and i look almost flat chested while wearing it (i'm a small D, large C);)

EqTrainer
Oct. 16, 2007, 05:19 PM
[quote=akor;2742877]"Maybe she works out two hours a day and watches her weight regularly"

the quote ended ... "because she is diabetic". You left that part out.

You described me. Well, for 6 days of the week.

I hope not. I hope you're not diabetic. One of my best horsie friends is diabetic. It's not easy to live with.

Again, don't assume that anyone not stick thin DOESN'T WORK OUT or doesn't watch her/his weight and what we eat.

Where and how do you read an assumption about anyone being or doing anything into that statement?

That's the biggest complaint of mine. Thin people usually don't get that some of us can do "exactly what you do" and not be as thin as you. Why does that diminish what we do or give you the right to judge?

Who is judging here? What do you know about what thin people think about what you do or don't do... why would you think people think that you should be as thin as they are... seriously - you have some very odd ideas, IMO, about what people think about other people. At least what ADULTS think about other people. This sounds like high school to me.

If these dicussions focused more on fitness and "flabbiness" I'd be much more nuetral.

Maybe this will help you out a little. My best friend is very overweight. Do you know what I think when I see her? "God, it's great to see (her)! Gotta get a hug! I love (her)!" One of my very good friends is rather skinny. Do I think "Oh! She is so skinny! Good for her!" No, I think "Wow, it's great to see her.. love (her)".

In my group of friends, we range from being very thin, to probably the ideal, to very overweight. Incidentally, we talk about it. But it's NOT the defining factor of anyone's life.

I don't know what else to say , other than that maybe you need a different set of people to hang around with.

JSwan
Oct. 16, 2007, 05:20 PM
Because dressage, hunters and eq have a subjective component and rider (and horse) appearance do play some role.

It was a rhetorical question. Overall impression should be one of harmony, balance, and all that good stuff. If a rider is ineffective - the score should reflect it.

A balanced, effective rider is simply that - regardless of size, height, or any other factor.

tarragon
Oct. 16, 2007, 05:39 PM
Because dressage, hunters and eq have a subjective component and rider (and horse) appearance do play some role.

I was thinking the exact same thing. Whether we like it or not, whether it's "fair" or not, if you look at two equal riders (same correct position, same effectiveness of aids) one thin and the other overweight, the thin rider simply creates a prettier and more elegant overall picture. In subjective judging that is likely to create a bias toward that rider.

Coreene
Oct. 16, 2007, 05:47 PM
Then again, we Abbondanza Girls are already at a disadvantage with those white breeches. Which, really, don't look good on 90% of the population, but especially not on us. :lol: Which is why I am such a huge fan of cream colored ones. I learned this from Aunt Esther's sister Aunt Edith, she of Shapely Breeches fame. ;)

ESG
Oct. 16, 2007, 06:02 PM
I think it's funny that y'all are obsessed with this subject. While dressage riders are sticking their fingers down their throats, or having railside hen parties to diss competitors with a big butt - the rest of the horse world (all shapes and sizes) is out there getting the job done.

Oh, I see. So the fashion-obsessed, excruciatingly subjective hunters are "out there getting the job done", and not concerned with appearance.

Uh huh. :rolleyes:


And those jobs involve a lot more strength, endurance and riding ability than doing dressage. The hardest I've ever worked in dressage pales in comparison to even a slow day hunting. XC riding, (eventing and hunting), endurance, polo, ranch work/some Western disciplines - those folks and their horses seem to get along very well - superbly, even. Tall short, top heavy, bottom heavy, big boobs, no boobs, big butt, small butt.

You described all the objective disciplines here. Apples to oranges, J. ;)


If the fashion is becoming that judges penalize for physical appearance - I predict dressage shows will become few and far between. If the USDF wants a particular "look" - put it in the score sheet and rule book and see what happens.;)

As stated above, it's already happening in the hunters; has been for years. And I don't notice a decline in the number of their shows. Poor analogy.

heronponie
Oct. 16, 2007, 06:09 PM
What about riders who are clearly unmatched to their horses? Does this affect scores in the show ring, or general perception of them?

I'll give an example. An overweight rider enters the ring on a comparatively small, streamlined horse (say an Arab for argument's sake). They put in a good test and the horse does not appear to be struggling with the weight, but they are aesthetically displeasing. Does this affect the scores?

How about a very tall, thin rider on a short little horse or pony? Legs hanging below the belly, hands appearing to "eat up" the little horse's neck when held in a normal position.

What about a tiny rider on a biiig, beefy warmblood?

ESG
Oct. 16, 2007, 06:39 PM
heronponie brings up my favorite topic - horses being suited to riders, and vice versa.

I find it objectionable to see mismatched riders and horses. I don't like the 5', 105lb rider on a beefy, 17h WB any less objectionable than a larger rider on a smaller horse. I have noticed the trend towards suitability in the dressage ring increasing, at least in our area. I'm seeing lots more Welsh cobs, ponies, Andalusians, and generally smaller breed horses nearly as often as I'm seeing the 17.3h monsters. I think it's a great trend, and I hope it continues. I will be doing my best to contribute when I start showing my newest training horse - a 15.3 Andalusian. :yes:

MyReality
Oct. 16, 2007, 06:40 PM
heronponie's point is very valid. I believe it does affect the overall picture, and some judges may choose to let that affect the score. Horses and riders have to match, IMO.

BTW, there is absolutely no need to debate about weight issues. We are talking about a range of numbers called body mass indexes. We are not about what you see in magazines or what Anky looks like. You can 'look' large, but actually very healthy based on your BMI number.

If one can be as black and white with his/her weight, as with horses, this whole weight issue is not so much of a class struggle / social struggle. If not for the general abundance of fast cheap fatty un-natural food, we won't even think skinny is fashionable. Fashion is no more than an counterweight to the norm, an expression of people's aspiration. Remember once upon a time, being chubby is actually fashionable!

Remember, burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. I follow the Canadian food guide... really works.

JSwan
Oct. 16, 2007, 07:42 PM
Oh, I see. So the fashion-obsessed, excruciatingly subjective hunters are "out there getting the job done", and not concerned with appearance.

Uh huh. :rolleyes:

I had mentioned hunters in a previous post. Didn't want to repeat myself. Uh huh:rolleyes:



You described all the objective disciplines here. Apples to oranges, J. ;)

Dunno about objective - seems like most disciplines have a judged competition somewhere in there - geez - even foxhunting has performance trials. Apples to apples.

As stated above, it's already happening in the hunters; has been for years. And I don't notice a decline in the number of their shows. Poor analogy.

Perhaps a poor analogy - yet in hunters there are many people that are completely fed up with the current system - as "the look" has become so important that the quality of horsemanship has diminished. Hunters even joke about it. Lunge till dead, hop on, count the strides, pose over jumps and look pretty. Seems like a week doesn't go by that COTH doesn't have an article on that very thing.

It's always surprising to me what people consider overweight. What does "thin" mean? When my doctor told me I was thin - it wasn't a complement. I was underweight.

People simply look different. A perfectly healthy person, who is an excellent horseman, and is within their normal BMI may be cruelly condemned as "fat". It's ridiculous. Particularly coming from a judge. There are a lot of people, who are thin that are weak or debilitated from illness or injury. One's physical beauty isn't a reliable indicator of fitness, health or strength.

mcm7780
Oct. 16, 2007, 09:34 PM
But if you are flopping around on his back, skiing off his mouth, and huffing and puffing then you deserve to get marked down on the rider portion of the test.

I haven't read all the posts so this may have already been said: Thin or average weight riders can be doing all of the above in which case weight wouldn't be the cause of a lower score; riding ability, fitness level, balance, etc. would be what caused the score to be lower.

mishmash
Oct. 16, 2007, 10:51 PM
"Please, can we retire this thread?? If this keeps on soon the "skinnies" and the "fatties" will start up a food fight with raw veggies and low-cal dip.
What more can be said that's constructive?"

I am an overweight rider, though not as many pounds overweight as I used to be-have lost 40 pounds in last 5 months. I have 30 to go. I carry most of my weight around my middle, have short, stubby legs, and do not look pretty or elegant on a horse. Has my riding improved? Maybe -my endurance is better. Don't think it has changed my skill level much. My main challenge is "feel" and coordinating my aids with the horses reaction to them. Getting better, but still a ways to go to acheive my goals. But dont really think losing weight will help that much.
My scores for riding in dressage tests have ranged from 7's to 5's, with mainly 6's. Most of my friends who are thin, score in the same range.
I ride a very large horse with very big gaits. There is a whole lot movement goin' on, and it is not pretty-another motivation for losing weight. No matter how fit I am-I have 30 pounds around my middle I have no control over-it goes with the flow, so to speak.

And if there is a food fight, I want people to throw peanut butter fudge and brownies at me-am sick of lo cal dip and raw veggies!

Sabine
Oct. 17, 2007, 12:56 AM
[quote=rothmpp;2742781][quote=EqTrainer;2742678]

Maybe she works out two hours a day and watches her weight very carefully because she is diabetic. Or maybe she is very thin because she has thyroid problems. Or maybe she is anemic and has a hard time staying warm and burns all of her calories in an effort to be comfortable on a coldish day.

QUOTE]

See - but the point is - a thin person is assumed to either work very hard to stay that way or have a condition that keeps them skinny, but a fat person is almost always assumed to be lazy and undisciplined. Don't get me wrong -

No. That was not what was said. The post by MagicRose included a very ugly statement about skinny person that, if it were turned around and had been written about someone overweight, would have had everyone up in arms.

Prejudice regarding weight is prejudice, folks. You cannot have it both ways. If you mutter "skinny beyotch" when a skinny person pisses in your corn flakes, then you should not be surprised, offended or shocked when someone refers to YOUR weight in a derogatory manner either.

you must really be a great person- because you give very good training advice and have obvious experience with horses and teaching and you also have the balls to turn more than half of this forum (which seems to be overweight ) against you! I agree with your reasoning and would like to add that although I have tremendous compassion for those that have weight battles to fight- I do also know that it's only self discipline that will work and fix this problem in the long run. And we all have to have self discipline- because some of us have a weight problem others have another type of problem- too workaholic, too alcoholic, too spend thrifty, too talkative and gossipy etc... there are always areas that we all have issues with that affect us negatively and stand in our way of accomplishing certain goals.

How to improve self discipline?? be tough against yourself...stand up for yourself...realize that it stands in the way of your own success....decide to WIN the battle.

Not easy- but doable- if one really wants to win that battle. :)

FancyFree
Oct. 17, 2007, 01:21 AM
Well being a "sturdy" person has it's advantages, I guess. I remember when I befriended a wanna be DQ at my barn. I'm a religious trail rider. After lessons and any work, my horse and I go out on the trail. This prissy, anorexically skinny woman wanted to go with me. Unfortunately her spoiled, gorgeous horse was totally barn sour. He would rear every time she tried to go out. He dumped her quite a few times One time, I offered to switch horses. Reggie (spoiled horse) was reluctant at the creek but I gave him a big boot and he went forward. No rearing. He was an angel the whole time. Honestly, he couldn't have been better behaved. When I remarked at how good he was, the DQ wannabe replied "Well you're so much heavier than me, of course he won't rear!"

I laughed and laughed.

snoopy
Oct. 17, 2007, 07:05 AM
[QUOTE=EqTrainer;2743098][quote=rothmpp;2742781]
How to improve self discipline?? be tough against yourself...stand up for yourself...realize that it stands in the way of your own success....decide to WIN the battle.
Not easy- but doable- if one really wants to win that battle. :)

I agree ladies....I was going to respond to a particular post where by someone sited the lack of time to prepare healthy meals, or lose valuable riding time instead of working out.
Sabine, you are so right to use the term self discipline...that is what it boils down to!!!!:yes:
When you COMPETE, you become part of SPORT and as such by this very nature you are judged as an athlete, part of the equation.
Quite frankly I am shocked, as Sabine states, that it would appear that half the woman on this thread are over weight!!!:confused:
And am more shocked that excuses are made for the extra weight.
I do not care how much someone weighs...but in the context of a riding partnership, yes I have a problem when someone complains, does nothing or very little about it, and then makes excuses for it.
I get up at 5am...the reason, to work out
I do prepare healthy meals
Is it hard work getting up early when everyone is asleep or spending extra time on meal prep...you bet....and it gets no easier all these years later.
Why do I do it then?
Because I value the contibution to the PARTNERSHIP...I ask my horse to work and I ask my horse to eat a healthy, balanced meal...so he is fit for the job I am asking him to do, wouldn't I do the same for him?
It is about Discipline.


And I would like to add that discipline involves sacrifice...not excuse.

Bluey
Oct. 17, 2007, 08:44 AM
[QUOTE=Sabine;2743933][QUOTE]

I agree ladies....I was going to respond to a particular post where by someone sited the lack of time to prepare healthy meals, or lose valuable riding time instead of working out.
Sabine, you are so right to use the term self discipline...that is what it boils down to!!!!:yes:
When you COMPETE, you become part of SPORT and as such by this very nature you are judged as an athlete, part of the equation.
Quite frankly I am shocked, as Sabine states, that it would appear that half the woman on this thread are over weight!!!:confused:
And am more shocked that excuses are made for the extra weight.
I do not care how much someone weighs...but in the context of a riding partnership, yes I have a problem when someone complains, does nothing or very little about it, and then makes excuses for it.
I get up at 5am...the reason, to work out
I do prepare healthy meals
Is it hard work getting up early when everyone is asleep or spending extra time on meal prep...you bet....and it gets no easier all these years later.
Why do I do it then?
Because I value the contibution to the PARTNERSHIP...I ask my horse to work and I ask my horse to eat a healthy, balanced meal...so he is fit for the job I am asking him to do, wouldn't I do the same for him?
It is about Discipline.


And I would like to add that discipline involves sacrifice...not excuse.

No excuse? Bunk!:rolleyes:

You must not have been reading.You are missing pieces of the puzzle.:yes:
Weight, either too much or too little, is regulated by more than self sacrifice.:(

The higher our nose, the harder we fall when life trips us.;)
I hope that you can be so lucky to be able to keep your weight where you want it with your self sacrifice alone.:cool:

Horses come in all sizes and body types also and so adequate horses for each person can be found.

snoopy
Oct. 17, 2007, 08:49 AM
[QUOTE=snoopy;2744018][QUOTE=Sabine;2743933]

No excuse? Bunk!:rolleyes:

You must not have been reading.You are missing pieces of the puzzle.:yes:
Weight, either too much or too little, is regulated by more than self sacrifice.:(

The higher our nose, the harder we fall when life trips us.;)
I hope that you can be so lucky to be able to keep your weight where you want it with your self sacrifice alone.:cool:

Horses come in all sizes and body types also and so adequate horses for each person can be found.


It is YOU who may not be reading...go back and read my threads on the very thing your critize me for.
As for horses coming in all shapes and sizes...agreed...and as such some are not suitable for certain jobs!!

JSwan
Oct. 17, 2007, 09:10 AM
Geez - some of y'all really need to get down off the soapbox. The issue isn't obesity or fat vs thin, or who can prepare a low cal meal the fastest.

"Normal" isn't a specific number or bra size or hip waist ratio. "Normal" is a range. A very broad range. What many people consider overweight is simply a person at the higher range of what is considered normal and healthy for their height. A slender person may just be a the lower end of what is considered normal for their height.

In each example, the person could be an effective rider, or a poor one. Regardless of their body shape.

Our physical appearance is dictated by more than our eating habits. And we are talking about appearance here - not health or talent or horsemanship.

snoopy
Oct. 17, 2007, 09:18 AM
Geez - some of y'all really need to get down off the soapbox. The issue isn't obesity or fat vs thin, or who can prepare a low cal meal the fastest.

"Normal" isn't a specific number or bra size or hip waist ratio. "Normal" is a range. A very broad range. What many people consider overweight is simply a person at the higher range of what is considered normal and healthy for their height. A slender person may just be a the lower end of what is considered normal for their height.

In each example, the person could be an effective rider, or a poor one. Regardless of their body shape.

Our physical appearance is dictated by more than our eating habits. And we are talking about appearance here - not health or talent or horsemanship.


Exactly....being over weight is outside of the "normal range" as is under weight...both concidered to be unhealthy. MY posts have been about the personal discipline to keep yourself with in the range for your body type, about being fit and strong. Never have I said because you do not look like Cindy Crawford that you are a bad rider.

Eventer55
Oct. 17, 2007, 09:23 AM
News flash - women aren't supposed to look like prepubescent boys. No matter what George Morris says.
:yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes: :yes::yes::yes::yes::yes: Nicely put!

blackhorsegirl
Oct. 17, 2007, 09:46 AM
Normal is the setting on a dryer. Is that where we really want to be?

mbamissaz
Oct. 17, 2007, 10:06 AM
I think an important thing for everyone to remember is that we all don't know what "place" another person is in with their personal fitness goals. We tend to look at a person and make a snap judgement on "why" they look the way they do (they must be lazy or eat poorly or conversely..they must be anorexic etc) without truly knowing the whole story.

I have lost over 100lbs in the last 20 months...I workout 6x/week at the gym..religiously...and yes, SOME people STILL look at me and think I'm "heavy"...and others think I look great. I know I have accomplished a great deal...but I, like everyone here, am on my own personal journey. So I just want to say, be careful making generalizations that someone is not "disciplined" enough etc. It's not always that clear cut. For the record, losing weight has definitely helped my riding...and my horse is positively affected because of it.

For those interested, here is my webshots link: http://community.webshots.com/album/171536731vnyviZ

The picture from 12/11/05 is before the weightloss (not the blond..she is my instructor)...and the pictures from 3/07 are after. Please no critiques on my riding...I know I'm leaning too far forward..story of my life.

JSwan
Oct. 17, 2007, 10:16 AM
Never have I said because you do not look like Cindy Crawford that you are a bad rider.

But others have insinuated just that. It's ridiculous and shallow.


Mbamissaz - those are lovely photos!

Bluey
Oct. 17, 2007, 10:21 AM
[QUOTE=Bluey;2744070][QUOTE=snoopy;2744018]


It is YOU who may not be reading...go back and read my threads on the very thing your critize me for.
As for horses coming in all shapes and sizes...agreed...and as such some are not suitable for certain jobs!!

Sorry, you are missing too much if you think that self sacrifice will make a person stay on a certain range of weight.

For me, to lose those 20 extra lbs, I have to quit taking my heart medicine and so may have a second heart attack and be DEAD. Not really a choice or self sacrifice involved there.;)
I never had any problem with my weight in my whole life, before now, didn't do anything to gain or lose weight.
You may be so lucky that with your self sacrifice you can keep your weight where you want it, but don't blame others on their lack of same, when there are so many OTHER reasons out there for weight variances.

That is just ONE of MANY examples why some people are the weight they are, be it too high or too low, that are not depending on your demand of self sacrifice to control the weight we are.

Walk a mile in someone's moccasins, before telling them how to walk thru their life.:)

Ever care for a really easy keeper horse, or a thin, scrawny one?
If so, you would know that it is not always what you feed that horse that can make it fat, there are other reasons and you will learn how hard it is to keep weight off them, or to put weight on a hard keeper, no matter how much top quality feed you use.

Getting back on topic, I think that, because we don't want to be judging people's conformation in dressage, weight itself, be it large or small, should not be a criteria for points.

EqTrainer
Oct. 17, 2007, 10:22 AM
[quote=snoopy;2744018][quote=Sabine;2743933]

No excuse? Bunk!:rolleyes:

You must not have been reading.You are missing pieces of the puzzle.:yes:
Weight, either too much or too little, is regulated by more than self sacrifice.:(

The higher our nose, the harder we fall when life trips us.;)
I hope that you can be so lucky to be able to keep your weight where you want it with your self sacrifice alone.:cool:

Horses come in all sizes and body types also and so adequate horses for each person can be found.

Hey Bluey! Go back and pull my name off that quote :lol: it was Snoopy, not me.

snoopy
Oct. 17, 2007, 10:34 AM
I get your point...really I do. So let me clarify, I am NOT talking about those special circumtances you mention...and of course they come with their own challenges...BUT....

If you are asking me to accept that all those who are over weight and unfit have health related issues that prevent them from acheiving an ideal body range...then I don't bite. I think there are those who rely on excuse, or use those with special challenges to justify their lack of discipline.

Now...my circumtance is from the other side of the argument:

I am a tall (6 foot) male...and tend to be on the VERY lean side...has this given me trouble...hell yes. Okay, I may not have had any negative perceptions thrown my way but what nature gave me WAS a disadvantage to being an effective rider. I was not strong in my core, and there for did not have control over my body and this effected my abiltiy to ride as well as I would have liked.
So instead of making excuses for me height/weight....I did something about it. I started a fitness plan that involved a change of diet, exercise, and weight training....Whilst I will never have the body of a body builder, I have however thru discipline and sacrifice IMPROVED my areas of weekness and as a result, my riding has improved.

Bluey
Oct. 17, 2007, 10:34 AM
[][]

Hey Bluey! Go back and pull my name off that quote :lol: it was Snoopy, not me.

Oooops! I see. Sorry, hope I did it right this time.:o
Will be more careful next time, when adding the automatic quote function.:eek:

mbamissaz
Oct. 17, 2007, 10:40 AM
Mbamissaz - those are lovely photos!

Thanks J Swan! :)

JSwan
Oct. 17, 2007, 10:50 AM
snoopy - no matter what - someone is going to pick on you because of your appearance. You're tall. When you fall off - no doubt there will be some railbird chirping that you have no business riding because you're so tall you come off too easily. If in doubt - just look up old threads on poor Christopher Reeve.

You may say - geez - I really need to work on core strength - but trust me - someone out there will be rolling their eyes and saying you have no business being on your particular horse, or riding dressage, or riding at all.

Too tall, too short, alligator arms, big ass, big boobs, big thighs, short legs, long legs, yatta yatta.

I'm 5'9" - tall for a female. And I've had lots of folks tell me I'm too tall to be riding anything under 16.2h. And when I fall (and I do) it's only because I have no business riding a short horse. (the fact the horse tripped in a ditch while galloping through a hayfield couldn't possibly have anything to do with me being launched into the air. ;))

When people talk about fitness - they are often really talking about physical beauty (women, usually). As you know - there is more to fitness than a dress size or body type. Unfortunately, some folks don't see past the dress size.

(for the record - I was of the same opinion when I was stick thin)

There is always someone ready to kick a person when they're down.





I am a tall (6 foot) male...and tend to be on the VERY lean side...has this given me trouble...hell yes. Okay, I may not have had any negative perceptions thrown my way but what nature gave me WAS a disadvantage to being an effective rider. I was not strong in my core, and there for did not have control over my body and this effected my abiltiy to ride as well as I would have liked.
So instead of making excuses for me height/weight....I did something about it. I started a fitness plan that involved a change of diet, exercise, and weight training....Whilst I will never have the body of a body builder, I have however thru discipline and sacrifice IMPROVED my areas of weekness and as a result, my riding has improved.

TropicalStorm
Oct. 17, 2007, 10:53 AM
If you are asking me to accept that all those who are over weight and unfit have health related issues that prevent them from acheiving an ideal body range...then I don't bite. I think there are those who rely on excuse, or use those with special challenges to justify their lack of discipline.



I actually agree. As an overweight rider, while I do have a medical condition that allows me gain weight easily (PCOS), part of the reason I AM overweight to begin with is that I didn't exercise enough for what I ate. Now that I've been diagnosed with PCOS, many of my cravings are understandable, but in the end, no one stuffed that piece of bread in my mouth but me. And while I'm sure there are medical conditions that make it impossible to lose weight (such as heart medications), the vast majority of conditions just make it more DIFFICULT to lose weight-not impossible.

I'm trying to lose weight. Going to the gym 4x a week, "trying" to watch what I eat (although I'll always love food). I might not lose weight that quickly - and I'll never be thin, but my goal now is to be healthy and to minimize the damage that PCOS can do

blackhorsegirl
Oct. 17, 2007, 11:02 AM
Snoopy, I'm glad you have a good exercise program. I do the same thing. I've done weights and core strengthening but I'm still overweight. I'm also 59 years old. As a man, Mother Nature deals with you differently. Mother Nature, is Her wisdom, doesn't care about dressage scores or how we look in our stretchy white dressage pants. She cares about maintaining a pregnancy and the fat ratio in women is meant to support that. I've given birth to 5 children (now all grown) and by the last one, the weight was the hardest to get off.

I'm still trying--I've lost 40 pounds--still exercising and still getting 7's on my rider scores. I'm overweight but that's no excuse for not working hard at my riding.

equi-librium
Oct. 17, 2007, 11:11 AM
my coach told me on several occasions
"larger riders that stick with it, tend to have more determination in the grand scheme of things, by caring less about everyone else and more about their riding"..

what she ment was us "healthier" ;) girls, have to work harder than the skinnys do, we have to ride AND deal with their crappy comments lol.. i may be overweight.. but i dare almost any of the skinny biatches to test my fitness level..

self confidece is a thing some of the skinnys making fun of us larger riders, dont have... dont get me wrong, clothes shopping was alot easier when i was 5'10" and 140, but i was sick as a dog when i took my thyroid meds (or any meds for that matter).. i wouldnt trade being happy and NOT SICK for anything, not even a smaller jeans size..

grow up people.. theres alot more important things in life than making fun of the big girls.. we could easily kick your butt.. ;)

Lisa Cook
Oct. 17, 2007, 11:21 AM
but i dare almost any of the skinny biatches to test my fitness level..

self confidece is a thing some of the skinnys making fun of us larger riders, dont have...

So, tell me, why do you think it is OK for you to call skinny people names and disparage them, yet you seem to think you are entitled to respect as a "healthy" rider? Your post was rude.

snoopy
Oct. 17, 2007, 11:23 AM
Thank you for the last few posts!!!! I really hope that people are not reading something different in my thought process....

My main bone of contention is excuses....

Most of us have some issue to deal with...mine is that I am that skinny horse, that does not like to eat and is very hard to put and keep weight and muscle...but I RECOGNIZE this challenge and I do what I can to improve the situation. I do not just accept it because that is the easiest thing to do.

I am the first one in the line to open my gig gobb when someone makes a vile remark about someones else's weight....BECAUSE I HAVE A WEIGHT PROBLEM!!! Just because I come from the opposite side of the scale...my challenge is very much the same. It is hard work to maintain a healthy, fit, strong body and mind. My struggles are the same.

Coming from an eventing background and before I got a handle on my fitness issues, I would be utterly exhausted from all that the sport required. Irealized that this had an effect on my horse, myself, and hey lets face it...saftey. I was one of those people huffing and puffing, red in the face and flopping around on my horse's back because I was unfit.

For those of you who feel hard done by because you are carrying extra weight simply because it is easier to justify then address...before you get pissy and think that I have it any easier...you are VERY wrong. I am right there with your struggles:D

snoopy
Oct. 17, 2007, 11:28 AM
[QUOTE=equi-librium;2744340
.. theres alot more important things in life than making fun of the big girls.. we could easily kick your butt.. ;)[/QUOTE]


And just who has called anyone names...and made fun of anyone? Have you read this thread? It sounds to me you may very well have a chip on YOUR shoulder. It would seem that you are accussing others of what you are doing yourself.

equi-librium
Oct. 17, 2007, 11:32 AM
my point exaclty snoopy.. that was the hole point of my post.. :yes:

im just as hypocritical as everypne else out there making fun of weight..

the "we could kick ur butt" comment, was ment to be funny.. not so much literal.. ;)

claire
Oct. 17, 2007, 11:36 AM
When people talk about fitness - they are often really talking about physical beauty (women, usually). As you know - there is more to fitness than a dress size or body type. Unfortunately, some folks don't see past the dress size.

J.Swan makes a good point. I think a distinction needs to be made on whether it is the body type or weight or the lack of fitness that affects one's riding.

Alot of people are equating large body type= overweight=lack of fitness=lack of self discipline. What lack of discipline affects is your level of fitness.

Lack of fitness affects your weight, but more importantly, it affects your balance/muscle strength/coordination and timing...this is what has the biggest effect on a score or riding ability.

Lack of fitness Does Not affect your body type, so all the self discipline in the world is not going to change a large body type into a small one.

So, I am wondering if those who are saying they "ride better" now that they have lost weight, maybe they upped their fitness level to lose wieght and the increased fitness level is what increased their scores or riding ability?

Maybe, the original poster's question should be: Does a rider's Body Type
have an effect on one's scores? :confused:

Oh, FWIW I am on the below average point on the Weight scale. ;)
But, I have experience on being both below and above average on
Fitness scale. Yes, getting fit takes discipline JMVHO! :winkgrin:

Bluey
Oct. 17, 2007, 11:51 AM
Thank you for the last few posts!!!! I really hope that people are not reading something different in my thought process....

My main bone of contention is excuses....

Most of us have some issue to deal with...mine is that I am that skinny horse, that does not like to eat and is very hard to put and keep weight and muscle...but I RECOGNIZE this challenge and I do what I can to improve the situation. I do not just accept it because that is the easiest thing to do.

I am the first one in the line to open my gig gobb when someone makes a vile remark about someones else's weight....BECAUSE I HAVE A WEIGHT PROBLEM!!! Just because I come from the opposite side of the scale...my challenge is very much the same. It is hard work to maintain a healthy, fit, strong body and mind. My struggles are the same.

Coming from an eventing background and before I got a handle on my fitness issues, I would be utterly exhausted from all that the sport required. Irealized that this had an effect on my horse, myself, and hey lets face it...saftey. I was one of those people huffing and puffing, red in the face and flopping around on my horse's back because I was unfit.

For those of you who feel hard done by because you are carrying extra weight simply because it is easier to justify then address...before you get pissy and think that I have it any easier...you are VERY wrong. I am right there with your struggles:D

Telling personal stories, I am heavy now because I have not a weight, but a heart problem.
Was born with a heart defect, that at that time killed 9 out of 10 infants.
No one knew about it until I had a heart attack at almost 60 and then they wonder how I lived so long and a physically active life at that.
Blood pressure was always too low, arteries are squeaky clean, weight was always in the normal range, family history without heart trouble, no risk factors at all for heart disease.

I know that, even being in the gymnastic team, I really never had the top fitness others did, but almost, so made do with what I had, that is only about 2/3 heart function.
From the heart attack, the rythm is altered and I need medication that keeps the heart rate steady.
The result is also that the heart rate won't go up in exercise to gain cardiac fitness, if such was possible.
I exercise daily to a certain level and that is a calculated risk.
Also went to two days a week, 1 1/2 hour yoga classes, but had to quit when my wrist, that I broke in June, is not healing right, so the Dr said to quit any other than walking for now.
Will end up in surgery in 2 1/2 weeks for that, if I get a cardiac clearance first, a few days before that, which I should.

Riding is taking a back seat for now, again.:(

I say that being at a perfect weight will still not make a perfect rider, hard work at riding will, no matter what weight you are.

One advantage of too skinny riders is that by far the whole world doesn't pick at them to the degree that the too heavy are being picked on.;)

That is what this thread is all about and, as some steward or scribe at a show posted, some judges do take notice of overweight riders in a negative way. Too bad.:no:

JSwan
Oct. 17, 2007, 12:09 PM
Coming from an eventing background and before I got a handle on my fitness issues, I would be utterly exhausted from all that the sport required. Irealized that this had an effect on my horse, myself, and hey lets face it...saftey. I was one of those people huffing and puffing, red in the face and flopping around on my horse's back because I was unfit.:D

I foxhunt - and I know exactly what you are talking about. An unfit rider is an unsafe rider. (again, fitness for the task at hand - not a dress size. Plenty of slender people out hunting that are loose in the tack after the first run too)

Of course- there's lots of bad riding in the hunt field as well. But it seems to be pretty well spread out among all sorts of riders. Any mistake, or lack of fitness is glaringly obvious when traveling at speed.


I think it was Jimmy Wofford that used to have his riders jog alongside the horse during roads and tracks - and/or while legging up. Interesting and time efficient way of exercising and toning up both horse and rider.....

MyReality
Oct. 17, 2007, 12:19 PM
I am very happy for mbamissaz and TropicalStorm, and others who said, enough is enough, and pick themselves up.

mbamissaz, the pics are very nice! Good job on yourself and the horsie!

Discipline is not self sacrifice. Discipline is about doing RIGHT for yourself. You sacrifice nothing when you eat fresh tomatoes, because the tomatoes are actually good for you.

Having a heart condition makes it heard to exercise. It means you MUST trim down the calories you take. I would imagine being overweight and having heart condition does not mix. Healthy food will help you maintain a better weight and fight another attack (God forbids). There is no time like NOW.

snoopy
Oct. 17, 2007, 12:26 PM
[QUOTE=MyReality;2744521]
Discipline is not self sacrifice. Discipline is about doing RIGHT for yourself. You sacrifice nothing when you eat fresh tomatoes, because the tomatoes are actually good for you.
QUOTE]


Wrong....discipline it is about sacrificing what you WANT to do for what you NEED to do. I would rather stay in bed at 5am instead of hauling my boney ass to the gym when even the birds are not awake, I would rather be watching telly then preparing healthy meals for the week...I sacrifice my "wants" for my "needs". :D

CatOnLap
Oct. 17, 2007, 12:32 PM
http://community.webshots.com/album/171536731vnyviZ

MBAM...
you have been diligent and succesful in so many ways!
And by those few still photos both your riding and your horse's way of going have improved over the last 2 years.
Thank you for sharing those pics.

Bluey
Oct. 17, 2007, 12:35 PM
I am very happy for mbamissaz and TropicalStorm, and others who said, enough is enough, and pick themselves up.

mbamissaz, the pics are very nice! Good job on yourself and the horsie!

Discipline is not self sacrifice. Discipline is about doing RIGHT for yourself. You sacrifice nothing when you eat fresh tomatoes, because the tomatoes are actually good for you.

Having a heart condition makes it heard to exercise. It means you MUST trim down the calories you take. I would imagine being overweight and having heart condition does not mix. Healthy food will help you maintain a better weight and fight another attack (God forbids). There is no time like NOW.

Some medications make you retain fluids. Diuretics take care of it, if there are no other considerations.
Sometimes you got to do what you got to do.
When you cut a very physically active life to little and add medications, weight may baloon on a minimum of calories, much less if not watching them.
That is what I am fighting now.
Weight gain happened in the first five months. I said enough is enough and cut medication in half, weight gain stopped and I have been able to get 1/3 of that weight off, the other 2/3 will take a little longer, if done safely, as far as possible.
Dr keeps saying not to worry about weight now and didn't comment on the halved medication dose.
Dr doesn't has to bend over to air tires in machinery, pick up horses feet, etc.:p

It is always nice to hear how others think, but the reality is that no one knows but the one affected, why their weight is too high or low.
Here, we call too skinny people, lovingly, "wormy" and we offer to deworm them with our ivomec tube when we next do our horses.:lol:
Guess that to pick on those not like ourselves or the norm is human.

I don't think that it was appropiate for judges at a show to discuss the weight of a person.:eek:

CatOnLap
Oct. 17, 2007, 12:40 PM
I don't think that it was appropiate for judges at a show to discuss the weight of a person

Amen Bluey.

pintopiaffe
Oct. 17, 2007, 12:57 PM
I did it. I came back to this thread. SEE, I HAVE NO DISCIPLINE!!! I did want to see where it went.

There will always be folks adamant that your body shape and size is a CHOICE. It is not, really. You can shape it some. You can be strong and fit within it's confines, but you can NOT always choose.

Don't talk to me about sacrifice and discipline. Have you ever kept a food journal every day for 18 months? Kept below 30g of carbs a DAY (not a meal, a DAY?) Religiously kept calories between 1200-1600? Had a dietician and endocrinologist together look at you and nod their heads, tell you you're doing everything right... and then offer you gastric banding? (which, sadly was not covered by insurance, or I'd have been there.)

I had not eaten fresh fruit in more than 10 years as anything other than a rare treat. Sent bg's through the roof. No carrots. No apples. No potato or rice or bread FOR TEN YEARS. Salad and protein. Steamed veggies and protein. FOR TEN YEARS. If that is not discipline and sacrifice I don't know what is. I'm not going to lie and say it was inordinately hard--once you are off carbs, appetite goes way down. BUT, I did nothing but maintain. And run my mile and a half within the allotted time for my age group. And do my pushups and situps within the percentile. And carry buckets and grain bags and ride multiple horses... walk miles and miles next to a horse in the winter when I could not ride...

It took 18 months of Atkins to loose 50lbs. I maintained that, but could not budge another oz for another 2 years. I couldn't stick to those levels of carbs, because I started to not feel all that well, it's not meant to be forever. BUT--that's the ONLY level I could be at to loose or maintain. 20-30g of carbs, 30g of fiber, and 1200-1500 calories. Working out only 3-4 times a week, because I do have 4 jobs, and run the farm myself. Probably could've worked out more, really, if I had more discipline and sacrifice.

I am very lucky. We seem to have come up with the right combination of Rx, and perhaps I'm just hitting menopause so the damn ovaries aren't fighting my every effort any more. But since March I've had some more modest success. And as I've said several times, because I also had an accident, I am far, FAR less fit. Cardio is down the tubes. Muscle strength is wimpy. Core strength, what's that? I have my 2nd day of PT today, and hope to begin to get excercises to get all that back without pain.

I agree 110% with J Swan that in showing it is much about presentation. Whether that is tailoring your clothes, or matching the horse to the rider. A lovely cob for a cobby girl, I've always said (I don't like heights-- :lol: Gimme 15h and stout over 17h any day, just me).

But please, don't, don't, don't make judgements about someone's internal virtues because of their external appearance. :cry:

MistyBlue
Oct. 17, 2007, 01:10 PM
*sigh* As usual another thread on weight has deteriorated into picking on both ends of the weight scale.
FWIW...the "too skinny" people get commented to almost constantly by everyone too. I'd dare suggest probably more often than the overweight do. Because it's more PC to comment to a skinny person than to say anything to someone overweight it seems.
Up until a few years ago...I was probably what's considered "too skinny." My family has a metabolism like a jackrabbit on crack...in order to keep my weight in the 3 digits I had to add into my meals 2-3 weight building shakes daily. I weight lifted because muscle weighs more and that was the only way to keep my body at a size where I could find clothes that fit me and didn't have Disney characters on them.
I can't remember many days in my life going by where I didn't hear, "Eat a burger!" or "How's the chemo?" or "Get your finger out of your throat!" Standing in line at the grocery store I'd hear someone mumbling, "Can't be her food in the cart...look at her, betcha she never eats anything." Out with my daughter once I even heard someone say quite loud, "Probably does coke...nobody's that skinny without doing drugs." N-i-c-e...that was not how I wanted to bring up the drugs are bad talk with my youngest daughter. :mad: At least it was a good way to bring up the tolerance talk though. My kids' friend's moms would ask my daughter stuff like, "Does you mom throw up a lot?" Where's the fruitbat?
So *please* do not assume that everyone who is very thin has an eating disorder or is on drugs. Do not assume that the very skinny do not hear a lot more crap than the overweight do. Also don't assume anyone at a thin body weight is a "skinny beotch" because it's not the thin person who's sounding bitchy in that statement.
All people who are at a weight not considered overweight are also not blessed with the thin gene either. Many many work *hard* at it. I know I have to nowadays. It was medication that made my weight finally go up (and it went up way too much) and it took a long time to get it off again. And it takes hard as hell work to keep it off now. Harder now that menopause is trying to sneak some extra ass on me from behind. :winkgrin: Thankfully I am now considered normal weight.
I don't agree with judges having any right to say a thing about a rider's look or weight unless that weight is affecting the horse or the ride itself. I don't think anyone has a right to say anything about anyone's weight unless they're a close personal friend or family member and concerned if the weight is way too high or way too low...I think doctors should feel free to discuss healthy weights with their unhealthy weight patients.

mbamissaz
Oct. 17, 2007, 01:13 PM
http://community.webshots.com/album/171536731vnyviZ

MBAM...
you have been diligent and succesful in so many ways!
And by those few still photos both your riding and your horse's way of going have improved over the last 2 years.
Thank you for sharing those pics.

Thank you all for the compliments....the interesting thing is that in the 12/05 picture, I actually fell off from him shortly thereafter. I blamed it on young horse "nuttiness"...but it wasn't until I got my video camera for Christmas a couple of weeks later and saw a video of first my trainer riding him...then me...that I realized that it was "me" who was the problem. Needless to say he is MUCH happier now with the "lighter fitter" me.....

Leave it to a horse to provide you with that "come to Jesus" moment.... ;)

RubyLink
Oct. 17, 2007, 01:38 PM
from: MistyBlue
My family has a metabolism like a jackrabbit on crack

I've posted in these types of threads, so no need to do it again. But I couldn't stop myself from commenting on this. That is the funniest line I have read in a long time. :D
Thanks for the big laugh

Bluey
Oct. 17, 2007, 02:00 PM
I've posted in these types of threads, so no need to do it again. But I couldn't stop myself from commenting on this. That is the funniest line I have read in a long time. :D
Thanks for the big laugh

I agree, in a sad conversation, that was very, very funny.:D

Talking of drugs, don't forget all those skinny smokers. I had several friends of the two, three pack a day.
HAD. They are gone now, from smoking related diseases, lung cancer and COPD and it was not pretty.
They used to say that quitting and gaining weight was not an option for them.

Weight, either way from average, will cause people to be defensive.
No need for judges at a horse show to make that worse.

knz66
Oct. 17, 2007, 03:16 PM
Weight, either way from average, will cause people to be defensive.
No need for judges at a horse show to make that worse.

Amen!

Here I was thinking that dressage was one sport in which you were judged based on the objectives and principles. That every one starts out on the same level arena.

Its why I do it. Its why I spend thousands of dollars on it. Trust me, I know the size of my arse, whether I chose to look at it or not.

When I enter the ring, its the last thing on my mind.

Pielover
Oct. 17, 2007, 03:28 PM
So, I am wondering if those who are saying they "ride better" now that they have lost weight, maybe they upped their fitness level to lose wieght and the increased fitness level is what increased their scores or riding ability?




Sure - I was very active as a fat person I had to be I have a lot of animals to take care of. I rode and walked my dogs and ate a fairly low fat diet . I have never eaten fast food but I like sugar .

I lost the fat by diet and exercise . I exercise daily in addition to what I did before . I want to be healthy and want to be able to continue to ride my horses as I get older . I don't want to fool myself by saying I'm fat and it's ok . For me it's not ok, it was hurting my body . I'm over 40 have probelms like all horse women over 40, I have a long list of injuries . It wasn't easy it took awhile, I have to work at it to maintain it .

I am better rider because I am fit . My horses are better at their jobs when they are fit . I spend hours conditioning them so they can do their jobs comfortably . I wouldn't expect a horse that's overweight to be comfortable working taking the extra stress on their joints .

If someone is comfortable and happy being fat, great for you, that's your choice ( unless you have some other reason medical etc.. ) . I personally wasn't happy , wasn't comfortable , wasn't fit , was fat , wasn't as good a rider and didn't get as good scores .

TBROCKS
Oct. 17, 2007, 03:44 PM
what she ment was us "healthier" ;) girls, have to work harder than the skinnys do, we have to ride AND deal with their crappy comments lol.. i may be overweight.. but i dare almost any of the skinny biatches to test my fitness level..

.. theres alot more important things in life than making fun of the big girls.. we could easily kick your butt.. ;)

If people seem to dislike you or "make crappy comments" about you maybe it has nothing to do with your weight? Just sayin'.

dressagetraks
Oct. 17, 2007, 04:25 PM
Haven't read this full thread, as I haven't got time, but my thoughts, for what they're worth:

Not weight but FITNESS affects your riding. There can often be a direct correlation between overweight and unfit. Note that I said often, not always. If you are unfit, that will affect your scores. It's very possible to be too thin and unfit, as well. It's possible to be overweight (not morbidly obese, but overweight) and fit. My trainer is one of those, and she has freely admitted that she would be even better at appropriate weight and fit if she could get back to there.

Agreed on society perception that thin is great. There seems to be no middle ground on this issue in American common perception. I don't want to be overweight, nor to be thin. I want to be healthy and fit, which I strive to be and am doing pretty well on it. But people's bodies do differ. I am 5 feet 7 1/2 and weigh 170 pounds. I once had a doctor who had never seen me (we bumped into each other on an email group) tell me that I was overweight. I am not; I am large-boned. Interestingly, I have conducted a sort of informal survey. When the issue of weight comes up, I ask people to guess mine as I am standing there in front of them. NOT ONE person has ever come close. The usual guess is 40-50 pounds lighter. This is my main issue with the whole body mass index thing. It doesn't take into correlation that people are different in basic build or that muscle weighs more than fat. A 220 pound athlete and a 220 pound couch potato would get the same BMI score.

But does it affect dressage scores? Honestly, I don't think it does, except the sometimes impact on the riding. My trainer is short and carries some extra, which she would admit. She gets good scores for good riding, bad scores for bad riding. So do I. I've been beaten by heavier people. I've been beaten by lighter people. They rode better that day than I did.

I also think there is a tendency in America today to "excuse" poor performance in anything based on your weight (over or under, I've heard it both ways), nationality, hair color (I'm serious; heard that too), etc. The judges/officials were biased against that weight, nationality, or hair color; that's all there is to it. I'm not saying that anyone here is doing that, just saying there is a tendency in society in general for it, and it drives me nuts. I think the number one factor in your score in any given dressage test is how you and your horse did on that test. If you don't like it, you can probably improve the score some for next time by working on weak spots, including fitness (not weight necessarily, but fitness) if that was one of the weak spots. If it was a truly clueless judge (I've ridden before one), you can improve your score next time by not riding in front of that judge.

Not too thin or too fat, but as suits your body type with fitness. When did we lose that ideal? I think Marilyn Monroe was a size 12, wasn't she?

CAJumper
Oct. 17, 2007, 07:06 PM
Not too thin or too fat, but as suits your body type with fitness. When did we lose that ideal? I think Marilyn Monroe was a size 12, wasn't she?

You made some very good points in your post, especially regarding fitness vs. weight. :yes: I'm also a "weigh more than I look" person, I have always been convinced that I am simply very "dense". :lol: I don't float in water either, swear it.

But regarding Marilyn Monroe, she was in fact a size 12 but I think a size 12 back then was more like a 6 today. When that collection of her dresses went to auction a year or so ago, several designers were talking about how "teeny tiny" her dresses really were. The Pam Anderson of her generation, if you will. :lol:

MistyBlue - your post...well, I feel for you. :sadsmile: My 'bestest-friend-ever' is super thin (due to illness). She's 5'10" and far below 100lbs. She started therapeutic riding lessons recently, but is too embarrassed to ask for half chaps that fit her skinny, long legs. She went to a tack shop once and they were just rude about her size. Constant comments about needing to eat or gain weight...you get the idea. Anyway, your post just hit home a bit. I think we all need to worry more about ourselves and less about others!

jackalini
Oct. 18, 2007, 04:03 PM
[QUOTE=heronponie;2743234]How about a very tall, thin rider on a short little horse or pony? Legs hanging below the belly, hands appearing to "eat up" the little horse's neck when held in a normal position.[QUOTE]

:eek::eek:Have you seen me??!? I'm aghasted. :lol::lol::lol: While the very tall fits (5'11"), I'm of average build and ride a 15.3 *cough cough* mare who is not an ideal size for me. She has a big barrel (48-50 girth), but in a dressage saddle, I often kid that I could hold on by locking my toes together.

I think it all lies in balance. If a heavier rider rides their smaller/slighter horse well, without stressing them b/c they've done their homework, are balanced and reasonably fit (yes, you can be somewhat fit with a few pounds on your frame), then I don't see an issue with that pair. Same goes for a willowy rider riding a pony/hony/whatever. If they don't hinder the horse, then move along.

Appearance aside (b/c we've ALL seen some *interesting* pairs out there), if the rider's build does not appear to be a problem during the test that is being judged, well, there you go. JMHO from wayyyyyy down here on my hony. :winkgrin::winkgrin:

khemo
Mar. 24, 2008, 05:54 PM
I saw some of the comments so I thought I should post.

I have only once had a judge comment on an over-weight rider while I was scribing, and it was not a negative about the weight.

Prior to the start of the test, she mentioned that the rider's coat did not suit the rider. She said nice things about the riders' balance and seat, but said the cut of the bottom of the jacket was not flattering.

From what I saw, the jacket was really short and sort of poked out behind her instead of hanging down.

I don't recall the exact words the judge used, and I don't recall the exact score, but the score seemed fair.

I was very surprised that the judge mentioned it to me, because she seemed like a very formal, reserved person and that was the first non-test related thing she'd said to me, after "hello", and "are you ready".

But, I thought the comment was fair, and I was pleased that she wasn't concerned about the riders' weight!

Bogie
Mar. 24, 2008, 06:32 PM
Several years ago there was a trainer (and judge) who came to our barn to teach. For years I didn't ride with her as I was told that she's highly critical of overweight riders. I haven't been skinny since high school :no:.

One day I sucked up my courage and took a lesson with her. She was great. I rode with her for years. She never discussed my weight; she concentrated on my riding. I think that a lot of people who complained that she'd criticized them didn't want to admit that they needed help with their riding. I even rode with her while I was pregnant ('till about 7 months) and she never, ever said a word about losing weight.

ideayoda
Mar. 24, 2008, 06:43 PM
I have never heard this discussed at a judges forum, good riding is just that. And there are plenty of skinny horrid riders. IF it ever comes up, it should be stopped immediately. The rider score is about 1 alignment and 2. effect of the aids. Address those issues and move on. And IF you overhear such a thing again, go and put them on the spot.

Sdhaurmsmom
Mar. 24, 2008, 06:43 PM
Prior to the start of the test, she mentioned that the rider's coat did not suit the rider. She said nice things about the riders' balance and seat, but said the cut of the bottom of the jacket was not flattering.


:(:eek::( Hey...that might have been me.
I got a different coat after I saw the show pictures. *cringe*.

khemo
Mar. 24, 2008, 06:50 PM
Sdhaurmsmom, :) Wrong State, so it's not you!

But, would you please give me advice? I know the rider, not well, but a bit and I like her. Should I mention getting a new coat to her? I don't know how to do so tactfully, so I haven't mentioned it. (I didn't meet her until months after that show, so I didn't know her at the time.)

Since you've been in a similar situation (where after the fact you saw photos and were not happy with how the jacket fit you) I would really like to know if you would want someone to say something, and how could they say it without hurting your feelings/taking it the wrong way?

Sabine
Mar. 24, 2008, 07:05 PM
I have not heard that nor has anyone who is an overweight rider that I personally know complained to me, for whatever that's worth.:D

Rider's weight though does have an effect on the horse, and that doesn't even mean "overweight". My trainer is tall and slim, weighs about 180 lbs, has a horse who is 16.1 who has trouble with his weight -- he goes much better with a 120 lbs rider (and yes, some of you may say oh maybe he's just not riding well, but IMHO I can rule that out). It may not be as apparent at the lower levels, but when balance and collection become more and more important, an appropriate weight of the rider is a factor.

ditto...since a competition dressage horse is not a packing mule- I do believe that weight in relationship to the size of the horse and the strength of the horse do play a role and affect the horses ease and way of going.


However- having scribed for tons of tests- I have never heard a judge make any kind of negative comment regarding weight- but I have heard many comments regarding flopping hands and legs and crockedness in the rider...for whatever that is worth....;)

TropicalStorm
Mar. 24, 2008, 10:05 PM
I'm overweight, by about 30lbs, and sadly, its all around my middle.
When I ride like crap, I get scored for it. And I'm sure that because of my weight, you can really SEE that I'm riding like crap. You sure as hell notice if my sitting trot is going badly far quicker then you notice the little 120lbs woman having issues not swinging and following the movement problems!

However, when I ride well, I score well.

For my own self confidence, I'm working hard at losing weight now. In my own mind, I think the extra weight detracts from the overall picture. And while I might not be marked down, I'm pretty damn sure it doesn't help me any!

WBLover
Mar. 25, 2008, 09:39 AM
I recently lost 40lbs, and I was riding at my heaviest weight, and now I've ridden being 40lbs lighter. I'm STILL about 30lbs overweight, but gosh darn that 40lbs made a HUGE difference in every aspect of my life, including riding.

My self-esteem is better, I have more energy, I feel more agile, strong, and have more stamina. Even going up stairs, I used to huff and puff just walking up them, now I can sprint up the stairs and barely change my breathing. If I was sitting on the floor, I'd grunt and groan trying to stand back up, now I just pop right up off the floor.

I rode OK when I was at my heaviest, but losing the weight really improved my riding. I can ride more effectively, for longer, and adjust myself better. It's like night and day. I used to think my weight really didn't make that much of a difference, but it did, I have to admit it.

I certainly don't think a person can't be a good rider being overweight, but being fitter does make a difference.

I also don't think it's a judge's place to pass judgement on a rider's weight. They just should judge the rider as the rider, and how they influence the horse. The horse will tell them how effective they are ;) .

blackhorse6
Mar. 27, 2008, 12:43 PM
Ok...don't hate me.. Just my thoughts on this subject. How can we ask our horses to be athletes, in shape and healthy when we ourselves are not? Isn't this a partnership? I am not talking waif like but not over weight. Would you want your horse overweight? Seems we spend a great deal of $$ trying to keep our horses sound and ridable Why should he/she carry around someone who is not as dedicated as the rider expects the horse to be? Again, riding is a "partnership".

Whisper
Mar. 27, 2008, 04:54 PM
I agree it's important to be as fit as possible, and that's something I really work hard on (I don't have trouble with weight particularly, but spending a lot of time doing exercises off the horse, and vaulting (http://www.flickr.com/photos/82782698@N00/2176253364/in/set-72157594200554466) and such). However, there are lots of people who are far heavier than I am who are much better riders, and most horses who are sound and conditioned properly can carry heavier people just fine. The vaulting horses routinely carry (http://www.americanvaulting.org/_assets/photoalbum/vview02.jpg) 3 (http://www.americanvaulting.org/_assets/photoalbum/champ_Crowd.jpg) people (http://www.americanvaulting.org/_assets/photoalbum/sundance.jpg) without any problem. If the person is riding well, they should be able to get a good rider score.

khemo
Mar. 27, 2008, 05:05 PM
If the person is riding well, they should be able to get a good rider score.

Nicely said! :)

I think the OP wanted to know the judges' perspective on it, and I can't vouch for all judges, but my scribing experience showed me that at least one judge was bias-free with an overweight rider who rode well.

pintopiaffe
Mar. 27, 2008, 05:29 PM
I don't know why this thread was resurrected, and I think I probably posted earlier...

But I've lost 70lbs. I have 30 more to go. I was a better rider at a heavier weight. I was more fit and more balanced.

I have Rx issues and medical issues that make the weight loss very, very slow. I have lost strength and fitness along with the 'fat'--despite a very active lifestyle and working out, physical therapy etc. My balance and proprioception are shot to h*ll. I'm not complaining--but just saying, 'loosing weight' is not always the answer.

I have scribed quite a bit. Never once have had a judge comment on rider weight, only rider *issues* like balance, use of aids etc.

slc2
Mar. 27, 2008, 07:36 PM
(dons flame suit)

i've ridden 1. thin and unfit, 2. thin and fit, and 3. fat and fit, and 4. fat and unfit.

by fat, i mean more than 30-40 lbs over the recommended weight tables for gender, age, height, and at least 20 lbs over a 'good weight' for the individual.

by fit i mean fit to ride dressage hard, for an hour, without stopping, mostly trotting and cantering, and working on collection and active gaits and other work that demands more fitness, in hot weather, cold weather, without getting out of breath or sore after a hard ride.

i think many of the comments qbout weight making no difference in riding, or that one can be 'fit and fat' or that one can ride very well despite weight, here come from people that would hardly be considered 'overweight' or to have a 'weight problem' at all, but are nevertheless extremely sensitive about their weight and their lack of model-like appearance.

most of them would not be considered 'overweight' by a reasonable person.

i do not agree that a person can be more than 30-40 lb overweight and still be 'fit'. He can do active things, but the amount of effort he has to put forth to control his body is much higher, how much he stresses his heart and lungs and muscles is much higher, he can't perform as well as the lighter fit person, he has a greater risk of injury, etc.

i do not agree that a person who loses muscle and feels sick and weak is 'fit'. what pinto piaffe describes does not sound like a positive sort of fitness. i would expect a person to not ride as well in that case and i wouldn't call that state 'fit'.

i think that 'fit and reasonably, comfortably slim' is the healthiest. i also think it results in the best riding. i am not talking about being thin to the point of being sickly, weak and exhausted all the time, and i don't think any reasonable person would suggest any athlete should be 'fashionably anorexic' or that anorexia and extreme thinness is healthy. a person needs some fat reserve to be healthy and fit.

i think exactly what 'reasonably slim' is for the individual can be decided by the person and their doctor. not all weight-height tables are perfect, and some seem quite light by today's standards, but i also think it's a mistake to gloss over issues of having substantial excess weight, or to excuse high weights as being 'all muscle' or to try to debunk bmi and other measures.

i think that casual occasional riding doesn't demand a high level of fitness or a lot of weight loss. i think the more specific goals the rider has the more he has to approach 'fit and reasonably slim'. i look at international riders; i see fit, healthy and reasonably slim people in all the riding sports.

i feel a heavy body involves far more effort to control, far more strain to heart and lungs, far more risk of injury.

but i think that if someone feels that a 200 lb rider can simply 'ride light' (pose in the stirrups, etc) and have the same effect as a 100 lb rider, they're kidding themselves. 200 lbs is 200 lbs. it requires more effort for a horse to carry 200 lbs than 100 lbs. that's just reality.

carolprudm
Mar. 27, 2008, 08:58 PM
I had breast reduction surgery last November. They removed 3 lbs. It is amazing how much those 3 lbs were affecting my balance. The sitting trot is MUCH more comfortable, but there is a HUGE difference in the canter.

BTW it took two tries to get my insurance to cover the surgery so it cost $50, the cost of one of those good sports bras

Ambrey
Mar. 27, 2008, 10:27 PM
i do not agree that a person can be more than 30-40 lb overweight and still be 'fit'. He can do active things, but the amount of effort he has to put forth to control his body is much higher, how much he stresses his heart and lungs and muscles is much higher, he can't perform as well as the lighter fit person, he has a greater risk of injury, etc.


I don't think this is true. I know people who are heavy, look heavy, but have excellent fitness and stamina.

Now, are you comparing one person's fitness to that person's optimum health or one person's fitness and riding ability to another's? Because competition and scoring are about comparisons, and I think skill > weight.

If you're saying good weight + physically fit is healthier than significantly overweight+physically fit, I do agree. But I think there are people who have the fitness and stamina to be good riders who are overweight. And I think a physically fit person 40 lbs overweight and exercising regularly is probably healthier than an unfit skinny couch potato.

slc2
Mar. 27, 2008, 11:11 PM
staistically, they're both in trouble.

exercising doesn't protect one from the risks of overweight.

being thin doesn't protect one from the risks of being sedentary.

there are just as many unhealthy conditions associated with sedentariness as there are associated with overweight. statistically, one is not 'better' or 'less risk-associated' than the other.

canticle
Mar. 27, 2008, 11:17 PM
But exercising is better than being sedentary, wouldn't you agree?

There's are so many factors that go into determining someone's weight, and so many unknowns. It's best to eat right and exercise, and not focus so much on weight. Why stress about something that you can't easily control? I'd rather focus on the things that I do have control over. :)

oldschool
Mar. 28, 2008, 12:54 AM
Who is anyone kidding? Of course weight will always, at least subconsciously, have a bearing, excuse the pun, on overall appearance and turnout. Especially when training the young horse. It is not comparable to western either. The quarter horse has a different bone thickness, conformation etc. than the average lighter dressage horse, plus a heavy western saddle doesn't move around like the typical fat amateur rider. I think a truly compassionate and dedicated equestrian owes it to the horse to be a reasonable weight. I have to say I'veseen Susan Peacock ride and she is one in a million. No delicate flower but has a superb seat. I respect her very much but who knows? Maybe if she was lighter, Her scores would go from 8's and 9's to 9's and 10's? We can make excuses for ourselves all we want, it seems to be the american way lately, but fat is fat and a fact is a fact

quietann
Mar. 28, 2008, 02:24 AM
But what is a "reasonable weight"? At 155 pounds, most horses can carry me with no problem. For some of the taller folks out there, 155 pounds would be way too skinny.

But I am 5'1", so that's actually 25 pounds above my ideal weight. (Yes, it's 130. I have HUGE bones. I look skeletal if I go below 125.) Certainly my new horse can carry my weight just fine; she was formerly owned by someone much taller and heavier than me, and they were quite a successful pair. The worst problem she has with me is that she's used to a heavier rider, so she overdoes things sometimes. (Like jumping... she nearly jumped me out of the saddle, and I am half convinced it is because she'd learned that she needed a huge amount of impulsion when jumping with a heavier rider. We have to fix that now :)

TeddyRocks
Mar. 28, 2008, 11:18 PM
I recently lost 40lbs, and I was riding at my heaviest weight, and now I've ridden being 40lbs lighter. I'm STILL about 30lbs overweight, but gosh darn that 40lbs made a HUGE difference in every aspect of my life, including riding.

My self-esteem is better, I have more energy, I feel more agile, strong, and have more stamina. Even going up stairs, I used to huff and puff just walking up them, now I can sprint up the stairs and barely change my breathing. If I was sitting on the floor, I'd grunt and groan trying to stand back up, now I just pop right up off the floor.

I rode OK when I was at my heaviest, but losing the weight really improved my riding. I can ride more effectively, for longer, and adjust myself better. It's like night and day. I used to think my weight really didn't make that much of a difference, but it did, I have to admit it.

I certainly don't think a person can't be a good rider being overweight, but being fitter does make a difference.

I also don't think it's a judge's place to pass judgement on a rider's weight. They just should judge the rider as the rider, and how they influence the horse. The horse will tell them how effective they are ;) .

Congrats, and I send you a PM...

purplnurpl
Mar. 28, 2008, 11:54 PM
I can't believe you are all still fussing over weight. I'm a Kinesiologist, Biomechanist, and Certified Physical Trainer.

If you're paranoid, calculate your BMI.
That is what counts. I have had several boyfriends freak out when they found out my weight.
I'm 165lbs. in the high 150s on a skinny month. And proud of it, I can kick drop most men with the flip of a hat.
I dare someone to try and mug me. I have mad Rex Kwon Do skills.

And yes, weight has an effect on scores. As it does on balance and the ability for a rider to influence their horses movement.

Here's the calculator:
http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

Here's the chart:
http://www.halls.md/body-mass-index/bmirefs.htm

It's easy to lose weight once you decide that you need to. Much like any other addiction you have to quit. You have to really understand that you need to change.
If you are genetically pre disposed to being over weight (I am also a Geneticist) then that really sucks for you. You'll have to work 3 times as hard as everyone else or get prescript meds from your doc.


enjoy.