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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxtersmom View Post
    I respect what GM has to say about riding, but his misogynistic body snarking has got to go.
    That's right.

    I can't believe y'all are defending the venerable GM on this point, reparsing his words and rearranging them so that any bad interpretation was on the reader's end.

    No, a fat comment doesn't give someone an ED.

    Now add the fat comment on top of contempt for their gender-- largely beyond their control and, for women, historically the basis for all kinds of discrimination? I think it makes a difference.

    GM certainly isn't single-handedly responsible for EDs among riders. But he spoke bluntly and gave free-rein to his dissing of women and others who weren't of the "Go Big or Go Home" variety. It would be very, very easy to feel belittled by him for things and impressed with the idea that if you were worth anything, you'd move Heaven and Earth to correct them in yourself. He wasn't the only person who spoke this way.... and was given credit for it.

    I believe GM spoke in these old-fashioned terms about fat riders until the mid-1990s or so when the hue-and-cry from readers of his column in Practical Horseman reined in his rhetoric.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  2. #62
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    Good post, Mozart.

    While I admire GM's uncompromising horsemanship standards and acknowledge all he's done for the sport, I am frequently annoyed by the way people excuse his callous, unfeeling comments about riders. The fact that he grew up in an earlier era may be an excuse for chauvinistic attitudes toward women, but it's not an excuse for the nasty comments he's made about their weight or their figures.

    I agree with those who have said that our sport has to face the weight issue head-on. Our culture as a whole sends negative messages to women that it is very hard to resist. It's not simply a matter of how one was raised or having a good self-image. Those things are important, sure, but every day, through every possible medium, women and girls are getting the message that how they look is how they are valued--and too often, that means being thin. Parents, teachers, and youth group leaders can't counteract this message alone.

    Very recently I acted as announcer for an IEA show and sat with the judge. I thought she was extremely competent in general, and I enjoyed listening to her talk about why she placed the kids they way she did. In general her placings and explanations made a lot of sense to me...until she watched one girl who rode a beautiful course and then said, "That was pretty good...for a big girl." I was shocked. I wasn't even sure I heard her right. She placed the girl third or fourth as I recall, not bad--but IMO if the girl had won, she would have been a deserving winner. It happened again in a later class. The judge made a negative comment about a girl who was a strong rider but a bit on the heavy side. I know that not all judges do this, but it does happen...now I've witnessed it.
    I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne



  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    I can't believe y'all are defending the venerable GM on this point, reparsing his words and rearranging them so that any bad interpretation was on the reader's end.
    Well I guess I will remain blissfully ignorant then! I am choosing to read what he said as stand alone comments, and not put such a negative twist on them. We're supposed to be athletes, and no, you don't need to to be thin to be an athlete, but you do need to be fit. So I will interpret what he said as a promotion for fit riders, and not 100% derogatory against fit riders who aren't a size 2.

    Perhaps he's calling us all fat cows, but he's not doing it literally, so I'm not going to take that away from it.


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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post

    Very recently I acted as announcer for an IEA show and sat with the judge. I thought she was extremely competent in general, and I enjoyed listening to her talk about why she placed the kids they way she did. In general her placings and explanations made a lot of sense to me...until she watched one girl who rode a beautiful course and then said, "That was pretty good...for a big girl." I was shocked. I wasn't even sure I heard her right. She placed the girl third or fourth as I recall, not bad--but IMO if the girl had won, she would have been a deserving winner. It happened again in a later class. The judge made a negative comment about a girl who was a strong rider but a bit on the heavy side. I know that not all judges do this, but it does happen...now I've witnessed it.
    That is very sad.

    I think though, that since it is sad for someone to make a snap judgement or discrimination, that we focus on it too much.

    It is not healthy to be over weight. It is not healthy to be under weight. There are a lot of different shapes and sizes in the middle that ARE healthy. If only it were that simple though, eh?



  5. #65
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    Although GM comments about weight(and he is not the only one) may not be the cause for someone to become anorexic it certainly contributes to put some one over the edge. It attacks your self esteem. And for someone who has worked really hard and have some judge tell you that the reason he eliminated you or move you down was not because you didn't ride well but because you were heavier than ideal is very damaging.



  6. #66
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    Over the moon, I had the same experience. If I could only give the names out of those judges, people will be shocked as they are always judging finals and important classes. And some have children of their own.


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  7. #67
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    And she also has lots of money. Something George and all the judges know and take into consideration. Not to take away from her abilities. But just saying somebody else with the same body and ability but no money would not have place higher than a skinny one with the same abilities.


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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by over the moon View Post
    Well I guess I will remain blissfully ignorant then! I am choosing to read what he said as stand alone comments, and not put such a negative twist on them. We're supposed to be athletes, and no, you don't need to to be thin to be an athlete, but you do need to be fit. So I will interpret what he said as a promotion for fit riders, and not 100% derogatory against fit riders who aren't a size 2.

    Perhaps he's calling us all fat cows, but he's not doing it literally, so I'm not going to take that away from it.
    The large set of disparaging comments about women's weight by GM makes it hard to cut him slack for the "stand alone" comment. And it shouldn't take the "fat cow" magic words to find in the wrong here.

    Given GM's sexual orientation and the horrific history of homophobia (that was plenty virulent during GM's generation), I can't see why anyone wouldn't expect more compassion from him toward another group discriminated against. It's not good enough to cut him a break as a misogynist because "everyone was doing it."

    And none of this is to say that GM's preferences in bed partners or eye-candy is our business, nor that he should become the activist for every disenfranchised group. But ferchrissakes! Women inject the majority of the money into the sport that gave him a great life... yet he shows contempt for them.... yet women keep admiring him/paying him for the privilege.

    The ladies are wacko. I don't see why anyone would be proud of choosing a reading that screws their gender in the process.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  9. #69
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    Now, I am telling you this from the point of a junior who is starting the big eq this show season WITH an eating disorder. No, my ED was not spurred from riding and the equitation. This year is my first really competitive year on the AA circuit nationally. No, I do not starve myself. No, I do not throw up everything I eat. But I do live with the voice of something telling me I am fat, dont eat that, dont eat this, constant guilty feeling after eating anything, etc.

    I am terrified for the big eq. I am afraid that I am going to go into the ring and everyone ( including the judges ) are going to be staring at my thunder thighs and bulging stomach. I have done and tried the eq diet. I have lost up to 6lb in 4 days.

    I am a size 24 in breeches and 115lb height 5'7. So obviously my fears are irrational. But coming from a junior who struggles with these issues everyday in the circuit world, it does happen. I know and have seen a much thinner girl place ahead of a bigger girl. I am not the wealthiest girl on the circuit with the nicest eq horse so I feel the need to be the skinniest one to make up for that. And I do believe and have heard of the disorders GM has caused on many girls back when he was an avid big eq/junior trainer. My friends moms always talk about how they were anorexic or bulimic and how you were weird if you ate food at shows. Its like there is this secret world of terrible mental illness on the A circuit that everyone is very hush hush about because it is a very touchy and uncomfortable subject.

    No one really knows what I struggle with everyday, but understand the pressure that girls and boys as juniors are put under when we walk into the ring. Its crazy. And all the pressure other people put on me has to go somewhere so I put it into my weight. I do not think I will ever eat again without feeling guilty. But I have to learn to live with it. Luckily, I have realized that this illness will in the long run only set me back in riding. But it is very hard to push those thoughts out of your mind. I would not wish this on anyone and I do not think as many people, especially adults, realize how many juniors struggle with ED issues because like me, I do not tell anyone. It is my secret weapon. Even though I know how unhealthy it is.

    I cant even count on my fingers how many big eq riders I know who have confided in me about their eating disorders that either their parents/trainers choose to ignore or don't care as long as they are winning. So please, before you assume people are making a big deal out of nothing, stop and think about when you were a junior on the A circuit.


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  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    The large set of disparaging comments about women's weight by GM makes it hard to cut him slack for the "stand alone" comment. And it shouldn't take the "fat cow" magic words to find in the wrong here.
    Haha, I think part of the reason I'm able to be blissfully ignorant is I really don't know much of his history with past discriminations.

    I don't necessarily think it's wacko to want to ride with him or "pay him for the privilege" though. I believe you can respect his immense skill as a horse person while also disagreeing with his interpretation of women in the sport or the size they ought to be. I say this, however, fully admitting that I do not have full knowledge of the extent of his comments. I just think I would (and will) choose not to let those comments affect me or my entire perception of him.



  11. #71
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    I really think that unless you're currently a teenager or very young, as in under 23, you don't understand today's mindset. You say, well people should think positively about their body and not let GMs comments affect you when in reality it's not that easy to turn a blind eye to bad comments about yourself.
    .אני יכול לעשות הכל על ידי אלוהים


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  12. #72
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    JKMM you have a private message
    .אני יכול לעשות הכל על ידי אלוהים



  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterrider23 View Post
    I really think that unless you're currently a teenager or very young, as in under 23, you don't understand today's mindset. You say, well people should think positively about their body and not let GMs comments affect you when in reality it's not that easy to turn a blind eye to bad comments about yourself.
    So because I'm one year older than the age you've personally set, I cannot understand today's mindset? Give me a break.


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  14. #74
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    Stop trying to personally pick a fight. You're the one over here justifying George Morris' remarks when they are clearly uncalled for.
    .אני יכול לעשות הכל על ידי אלוהים


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  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterrider23 View Post
    Stop trying to personally pick a fight. You're the one over here justifying George Morris' remarks when they are clearly uncalled for.
    I am not trying to pick a fight, I am wondering why on earth you think I cannot understand "today's mindset" because I am 24 instead of 23.

    And I was calling it as I see it with GM's comments. Obviously we see two different things.


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  16. #76
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    23 is called a rough estimation. No need to take it so incredibly literally.
    .אני יכול לעשות הכל על ידי אלוהים



  17. #77
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    Okay, I know who Brianne Goutal (as a matter of fact there is a lovely picture of her on the right side of this page). Since some commented she had an "atypical" Eq figure I thought maybe she is thinner than she used to be? I googled pictures of her from when she was competing in the Big Eq.

    Are you kidding me? THAT was considered "atypical" She just looks fit and normal!!

    Wow. The fact that she was thought of as "not thin" ...well...that sort of says it all I am afraid.
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.


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  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Okay, I know who Brianne Goutal (as a matter of fact there is a lovely picture of her on the right side of this page). Since some commented she had an "atypical" Eq figure I thought maybe she is thinner than she used to be? I googled pictures of her from when she was competing in the Big Eq.

    Are you kidding me? THAT was considered "atypical" She just looks fit and normal!!

    Wow. The fact that she was thought of as "not thin" ...well...that sort of says it all I am afraid.
    It was not considered "atypical" by everyone.

    There is at least one person out there (me) who never thought of her as "heavier than usual for an EQ rider" or who framed any part of their assessment of her based on anything to do with weight whatsoever.

    I am sure there are more like me out there.


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  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterrider23 View Post
    23 is called a rough estimation. No need to take it so incredibly literally.
    Well if you put it into numbers, people are going to listen to those numbers...

    I don't think anyone here was saying that it's EASY to ignore negative comments about weight or anything else to do with ourselves. And I don't think someone who is 10 years older or younger than me understands it any better or worse. That's what I disagree with; you saying that you have to be a certain "age" to understand today's issues. Today's issues have been around for a LONG time, they're just a little more talked about now. Still not enough, but the fact that they were talked about less before doesn't mean they were less prevalent.

    Body image issues are present everywhere in life, not just riding or equitation. I'm choosing not to take certain comments as so terribly end of the world negative, because, let's face it, there's enough shit everywhere else in life or me to let one other thing affect me. You don't take the comments the same way, and that's fine. It doesn't, however, mean I understand today's mentality less.


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  20. #80
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    I remember when I went to my first and only George Morris Clinic in 1980, I starved for a month before had. I had audited his clinics before, so I knew he can be ruthless on making comments about one's physical appearance. I am also blonde, so I made sure I pushed my hair way up into my helmet. If there is something he does not like about you, he will comment about it constantly.



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