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Rider's weight and test scores?

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  • Rider's weight and test scores?

    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.

  • #2
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          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.
          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
          -Rudyard Kipling

          Comment


          • #6
            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?

            Comment


            • #7
              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.
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              "There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it"

              Comment


              • #8
                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).

                Comment


                • #9
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.
                    Susan B.
                    http://canterberrymeadows.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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.
                        Most friendships in the horse world are just an opinion away from doom.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J Swan View Post
                              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!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by GreekDressageQueen View Post
                                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... :: ya just can't win.
                                Going to buy an enell myself once the vet bills stop rolling in....
                                www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                                chaque pas est fait ensemble

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by GreekDressageQueen View Post
                                  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.
                                  Check out the Womanly Sized Riders Unite thread on Off Course. A wealth of info.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by GreekDressageQueen View Post
                                    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.
                                    Thank goodness for Title 9 multi-barbell guaranteed to not move "harness" bras (I think they are also Enell)!!!!!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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! She's not frequently invited back!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        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.

                                        Comment

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