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Overweight eventers, anyone out there?

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  • Overweight eventers, anyone out there?

    I've been wondering a while... anyone else?

    I'm desperately trying to lose, and it's coming off slowly but I'm still overweight and I am aiming myself and my 11 year old mare towards a Beginner Novice horse trial at the end of the summer.

    Will I be laughed out of the ring? Eventers don't seem "like that" the way hunter/jumper or strictly dressage riders would be. A few of the eventers at my barn are not sticks either, but definitely lighter than me. I've taken dressage lessons lately and really working on my lightness in the saddle, we also have Friday night jumping night where I've been getting help from some of the girls from the barn and we're doing fine as far as I know.

    This is my mare and me, to get an idea... http://images115.fotki.com/v665/phot...show037-vi.jpg

    Thanks a bunch. Oh yeah, I got my Tipperary event vest in the mail today, and it fit, so that must be a good sign huh?
    I lost count of the times I’ve given up on you
    But you make such a beautiful wreck you do

  • #2
    I would hope no one would be so shallow as to laugh you out of the ring.

    I had this happen to me once as a kid. I will never forget it, can still see it clearly and if I mentioned the name of the these riders who laughed at me, some might recognize them back in VA. They rode nice TB's in the hunters in the rival 4-H, I rode a big fat appy horse who would perform her heart out for me, even if she was not that pretty. I was the only one in my 4-H who braved doing the regular hunters. Well, imagine my delight as I pinned ABOVE one of them and got 2nd over fences (they always ruled the 1 and 2 place--and my delight was in pinning so high, not pinning over one of them). You should have seen their faces when the places were called. I went from feeling like crap (yes, they LAUGHED at me as I passsed them at the in-gate) to feeling like I accomplished something. I never rode the best of horses, so any ribbon was quite the treat!

    Go ahead and compete. To youknowwhere with anyone who talks trash......
    Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
    Gifts Black Gold Knight


    • #3
      Your post has reminded me that I must get on the Ar2 Dietpool list. This is a group of eventers in Area II that diet together and help each other on a list. It's run by Yvonne Lucas and I think that if you google ar2 dietpool you may find it. I am going to join right now, too. It's a fun group and it really works, lots of them have fun and lose weight too, they have a good system.
      Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
      Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


      • #4
        Eventers are pretty welcoming It seems like you have good goals and plans to achieve them. Others may disagree, but I'd say that one good benchmark of whether or not you are ready to compete is whether you can hold yourself in two point (without balancing on the horse's neck) at a canter over the terrain common in your area for at least 5 minutes. After all, that is what you will be doing on an XC course!

        (Note that it's easier to maintain two point at the canter than the walk or the trot, and that you do NOT need to be doing gallops of 5 minutes or longer for your horse's fitness at the BN level. I just think being able to maintain your two point for that long is a useful rider fitness check.)

        Your mare is cute --Jess


        • #5
          I wouldn't worry about it. Your balance & fitness are more important. I've put on 40 pounds since having my thyroid removed. Would I like to weigh less, you betcha, but until I have more hours in the day to add in time at the gym, it's going to have to come off slowly. I've never had anyone be anything other than encouraging at an event. Go for it!

          Here's me & I'm not afraid to post it.

          Last edited by SandraD; Apr. 12, 2007, 12:53 AM. Reason: link


          • #6
            Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
            Your post has reminded me that I must get on the Ar2 Dietpool list. This is a group of eventers in Area II that diet together and help each other on a list. It's run by Yvonne Lucas and I think that if you google ar2 dietpool you may find it. I am going to join right now, too. It's a fun group and it really works, lots of them have fun and lose weight too, they have a good system.
            I've lost nine pounds in six weeks ( ) - three to go to goal. While not dramatically "overweight" I have been carrying around those 12 pounds for two and a half years (which oddly enough would be the EXACT age of my youngest child ). Got on the A2 program and the support, information, and (ahem) competitive aspect of it kicked me into gear. I'll leave this group at the end (it's an 8 week cycle) and join the maintanance group.

            Can't recommend it highly enough.
            Chronicles of the $700 Pony
            The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony
            www.blithetraveler.com <-- My Blog


            • #7
              I am about 40lbs overweight. I hate the fact that I have 40 extra lbs on me and that my horses have to carry it but I am in great physical shape. I workout every morning before I got to work on the treadmill combo of walking and running. I also lift weights on the hubby's new smith machine. I ride several horses a day and basic barn work. I have no trouble holding my two point, riding out for hours upon hours and just feel fit when I ride. I think my extra weight comes down to a desk job and simply not enough activity for my body I require at least a few hours of working out to lose anything. I think riding really doesn't count as working out because my body is so conditoned to it. I can ride 4-5 horses a day and not lose anything.

              I find that eventers are very accepting overall. I know there are even a few top riders that are overweight Buck and Becky come to mind. They are both very effective riders and always are at the top of their divisions.

              My recent goal is to push myself even harder during my workouts and I am thinking about buying an elliptical machine because I am getting bored with the treadmill.


              • #8
                Well, I'm at least 25 lb. overweight, and I'm a veteran of the BN division. You'll be fine, don't worry.


                • #9
                  I'm so glad you brought this issue up. I have worked for a 3day barn for over 4 years now and they are the nicest people I've ever worked with. I used to ride HUS & H/j.....can't tell you how many snickers and stares I got. I'm heavy thanks to genetics but I also have a heavy muscle build from throwing hay (etc) and lunging babies that are always jerking on me. To find a well fitting hunt coat is a challenge because of my wide shoulders and I am, uh, blessed if you know what I mean. I know the way I've described myself must sound freakish but I'm not. LOL!
                  I just wanted to encourage you and say GO FOR IT!!!!
                  "Having a pony to ride is better than having none at all...No matter where the weather of his heart may lie." Borrowed from Stephen King's 'My Pretty Pony')


                  • #10
                    I think the only discipline where judges are hard on the chunky is equitation. There are great hunter, jumpers and eventers who are heavy. I do think being fit is a big part of the equation- you better bet people like Buck Davidson and Becky Holder are as fit as their trimmer counterparts. The only place in eventing where you are judged is dressage, and in my brief experience, no dressage judge has ever made mention of my weight.

                    Honestly, the only thing that seems to bother eventers is stuff like cruelty to horses and really dangerous riding. I think most people are too busy at events to notice your butt!


                    • #11
                      FIRST let me say, since I think noone else has...Your mare is gorgeous darling, simply gorgeous!!!

                      LOFF her.

                      Anyways, secondly let me say, and I am definitely a "stick" as you called it, and coming from the "stick" I say that no-one should say jack or
                      sh!t to you. You look fine and your horse doesnt look over-ridered. It's no-ones business but your own. Even though I am on the opposite end of the spectrum, i get sh!t for my lack of weight too, and it made/makes me apprehensive at time to ride in front of people. DONT LET IT BOTHER YOU! People make fun of other people because they are too insecure with themselves. Be the bigger person and go kick their butts! (competitively only of course!)
                      ~*PVC JUMPER*~
                      Dreams are meant to come true, not free...
                      "Everything I do, I do out of fear of being mediocre."


                      • #12
                        Believe it or not, I weighed 190 when I did IHSA in college, and despite ALWAYS being the only fat rider in my classes, I was usually first or second over fences. If you're fit and well-balanced and fit your horse, it truly doesn't matter.


                        • #13
                          When I look at your picture, all I see is a gal who sits up nice and tall, her heel is down, she's looking where she wants to go and her horse is going nicely on an ever so slightly loose rein - meaning she's relaxed and happy.

                          Just lovely if you ask me!!!

                          You can come be my stabling buddy at an event anytime!


                          • #14
                            I'm not an eventer and I don't usually read the eventing posts, but I saw this topic and it interested me. First I'd like to agree with pvcjumper, your horse is beautiful and together you make a nice 'picture'.

                            My daughter shows in the jumper ring and I'm currently living vicariously as I'm embarrassed to get on a horse at my current weight at BNT barn. I think it's me, not anyone else, who has the issue. Others occasionally ask why I'm not riding anymore and suggest I get back in the saddle. Why can I look at the pictures others post and think, "they look fine, of course they should be riding" and then look at myself in the mirror and think "Oh the poor horses, you're way too fat to sit on a living creature!".


                            • #15
                              You comments make me sad for you. Go ride. The horse will be fine with it. If it makes you feel better, find a big old chunk of a horse to ride. You don't have to show or even wear breeches!


                              • #16
                                Having been overweight most of my life and more so now than ever, I have been competing and doing really well. A good judge will see the rider and horse not the overweight part. A fit person comes in many different shapes and sizes. Yes I could loose weight and started doing so by going to Weight Watchers and working out more. My riding only being part of the motivating factor. The biggest factor was my kids and being able set a good example and being able to do more things with them.

                                The thing that bothers me the most about people is when people assume I must have a quiet, obedient horse because of the fact I'm really overweight I must not be a good rider.

                                Enjoy the ride and be happy no matter what size you are.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by magnolia73 View Post
                                  You comments make me sad for you. Go ride. The horse will be fine with it. If it makes you feel better, find a big old chunk of a horse to ride. You don't have to show or even wear breeches!
                                  Although I am working hard on it, I do not have the .....um.....outline.. ...that I would like to have on the back of a horse.
                                  However, I don't look any slimmer standing at the rail, so I might as well be riding.
                                  Nina's Story
                                  Epona Comm on FB


                                  • #18
                                    Please dont take this the wrong way.... but...

                                    I dont feel that weight is ever an issue when it comes to riding.. and i mean that in any discipline. It's a matter of fitness.. the more muscle you put on the more you will weigh overall, due to the fact that muscle weights more than fat. Now to lose the fat first and then to build/tone up muscle is what needs to be done.

                                    But i have a huge issue with those who are like ".. i weigh 170lbs OMG.. i need to be 140lbs." Seriously its only a number. If you feel fit enough and happy enough with how you are now then it shouldn't matter what everyone else thinks.

                                    I applaud you for doing your best in your weightloss efforts.. but remeber it's YOUR own opinion that matters most. I'm no stick, and i've been the "fat kid" before... But make sure your losing weight for the right reason, and not because your afraid of being laughed at in the show ring. (which eventers wont do anyway!! )

                                    PS- i think you and your horsey look wonderful together!
                                    Proud owner of a Spicy mare!!


                                    • #19
                                      Many people don't realize that exercise is not enough to lose weight. The saying, "you are what you eat," has some truth to it. Ever watch that show "The Biggest Loser?" The contestants lose weight not only because of exercise, but because they change their eating habits. I always recommend to people Weight Watchers. I did it (and kind of do it on and off) and have lost almost 20 lbs. My sister did it and lost 20 lbs. It's all about eating in moderation and taking in less calories. When you first start it, you realize how much you were actually eating during the day! the other great thing about WW is that you can pretty much eat what you want, just in moderation. It really makes you eat normal portions. So my advise for those who want to lose weight is to do a program like WW--it provides some guidance in terms of how to change your diet and there are many good recipes on the website. I definitely feel better when I follow it--I eat more fruit and veggies and less carbs and high fat foods.
                                      I'm not trying to be mean, but when I see overweight people, I never look at them and think, "wow, what a fit person." So while it may not matter much for eventing, it does matter for your overall health. And having a large bone structure or large muscles still doesn't make one look overweight, so I think people should stop using that excuse.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by luise View Post
                                        I'm not trying to be mean, but when I see overweight people, I never look at them and think, "wow, what a fit person."
                                        Fortunately I don't give a f*** what you think when you look at me.

                                        I worry about my horse and I worry about my health. But what people who don't know me think? There are too many good things in my life for me to dwell on something like that.