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How do YOU deal with the pressures of riding and being thin?

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  • That is a beautiful photo! I love the over-effects.



    • Real World, I so agree w/ you about this thread being sickening. At this point I feel like quitting h/j and going into another discipline. I won't though, b/c thankfully I have enough self-confidence to enjoy myself regardless of how people see or define me. Oh and by the way, yes being overweight causes grave illnesses, but so do eating disorders- they can lead to organ failure. Does the name Karen Carpenter mean anything to any of you. I laugh about the thought of losing weight to nab a prince for a husband. If you can't depend on your own self-reliance, intelligence, and personality to get ahead in this world, I pity you. If anyone wants a nice contemporary fairy tale for girls to grow into strong women, try reading the Paperbag Princess to your little girls. It will give her a sound perspective on self-reliance and self-confidence.

      [This message was edited by teal tea on Nov. 05, 2002 at 11:07 PM.]


      • I just now stumbled across this thread (I know, I'm slow [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]), and I don't have time to read the whole thing. So I'll apologize ahead of time if what I'm writing no longer follows the path the thread has taken. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

        To start off with, I can't really say I'm aware of the pressure to conform to a certain body type in the hunter/equitation ring, because I don't show enough or at a high enough level. So I can't really reply to this topic on that level.

        However, I am a teenage girl, and I'm well aware of the pressure society places on us to be thin. I read fashon magazines like Elle and Vougue; of course I see how thin those models are, and there are times I wish I looked more like them.

        Let me say that I don't consider myself to be a very confident person. I think I have the usual, healthy amount of self-esteem the majority of the time, but I am a perfectionist.

        I'm 5'3" and fluctuate between 120-125 lbs. I'm a size 5, occasionally a 7, and if I'm really lucky, I can *squeeze* into a 4. But honestly, that doesn't bother me much. I'm not sure why, but I've come to accept myself and actually be proud of what I do have. I can stand back, look in the mirror, and say that I do have nice legs and shoulders (despite a broken collarbone). I make myself feel better about my ghetto booty by comparing myself to J. Lo; she's got curves, and she's considered sexy and beautiful.

        Strangely enough, I'm also a ballet dancer; yet I still don't let my body get to me. I stare at myself in the mirror for hours on end when I'm taking class and rehearsing, and though I'm not always thrilled with what I see, I can't get totally upset about it either. Though I know I need to jump, Eric can still lift me, which I suppose means I'm not too heavy. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

        I'm not tall, and I don't have long, thin legs, yet I've been told I look nice on a horse. I feel pretty confident in tight clothes, including breeches (though I do admit I like my slimming Pytchley's best [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img])

        My advice to anyone who feels they must obsess about weight is to really step back and look at themselves. You have qualties that are great; nobody is perfect. And in the grand scheme of things, is weight and appearace really that important?

        Now to back up my unsolicited and unqualified advice, I'll even post a pic of myself. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] It was taken before prom last spring. It's not the most flattering picture either, but I don't care. I think I look my most J. Lo-ish actually, lol. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

        You see things; and you say "Why?"
        But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?" ~George Bernard Shaw
        Attached Files


        • I didn't mean that seriously. Yes, I know the eq you are supposed to be taller and thin, however the way you guys made it sound was like it was a contest to see who was the skinniest. I know Erin didn't win just because she is thinner than I am, she won because she outrode me that day. [It happens, somedays I outride her, somedays she outrides me, we've been like that for years...and no we aren't quite the same size, I'm about 4 or 5 inches taller and a tiny bit wider =)] I was just being sarcastic, and you can see I erased it cuz I was in a mood from something else when I posted it, and realized like 2 mins into it, that it wasn't funny if you weren't already pissed =)

          "Don't take life too seriously, you'll never get out alive." - Van Wilder
          "You can pick your nose and pick your friends, but you can't wipe your friends on the couch."
          \"Don\'t take life too seriously, you\'ll never get out alive.\" - Van Wilder
          \"You can pick your nose and pick your friends, but you can\'t wipe your friends on the couch.\"


          • Its late here in SAT and my real dyslexic side is about to flurish. For all who don't know my writeings Im one of the worst spellers but do I care? Hell no... So before you start cracking on my typeing ask yourself if you want an angry room beheading you.

            As for the people worying about offending me, it takes alot to offend me. So easy and DD can tell you how kind I am. What does bother me is the people who feel they know the in's and outs's of this whole world that many live in. Its not so easy as wakeing up and saying hey Im going to be ok today. wish it was so easy. The bottom line is I don't tolerate ignorent minds. I like minds who try to expand their minds to experience life for what it is.

            So easy thanks for the kind note. I have been threw what many would say one hell of a life but with my storys I have helped many. One of my most memorable people was a girl who many can remeber from those old threads. One day she IMed me on aol and since then I have become someone who has made her a better person.

            She can tell all of you I am one of the most critical people. Not about how she looked though but about her attitude. Many people who I have worked with have low self confadence, pore image expectations and a bad case of being depresed.

            She knows I am proud of her and am very proud of the person she has become but in this whole mess she thought quiting riding was the way to solve it. Now she is desprately looking to get back on but fears becomeing that old person. In time though she will and Im sure she will rock the world with a sound mind.

            One thing I learned though is each of these people were just looking for someone to talk to and not judge them. A biast opinion is such a powerfull tool. To those out there I beg of you to think of how you speak to others. One word can do so much damage to another being. Sure people are funny but instead of excudeing someone cause they don't fit isn't nice. Reach out to someone and be a friend.

            I was wanting to take this young project to florida this winter but abby and debby were screaming at me to get my butt into high gear and fix them. For massive reconstructive surgery that killed my pockets as of yesterday. Since abby requires so much care she costs a hell of alot more to make her into a diane. not just some simple wam bam.

            For that though I feel like Ill never get the chance to show her she can do it and be fine. It takes though a friendly hand to prove that.

            DD20 I so wish I could use your tissue if you had it but unless your an identical twin it wouldn't work. Trust me though your boobs will get bigger. Mine did for all of 18 weeks but complications ruined that for me. Don't wory Im holding it fine. That was one of the reasons I droped off the face of the planet. I learned alot about my body when a Dr. said Im at too high of risk cause of my body condition at that time but In time Ill be like you. When I say at high risk I mean a very elivated fainting heartbeat. Consider that other one a gift from me. You'll have payback though when Ill be flat on my back complaining of morning sickness. Ohh that was a bad memory. Wait till your belly gets bigger and your feet blow up. the worse is when you fell like your back is about to buckle and your wondering how your going to make it the rest of the 9 months.
            You have my pitty.

            Many have asked me in the past why I ich so bad to get back on and ride after all of the pain. Truth is.... I love the sport and love it now for the right reasons. I will be the first to ride in an arena with the bird held high over my head cause thats how I feel about peoples opinions of me. Hell with the ones who half to rain on my day.

            PS for all who figured out that Abby line man Im so glad to be getting it done. that dam insert is driveing me up the wall. Ill be in houson around Dec. 16th. Thats if I don't chicken out.... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] Wish me luck... And no this isn't an immage thing this is a Im doing this for myself to make myself feel better. I frankly don't care what others think....
            \"I\'m going to go see a horse about a man\" - Unknown


            • Don't worry, no hard feelings whatsoever! I think the bigeq would be a difficult division to be in, especially on the level that you are. b/c no matter what, people will talk about that crap, unfortunately.

              but, like i said. congrats on your success there, and the obvious success you've had in the hunter and jumper ring. i hardly ever keep up with the h/j circuit, but i have heard of you a lot. you obviously have a lot to be proud of!


              • Are EQ riders really supposed to be taller and thin? Really? You know, I am a little obsessed with my hieght and I always feel like my legs are dragging the ground. My horse is a large 16H QH but I feel too tall on him. I am extremely self-concious about it.


                • CTT, I've missed you!!!! I was wondering just the other day where you had gone!

                  Check out my barn's site:
                  Centre Equestre de la Houssaye
                  "Je retournerai dans un mois. Galope Cannabis, galope!" -Jamel Debbouze


                  • <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lux:
                    Are EQ riders really supposed to be taller and thin? Really? You know, I am a little obsessed with my hieght and I always feel like my legs are dragging the ground. My horse is a large 16H QH but I feel too tall on him. I am extremely self-concious about it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                    I dunno, people say they are, as long as you can ride even "short" people do just fine. I am 5'9 and my mare is a shortlegged almost 16.1 hand horse...the horse I did at indoors could (if you wanted him to be a hunter) probably measure a small, he was probably just barely 16 hands on a good day with really long feet. My legs are REALLLLLY long and thats where i got in trouble at Maclay...I've never thought that you HAD to be tall, but then again I am so it never would have worked against me I guess. One of my friends is 6' though and all the guys (Charlie Jayne, Randy Sherman, Hardin...well some of them) are actually over 6' so I wouldn't be so self-conscious about it, as long as you ride your horse correctly it isn't going to kill you.

                    "Don't take life too seriously, you'll never get out alive." - Van Wilder
                    "You can pick your nose and pick your friends, but you can't wipe your friends on the couch."
                    \"Don\'t take life too seriously, you\'ll never get out alive.\" - Van Wilder
                    \"You can pick your nose and pick your friends, but you can\'t wipe your friends on the couch.\"


                    • Yopu know, I believe that it IS really important for the people who are involved with this thread to read, or just skim the "Weight Issue" threads- some of the things said, revealed and explained are incredible and something we're lucky to have as a resource and learnignt ool.

                      That being said, I am all for seeing it hashed and rehashed over and over again- every different approach, style, and story may touch someone or help someone in a different way, so I say keep it up.

                      As for weight, i honestly believe it is one of the most difficult issues anyone can deal with- no matter what your weight, size, image, confidence and experiences, it is so viciously individual that no two people experience things the same way.

                      No matter how many times someone tells you that you look great or are fine or that bulemia can kill you, it doesn't change the perverted sense of self and reality that exists within your head. The negative has a far more profound impact than the positive, especially when there are already confidence issues.

                      I lost a ton of weight this summer, and I am very aware that I look better than I did at the beginning of the summer- and I am so happy for that. But despite that, some days I feel absolutely revolting and other days ifeel like I look great. And really, I'm not basing it on anything realistic. I develope complete arbitarary images in my head, and they are what I base my entire self-image on. Its insane, yet its inescapeable.

                      And all the while, I have never felt as though my weight has hindered my showing, but maybe it has and I am just unaware of it. But the cruel fact is, that no matter what it does for my pinnings, i would still LOVE to look better in my tailored sportsmans! And to top it off, I am very short (I call myself 5'4, but really 5'3 would probably be stretching reality!) I have found that as long as I am on a horse that I fit, my height is negligable.

                      And on the positive aspect, I have never had a horse run away with me, never had a horse that I wasnt strong enough to handle- I have excellent upper body strength, which can be very beneficial in my riding.

                      But in the end, my personal issues all circulate back to weight- Its a mixture of societal forces, peers, family, vicious and cruel tricks my own mind plays and a desire to be able to do my best, and to do whatever it takes to get there. The scarry part is sometimes wondering how far I (or anyone) would really be willing to go to get there. The mind is a dangerous place, and I go there alone far too frequently.


                      • I'm in the porky category right now. I've actually struggled for almost 20 years with eating disorders and have been every size from a 2 to a 20. If I am anywhere below a size 8 I look like a skeleton.

                        Like pretty much anyone else here, I have worried about how i look. I always will. I've also been riding pretty much throughout my whole life, and I had five years of very intense showing and riding. During that time, I weighed 150 lbs or so (fluctuated 5 lbs each way) and I'm 5'6 and change. I wore a size 10/12 during that time. I rode hunters and eq, and I was by far the biggest girl there, and the shortest one to boot, on the least fancy horse. I also won almost every flat class I entered, even with my big booty and black-eye inducing tatas. I looked good riding my mare, i rode her well, and when I wasn't riding I spiffed up really well too. I was three times the size of every girl at parties but I had no problems getting dates, even though my best friend looks like a carbon copy of Catherine Zeta-Jones.

                        I also know that I am not harming horses when i ride. I'm balanced (except when I fall [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] ). I've seen people half my weight pound a horse's back and yank on their mouths. I do neither.

                        I don't show anymore (don't ride anymore either) but if I ever do start showing again, I'll probably go the same route: hunters and equitation. If I feel the size of my behind and boobies are affecting the way i place, I'll switch to another discipline [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
                        Just because I have a short attention span doesn\'t mean I


                        • Four years ago I was waiting in line at the Starbucks attached to Chapter's Bookstore near the University of Toronto in Toronto. The weather outside was terrible - sleet mixed with snow . . .

                          The woman ahead of me in line was dressed in cycling gear, all black. She was rail thin and obviously in very good shape. She was having a great time gabbing with the waitress behind the counter and I was getting more and more impatient. Eventually she took her purchases, turned around and apologized for taking everybody's time. She was obviously in blooming good health, radiant cheeks, etc..

                          I was in great shock. The woman was OLD - I guessed about 71 or 72. The waitress behind the counter told me that that both she and this older lady were members of the same Triathlon Club - AND - oh yes - the Woman was SEVENTY NINE years old.

                          I've been riding my cycle ever since here in Seoul. Four hours a day.

                          Getting older totally sucks - big time. Only solution - fight back all the way with physical fitness!!!!!!!

                          David G./Seoul


                          • This is following up what David said. The October Sports Illustrated Women (that is the magazine for women, not the swim-suit issue of the regular magazine) had a fantastic article on The Ages Of an Athlete. It went through a woman's life decade by decade up to the 11th decade and talked about the health advantages of exercise in general and
                            specific things that change as we age. ANYWAY, there were pictures and stories of athletic women from ages 9 to 100. There was a 72-year-old distance runner who I honestly say looks better than I do at 40-something. The 93-year old swimmer
                            and 100-year old diver almost brought tears to my eyes. Check it out at the library or whatever.

                            Under carefully controlled conditions of breeding, training, and care, a horse will do whatever it damn well pleases.


                            • This is a GREAT Fitness Site - Ingrid and her fellow Norwegian Grete Waitz - the greatest female marathoners in history . . .



                              • I was reading the USA Cycling magazine recently and looked in awe at the point standings for the age categories...80 plus, 90 plus, 100 plus.....and there were two men in the 110 plus category. People doing criteriums at OVER 110 years old! They've probably been point-chasing one another since, like, 1930.


                                • Now, this is what I can get into! Reading about people like that gets me fired up to get fit again. And it's not about going for a look but making my body fit and strong and feeling good. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
                                  The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. Oscar Wilde


                                  • I will never be petite, I will never be a size 2, I will never have the straight blonde hair that I think looks so cool. Oh well.....

                                    But, today I am fit, statuesque, strong, healthly.

                                    I loff it!

                                    I really enjoy celebrating my strengths instead of focusing on my weaknesses.
                                    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


                                    • You Know, David, I have a similiar experience. The woman who gave me my horse for my birthday is over 75. And in better shape than EVERY 30 yr old I know. She is incredible. She rides daily, plays 18 holes of golf, sometimes 3-4 times daily, goes around helping people and is just simply, purely wonderful. She is fit, look 50, and is an incredible woman. She recently had her knee replaced, and in the words of a doctor, "A 17 year old couldn't recover as fast!"

                                      Makes me want to be that fit and healthy when I have grandchildren. Shes my "Fairygrandmother," and I hope I am as able to do the same when I am her age!


                                      • My mother-in-law is in her mid-60's, and she belongs to the Colorado Mountain Club. Not only does she belong, she leads the hikes -- hard ones! She has climbed every peak in Colorado over 14,000 ft, of which there are 50-something, most of them more than once, from different sides. When she ran out of those in Colorado, she started going elsewhere. Recently, she has climbed Mt. Ranier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Killamajarro (no clue how to spell that) which is around 20,000 ft. and took 9 days, trekked through Peru, and hiked to the Everest base camp.

                                        She is the fittest person her age I have ever seen. She has legs of steel. And you know the best part? She wasn't always this way.... she didn't start this until she was in her mid-50's. She didn't even exercise regularly before! She just went with some friends on a little hike one day, and got hooked.

                                        She is awe-inspiring.
                                        where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?


                                        • and everyone else posting about fitness and aging.

                                          To paraphrase a physiologist I heard at a sports nutrition workshop . . . most of what we call "aging" is actually a lifetime of physical inactivity and poor nutrition.

                                          Age doesn't matter, it is always possible to improve fitness.