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

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

    Hi ya'll, I'm just wondering how you deal with the pressures of staying thin and riding. I don't think (No, I KNOW) I am not fat, but I am def. NOT 5'9" and 115 (I'm 5'9", but not 115, lol). And it seems like EVERYONE in the horse world is reallllly thin. What do you think about, and how do you deal, when it seems like you are heavier then everyone you are competing against? And do you ever feel pressure from OTHER people to lose weight? (Directly, or indirectly) Thanks for the input!

    * B E L E N *
    *Larks Caruso* / *Every So Often*
    Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you'll still land among the stars.
    ---> *My New Page* <--- (10/31- Updated!)
    \"I\'m looking for a dare to be great situation\"- John Cusack
  • Original Poster

    Hi ya'll, I'm just wondering how you deal with the pressures of staying thin and riding. I don't think (No, I KNOW) I am not fat, but I am def. NOT 5'9" and 115 (I'm 5'9", but not 115, lol). And it seems like EVERYONE in the horse world is reallllly thin. What do you think about, and how do you deal, when it seems like you are heavier then everyone you are competing against? And do you ever feel pressure from OTHER people to lose weight? (Directly, or indirectly) Thanks for the input!

    * B E L E N *
    *Larks Caruso* / *Every So Often*
    Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you'll still land among the stars.
    ---&gt; *My New Page* &lt;--- (10/31- Updated!)
    \"I\'m looking for a dare to be great situation\"- John Cusack


    • #3
      May I respond for the thin side?

      On a good day I may top 105 and occasionally I may stretch it to 110. I am in my 20's. I have a very high metabolism so I can eat just about anything I want whenever I want and not gain any weight. This also means I am a tad hypoglycemic. If I don't eat on a regular basis I get diabetic symtpoms and can pass out.

      It also means that I can't gain any useful muscle. I may have difficulty riding larger horses because I don't have the muscle to hold them. If I wanted to gain weight (I am considered underweight) or gain any muscle at all I would have to eat TRIPLE the daily caloric intake.

      Being this thin means I have trouble fitting into "grown-up" clothes i.e. anything not labeled as "junior" and when I say I am ready to graduate they ask me what High School I am in. This gives me huge self-confidence problems because parts of me are not "huge".

      There is also lots of teasing "I could just kill you, you're so skinny" "I bet she's anorexic" and the like. I would really like to gain 10-15 pounds but eating my cereal with buttermilk does not sound appealing.


      • #4
        I am 5'9" I weigh 165 lbs [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] I have recently lost a lot of weight and I AM THIN NOW!!!!! I am 45 years old so I have some perspective, LOL [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

        OMG Didn't I just confess everything a "lady" never should [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img]
        See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


        • #5
          I looked at your web site and you do NOT have a weight problem. You look great! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] If you are really concerned about your weight, try eventing. We drink and eat and don't give a darn as long as we can ride a horse cross country and still catch our breath at the end.


          • #6
            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Graciousness*:
            ....it seems like EVERYONE in the horse world is reallllly thin. What do you think about, and how do you deal, when it seems like you are heavier then everyone you are competing against?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

            I would agree that the average rider is probably thinner than the average U.S. citizen. But I don't think EVERYONE in the horse world is thin. I know it seems that way, particularly when you're so focused on your own weight that you pay attention to every thin person you see. Yes, there are many thin riders. But take an objective look around. There are some heavier ones out there too.

            I'm not fat by any means, but I do feel larger than many riders. I don't think it helps that we wear close-fitting, puke green (not a slimming) color on our thighs which we then press up against the saddle so any extra flab just smooshes out the back! LOL. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img] But then I look around and see that there are other body types out there and they're succesful! I will tell you that the successful heavier ones I've seen haven't been out of shape or flabby--they've been very strong.

            It's kind of sad. All these threads seem to turn into heavy people bemoning their fate, thin people bemoning their fate, and no one really happy with what they are. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] I think if you're strong and fit, you should be darn proud of yourself and your body. Both of my grandmothers are big boned types. But both amaze me with their phsycal condition these days: it's great. The key is they've always been very strong and fit (lots of hard farm work).

            So for me, I concentrate on keeping my muscles strong and my cardio system fit enough that I'm in decent shape. Thinness will follow if it's in the cards for me. I have become much more proud of my body when I can run a bit farther or lift a bit more. It's nice to see your fitness progress.


            • #7
              Don't worry about how thin you are, but rather how fit you are. That's what is really important. Me, I'm 5'10" and 160lbs. I'm ok with that. I try to eat healthy and I get plenty of exercise at the barn. I've had to face the sad fact that I will never wear a pair of size 24 breeches, but that's life...and life is too short to worry about being too skinny or too fat.

              My only current problem is that I'm getting flabby after sitting around in class all day and never being able to get any exercise &lt;sigh&gt; Only 40 days left till I see my horse and dont have to do any class work!

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


              • #8
                as much as it shouldn't matter, it does. I avoid flat classes, becasue they really are just like beauty pagents. It doesn't matter as much over fences if you can ride effectively. I am aware that If I ride my best then I can place over the girls who are 5'9" and 100 lbs. Having good posture and well fitting show clothes help too, and confidence.

                "Take most people, they're crazy about cars. I'd rather have a goddamn horse. A horse is at least human, for god sake."
                -JD Salinger, Catcher in the Rye


                • #9
                  _I avoid flat classes, becasue they really are just like beauty pagents._

                  What a funny thing to say, because just today I remarked on how flat classes, on anything but the most well-trained-push-button horses, are HARD. While I agree that jumping generally takes more energy all around, getting a horse in a nice undersaddle frame, at least in my case, takes WORK. TONS of leg that can't be let up for a second, lots of upper body balancing, and supportive yet soft hands (harder than it sounds!). I usually come out of flat classes more winded than any over fences round. JUST IMO.

                  Beauty pagents? *snort* [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                  Common sense aint so common.
                  Common sense aint so common.


                  • #10
                    I USED to have that 5'7 115 pound equitation body....but now I am finding myself putting on a few pounds...can't say I am happy about it but what can you do???? I always had to TRY to eat more to put on any weight....but that all changed REAL QUICK!!! Everyone told me it would catch up to me someday but I didn't believe them.......
                    now my chaps are feeling tight utoh!!!!!! LOL




                    • #11
                      I often wonder what it would be like to have big boobs and some sort of butt lol. I am a pretty slim person. I here about it all the time.. "omg ur so skinny!" yeah maybe they're complimenting me but it always feels like an insult. I think no matter what you look like, you always want to look a different way and thats just something you have to get over!! Just ride your best and thats all that matters right?!
                      PS: Flat classes are not beauty pagents.. They are a lot harder then over fences IMO

                      ~*From Terri*~ [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
                      "It's like something out of that twilighty show about that zone." -Homer Simpson
                      ~*From Terri*~


                      • #12
                        I don't worry about it. I love to ride and compete. I have noticed I'm not doing well b/c of my weight in flat classes. Will I try to lose weight? Yes. Will I kill myself or make myself miserable for it? No. There are too many instances of eating disorders in female athletes, particularly gynmastics, for me to "add" to the problem. I will not be another statistic. Christy Heineken (I think I'm misspelling her name) died b/c some stupid judge told her that that was the only way she would win an Olymic medal. Its in the book, Pretty Girls in Pretty Boxes, by Joan Ryan, a book I highly recommend for female athletes and their parents and trainers. For Christy and for everyone else who has died, I will say no to the pressure of being thin. I will be thin b/c I want to be, but not for something or someone. On a kind of light note, I was joking with someone that maybe before going into an eq class I should ask the judge if they will be judging you on your own looks rather than the horse's, b/c if they are going to take off for weight than maybe I won't bother paying for the class. Some judges are cool though. They judge fairly and I place higher w/ them. All I can say I'm concerned w/ my mental,physical, and emotional health, not society's and I would hope that others would feel the same way.


                        • #13
                          Funny you should bring this up; I was just discussing it the other day! Weight never really used to be a concern for me until I went on Prednisone. Now I have to be VERY careful, or the pounds just start pouring on. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] Being on a medication with side effects including weight gain really gives me a different perspective of weight issues, whether a person is too thin or too heavy. It has taught me to put myself in that person's shoes before I jump to any conclusions.

                          Really, I never really worried about my weight until I started showing on the intercollegiate circuit. I think that has even more pressure than the A shows, unless your trainer or peers are pressuring you about your weight.

                          In regard to when I'm the heaviest rider in the class (and yes, it has happened, even if I'm wearing 28s) - I just take it as a challenge to make myself ride that much harder. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

                          "Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun."


                          • #14
                            I am 5'10" and weigh 140. I just lost about 10 lbs. I started running. My husband bought a $1300 Nordic Track treadmill with a padded deck from one of his customers for $250. It's like, brand new. So I started running. I feel like I should (try to) be as fit as I expect my horse to be.


                            • #15
                              You are veryvery pretty and you do not have a weight problem!

                              One of the many reasons the horse world annoys me now. Although, there's another problem out there called "high school". [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] Just be happy with who you are. Personally, from the stick figure perspective, it's not all it's cracked up to be. I get weight comments all the time. Once, my (also ridiculously thin) best friend and I left a restaraunt table simultaneously to hang out in the bathroom because my family was driving us crazy. While we were gone, my extended family asked my mom if we were going to go puke together- they though we were bulimic!

                              So just be happy with yourself. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] Really.

                              ~Erin B #1
                              Beware the chickens, for in their silence, they plot.

                              [This message was edited by ErinB on Nov. 03, 2002 at 01:04 PM.]
                              Erin B #1


                              • #16
                                Good topic! I suffered with anorexia in college, and probably high school too if I want to honest. I've now come to the conclusion that while I might be 10 lbs heavier than I'd like(ok, closer to 20), I'm curvy and carry it well. I'm also a 32D bra size so that makes me look even heavier than I might really be. I'm currently doing Weight Watchers to try and drop 15-20 in the next 6 months but if it's only 10 then at least I'll lose that and keep it off. Honestly, the boobs get more in the way than the extra weight. I was working out every day and as soon as I'm working again I'll start working out all the time again, I didnt' lose much weight that way but I was REALLY fit and healthy and proud of my body and what it could do. And, just for the record, Maggie Jayne and a few other top jrs are NOT "too skinny", I was really impressed by how in shape she looked up there on her horses, Clara Lidner too...they might be better role models than some of the others...

                                And my younger sister has the EXACT opposite problem: she is 5'3 and maybe 105 lbs but eats ALL the time...she doesn't ride but she has suffered her whole life with the "are you anorexic????" questions and her dorm mother in boarding school once tried to hold an "intervention" for her without talking to my parents first...Can you say PISSED OFF???? My mom is 52, a size 4 and skinny too!!! They just got different genes!!! But I know she struggles with the opposite side of things and it isn't much better for her, like ErinB...
                                Aqha Clique
                                Can you stress-fracture your brain?


                                • #17
                                  Graciousness, judging from the pictures on your site, you have nothing to worry about weight-wise. You already said that you know you aren't fat. HOWEVER, if you don't start wearing a helmet you'll have bigger things to stress over, such as brain damage (in the pictures of you riding Cruze you are helmetless).
                                  Back to this thread, I think all of you are missing the point. Graciousness wants to know how everyone deals with the pressures to be thin that surround our sport. I'm 5'9 and 155 lbs. I am strong and fit. I take comfort in the fact that I can shlep hay bales around while my skinny friends are struggling to move them, and that I can effectivly ride horses that underweight riders are too weak to control. It also helps that my trainer is rather large, so there's no pressure from her.


                                  • #18
                                    I thought I was the only one who felt out-of-place in the ring in flat classes where I'm often the only one who's not, well . . . FLAT! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                                    My argument isn't with the judges or the critics on the sideline, but with the manufacturers of show togs. Now, I'm 5'4" and weigh about 140, which is mostly muscle but nicely, um . . . padded. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] I'm a size 8. I've been a size 8 most of my adult life. I wear a 28 waist breech. One would think it would be easy for me to turn out nicely, but the cut of English apparel is such that it must be presumed that 5'9" and 110 lbs is the ideal. What is with that constricting band just below the knee on the breeches? Are my feet SUPPOSED to be numb? And my jacket fits great, except across my shoulders. I always need to get a size larger and have learned to enjoy the breathing room throught the waist and chest. Is there anything that makes a woman feel uncomfortable more efficiently than being "told" by clothing manufacturers that hers is not their idea of the ideal body for the activity in question?

                                    I heartily recommend that you try the more casual sport of barrel racing. A friend who was endowed beyond the ideal, so to speak, learned that she was more likely to place in a hand-timed event if she removed her bra and let her little friends fly free. No judge in the world could keep his eye on the stopwatch under those circumstances! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                                    **If you're lucky enough to own a horse, you're lucky enough.**
                                    **If you're lucky enough to own a horse, you're lucky enough.**

                                    **author of It's a Horse's Life!**


                                    • #19
                                      I am an adult and I don't deal very well with the subtle and not so subtle pressures to be thin (which I am not - I have a butt the size of a pumpkin).

                                      I can't even imagine how juniors deal with it, especially equitation riders. I don't know if things are better or worse than they were in the 70s and 80s - you'd think they'd be better, since we are supposedly more enlightened about the dangers of being too thin.


                                      • #20
                                        I am 5'7" and weigh on a good day close to 113. But generally I am in the 110-111 catagorey.

                                        For the first 15 years of my life (well, since I remember) I forced myself to eat MORE than what I was actually hungry for. In fact, if I was with friends or family, I owuld stuff myself just sot ehy could see I WASNT unhealthy. But that is unhealthy.

                                        Now I eat when I'm hungry, and I dont' when I'm not. But there are those of us out there with high metabolisms, people need to deal with that.

                                        I realize that there are people with eating disorders out there, but please, remember, not everyone that is skinny is unhealthy.

                                        and Hero-I can carry my weight (which isn't much mind you, but I can certinly ride [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] )

                                        Be WHOEVER you are. Yourself, it's all you need to ever be. Dont' conform to what anyone else wants you to be-thin or thick, you'll be happy no matter what. Be healthy, eat healthy, and ride-if you're chunky, it;s your body type-and it does not mean you aren't healthy.

                                        And Belen-you are PERFECT. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                                        - Whit
                                        "If it weren't for electricity we'd all be watching television by candlelight."
                                        - George Gobel
                                        I must say, I\'ve met some horses whose feet smell far worse than my husband\'s.