She likes me! She likes me! I’m so excited! That new mare told her friend that she really thinks I’m pretty neat. She said I had the most handsome face and cutest butt in the barn. I was blushing pink through my black hair. I’ll admit it’s true… I do have a nice big, round hip. It’s one of my best attributes.
There’s a joke I hear in the barn a lot. People say, “Does this saddle make my butt look big?” I don’t understand why so many people worry about the size of their butts. People like horses with big rear ends. I’m constantly hearing people talk about losing weight, this diet or that, who’s too fat and who’s too skinny. It’s strange. We horses don’t care what size you are. Your weight is not nearly as important to us as how you ride. One of the most uncomfortable sessions I’ve ever had was with a really skinny rider. She pounded my back like a farrier’s hammer. And one of the most elegant riders I’ve ever experienced was a very large woman. She was so balanced and so at one with me, that it was very easy to carry her.
Riding is a sport, and all sports require some level fitness. If you’re a casual rider who just wants to walk down the trail, you won’t need to be as fit as a rider who is a serious student of jumping or dressage. As you ride regularly and learn more, your fitness level will naturally improve. It’s a given. If you want to improve even faster, add a regular brisk walk to your day, and do some crunches or sit-ups every evening before you go to bed or every morning when you first get up.
But please, stop worrying so much about your size and weight. You get more of whatever you concentrate on. So, if you concentrate on a negative view of your weight, you’ll hold onto or increase the problem. You can’t help it! Instead, concentrate in getting FIT. Think about all the small ways you can become stronger and fitter, and you’ll get more of that. Put your bathroom scale in the back of your closet and stop obsessing about the pounds. They’re not that important! Instead, learn to ride light with softness and balance. Your horse will be happier.
Now, go have lunch and be sure you eat something green. Your body likes live food, so be kind to your earthly vessel and eat your veggies! And be sure to save a carrot for your horse! He likes veggies, too!