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Old 12-31-2009, 01:06 PM  
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Talking Plus Size Riders

I'm a plus size rider, a size 18 and 5'10". The horse industry as a whole tends to be very body image centered and I've found the worst remarks about my weight have come from barn owners and other horse owners, most often at shows.

I was wondering if there were any other plus size riders on here, how do you find your local horse community with regards to fat-acceptance. Do you ride a plus size horse too? My mare is a Fresian/QH x, so definitely on the bootylicious side and at the riding school I was at until August I was riding a big framed Appy mare.

If you take lessons, how did you find your weight was reflected in the options you had for riding schools? Locally there is only ONE riding school with any horses suitable for even a smaller plus size rider.

How do you find tack? English saddles aren't so bad, I ride in a 17" seat but I'm upsizing to an 18" because I like the seat better but in western the biggest I've been able to find was a 16" seat and I feel like I'm going to explode out of it at any moment. I found a 20" but it'd be too big for my mares short back, I need something like a 17" or 18" but they're almost impossible to find, the 16" was hard enough to find!

What about clothing? I'm able to usually squeeze into an XL in most brands, Ariat sweaters fit in an XL just barely but the XXL would be better as I'm quite ample in the bust.

All in All, where's my plus size riding friends?!

And so this isn't tooooo boring, some lovely photos!

Pal and I, Pal was a Haffie/Belgian X gelding. He was my chunkymunky, and his showname was BUTTERBALL LOL. I was at the Lindsay fair here at around 15 I was 230lbs.



And me a couple months ago after a riding lesson looking all sweaty and gross LOL.



And the bootylicious love of my life! Mylieeee also a fellow "fat"



It's sad to say the least that when I called a riding school in my area notorious for being a more competitive school (I wanted to get into showing more, schooling, jumping more and my current school is under water part of the year lol) I was told they "didn't have any plus size horses" and I think they said they'd been looking for some just to make it sound like they cared.

Last edited by s-mylie : 12-31-2009 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:38 PM  
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[quote=s-mylie;1774438]I'm a plus size rider, a size 18 and 5'10". The horse industry as a whole tends to be very body image centered and I've found the worst remarks about my weight have come from barn owners and other horse owners, most often at shows. quote]

That just makes me so upset Why cant people just ride and have fun and NOT worry about other people!
So are we not sopose to ride cause were big!!
What are we sopose to do sit back and watch every one else ride? I DONT THINK SO!!!
You know what i tell em? "If it makes you feel good about yourself to talk bad about me then that's okay"
Sorry i just had to vent, Cause that just burns my Behind
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:44 PM  
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Hello from another plus size rider!!

5'5" and a size 14 or 16 depending on the day. I have not had any problems finding a school b/c of my size, more b/c they don't have them here. I ride english so saddle fit doesn't seem to be too big a problem for me, now breeches are another story. Have a couple of off-name pairs that fit well for me, I have more isues b/c I'm vertically challenged.

Ive rode several different horses but b/c of my short little legs it has been interesting, a 14'1 morgan, a 16+ half draft, several different QHs. But my boy Charlie is a 15'3 slab sided OTTB.

He has no problems packing me around and he is the first horse I've found that I really seem to "fit" with my short little stubby legs.

ETA: Oh yeah, I've not had any problems with the horse people around here, in fact I've been lucky enough that they are all encouraging me to show next year, I'm the one who is self-concience about it.
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Last edited by Reshea : 12-31-2009 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:49 PM  
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Originally Posted by rm185western View Post
Hi to another 'better than average' woman

5' 9" and currently a size 16 (+/- depending on fit) and feeling FANTASTIC, spoken as only a woman who was a lot bigger a year ago can say.

At my current size and weight I no longer have issues with fit, I'm still swooning over my Ariat pro babys I got fro Christmas, and hey they're not even a wide fitting pair.

I haven't taken lessons over here, but in the UK I would have been struggling even at this size to find a school with a big horse to take me.

Do I ride a big horse, nope, I ride a 14.2hh Haflinger



as well as a Mr G of course.

With saddle fit, some 16" aren't to bad, my Reinsman is a 17" and is very comfortable, my Abetta trail saddle is 17" as well and is also roomy.

Boinks I found great for breeches, I bought 4x ones last year and they fitted my HUGE frame OK, and were really warm as well.

I LOVE my Muck boots, if I needed long riding boots I would look at them, they fit fat calfs really well.

Ariat seem quite generous in their sizing, and I love the quality of their stuff.

I have a pair of Ariat Probaby's! They fit great and I haven't had many problems with boots. I don't wear a wide shoes either, just wide heels if I wear them and flats. I've found a lot of english show boots tend to be way too small and it took years to find a nice pair of halfchaps that fit well.

I wear a pair of Tuffrider Schooling pants in a 36, they're really stretchy so they fit me pretty awesomely. I had some dublins that were wayyyy too big after I lost some weight a couple years ago. I was pushing 283lbs at 5'10" and went down to approx. 240lbs, quit riding in August to get a full time job and pay for my own horse and have gained almost 20lbs unfortunately. I was just between a 16 and 18 at 240lbs and I still wear a pair of size 16 Old Navy jeans which fit reasonably well.

I'm so disappointed with western saddles, my girl is trained western and she is being restarted english in May but I'd love to have a wintec western for trail riding but the only size I've been able to get my hands on is a 15 1/2" seat!!

I think us plus size gals tend to lean more towards the draftier built horses, Haffies and Draft X's, my gelding was a Haffie/Belgian cross and he was an absolute BEAST with Haffie looks.

Where in the UK?! My parents are both ex-pats and my brother and I are both full citizens. I practically grew up in England as a child. We're from the Harlow, Essex area. Mum was from Stansted Mountfitchet.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:59 PM  
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Originally Posted by Reshea View Post
Hello from another plus size rider!!

5'5" and a size 14 or 16 depending on the day. I have not had any problems finding a school b/c of my size, more b/c they don't have them here. I ride english so saddle fit doesn't seem to be too big a problem for me, now breeches are another story. Have a couple of off-name pairs that fit well for me, I have more isues b/c I'm vertically challenged.

Ive rode several different horses but b/c of my short little legs it has been interesting, a 14'1 morgan, a 16+ half draft, several different QHs. But my boy Charlie is a 15'3 slab sided OTTB.

He has no problems packing me around and he is the first horse I've found that I really seem to "fit" with my short little stubby legs.

ETA: Oh yeah, I've not had any problems with the horse people around here, in fact I've been lucky enough that they are all encouraging me to show next year, I'm the one who is self-concience about it.

My mum is the same height and size as you She is looking at getting a smaller "old style" Haffie to ride, she's been in love with Haffies since we had our gelding years ago.

I find it very difficult to find pants LONG enough and BIG enough to fit me. Even my Tuffriders are kind of short But all my pants seem to start out OK but end up extra short like I'm wearing floods LOL.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:08 PM  
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Oh I love a good Haffie!! So cute but not many of them in my area. Really got exposed to them through HT, will ride one someday!!

Funny, I have the exact opposite problem, can't buy knee-patch breeches, the patch is at my ankles.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:21 PM  
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A 17" seat western may not be as common, but keep an eye peeled on tacktrader and Ebay. I bought a 17" for the b/f - it was a gaited saddle, so nice and short length - you might consider looking into a gaited western since those typically will be shorter (like with an endurance skirt). Abetta is a very comfortable saddle that can be priced very nicely. Again, you might consider an endurance style to keep the length as short as possible.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:33 PM  
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People can be awfully unfair and don't stop to think before they open their big mouths. It is normal to see a male rider reach 200+ lbs easily on their larger frame and no one says a thing even though pound for pound it is the exact same! My view is that so long as you have proper body condition to ride balanced on your horse (i.e. even a small rider who is bouncing uncontrollable would hurt a horse's spine) then there is NO reason why a properly chosen horse shouldn't carry your weight with NO problem! If someone of ANY size is having trouble keeping their balance on their horse and keeping their weight off the spine then they need to go back to some strength building exercises on the ground, but most "bootylicious" riders have very good core muscles!
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:57 PM  
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Thank god the group I hang out with, fluffy-ness is the common. I am NOT plus size, I am just fluffy!!
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:04 PM  
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Thank god the group I hang out with, fluffy-ness is the common. I am NOT plus size, I am just fluffy!!

Hahaha fluffy-ness!

I'm not particularly large and my horse could definitely carry me without a doubt It's just a little disheartening to see the reactions from people when I'm out shopping for a saddle or buying riding boots/clothing. Some snob at the tack shop made a big deal out of the size of an 18" seat and my local tack shop tried to squeeze me into a 15 1/2" wintec western. Not-going-to-happen.
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:07 PM  
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Originally Posted by alliebath View Post
A 17" seat western may not be as common, but keep an eye peeled on tacktrader and Ebay. I bought a 17" for the b/f - it was a gaited saddle, so nice and short length - you might consider looking into a gaited western since those typically will be shorter (like with an endurance skirt). Abetta is a very comfortable saddle that can be priced very nicely. Again, you might consider an endurance style to keep the length as short as possible.

I'm looking at getting a synthetic so the length isn't the END of the world, it'll be flexible on her flanks but obviously I'd like to get a short one if possible. I can get a Haffie bar but I think that's going to pinch on her or be way too big because the man who trained her initially last year in western is a big name around here, a farrier, competitive in the western ring, and he's involved with the Ontario Trail Riding Association and fitted her at a Full QH bar.

I like the price of the Abetta but I've never seen them around here but I WOULD be interested in buying one online or cross boarder if I could find a saddle brand that fits similarly to try on my mare at home.
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:45 PM  
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I'm also in the plus sized group, I'm 5'10" and 225 (I have lost 35 pounds now after having my baby 7 weeks ago! ) To be honest I don't know what size jean I'm in BUT my prepregnancy jeans are a little loose.
I use a 16 inch western saddle and if you want a nice western saddle that comes in 17's have a look at Western Rawhide saddles. That is what I have and love it, they are so comfy and I have seen them in 17's.
I have looked at english saddles and would take an 18' just to be a little more comfy.
As for what people think, I really don't give one rats pattoty what they think! I'm happy with who I am, could I loose some weight? Yup. Will I? Possibly, but it's not up to others to deciede how I should look or conform to some mold. I don't ride "big" horses my main riding horse for years was a 14.2 hand QH that isn't a stocky boy. I know ride Chevy (my 15.1 paint) who has more beef on him but I really rather not a large horse.

Here is Iggy and I


And here is Chevy and I (It was hard to find a photo where I wasn't under 17 layers of clothes!)
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:59 PM  
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Seat Sizes

I am a little confused about those sizes not being available. 16 inch is by far the most common western saddle seat size. Every saddle I have ever owned has been a 16.

But, I use a 17 english saddle, it fits me well and I am not plus size. I am 5'4 too. I have actually been measured to be in a 14 1/2 western saddle and a 16 1/2 english.

Idk, I just find a lot of 17 engish saddles and 16 westerns, and I don't think larger sizes are that uncommon till you get into the 20s.

I show AQHA, and I tend to see more plus sized people riding western horses. Actually most of the time they are not riding very tall horses, either. But especially in pleasure the judge isn't too concerned with what the rider looks like, but more on how the horse is going.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:27 PM  
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If you are looking for a 18+ inch western saddle you can get a brand new dakota leather one for around a $1000 plus you can customize alot of the looks in one of those! My sister had one made and she had to pay a bit extra for the tree as it was a special order but you can get them. I ride a 900lbs arabian and am getting pretty close to the 25-30% weight ratio with my saddle and everything. She packs me around great and doesn't ever seem to struggle or be sore unless we go on a long strenous ride and then we both are sore the next day lol. Arabs have a shorter back which they say is better for carry weight so I don't feel back riding her. With my 26 inch inseam I usually feel like I am sitting on top of the horse instead of riding them because my legs don't hardly hang down but on her I am quite comfortable.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:54 PM  
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Eek! $1000 is way too expensive for me! My budget is more like $0-$400, I'm buying a Wintec A/P for Mylie at around $350. I may have to get my tack shop to order a 17" Wintec Western or Abetta if they come in a 17". I could live with a 16.5" seat though.

I really want just a synthetic and I know the Wintecs DO come in larger sizes. I think a 17" would be fine for me. Bridle Path Tack carries a few 20" saddles in synthetic but the skirt would be too big for Mylie, they're meant for some pretty enormous horses and she's big and probably still growing a bit being half draft, but she's not HUGE.

She was 15.2hh last measured and she'll be coming 5 in the spring. She's probably about 15.3-16hh now.

My gelding was only 15.1hh and I looked like my legs were going to touch the ground LOL but he was stocky and wide and that's how I like 'em. As a younger person I rode a 14hh QH, a 17.2hh TB, a 16.3hh Hano, a 14.3hh Appy, and a 15hh QH.

My TB mare back in the day was 16.1hh and very slight, I weighed about 250lbs when I rode her and I was fine on her but I still preferred the horses with a bit of bulk like my mare Mylie.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:12 PM  
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I'm kind of middle weight

But I know what you are feeling. My trainer never came out and said it, but I am pretty sure that all of her 100 pounds thought I was too heavy for my sturdy Rocky. I know about the 20% "rule" but I can't find any research to validate it. Yep, and if I were a man, no-one would have a problem with my weight on my horse. We woman are our own worse enemies. Its as if we get biased against each other, because we think we will be freed of those same biases against ourselves.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:42 PM  
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I'm a big girl too...i gained a lot of weight with my pregnancy, my problem though is not only am I big, but I'm short too I'm 5'4 and about 230.

I opted to get a bigger horse, a 16.1 TWH. But he has mounting issues so now i'm stuck on the ground. He's too tall...I'm too short and heavy. (I'm not quick enough to make the mount even from a mounting block) So, we are going to both be working with a trainer in 2010

I'm going back on a weight loss program and I got a wii fit for xmas (its FUN) so hopefully by spring we can have our issues resolved

I have a 17inch western saddle, its a no name, its a bit of a squeeze for me and it doesn't fit him the best, so i'm hoping to get a better saddle soon too.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:43 PM  
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GottaLoveDuns-What are those things on your horse's hooves in the first pic?
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:57 PM  
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GottaLoveDuns-What are those things on your horse's hooves in the first pic?
It looks like a pair of Old Mac Hoof Boots to me. I had a pair for my last mare.
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:37 PM  
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GottaLoveDuns-What are those things on your horse's hooves in the first pic?
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It looks like a pair of Old Mac Hoof Boots to me. I had a pair for my last mare.
Yup that's exactly what they are!
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