Saturday, 21 September 2019

Pics Or It Didn't Happen!

We had "ride" 3 (or 4?) today.


We graduated to being led for a few steps of drunken sailor walk today since Sophie seemed a little more chill with the idea of me being up there. (It's not that she's done anything scary previously, but I wasn't getting the feeling she was ready to head out for a walk, either!)

Honestly, of all the horses I've had this was the one I was pretty sure I'd send away to be backed. She's very sensitive and very smart, not to mention quick and athletic and more than a little spicy.

But, bit by bit, we're getting things done and I'm still having fun and am inside my comfort zone. I'm not feeling like I need to send her away just yet, but of course the option is always there.

If I'm being completely open and real here part of the reason this has been quite a slow process is that I'm very conscious of my weight right now and have been waiting until I was making decent progress with that and pony was looking more mature (because despite me crossing my fingers and remeasuring her every few weeks, she seems determined to stay at a smidge over 14hh, quite a bit smaller than expected!)

After thoroughly reviewing all the most unflattering pictures (poor G was asked to please take pictures for this blog but also please not let go of the lead, plus he's 6'4" and towers over us both. The photo angles are...challenging, lol) Anyway,  I'm SO relieved that I don't look too big on her! I know the 20% rule says I'm fine, but I'm not cool with pushing that number on a youngster. Height wise, I think we look decent, so fingers crossed I can make further progress with my weight this winter.


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18 comments

  1. The stigma of being too big for your horse is much more intense here in Germany.

    Despite Icelandic horses being ubiquitous here, even smaller adults are often ashamed to ride them. I know a woman who is 5 feet tall and slender. She rides a robust Icelandic, and talks about her guilt and gets off to lead him up hills. Ridiculous.

    Deb Bennett proved that ponies are proportionally stronger than horses. I know you wanted Sophie to be bigger but I hate when people feel bad about this.

    Regarding ponies:
    Die kleinen Kraftpakete können das Doppelte ihres Körpergewichtes ziehen und bis zu 60 Kilo schleppen, was etwa 30 Prozent ihres Körpergewichtes ausmacht. Somit gehören die kleinen Shetlandponys mit ihrer Trage- und Zugleistung im Verhältnis zum Körpergewicht zu den stärksten Pferden der Welt. (Ok Shetlands)

    Regarding percentages, which kills me:

    Die Ergebnisse waren einigermaßen beunruhigend: Nur 5 % aller untersuchten Reiter waren statistisch im idealen Gewichtsbereich von max. 10 % des Gewichts ihres Pferdes. 63 % lagen im Normalbereich von 10–15 % – aber 32 % wogen mehr als 15 % des Gewichts ihres Pferdes – ein Wert, den Tierärzte bereits als kritisch beurteilen und der für die Pferde ein gesundheitliches Risiko darstellen könnte.

    This article quotes a study saying a disgusting percentage of riders are above the maximum 15%. So, in Germany, 15%. Above 15% it says, "Critical health risks for the horse." It also says the IDEAL is 10%. WTH.

    This is a topic that regularly gets me all emotional cuz I truly believe smaller horses are better equipped to carry higher weight. The drafts are made to pull, not carry, because their own body weight is already pushing their skeletal limit. (Said Deb Bennett.)

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    1. It's such a touchy topic and I'm not sure there are any definitive answers - like you say it's all so individual. I guess regardless of anything, I'm looking at this through the lens that logic and science agree the work will be easier for her the less I weigh, and I can afford to lose some weight. A win-win :)

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    2. I agree 100% bigger horses seem less equipped to carry heavier riders (within reason)

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  2. You guys look great! How exciting you are starting your riding journey with Sophie.

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    Replies
    1. It's so fun! So far she's been nothing but wonderful.

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  3. aw yesss <3 what a great first picture too - she looks so happy and relaxed at this new big milestone :D

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    1. Honestly, she's the pony equivalent of a golden retriever...any and all attention is good in her books :)

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  4. So exciting that you are getting to start this new chapter with Sophie!

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    1. It feels like I've been waiting a long time!

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  5. AHHHHHHHHHH! I LOVE THIS SO MUCH

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  6. Eeeeee!! She looks SO GROWN UP!

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    1. She's getting there (although I still hold out hope she'll magically grow another few inches or so ;)

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  7. You look on her and not at all too big. With babies too heavy is bad. So is too rough. It's not an exact science.

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  8. what a grown up pony she is! You do NOT look too big on her. You look great.

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