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Self-Image in the Saddle

Yesterday I was feeling really down in the dumps. I was feeling self conscious, I was hating on myself and my body, I was getting a lot of hate on Tik Tok. It seems to come in waves, all of the nastiness at once and yesterday was really really bad. One comment that really got to me was this one.


I'm telling you sooner or later he's going to have to be put down from back issues. That's my opinion so I would get a bigger horse before you kill him.

It actually caused me to start crying, something I haven't done over the nasty words of strangers in a very long time. I posted something on Instagram and on Facebook about how I was feeling and I could not believe the giant wave of love and support that I got back.


I received so many comments from other equestrians who go through the same struggles that I do. So many people telling me what an inspiration I am to them, that they’re still riding because I helped them realize that they could no matter what size they are, no matter what they look like, 


You do seriously indescribable things for our community that aren't easy and require so much bravery! People like this are assholes and you deserve to have those days to cry (although you shouldn't have to) Thank you for what you do.
You and your horse look beautiful to me! I love seeing such a balanced rider.
Just to let you know people like you are the reason why I haven't given up.
You are a huge inspiration to me and I'm so glad I found your page. I frequently find myself settling limits for myself because of my weight. Seeing you absolutely killing it is helping me have faith that I might reach my goals.
I know it's going to wear on you after so many comments. I wish you could feel the inspiration from all of us. You are someone I aspire to be and I'm probably twice your age. By the way you could host clinics and I'd fly anywhere to attend. I think that highly of you

These are just a handful of the comments and messages I got after posting that photo. I was at a loss for words but it also got me thinking. It’s amazing how differently we see ourselves versus how others see us. When I look at that photo I see back fat, stomach rolls and a beautiful horse with an ugly rider. But so many other people see a beautiful inspirational person that shows them that the horse world can be for anyone, no matter what size a person is. That realization really hit home. No matter what I see in the mirror on a bad day, they see me on a good day, everyday. 


I have to remember that on any given day, the photos and stories that I post could be inspiring that teenager who was called fat at the barn to go out there and ride no matter what or they could be showing an overweight woman who wants to get back into horses but is afraid of her size that she absolutely can do it, they could be helping so many people.


Instead of being worried about negative comments about my weight on Instagram I now go on there and visualize a girl who looks like me scrolling through her insta and coming across a picture of me showing my horse and realizing she can show too regardless of her size. A girl who is afraid to jump finding a photo of me jumping and seeing that she can do it too. Someone who is scared and sad and alone finding my page and seeing that despite my size and my anxiety and anything else that’s working against me, I am still out there and doing what I love because no matter how much bad is thrown at me there is always ten times more good.

So remember that no matter how bad you feel when you look in the mirror, no matter how much you cry at your reflection or hate yourself sometimes, the rest of the world does not see what you do. You are beautiful. You are loved. You can do it. Whatever it is. You can do it. So get out there, saddle up and ride on my friend.

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