Weight Loss & Weigh Tapes. But Who’s It For?

Weight Loss & Weigh Tapes. But Who’s It For?

Another writer joins the team at Everything Horse, and we’re very excited to have her here! Introducing Jennifer Hyde, who you may have already seen on Instagram as the Fair Weather Rider (@thefairweatherrider). Jennifer will be popping in with a selection of articles (all sprinkled with a hint of humour) each month to help keep our readers entertained in a thought-proving way.

Weight Loss & Weigh Tapes. But Who’s It For?

For any millennial out there, the pop culture reference of telling someone you’d ‘rather not answer that because I’m still carrying a little holiday weight’ will no doubt ping with a sense of familiarity in your mind.

For those on the younger side, or even the older side in fact, who found the six friends drinking coffee out of excruciatingly large coffee mugs in the middle of the Big Apple ludicrous, the subject of weight may still be a tricky one, yet it’s very much at the forefront of the equestrian industry. Why? Because the world of horses and subsequent competition is now taking notice and enforcing more abruptly – and rightly so – the limits of our four-legged friends.

Weight is a tough subject in any sport or any walk of life, for that matter, and it needs to be touched upon with delicacy. Nevertheless, it needs to be raised, especially when it’s putting a horse at risk of injury.

A lifelong battle

Weight, like many women, has been something I’ve battled with all my life; I say that with a pinch of salt, however, because, for the most part, it’s been a mental battle. I spent my teens and early twenties insisting I was overweight and needed to diet, glugging slimming shake after slimming shake, trying the new fad diet and latest exercise regime to ensure my clothes size remained in single digits, which became increasingly harder when my frame shot up to over 5’9 in my late teens.

Fast forward 20 years and here I am, two children down and a few chins extra and what can I say? I wish I hadn’t wasted so many years worrying about my weight. If only I’d known what I was in for. That being said, I can’t tell myself it’s ‘baby weight’ anymore, not considering my youngest is about to finish her second year in infants.

Lets face it

Let’s face it: curry and chocolate are likely my favourite things and most definitely the reason my clothes feel like they’ve shrunk. But it’s something I must face! While my eldest horse, a Clydesdale cross, carries me with ease, I have to wonder, should he have to?

I’ve also got a Welsh D X TB, whose initial nickname was ‘temporary’ – which soon changed to ‘permanent’ – and he’s quite frankly too small to carry my extra weight for me.

I know this; my husband knows this but daren’t say it through fearing for his life, and I’m pretty certain the bombastic side-eye I receive from Steve, the pony in question, tells me he knows this also.

Let’s face it: curry and chocolate are likely my favourite things and most definitely the reason my clothes feel like they’ve shrunk. But it’s something I must face!

Jennifer Hyde

So what does it all mean? It means I’ll be getting the weigh tape out myself and on Steve. We have an affinity, I guess. He looks at grass and balloons… I look at a chocolate fudge cake and tikka masala and do the same after inhaling it, of course. So Steven and I will be on what I’ve deemed the ‘Spring Shed’.

We’re going to be working our backsides off to shed those pounds and swap them for muscle. While he can still carry me, as with Jack, I’m questioning whether he should all the time and have instead set myself the challenge of walking it off while I’m long reining him and keeping our rides to a maximum of 20 minutes for the time being.

And while I spent years rewarding myself with a family grab bag of Malteasers whenever I lost an ounce – or could find an excuse for it – this time, I’ll be rewarding myself with longer rides on the stubborn Welsh boy I’ve watched grow from a foal to a spunky young adolescent.

Goals …

I want to feel comfortable riding again, both physically and mentally, and with the bucks that boy likes to throw in every now and then, I’d like the core strength and balance to stay in my seat too!

So watch this space! If anyone wants to join me, let me know! Equally, if anyone wants to prize the pot noodle out of horse dirt-covered hands when I’m down the yard of an evening, you’d be most helpful!

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