#loveyourbody! Well it’s easy to say you should “love your body” or “be happy with how you look” or “embrace your imperfections”. But in practice it is not so simple , especially for younger women. Equestrian sport is populated with young women. Girls love horses and for those who ride and compete there is some pressure, not just to do well in the competiton ring but to look good too. What does “look good ” mean? It means being slim and trim and looking elegant in a pair of tight fitting breeches and a slim fit jacket. For any young woman equestrian or any woman equestrian of any age if you do not fit the “ideal” picture you will have to do some boosting of your own confidence and self approval.
The “ideal” picture looks like this.
Slim hips. Flat stomach. Slim thighs. A waist that can be belted without any bulging.
And….for dressage riders …..competition breeches are white. White! The most unforgiving color in the spectrum. So loving your body may not be all that easy!
But here is what I believe to be imortant in all this. Are you a good rider? Are you a disciplined rider? Do you work hard and train hard? Yes? Well that is what matters. One of the most successfull dressage riders in the world, a multiple Olympic medal winner and currently holding three places in the FEI top ten world rankings is Isabel Werth. She is not a skinny-minny, pencil thin, long legged, woman. But she is a strong and capable rider.
And here is another rider who is not the perfect long legged body type. Margie Engle a top rider in the Grand Prix jumpers for many years. This woman rides with extraordinary courage and chutzpah! Being of smaller stature and shorter legs did not stop her. Absolutely not!
And since I’m spouting off about “love your body” what about my own body? I do have long legs. But I do not have the slim line look seen in the first set of photos above with the “ideal” figures and I have a mild kyphosis of the spine ( a curvature of the upper spine). I keep fit. I seek help from a physio therapist for any problems. I work on my mental attitude. I am a sensible eater…but I do eat desserts regularly! And, as those who know me know…..I never touch kale.
Joking aside my point is this: the shape and proportions of your body are not what will make or break you as a rider. You do not need to have long legs or be super model thin. What you need is to be strong in mind and body.