Love Your Body!

#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.


19 responses to “Love Your Body!”

  1. raynotbradbury Avatar

    So much pressure on us women…we r the strongest, 😉!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. athling2001 Avatar

    For riding and everything else – well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Doggedly Yours Avatar

    We all look fine to the horse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      You are absolutely right! Thanks for this comment it is a good reminder!


  4. Nurul Fitri Lubis Avatar

    I could not agree more, Anne..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thank you! I appreciate your support on this.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Photography Journal Blog Avatar

    So glad you wrote this, it has application outside the horse riding world as well, but honestly, the more people talking about the importance of being healthy over having a certain look, the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sandyjwhite Avatar

    Inner strength and beauty trumps external appearance any day, no matter what
    we undertake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thank you! Yes it does.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. dinosaursdonkeysandms Avatar

    Such an important message, not just for riding, but for life too. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Yes! It is for life too! Thank you for mentioning that.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. dprastka Avatar

    I love this, as even though I’m not 20 any more with my slim their physique you still need to love yourself. And it is so true, you don’t have to be a certain physique to be an effective rider. Well written, and I love the photos!! ❤️ -Diana

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thank you for this comment. I’m glad you found something in it!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. cagedunn Avatar

    I applaud! It takes strength and will and commitment to the partnership to do well with horses, and a lot of work, daily. in competitions there may be req’s that state what everyone must wear (points!), but it is the working partnership that shines above anything else. Nothing trumps dedication and skills combined with a trusting combination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      You are absolutely right. No amount of being “thin” and “smartly dressed” can make up for a lack of connection with the horse. Thanks so much for this comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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