Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Do my breeches make me look bulbous?"

This is a question I asked my husband last night. He arrived home from work to find me standing in our living room in a pair of blinding snow white breeches. Someone had given them to me for an upcoming show. The breeches were just a tad short, for sure, but seemed to fit reasonably well everywhere else. If only I could attribute this unflattering look to a poor fit.

As to the question of my bulbosity--Bob is no fool. "Do you think I'm insane?" was his response. "I'm not going to answer that. It's a trick question." My husband has learned from bitter experience that weight is a dicey topic -- so he has adopted a policy of neutrality. Mr. Switzerland in Wartime will not be drawn into the discussion of whether I should venture out in public dressed like this. Naturally I assume he is thinking the worst. I'm more certain than ever that in these nice, expensive german breeches, I look like a blancmange.

In June I'm riding Harv in a little schooling show. I can't bring myself to wear casual attire when in fact I have an underutilized Pikeur jacket, coolmax shirt and tie, and Petrie boots getting old in the closet. Besides, a black jacket hides a world of ills.

Breech designers do not design with my kind of figure in mind. Think they're envisioning Lisa Wilcox and Christine Traurig. I've gained 10 pounds since I met Bob (see, it is his fault). None of it has gone to the derriere, where it could add some curves. No, it is the curse of the middle aged female. My stomach sticks out. My waist has sunken into my hips. Or maybe my hips are rising.

Should I try to lose this weight? Do I have the resolve long term to weight watch the way I did (compulsively, fanatically) when I was in my 20s and 30s? The answer would seem to be no.

Whenever I start to feel wistful for my 26" waist of my early twenties, I remember that I also used to spread mustard on lettuce leaves and call it a meal. And I listen to this great song by The Story: Fatso (Mp3 file of the whole song, which is a very funny look at dieting).

So I guess I'll be parading my bulbous self around in my blinding bridal-white breeches the first Sunday of June. Let spectators avert their eyes! Let the judge wear Raybans! Let the camera add 15 pounds (5 pound color penalty). Everyone will be looking at Harvey anyway. Such a handsome devil.


  1. I can't believe Bob forced you to gain weight, that's exactly what happened to me. Must be a little known form of husband abuse. By the way where do they all get the same answer from, is it in the 'Men's Marriage Manual'? By the way, I'm sure you'll look fine, good luck at the show and have fun.

  2. You nut! No one goes to horse shows to critique bottoms unless they happen to be males under the age of 24 (and then they're usually looking at someone they came with). Let it go Babe--that's what the big flap on the back of your jacket is for. The only way I would worry is if your butt is wider than a) your shoulders; b)your saddle; or c)your horse!

    Would you consider doing a post comparing stall mats or saddle pads?? I think you do a great job with that type of research. I have a 24 yr. old qh who has prominent withers and I'm not sure how to dress him. I have a gel pad, but that doesn't seem like enough. I still feel like the saddle might be sitting down too tight--and frankly, it's the saddle I have. Wondered what you would recommend or consider if you were in this spot? Thanks!

  3. Saddle pads would be interesting. IF you think your saddle is too snug on him, I'd recommend the Rider’s International Contoured Dressage Pad -- very thin and great for high withers, and cheap. I have been coveting the Passier flexipad (Dover), it has a cutaway and nice cush. But Harv's saddle is a tad wide. The only problem is that I can't afford to buy the pads!

  4. Just wanted to drop a line to say how much I LOVE your blog! I can't remember which blog led me to yours but I've been enjoying perusing your past entries for a few days. You have a knack for combining your sense of humor with useful information. I will definitely be back! I added you to the blogroll of my own neglected blog as well;) Keep up the good work!


  5. Thanks for a good smile!! I know what you mean about who are these people designing riding breeches nowadays? I have had a devil of a time trying to find ones that fit me, look good and that I actually like.

    I know what I like but those just do NOT fit me. And low rise riding breeches should come with a warning - only to be worn on girls under 25 years old and under 120 lbs. Yes, they MAKE them in larger sizes but unless I suddenly sprout up 6 inches in height, those breeches should never be attempted by a gal of my shape.

    Wear you gear with pride my friend and have a great show day! Then c'mon back and tell us all about it so we can ride vicariously with you!

  6. LOL breeches are the one and only item of clothing I can put on and think, "Well, these are insanely unflattering on me" ...and then walk right out of the house and walk down the street in them. I have a low bum, short and thick legs and have been told I had "really fat ankles" (as my friend's drunk brother once informed me.) But me and my cankles are proud to be a rider, so down the steet I go, in my breeches. (Which are black, of course. C'mon, I'm not THAT confident!) LOL

  7. Breeches....arrggggg!!
    I always say that a dressage show may as well be a walking ad for cottage cheese. I trick myself by only wearing the kind with the black seat. I do think that the designers must never actually go to a real show with real riders. I am shaped like this "8" and have tried the shapely style and the waist is so high it interefers with my sports bar. To wear breeches you must be at least 5"8 ( i am 5'2) and weigh under 115 lbs (i am 130).Alas whats a gril to do. I did try spanx and thought I would pass out from lack of oxygen. So I raise my diet beverage to all the riders out there with a little 'junk in the trunk' Perhaps our center of gravity is better , therefore better riders

  8. If anyone told me that I had "really fat ankles" I would slug them, drunk or not. Jerks are everywhere.

  9. Stacey Kimmel-Smith said...

    "If anyone told me that I had "really fat ankles" I would slug them, drunk or not. Jerks are everywhere."

    Haha, Stacey...he got a swift kick in the shins from my foot (which was nicely supported, of course, by my "really fat ankles"!) My cankles keep custom boot makers in business...yep, that is my Bright Side to this situation!

  10. Hey, long time no see! I'm envious at all the wonderful horsey news that fills your blog. My eldest daughter is turning thirteen tomorrow and rides a bit, but she's nowhere near as horse-mad as you and I were at that age (or, for that matter, still are).

  11. Hey Janice! Are you still at Laurentian? Hope all is well.

    Foxton Farms has a nice Web site now, I hadn't remembered it as so much acreage. And they say everything seems bigger when you're young...

  12. I'm still at Laurentian and I have some small hopes of getting back onto horseback sometime soon. (I'll share some photos of eldest in her first weeks of riding lessons instead, here.

    Thanks for the link to the Foxton website. They've certainly added a lot more paddocks according to the pictures. And no more Romwell Foxhunt: my how times have changed.


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