Yesterday I found yet another reason to appreciate my body and all it can do.
For the non-horsey folks, let me explain that "longeing" a horse means to ask them to move in a circle around you at the end of a long flat nylon rope called a longe line (Americans tend to spell it phonetically, i.e. "lunge" line). I was longeing Sunshine (a Belgian draft horse) and when I asked her to trot she decided she'd rather have a freak-out and bolted away at a gallop. That's usually the point at which people either let go of the line (and hope the horse doesn't step on it and break their neck/leg since the other end is attached to the side of their head) or get pulled right off their feet and dragged across the field. I'm not used to letting go (yeah yeah, Freudian much?) so I just took a good grip, dug my heels in and threw my weight backwards and down against the weight of the horse. Of course, no human being can really win a tug-of-war with a 2000 pound scared animal who's really determined to go away. On the other hand, if a horse is well trained, they may stop if they feel enough resistance to be convinced that they're attached to a stationary object.
I can apparently be a very stationary object when I want to be.
She actually ended up repeating the trick a few minutes later, which tells me that she's so used to it working (and consequently getting back to the barn and not having to work anymore) that it's more a show than an actual panic. After the second runaway (where she actually managed to drag me a few steps before stopping) she was very well behaved. I think a few more sessions of "who's the boss" and her manners on the ground will improve considerably.
The point is that I very much believe that if I were the medical world's "ideal weight" I would have been face down spitting dirt and watching the horse disappear through the gate. As it is, I thank the powers that be that I took some online advice and wore gloves, otherwise I'd be out several layers of skin. It was my weight that made the difference in winning that particular contest. I've been fat all my life so I rarely take notice of how much I use my weight or my fat to physical advantage in life. The difference Fat Acceptance has made is in noticing how much my body does for me. I have hips and a belly to balance heavy boxes when I need a hand free. I have strong legs to climb with, strong arms to lift with. I have a butt to pad my falls and thighs to wedge against heavy furniture when it needs moving. I have 300+ pounds of living anchor to drag a bolting draft horse to a stand-still.
What wonderful gifts to have!
New open access Fattylympics chapter queers public health - I'm delighted to announce that a chapter I co-authored with Bethan Evans is now available to download for free! *Reframing Fatness: Critiquing 'Obesity'* i...
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