When I came across yet another "America's so fat" news stories, this one about dude ranches having to use draft horses and large saddles to accomodate their extra-large clients, it reminded me of a vacation experience from about 10 years ago. My family and I were lucky enough to spend a week at a dude ranch in Wyoming and when we showed up at the corral the folks working there took one look at me (6'2", 210 lbs) and assigned me to Big John, a rather imposing draft horse that seemed to be almost twice as big as the other horses. When the wrangler brought him out she mentioned that Big John was used for their bigger clients and then blurted out, "I'm not saying you're fat or anything, but you're just too big for the other horses." I wasn't offended but it had me wondering if I might want to cut back on dessert. That was 20 pounds ago so I'm not sure what they'd put me on these days.
For the record Big John and I got along great, although the fall we took on the last day of riding was a strong reminder of just how tough horseback riding can be. I was sore for a week and felt lucky to not have shattered any bones. Maybe my extra padding saved me.