Joker, a Belgian draft horse, awaits a tour at Sombrero Ranches. Please pray for him!
First, plumbing companies started manufacturing toilets to support butt cheeks large enough to qualify as the mouths of orca whales. Then, ambulance firms began installing extra-wide stretchers for those extra-wide figures. There are even easy chairs with specially-designed hydraulic lifters to aid the large among us in getting back to an upright position.
Now, as if we haven’t done enough to accommodate the growing and relentless obesity epidemic in the United States, Sombrero Ranches, a conglomeration of horse-riding tour guide companies based in Colorado, is switching to sturdy draft horses to hold up those with extra pounds. In a twisted combination of animal safety and political correctness, want to make certain America’s biggest butts can enjoy the views of the treasured West from atop a horse, just the like the rest of us.
“Even though a person might be overweight, or, you know, heavier than the average American, it’s kind of nice we can provide a situation where they can ride with their family,” says Sombrero Ranches wrangler T. James “Doc” Humphrey.
Ranch operators note they’ve been adding draft horses to their ranks since the 1990s. But, the increased rate of obesity among both American adults and children has compelled various horse-riding entities to consider the welfare of their equestrian employees. Rockin’ HK Outfitters in Montana, for example, removed the 225-pound limit for riding guests last year.
“Little horses just aren’t sturdy enough to hold up in a dude operation in the Rocky Mountains,” Kipp Saile of Rockin’ HK said, noting that about 15 of their 60 horses are Percheron mixes. Their largest equine weighs 1,800 pounds.
Peggy Howell, a spokeswoman for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, calls the ranch’s decision “wonderful,” adding that all businesses should become “size savvy.”
One drawback, though, is that larger horses cost more to maintain. Obviously, they eat and drink more, plus they require heavier doses of medication and larger horseshoes. It’s not surprising ranch owners would pass those costs off to consumers, including those of us who don’t cause the bathroom scale to scream, ‘Oh, Jesus Christ!’
I know some people have weight problems. But, obesity isn’t a weight problem. It’s more of a ‘can’t-wait-to-eat’ problem. If a person is so fat they could break the back of a 1,000-pound horse, then the problem isn’t with the horse; it’s with that lard-ass! Tour the Rocky Mountains on foot, instead, and lose some of those damn pounds. But, don’t torture a helpless animal just because you can’t keep your mouth away from the donuts!