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View Full Version : Requesting reality check: reasons teen girls like horse-riding


trupa
12-27-2007, 08:44 PM
I am appealing to you the teeming hordes to confirm or invalidate what I think is a bit of an outrageous statement by a good buddy of mine, namely, that girls around the teenage years enjoy riding largely because it offers sexual stimulation.

Now, I will be the first to confess that I have lead a sheltered life, and have often been proven naive. My buddy, on the other hand, had had a very diverse, colorful past. He also has a daughter who is totally horse-mad, not an uncommon thing at the age of 15. His reasons for his claim is that all the riding classes he has observed are overwhelmingly compose of girls, and that after the lessons the students all have a very strong smell of, well, let's say, feminine sexual secretions.

Now I called bull$$$$, but mostly on a gut feel, I must admit. I always thought girls fascination with riding was about the bond with the animal, the unconditional friendship the horse offers when everyone else in your life is acting weird all of a sudden, etc etc. I have the sinking feeling that perhaps I have been oblivious all these years to something everyone "knows". Are riding lessons hour-long wankathonns on the parent's dime? Or is my buddy just showing me again that his mind is permanently domiciled in the gutter?

Please complete my real-world education...

Ferret Herder
12-27-2007, 08:55 PM
:dubious: I never got to go horseback riding (pony rides at the occasional fair, none of which were vigorous enough to provide any stimulation, were about it) but I was a girl who liked horses. My theory is that for girls, horses are like a fast car or a motorcycle to a guy. They look cool, they suggest freedom and control, they can provide a sense of accomplishment. Plus horses are a status symbol. Not to mention that girls go horse-crazy before ever getting near a saddle.

It's just a little bit weird that your friend is even thinking that much about this.

StGermain
12-27-2007, 09:01 PM
Speaking as a former horse-mad teen girl (and current horse owner), the smell after a riding lesson is usually sweaty horse. The draw was being around something large, with the potential to hurt you, but being able to control it. To be able to do something that many people larger and more powerful than you can't or are afraid to do. And to be around a bunch of other girls who like the smae thing.

I can tell you that if you're positioned correctly in a saddle (at least in dressage) there is nothing masturbatory about it. In jumping position you're our of contact with the saddle. And if you bump yourself in a sensitive place while going over a jump, it hurts!

StG

phouka
12-27-2007, 09:02 PM
Your buddy's mind is in the gutter.

Now, if he'd put forth that theory about 30-ish single women taking up riding lessons, he might have a point. But not right now.

Tuckerfan
12-27-2007, 09:02 PM
I've heard this theory before, and when I mentioned it to an ex-girlfriend (who had some "issues" in regards to sex) she reacted as if I'd suggested we eat babies.

elfkin477
12-27-2007, 09:07 PM
I have the sinking feeling that perhaps I have been oblivious all these years to something everyone "knows". Are riding lessons hour-long wankathonns on the parent's dime? Or is my buddy just showing me again that his mind is permanently domiciled in the gutter?
I can't speak from personal experience because I've always been a little afraid of horses, but it's not just your buddy who thinks this. It's a pretty common claim - rent "Cruel Intentions 2" for an interesting, um, take on the theory... actually google "Cruel Intentions 2 - Horse Lessons" and you can see that part of the movie.

lobstermobster
12-27-2007, 09:19 PM
this is the dumbest shit i have ever heard. most girls are horse crazy before they ever even sit in a saddle. and as a former rich bitch english rider, after long sessions especially when learning how to jump it feels like you are being sawed in half. maybe all swimmers get into swimming because they want to rub up against the jets.

Renee
12-27-2007, 09:23 PM
I had horses growing up. It was never even remotely sexual.

Martian Bigfoot
12-27-2007, 09:29 PM
the smell after a riding lesson is usually sweaty horse.
OK, hang on. Sweaty horse smells like p*ssy?

Just wondering.

Muffin
12-27-2007, 09:42 PM
I've heard this theory before, and when I mentioned it to an ex-girlfriend (who had some "issues" in regards to sex) she reacted as if I'd suggested we eat babies.You eat babies?!

Ruffian
12-27-2007, 09:48 PM
I am appealing to you the teeming hordes to confirm or invalidate what I think is a bit of an outrageous statement by a good buddy of mine, namely, that girls around the teenage years enjoy riding largely because it offers sexual stimulation.

:::::::::spittake:::::::::

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

I mean...um, no. NO. Not true. You're right--call bullshit on this one.

Seriously, I've heard vague, mocking allusions of such by people trying to be funny in a crude construction worker kind of way, but allow me to say as a female equestrian who rode as a teen and rides now as an adult: asserting that it's the least bit sexual, and even more hysterical--that teen girls smelled of female cum after a riding lesson--is the stupidest thing I have heard in a long time. And I teach middle school, a bastion of stupidity.

Holy cow. That's astounding. And really funny.

As St. Germain said, riding is WORK. If you're riding correctly, your core and trunk muscles are working hard to balance and counterbalance while your lower leg, abs, and inner thighs ache and burn. If you're riding incorrectly, your ass is getting seriously saddle-spanked and you feel it in your teeth. Unless saddle spanking is your thing, nothing will happen that makes you all tingly in all the naughty places.

lavenderviolet
12-27-2007, 11:23 PM
It's kind of creepy that your friend thinks this is the motive for his daughter's interest. :dubious:

As another former female horse rider (I rode horses in my pre-teen years, long before I was interested in sex at all), I can confirm what the others said about how it really is not sexually stimulating.
It sounds like your pal is imagining being on top of a horse as being like sitting on a washing machine. He should try riding a horse himself and see what it's actually like.

SmartAleq
12-27-2007, 11:34 PM
Well, there is something to be said for riding bareback--especially on a pacing horse. Interesting rhythm there. With a saddle? No effin' way! English saddles you hardly even sit on, it's just an endless squat thrust and Western saddles are about as conducive to netherly amusement as a tree trunk in an earthquake.

Bareback on an Icelandic Horse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_horse) is about as close as you're going to get to an equine Magic Wand... :p

Ruffian
12-27-2007, 11:49 PM
Ooof, SmartAleq, not for me...riding bareback (as in, no bareback pad, just my butt on a nekkid horse's back) means my clit is being ground and pounded--and NOT in a good way--into my horse's withers (and she doesn't have particularly high or prominent withers). It HURTS. I try to either scoot my butt back (frequently), use a bareback pad, or just ride at a pleasant walk.

Mindfield
12-28-2007, 12:06 AM
No, no, no. I mean, unless a girl plans to get freaky with the pommel, then, no.

Motorcycles. It's motorcycles girls ride for the stimulation. Jeez.



What?

Pullet
12-28-2007, 03:19 AM
Bareback on an Icelandic Horse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_horse) is about as close as you're going to get to an equine Magic Wand... :p

This suddenly explains some of my weirder professors.

Pullet
12-28-2007, 03:21 AM
Ooof, SmartAleq, not for me...riding bareback (as in, no bareback pad, just my butt on a nekkid horse's back) means my clit is being ground and pounded--and NOT in a good way--into my horse's withers (and she doesn't have particularly high or prominent withers). It HURTS. I try to either scoot my butt back (frequently), use a bareback pad, or just ride at a pleasant walk.

Wouldn't the horse's hair on your clit be problematic?

Pullet
A girl, but never rode horses much.

Queen Bruin
12-28-2007, 03:48 AM
There is nothing even remotely sexually stimulating in riding a horse OR a motorcycle and I've done plenty of both, regularly and recently. I started the horseback riding long before sex even crossed my mind as a preteen.

Does your buddy think women urinate from their vagina, too?

KGS
12-28-2007, 04:19 AM
The horse = sex idea was first put forward in The Naked Ape (http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Ape-Zoologists-Study-Animal/dp/0385334303) by Desmond Morris. Unfortunately I don't have the book handy so I have to paraphrase from memory:

* Boys & girls are equally interested in horses until puberty, when girls suddenly become much more interested in horseback riding, at a ratio of three to one over boys.

* Girls are more likely to be terrified of snakes & big hairy spiders, because hairy spiders remind them of pubic hair (fear of the onset of womanhood) and snakes, naturally, remind them of a big scary penis.

At least, that's what the book says. I never bought the snake/spider thing but the horsey-sex connection always made sense to me. On the other hand, I'm a guy who's completely indifferent to horses, so what do I know?

Renee
12-28-2007, 04:25 AM
Wouldn't the horse's hair on your clit be problematic?

Pullet
A girl, but never rode horses much. I'm sure this is a woosh, but just in case it isn't, she meant bareback as in no saddle. She would, presumably, be wearing pants.

Pullet
12-28-2007, 04:41 AM
I'm sure this is a woosh, but just in case it isn't, she meant bareback as in no saddle. She would, presumably, be wearing pants.

Ah, thanks for the clarification. I read this
riding bareback (as in, no bareback pad, just my butt on a nekkid horse's back)

as her being butt nekkid on the horse. My bad.

KGS
12-28-2007, 06:01 AM
Actually, "bareback" commonly refers to having sex w/o a condom (as well as the no-saddle thing.)

Der Trihs
12-28-2007, 07:19 AM
The way I've heard it claimed, is that girls are naturally drawn to something that's larger, stronger, and hairier than they are, those being male quantities; in essence, that horses are exaggeratedly male in some ways. Just as big eyed round headed animals look cute to humans because they look babyish.

Note that there's no reason to assume the girls in question are conscious of anything more than just really liking horses. And it does explain why women aren't as horse crazy as girls; they can get actual men. And if this hypothesis is true, it seems likely that lesbians would statistically be less interested in horses that heterosexual women; I've never heard of a study comparing gender preference and horse enthusiasm, however.

flodnak
12-28-2007, 07:20 AM
This is mentioned in Tom Robbins' novel Even Cowgirls Get The Blues. One of the cowgirls claims that parents steer their girls into an interest in horses to distract them from their budding interest in boys - she calls a horse something like a "thousand pound organic vibrator". It might be a joke, it might be serious. There are so many other downright odd things about female sexuality mentioned in that book that it's hard to tell.

StGermain
12-28-2007, 07:34 AM
Using his hypothesis that mostly adolescent girls are attracted to it so it must be sexual, I wonder what he thinks about ice skaters. Maybe they get off having huge bruises from falling on the ice. So maybe they want to be hit? Or gymnasts...hmm....all those poles...

Sheesh.

StG

MonaLizaT
12-28-2007, 08:40 AM
One of the cowgirls claims that parents steer their girls into an interest in horses to distract them from their budding interest in boys - she calls a horse something like a "thousand pound organic vibrator"

The idea expressed in the OP is so idiotic that I don't know where to begin.

It's true that many parents like their daughters to show horses but the intent is to keep an eye on them. If you are busy practicing and showing/rodeo-ing. you don't have much time to get in trouble, either with boys or general mischief. At shows, there are many participants to keep an eye on you to report misbehavior.

As an adult rider/competitor, there are many things that I enjoy about the sport but the sexual aspect has never entered my mind. As Ruffian pointed out, if your seat is incorrect, you will be smashing your privates into the pommel which is a very painful feeling (spoken from experience ;)). Riding is the way I enjoy spending my time and I get a feeling of accomplishment from advancing up the levels and winning ribbons. I especially enjoy the camaraderie of the other riders at the barn and at shows. I need a social life other than the Dope!

Girls and women just seem to love horses. They are big, soft and fuzzy creatures with personalities that appeal to little girls' fairy tale fantasies (no, not sexual ones, you perverts!).

FWIW, GaWaNi Pony Boy speculated in one of his books (Women and Horses?) that the bond had to do with women always being the ones that took care of the critters.

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
12-28-2007, 08:44 AM
Speaking as a former horse-mad teen girl (and current horse owner), the smell after a riding lesson is usually sweaty horse. The draw was being around something large, with the potential to hurt you, but being able to control it. To be able to do something that many people larger and more powerful than you can't or are afraid to do. And to be around a bunch of other girls who like the smae thing.

FWIW, that was pretty much Desmond Morris's assessment of it, too.

Pullet
12-28-2007, 09:53 AM
And if this hypothesis is true, it seems likely that lesbians would statistically be less interested in horses that heterosexual women; I've never heard of a study comparing gender preference and horse enthusiasm, however.

That's where your theory falls apart. Maybe I'm just in a skewed area, but seems like easily half of the women I know who are into horses are lesbian.

Auntbeast
12-28-2007, 10:05 AM
Your friend has serious issues. Rather creepy if you ask me. He is saying this stuff about his daughter? Yeah, I'd absolutely back the fuck up.

I got a horse for my 12th birthday. I was about 90 lbs and had a horse that was 600 lbs. It was amazing to be able to get something that big to do what I wanted, it was also pretty damned amazing to go THAT fast and jump THAT high. They are also mostly gentle creatures, respond well to positive reinforcement and yet can be quite spirited. I got a tremendous amount of pleasure from taking care of her, learning to ride her, to get better, to see her get better. And more hair than you could brush in a day! Long flowing manes, big brown eyes, The smells of the leather and hay were also nice. Moonspinner was her name. She was awesome.

Not for nothing, but the feeling of power for an essentially powerless girl was pretty cool.

I would not let my daughter within 50 feet of that guy.

Napier
12-28-2007, 10:07 AM
Heard this many times, and always thought it sounded dodgy but was never quite sure. Glad to hear the reasonableness of the world confirmed, sort of.

MonaLizaT
12-28-2007, 10:24 AM
While you are taking a lesson, you are too busy thinking of all the things on the "list" (position of hands and legs, seat, keeping the horse supple and on the bit, don't clinch jaw, BREATHE!, where am I headed?) that there's no time to think "Oh Oh Oh this just makes me want to orgasm!" :D

In some events, there is also the thrill of speed: eventing, show jumping and barrel racing, for example. Galloping as fast as possible through the course/ring on a 1000 lb animal, jumping or turning - very exhilarating.

All this brings to mind the T-shirt slogan "you wish you could ride like a girl."

Hello Again
12-28-2007, 10:26 AM
Now, I will be the first to confess that I have lead a sheltered life, and have often been proven naive. My buddy, on the other hand, had had a very diverse, colorful past. He also has a daughter who is totally horse-mad, not an uncommon thing at the age of 15. His reasons for his claim is that all the riding classes he has observed are overwhelmingly compose of girls, and that after the lessons the students all have a very strong smell of, well, let's say, feminine sexual secretions.


First off, I'm more than a little repulsed that your friend apparently sniffs 'round his daughter for the smell of aroused pussy. Does that strike YOU as appropriate?

But anyway. Been riding since I was nine. Here's what perverted jerks never seem to get about horse riding.
1. If you do it right, the preessure is nowhere near your crotch - you sit on your seatbones (the back of your butt). This is true of both English and Western styles of riding.
2. If you do it wrong (ie ride pitched forward on your crotch) The saddle is a hard surface. In my younger days, when I wasn't very good and would sort of slosh around randomly in the saddle, the crotch, rather than being stimulated, became bruised. Very painful place for a bruise, let me tell you.

Kalypso
12-28-2007, 11:21 AM
I have heard this too, and always have thought the idea was simply an excuse for older men to sexualize underage girls without seeming too creepy. As we can plainly see though, it's creepy anyway.

I rode all through my childhood and teen years, mostly bareback, and can also confirm the utter non-sexuality of the experience.

Swallowed My Cellphone
12-28-2007, 11:28 AM
English saddles you hardly even sit on, it's just an endless squat thrust and Western saddles are about as conducive to netherly amusement as a tree trunk in an earthquake.My girlfriend grew up with horses and still rides and that's pretty much how she describes it. She said that especially when you're first learning to ride it can be really uncomfortable, even with English saddles.

She said the interest is comparable to the ways guys like motorcycles. And you're not about to stick your wang in a tailpipe, are ya?

trupa
12-28-2007, 11:55 AM
Well, dopers, you have answered my question. Quickly. In large numbers. Emphatically. And as far as I can tell, unanimously.

I must admit I feel better somehow. I would say this restores my faith in, in something, but I'm not quite sure what... the purity of the girl-horse relationship? the nobility of riding? humanity? (nah, not humanity) my own judgment, perhaps?

The information from lady riders about the mechanics of riding & female anatomy was especially helpful.

Regarding my buddy being creepy, yeah, I fully realize he can come across that way. He can say some pretty outrageous things, but he is one of the most moral & ethical people I know. He admitted to me that having two daughters has totally turned him off youngish looking woman after whom he would have panted as an 18-yr old, just because they look too much like his kids. His attitude about his comments was more one of wry amusement than any kind of titillation.

Thanks much, folks.

Cat Fight
12-28-2007, 11:56 AM
What they said. I was (and am occasionally still) part of the horsey set and it's usually when girls discover sex and boys that they ditch riding. A woman's more likely to get off doing leg lifts in aerobics class than during posting trot.

trupa
12-28-2007, 12:00 PM
OK, hang on. Sweaty horse smells like p*ssy?

Just wondering.

This made me laugh out loud, which prompted my wife to ask about the reason for the hilarity. Being an actual doctor and all, she got a kind of thoughtful look on her face for a moment, then said that vaginal secretion glands were in fact a kind of modified sweat gland, and that Peak Banana's comment may be closer to the truth than we thought. This could also explain my friend's confusion.

Ruffian
12-28-2007, 12:12 PM
Glad we could help out, trupa. I gotta say, we've had horses for a while, and they've been known to get quite sweaty, especially in the winter months (they grow a thick winter coat, but Southern California isn't exactly winter coat climate). DeathLlama has never commented that our horses smell of pussy in those moments, but I suppose I could ask him. Who knows--maybe your friend has had the unfortunate circumstance to date lots of women whose crotches reek of horse sweat. Get him a bucket, sponge, and sweat scaper as a belated Christmas gift from me, okay? ;)

I think my response to your friend and his like would be, "You don't know anything about women OR horse back riding, do you?"

Sunrazor
12-28-2007, 12:58 PM
The way I've heard it claimed, is that girls are naturally drawn to something that's larger, stronger, and hairier than they are, those being male quantities; in essence, that horses are exaggeratedly male in some ways. Just as big eyed round headed animals look cute to humans because they look babyish.

Note that there's no reason to assume the girls in question are conscious of anything more than just really liking horses. And it does explain why women aren't as horse crazy as girls; they can get actual men. And if this hypothesis is true, it seems likely that lesbians would statistically be less interested in horses that heterosexual women; I've never heard of a study comparing gender preference and horse enthusiasm, however.I live smack in the middle of horse country, teach at a college that offers a degree in equine management, and in my teen-age years actually dated a local rodeo queen. And Der Trihs comes as close as anyone to hitting the finger on the nail on this question.

There is something gender-specific about it, but it has nothing to do with getting off while getting on. Teen-age girls who ride (at least around here) actually seem to have more fun from just sitting on a horse while it goes someplace. Teen-age boys are more interested in doing something from horseback -- herding, roping, anything that appears to be work. I have a nephew who hates with a passion "riding fence" on a four-wheeler, even though it's more efficient and thus takes less time. But he'll ride fence on horseback all day. His sister, on the other hand, enjoys spending hours just riding her bay gelding along the river bottom, not doing anything in particular, just riding.

Girls enjoy caring for the horse, too. To teen-age boys, the currying, feeding and "doctoring" are chores to be done, a necessary pain in the ass; teen-age girls spend noticably more time caring for their horses, directing their attention to the animals.

I have been privy to a lot of debate, sotto voce, as to whether there is a sexual dynamic between horses and adolescent girls. Nobody seems to really have any statistics to prove or disprove that girls prefer to own, ride and care for male horses (most of which are gelded, which puts an interesting twist in the conversation) over female horses. In general, people tend to think of horses, like dogs, as having masculine characteristics, but that's not confined to teen-age girls. If the dynamic is there, it's the same that exists between a teen-age boy and his muscle car. But none of the rodeo queens, barrel racers or gymkhana riders I've ever talked to have mentioned it.

susan
12-28-2007, 01:03 PM
No empirical validity to the claim.

--Psychologist

Hello Again
12-28-2007, 01:57 PM
. Nobody seems to really have any statistics to prove or disprove that girls prefer to own, ride and care for male horses (most of which are gelded, which puts an interesting twist in the conversation) over female horses.
No great mystery there. In most disciplines, children are not permitted to show stallions. In most states, you have to have special facilities to even keep a stallion on the property.

Like dogs, the majority of male horses are neutered at a young age for the safety of the average handler. Unlike dogs, spaying a mare is a complex and expensive procedure. Therefor, most female horses encountered by the average rider are intact and most male horses are gelded.

I would not say most "young girls" prefer geldings. I would say most people prefer geldings. As intact mares compete for "alpha" status and go into heat several times a year, most recreational riders (men and women) prefer geldings because they are less likely to challenge the authority of the handler. The majority of riding school "lesson horses" are geldings (I would be surprised if you could find a riding school with more than 20% mares in its school string).

As you move out of the beginner ranks you find an increasing preference for mares as the skill of the rider increases -- many people think a mare has more "fire" and intelligence in her performance, where a gelding is dependable but dull.

StGermain
12-28-2007, 02:00 PM
Sunrazor - Many people prefer geldings because they say that mares act "marey" - touchy, tempermental - like they have PMS. I've had both and have never noticed it in my mare, but then, she was a good old girl.

StG

Ruffian
12-28-2007, 02:48 PM
My observation of the female fascination with horses isn't that the equine is some sort of subconscious attraction to an "exaggerated male," but rather an adopted child and the instinct to nurture it. I know many childless (or empty nest) women with horses, and these equines are their children. Take a look at an equine-themed catalog and note the ridiculous outfits we love to dress our cute little horsies in. Look at the insane minutiae of care you can provide a horse. Look at all the ways we can baby our big babies and ensure they are taken care of.

Then listen to conversations around the barn. If it weren't for the obsessing over manure, you'd think you were at a Little League game.

I find it odd and questionable that some people suggest there must be a man-rooted reason women like horsies. It's as though some men are intimidated by a woman's affection for a horse. Golly, there must be a desire for a penis in there SOMEWHERE! Otherwise, you mean...you mean...they don't want my penis?

I find it more about being horse "mommies" than anything else.

Khadaji
12-28-2007, 02:56 PM
Is it possible that we are overreacting to the question a little? We men, especially as teens, are told so many many stupid things about women. It is unfortunate that we believe them. But hell, we don't know.

I have heard this girl/horse myth very often.

I think it is good that ignorance is fought, but he may just be badly misinformed and not creepy.

Swallowed My Cellphone
12-28-2007, 03:20 PM
My observation of the female fascination with horses isn't that the equine is some sort of subconscious attraction to an "exaggerated male," but rather an adopted child and the instinct to nurture it. I know many childless (or empty nest) women with horses, and these equines are their children. Take a look at an equine-themed catalog and note the ridiculous outfits we love to dress our cute little horsies in.No, no, you're thinking of chihuahuas.

Ruffian
12-28-2007, 03:38 PM
No, no, you're thinking of chihuahuas. Well, yes, it is essentially the same thing...although you can't quite put a horse in your purse and carry it around in ribbons, bows, and dresses. But I see it as the same sort of root mommy-ing desire manifesting itself in a much larger animal.

Take a look through StateLineTack.com, or SmartPak.com, or DoverSaddlery.com, and you'll see blankets, boots, hoods, saddle pads, leg wraps, tail wraps, tail bags, (less common) mane bags, fly sheets, fly masks, ear bonnets, shipping boots, and the like all offered in a variety of colors and patterns. When I bought my first horse, people asked what colors she would have. Erm...wha? But apparently, the thing to do in horses is to have one color that your horse wears. This also transcends to supplies. I resisted at first, but confess my Arab's color is royal blue (halter, lead rope, feed bucket, polo wraps, fly sheet, blanket, saddle pad) and the mini's is black. You see, those are the colors they look best in. I'm not even a girly-girl, and I've fallen into that one.

Some girls go really crazy with their colors, making sure everything matches and braiding the color into the mane and/or tail for shows. But you know, it makes sense--when there are multiple people at a barn, it makes it easier when you come across a stray bucket or whatnot. "Ah, royal blue...this is Ferrana's."

We like to dress up our horsies in cutesy little clothes. :)

Sunrazor
12-28-2007, 03:42 PM
Yes, I know all about why horses are gelded. Grandad explained it to me when I was five, about the time he taught me to ride. The only stallion he ever owned was a palomino named Togo, and he always said Togo was a helluvalot more trouble than his other horses, but worth every bit of it because he was the only horse he could work bulls with.

I've gotten two schools of thought from barrel racers concerning the sex of their horses. Some prefer mares because the women believe they're more nimble and less apt to drift too far outside the barrel on approach. Other barrel racers perfer big geldings because of their incredible power in the home stretch. Men who train horses tell me it has everything to do with the build, agility and intelligence of the individual horse, and gender has nothing to do with it.

I have two nieces who ride gymkhana competitions; one prefers geldings because, as StGermain said, she's among those who believe they're less temperamental. The other prefers mares because she believes they're more intelligent. Both girls have a dresser-drawer full of belt buckles from their competitions, so I'm thinking it's all a matter of personal preference.

I tend to agree with Ruffian, except that the fascination with horses is so widespread (maybe it seems that way to me because of where I grew up and still live); if it really was a mommy/nurturing thing, why wouldn't there be an equal number of girls fascinated with dogs, cats, birds, etc.?

One other thing I forgot about while posting earlier: The romance that a horse represents. Maybe this is the girl-horse connection. Teen-age girls are awash in a culture focused on romance, and not all of that is sexual, though it's certainly gender-based. Their fascinations with teen-age boys, exotic places, romantic fiction, fashion and so on are all symptoms of the obsession with romance. Perhaps the horse is a romantic figure, rather than a sexual symbol -- the girl identifies with the horse in a way a boy doesn't.

Spoke
12-28-2007, 03:50 PM
Comedian Pam Stone (http://www.barberusa.com/comedy/stone_pam.html) used to have a routine about the sexual joy derived from horseback riding. But judging from her description, the thrill came more from the sensation of having a powerful, muscular presence between her legs rather than from direct physical stimulation of the girly parts.

Freudian Slit
12-28-2007, 03:54 PM
The horse = sex idea was first put forward in The Naked Ape (http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Ape-Zoologists-Study-Animal/dp/0385334303) by Desmond Morris. Unfortunately I don't have the book handy so I have to paraphrase from memory:

* Boys & girls are equally interested in horses until puberty, when girls suddenly become much more interested in horseback riding, at a ratio of three to one over boys.

* Girls are more likely to be terrified of snakes & big hairy spiders, because hairy spiders remind them of pubic hair (fear of the onset of womanhood) and snakes, naturally, remind them of a big scary penis.
I've heard it, too.

And I've read Naked Ape. I have the book, but at home. When I get back home, I'll take a look at that section. I remember he also said that very young children liked big animals but slightly older kids started liking the smaller cute animals (like bush babies, apparently) because they're closer to being parents. I'm not sure how true any of this is, but he definitely had quite the imagination, didn't he?

Swallowed My Cellphone
12-28-2007, 04:00 PM
Well, yes, it is essentially the same thing...although you can't quite put a horse in your purse and carry it around in ribbons, bows, and dresses. But I see it as the same sort of root mommy-ing desire manifesting itself in a much larger animal.My fiancee thinks your post is a hoot, because she definitely, definitely disagrees with you. She never had any interest in playing dolls with a horse. It was all about how well you could ride, and whether you could get this other being to defer to your wishes and jump over stuff when it didn't particularly want to. She said, like the rush of downhill skiing, riding at a full gallop was awesome and quite a power high.

Ruffian
12-28-2007, 04:30 PM
My fiancee thinks your post is a hoot, because she definitely, definitely disagrees with you. She never had any interest in playing dolls with a horse. It was all about how well you could ride, and whether you could get this other being to defer to your wishes and jump over stuff when it didn't particularly want to. She said, like the rush of downhill skiing, riding at a full gallop was awesome and quite a power high.
And I definitely, definitely agree with her. :) The synergy between my mare and me, the physical workout itself, perfecting (well, improving) my riding, improving my mare as an athlete--that's what I love. Of course, I also love grooming, turning out, and even mucking...horses are my therapy and my retreat.

And I, too, never had interest in playing dolls with a horse (bleh). I am NOT a doll-playing kind of girl, and never was. I never braided ribbons or flowers into their manes and tails, and never was into "dressing them" them in the SmartPink patterns or whatever else is "in" in equine fashion. I do have certain colors for my horses, but I don't take it to the degree I see others doing. (Lime green is big right now.)

But, that said...now that I am a mother, I see a lot of parallels of behavior in the horse and parenting world. Those parallels are what I was attempting to convey, however poorly. It isn't just dress-me-up pony, it's the fawning over them and what not.

It's just one aspect, though; Sunrazor brings up others that are pretty accurate too, I believe.

Swallowed My Cellphone
12-28-2007, 04:54 PM
I think my girlfriend likes the "partnership" aspect as well. Both she and my sister have said that some of their favourite "athletic moments" were memories from rowing, particularly when they were double sculls (not necessarily rowing with each other) and they ended up perfectly synchronized with their rowing partners so everything was in perfect rhythm, timing, etc.

AskNott
12-28-2007, 05:28 PM
I'm not a horse-savvy guy. About once a year, a stranger will hear my greeting of "howdy," and mistake me for a cowboy. I don't encourage that; I don't claim to be anything I'm not. Not since that owl-trainer thing. ;)

I've read the girl-horse-sex theory before, but I didn't believe it. I know a few randy horsemen, and they would have talked about it, if true. The theory I do sorta believe is about control. A young girl, the theory says, has been powerless most of her life, until she learned how to ride a horse. She can make a massive animal do what she wants. She never could control the second largest animal in her life (Daddy,) so it opens up a new chapter.

samm
12-28-2007, 05:56 PM
I love my horses but have never found them sexy and never gotten a charge out of controlling them either. That seems weird. So do teenage boys love riding motorcycles because they can control them when they can't control their mother? Doesn't that seem like an odd statement?

Argent Towers
12-28-2007, 05:56 PM
The way I've heard it claimed, is that girls are naturally drawn to something that's larger, stronger, and hairier than they are, those being male quantities; in essence, that horses are exaggeratedly male in some ways. Just as big eyed round headed animals look cute to humans because they look babyish.


Someone might be able to make a lot of money opening up a gorilla stable and teaching ape-handling lessons to girls.

MaddyStrut
12-28-2007, 07:23 PM
I have to add to the chorus of female riders who say there's nothing sexual about riding.

Recently, my riding instructor and I were discussing why the sport has so many girls compared to boys. We were particularly wondering why more boys don't keep up with riding. After all, riding is a lot of fun, but many boys start only to give it up when they reach early adolescence.

She mentioned that back when she started riding as a girl (late 1950's) many girls took up riding for the athletic activity and competition. There weren't as many athletic options for girls back then, so many flocked to riding.

As more female riders become successful at the highest levels, more were encouraged to start up until, at some point, riding (particularly the English disciplines) became considered a "girlie" activity.

These days, many girls ride because a lot of other girls ride, and you see marketers appealing to their female base with the dress up clothes, etc. that Ruffian described. At the same time, fewer boys ride because there aren't as many boy riders and riding is now considered "girlie" (though it hasn't always been so). Kind of self perpetuating.

Hello Again
12-28-2007, 07:40 PM
I have to add to the chorus of female riders who say there's nothing sexual about riding.

Recently, my riding instructor and I were discussing why the sport has so many girls compared to boys. We were particularly wondering why more boys don't keep up with riding. After all, riding is a lot of fun, but many boys start only to give it up when they reach early adolescence.

We talk about this periodically on a horse-related message board I belong to. One thing that emerged from the discussion is that boys appear resistant to sports where there is subjectivity in the judging. In areas of horse sport where "winning" is objectively measured (such as jumpers, barrel racing and polo) quite a lot of men participate. In contrast, in horse sport where winning is subjectively measured by expert judges, such as dressage, hunters, and western pleasure, there are few men.

Now we were not sure WHY this is so but it seems to parallel other sports where "form" is judged subjectively, such as ice skating, and gymnastics. Sure they have their male participants but women are the large majority.

Der Trihs
12-28-2007, 08:20 PM
My observation of the female fascination with horses isn't that the equine is some sort of subconscious attraction to an "exaggerated male," but rather an adopted child and the instinct to nurture it. I know many childless (or empty nest) women with horses, and these equines are their children.

< snip >

I find it odd and questionable that some people suggest there must be a man-rooted reason women like horsies. It's as though some men are intimidated by a woman's affection for a horse. Golly, there must be a desire for a penis in there SOMEWHERE! Otherwise, you mean...you mean...they don't want my penis?

I find it more about being horse "mommies" than anything else.But as pointed out, far fewer women than girls have that level of interest in horses. Perhaps that's because women and girls tend to have different reasons.

MaddyStrut
12-28-2007, 09:00 PM
But as pointed out, far fewer women than girls have that level of interest in horses. Perhaps that's because women and girls tend to have different reasons.

I'm not sure what you mean by "that level" of interest. Do you mean far fewer women than girls are seriously into horses? If so, I'm not sure that's true. It's not for serious competitors.

Most equestrian competitors are members of the USEF, and they report that their average member is approximately 40 years old and over 75% are female.

USEF link (warning pdf) (http://www.equestrian.org/marketing/demographics/generalmembership.pdf)

fisha
12-28-2007, 09:16 PM
But as pointed out, far fewer women than girls have that level of interest in horses. Perhaps that's because women and girls tend to have different reasons.

As a former horsewoman (Is there actually such a thing?!) I know for me personally it was more a problem with time. With running a business, 5 kids, volunteering, chores, etc, it's a matter of having enough time. Girls have a lot more free time to devote themselves to horsing.

It was a hard day when I sold my last horse about 2 years ago, my favorite mare, the one who I'd had for about 13 years. But I never had time for her.

Maybe again someday.

As to the OP, no, nothing sexual about riding. And I can find something sexual in just about anything. Although it does make for some strong thigh muscles that can be applied in different situations...

Mister Rik
12-28-2007, 09:37 PM
I was watching our local parade one year, and happened to be standing behind a family that included a girl who was maybe 10-12 years old. The way this girl acted every time a group of horses went clopping past, an observer couldn't really be faulted for wondering if she had a vibrator tucked into her pants. I wish I'd had a video camera to record her jumping up and down, hopping from one foot to the other, running in place, squealing, shrieking, bizarre facial contortions, eyes rolling back in her head, and various other gyrations. I was waiting for her head to start spinning around. She truly looked like she was going into some sort of sexual frenzy every time the horses came near.

Sure, I'd known plenty of girls who were crazy about horses, but I'd never seen anything quite like this girl.

Rick
12-28-2007, 10:54 PM
The horse = sex idea was first put forward in The Naked Ape (http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Ape-Zoologists-Study-Animal/dp/0385334303) by Desmond Morris. Unfortunately I don't have the book handy so I have to paraphrase from memory:

* Boys & girls are equally interested in horses until puberty, when girls suddenly become much more interested in horseback riding, at a ratio of three to one over boys.
Sorry, I can't buy this. Young boys and girls equally interested in horses? Bullshit. Here is my cite. (http://www.hasbro.com/mylittlepony/)
From toddlerhood on, girls are always more interested in horses than boys.