How can a male get started on horse riding? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 296 Old 06-08-2013, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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How can a male get started on horse riding?

I am a male, 17 years of age. Recently I have become interested in riding horses mainly for pleasure (Not with polo in mind. Though I would be open to polo too.) I've noticed that most riders are female. How can a male learn more about horses and find someone who would be willing to train a guy?

Part II: Social

What will it be like as a male rider? It seems like society generally considers recreational riding primarily feminine. Will female riders discriminate against males? How can I get my parents to set up lessons? I feel a little bit awkward about telling people of this interest.

Also, do you think it's weird for a 17 year old male to have an interest in this?

Things I'm interested in:
General Riding
Possibly Sports (Polo, Etc.)

Not Interested:
Horse Shows (It sounds like fun, but it's too feminine. Society would not approve.)

Thank you for the help!

*My Apologies if I posted this in the wrong section, I'm new to the forums and I just realized that the "new to horses" category may have been a better option*

Last edited by futuredoctor; 06-08-2013 at 02:00 PM. Reason: Added question.
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post #2 of 296 Old 06-08-2013, 02:02 PM
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Riding is in no way feminine, you get dirty and shows are especially not! There are plenty of male riders out there.
No lesson barn will have ANY problems with taking on a male. Riding is a sport/hobby for everyone! We've got plenty guys on the forum here.
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post #3 of 296 Old 06-08-2013, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xlionesss View Post
Riding is in no way feminine, you get dirty and shows are especially not! There are plenty of male riders out there.
No lesson barn will have ANY problems with taking on a male. Riding is a sport/hobby for everyone! We've got plenty guys on the forum here.
Thank you. I hope people will accept me.
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post #4 of 296 Old 06-08-2013, 02:18 PM
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None of the guy riders I know(with the exception of the few legitimate homosexual friends I have) are in any way shape or form, feminine. Most of the trainers I know are male, too.

Really, if you want to learn, do it! If you get hazed by "the guys" about it, there are lots of ways to play it off as macho, such as getting chicks, you were dared, tell the boys that THEY couldn't do it....
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post #5 of 296 Old 06-08-2013, 02:36 PM
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feminine? riding? oh honey no. Society might portray it that was but in real life, it stall mucking, sweaty, dirty, dusty, horse-rolled-in-the-mud hard work. I mean we make a 1200 pound animal do our bidding without speaking.

Equestrianism; 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to remember you're absolutely insane to be riding a beast that big.
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post #6 of 296 Old 06-08-2013, 02:57 PM
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If you look closely you'll find that a great many men do ride. Look at the people who do eventing and you'll find plenty of men. Most guys are not into doing "shows", but it that's usually because most men don't care for arena riding. They tend to prefer riding outdoors and different areas. For most of us "sameness" = "boring".
Can't imagine anyone caring about whether you're male of female if you're learning to ride. Just find a good instructor for you (not all are created equal and some doing better with some people over others) and learn to ride.
Granted far more women ride today than they when I was younger, but there are still plenty of men who ride. You won't see as many men at boarding stables. Most men don't board their horses, but have their own place to keep them, but there are men who board.
The only social thing you need to be prepared for is the having more girls than guys learning to ride. Being the only male in the group can have it's advantages though

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #7 of 296 Old 06-08-2013, 03:01 PM
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I started at 50, after spending much of my adult life strapped in ejection seats. That may or may not have been good preparation for riding horses...

Yes, recreational riding is dominated by women. I have never noticed any discrimination AGAINST me by the females. Most, if anything, seem glad to see a male - even an aging one with bifocals and a taste in T-shirts that run to those under $2.50 - riding horses.

I rapidly grew tired of horse magazines. Not only are they a terrible source of information, but there were too many advertisements of the "Does this saddle make my butt look big" sort.

Don't take lessons from a cute 17 year old girl. They are too distracting. But a 40 year old woman will treat you as a student, not a date.

If someone thinks riding is too feminine, tell them to get on 1000 lbs of muscle and give it a try. They can borrow my mare.

Statistically, it is "20 times as dangerous as motor cycling" - (Spinal injuries resulting from horse riding accidents). Male or female doesn't matter. It is a sport that requires nerve, a clear head, good balance, and the understanding that you can be severely injured or killed at the strangest times. I honestly have been more scared on a horse than I was being shot at flying combat sorties.

This morning, the mini-trail ride was pretty relaxing...until 3 terrified horses galloped full speed opposite direction of us. OK, the horses were not terrified. They were cantering relaxed and content and passed about 200 yards off to the side. But my mare fears strange horses like she fears nothing else, and getting her to go into the area they had obviously been fleeing in terror was a challenge. And it didn't help that they passed somewhere behind us, since she then felt like 3 wild, crazy horses were likely to attack us from behind!

Take a look at Painted Horse's thread on Robbers Roost (Robbers Roost). For a taste:

Yep! That's a sport for wimps!

Now, will anyone outside of the horse world figure it out? Probably not. But that is part of becoming an adult - learning to follow YOUR dreams, and to trust YOUR judgment. If riding interests you, give it a try. You may find you DON'T like it, and that is OK. Or you may find it more challenging than anything you've ever done. You probably won't be able to explain it to a lot of people. I can't. At 55, I don't even try unless the person asking is serious.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #8 of 296 Old 06-08-2013, 03:35 PM
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I dont think i can add much with whats already been given, but i was kind of shocked by what you had writen, so i have to say it.

Out of 11 years of riding and dozens of female instructors, the past 7 months i have never improved so much with the best instructor i have ever found. And one of the only male instructor in my area. He is honestly the best
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post #9 of 296 Old 06-08-2013, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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What riding style should a male learn?
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post #10 of 296 Old 06-08-2013, 04:18 PM
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Whatever you're interested in (: I'm a 17 yo female rider of 10 years and I LOVE seeing male riders , I wish we had more male riders at my barn (we don't have any) I hate the fact that guys think its a feminine sport , I just got home from being at the barn for 7 hours mucking stalls , riding bareback in the mud (we've had TONS of rain) and battling 1500 lb animals to lift their feet for thrush meds , as much as I love to be an independent girl ..I really could've used some male muscle today !
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