I agree with you, Ina. And bsms, and thesilverspear, lol. Just want to comment on some things.
I do think socialization has a lot to do with who loves horses. However, coming from a household that very much did not like horses, I still had hundreds of toy horses. Even when I was volunteering at a therapy barn from 11 to 18, my father hated it. They were dirty, it made me dirty, it took up so much of my time, why don't I play real sports. My mom didn't hate horses, but she doesn't get the appeal. I am the only person in my family, as far back as I know of, to have horses, much less like them. So where did my love for horses come from, if socialization wasn't a big part of it?
There are exceptions to every rule, so I have to ask silverspear what she thinks of that. I was not pushed into horses. I had no one in my life that even really liked them, so why did I?
Bsms may have been on to something, as well. In this country, men go out and work hard and a lot of women are "housewives." Nothing wrong with that, by the way. But if the man's work doesn't involve horses, I can understand not wanting to go and pursue a hobby that requires so much work.
On the other side, most men who's work does involve horses are not focused on any relationship. Most men will see the horse as a means to an end. I need meat, I buy cattle, horse helps handle cattle.
Basically, I think there are many depths and layers of the "correct" answer, and we can only begin to dabble in the surface.
Another thing to consider is that a lot of horses prefer women. I imagine for the softer, more nurturing nature of the woman. So perhaps the horse plays a significant role in why women like horses.