Numbers of female riders
About a year ago a (younger) friend of mine made a statement to the effect that I must have been one of the few boys riding horses when I started riding.
Actually it was quite the reverse. When I started riding there were more boys than girls mounting up at the stable. Initially at a rate of 3 to 1 (2 girls and 6 boys) and the 2 girls were amoung the first 4 to quit.
Today, as my friend so astutely pointed out, riding horses has become a decidedly female past time. I thought about the times I had visited area stables to watch friends take lessons or just watch them ride and I realized that she was right. It was rare to find a singe boy, but plenty of girls. Of the adults there are some males, but we are still significantly out numbered by the females. (Not that I'm complaining. As a single male I'll never complain about having more females to ride with :) )
I was just wondering what brought about this change over the past few decades? Use to be that girls loved horses and the idea of riding, but weren't too keen on actually getting on them. Todays the boys just don't seem to be interested and the girls are riding all over.
Just wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone knew of something being put in the water, or a meteor shower that deposited a dust cloud in the atmosphere or perhaps some relatively recent mutation of the male genetics that has caused a, what to me seems like a reasonably dramatic, drop in the number of males really interested in riding horses.
BTW: Keep riding girls. The boys that do ride will NEVER complain about being in the minority :)
I think alot of men stopped riding because it didn't seem manly enough, which is completely wrong. I mean come on. Don't they know girls everywhere are attracted to cowboys? Have they ever seen The Man From Snowy River, Tombstone, Lonesome Dove, or American Outlaws? I personally think more men should ride. They don't know what they're missing.
Don't encourage them. I rather like the current status quo :))
Yes, I've always thought it was a more masculine activity, but my idea of a fun time riding still isn't something a lot of women are into. Although there are more than I would have ever thought would do it at one time. Not really a lot of men who do it either. i.e. riding long distances for days. Riding couple hundred miles over a few days is heaven to me :)
Once my new filly finishes growing and I complete her training I plan to see if we can pass the old Cav test of going 300 miles in 5 days and still be fit.
Along with back then horses were more livestock more of an actual business rather than a recreational hobby. My personal theory is that girls being the more "emotional" and "mushy" gender. As horses transitioned into being viewed more as a pet from being replaced by modern machinery. Girls got more and more interested. Along with media certainly played a big role with movies such as Black Beauty or Flicka. Girls now are growing up watching movies and shows like Horseland or Wildfire. Were its mostly girls in the show and they have this insane crazy bond with a "wild" horse. Girls want that, they want the mystical black horse that only trusts her and would do anything for her. Girls are more inclined to watch something that makes you go awwwww. Rather than action packed gun slinging adventures.
So now that is it a female dominated industry males are more likely to view horses as "gay". They are a girl's thing. I go to a equestrian dominated college. There are very few guys at our college infact the ratio is 7 girls to every 1 guy. Most of the straight guys are taken, or major players. Now a days cowboys are mainly viewed as "players" because they are constantly surrounded by girls that are pining for their attention. Which can cause problems in a relationship :wink: Anyways, thats my views on it.
Qualifier: That's 300 miles with full gear in 5 days and still be fit.
Full gear would be roughly 90lbs (saddle, food, equipment, etc... everything except the rider)
Back to the thread. Still can't figure out why there aren't more young boys doing it. You would think that it being masculine and with all the girls doing it that they'd be lining up to take lessons.
When I was a kid and riding, there was only one boy riding with us. There were 6 girls and 1 boy.
With the group I ride with now there is still more women riding, about 10 women and 6 men. This is more or less the "core" group with other people riding on our organized rides. Lots of couples but also some of the women ride but their husband's don't and same for a few of the men.
My cousin, Bruce, rides but he is roping and competing. The majority of us are trail riding strictly for pleasure. One of our group is an eventer and another is giving an eye towards endurance. There is another group of people that sometimes ride with us that is pretty much all men so we kinda balance out!!! They do quiet a bit of team penning and hubby is interested in doing that - more guys doing that than women.
Unless your in horses you don't really know how many girls are in it. Most the guys I talk to seem to think only gay men ride horses and they dont want to be viewed like that from other guys. Horse related media is more geared towards females now and them being viewed as pets/hobby. I find males are much more business like. Horses are no longer viewed in whole as a business's anymore. Just a pet or an expensive hobby. They don't see the money in it, cause there is none lol. Along with they don't grow up watching westerns. So horses aren't viewed as "cool" by the general public.
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I think the breeches has something to do with it! hahaha ...It seems there were a lot more guys at the shows when I was growing up then there are now. Trying to get my son interested in riding, but he's more into video games. When we do go to shows, he's following the little girls around though! So maybe there's hope yet?!?!?!
Ah yes! Video games also have played a big role. I completely forgot about video games.
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"So now that is it a female dominated industry males are more likely to view horses as "gay". They are a girl's thing."
I guess there has been a social shift, media driven that could acount for a lot of it. I started riding in Germany, so I didn't have as much of that "cowboy" show influence. By the time I came back to the US I was so deep into riding that when give a choice of a dirt bike or horse for my 15th birthday I went and picked out a little QH filly. Even in that farming community few girls rode *unless it was behind their boyfriend :) *
Heaven help the boys, now that girls have taken up driving trucks :))
My daughter drives a Chevy Silverado (but she doesn't ride horses) :))
Trucks are for girls"
There are some seriously wrong thinking males out there. ) The guys I do see riding are certainly masculine. If any are gay you certainly wouldn't know it. Most are helping out the girls (and making points with it :)) ) And they all find out at some point (if they ride long enough) that there is nothing mushy, girly or "aaaw" inspiring about handling a spooked horse that gone into "flight" mode.
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