It's ironic that horseback riding is now female-dominated. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 143 Old 01-04-2020, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb It's ironic that horseback riding is now female-dominated.

There was once a time when horses were almost exclusively a male thing. For most of the thousands of years of human involvement with horses, they were highly valued as transportation, implements of farming and war materiel. The advent of the industrial revolution and internal combustion changed all that.


Let's look at the whole history of human transportation.



Men, not women, invented motor vehicles.

The male sex historically has dominated the transportation industry for the most part. Men travel much more widely than women and range much farther from home than women. Male animals in nature often have a much longer range from home than their female counterparts. Men historically have traveled the most in ships, on boats, on trains, on dog sleds, on foot, by trucks, by buses, by cars, on bicycles, by animals, on horseback and by planes and spaceships.

There have been many more male occupations that require extensive use of transportation from boys on bicycles to run telegraph messages to men on board sea ships to transport cargo. Girls often have had occupations as baby-sitting and dairy maid close to home with little movement. Most women's occupations are local and near home or in the home.

Men on average travel many more miles worldwide than women. Men are largely nomadic: women are largely domestic.

Automobiles are invented, designed, built, styled, maintained, repaired, marketed and sold mostly by men. Men average many more miles driving a car annually than do women. At least this was the case when the man was the breadwinner for his family.

Motorcycles are mostly ridden by men. Trucks are driven mostly by men. Greyhound buses are driven mostly by men. Merchant ships are run almost exclusively by men. Airplanes are piloted mostly by men. Astronauts are mostly men and only men have stepped onto a heavenly body, namely the moon, outside of earth.

Before the automobile, horseback riding was mostly by men as was driving wagons, oxcarts and carriages. Railroads are operated mostly by men.

Men have to often move a lot to get to and from work or business. Men transport most of the freight and raw materials worldwide. Transhumance/livestock herding is male-dominated. Think of cowboys on trail drives.

In hunter-gatherer societies, men traveled far to hunt meat for the family while women gathered plants for food near home.

Military and naval service is male dominated and entails extensive traveling.


Horses, and other animals, are still valuable today for travel over terrain that would be virtually impossible, that is impassible, by motorized vehicle. In some cases, the law allows horses to pass certain land but not motorized vehicles.
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Last edited by jonbailey; 01-04-2020 at 08:32 AM.
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post #2 of 143 Old 01-04-2020, 08:38 AM
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We have a stark divide in my country: horses are ridden by women in the cities and by men in the countryside, which is much more patriarchal. It is still sort of frowned upon by country folk for a women to ride - well, their women - they donít seem to extend it city girls, we are cleared to ride. Strange.
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post #3 of 143 Old 01-04-2020, 08:43 AM
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I've been thinking about this, but not in as sexist of a way as you have put it. Your blanket generalizations are, in my opinion, demeaning to women.

You are making a sort of strange argument: (1) historically, horses were used as transportation, (2) transportation was mainly run by men, (3) therefore men were the ones doing the horsework.

You have forgotten that a large number of horses were used for farm work (driving, plowing) and that women did this work just as men did.
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post #4 of 143 Old 01-04-2020, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
I've been thinking about this, but not in as sexist of a way as you have put it. Your blanket generalizations are, in my opinion, demeaning to women.

You are making a sort of strange argument: (1) historically, horses were used as transportation, (2) transportation was mainly run by men, (3) therefore men were the ones doing the horsework.

You have forgotten that a large number of horses were used for farm work (driving, plowing) and that women did this work just as men did.
Eh, I think we can be generous in interpretation as this is a written medium and a lot can be misunderstood in text - so, unless OP confirms that he was intentionally sexist, Iíd go with that explanation.

It is a fact that very few women used to ride and work with horses. I donít think there is anything sexist in stating that (I am a woman, for what itís worth).

One of the reasons for it could well be that people simply didnít have the time to teach girls to ride due to being busy surviving. It wasnít a job requirement, so no time wasted of frivolous pursuits, except for the upper classes which had more women riding.

I think that it could also be interpreted as men being seen as ďdisposableĒ whereas women were always being spared the most dangerous work (not that they had it easy either). Even today, when most work doesnít require physical strength, you see men almost exclusively doing the dangerous jobs. Oil rigs, soldiers, miners, high altitude work...none of them are dependent on physical strength (or shouldnít be with modern technology) but are mostly done by men, with some exceptions.
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post #5 of 143 Old 01-04-2020, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
I've been thinking about this, but not in as sexist of a way as you have put it. Your blanket generalizations are, in my opinion, demeaning to women.

You are making a sort of strange argument: (1) historically, horses were used as transportation, (2) transportation was mainly run by men, (3) therefore men were the ones doing the horsework.

You have forgotten that a large number of horses were used for farm work (driving, plowing) and that women did this work just as men did.
Western culture generally doesn't depict women's being behind the plow in entertainment, art and literature.

Agriculture, as opposed to transhumance/long-range livestock herding and hunter-gatherer societies, is more favorable to women, though, because of its domestic nature. Women like to nest as men like to roam.
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post #6 of 143 Old 01-04-2020, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
Eh, I think we can be generous in interpretation as this is a written medium and a lot can be misunderstood in text - so, unless OP confirms that he was intentionally sexist, Iíd go with that explanation.

It is a fact that very few women used to ride and work with horses. I donít think there is anything sexist in stating that (I am a woman, for what itís worth).

One of the reasons for it could well be that people simply didnít have the time to teach girls to ride due to being busy surviving. It wasnít a job requirement, so no time wasted of frivolous pursuits, except for the upper classes which had more women riding.

I think that it could also be interpreted as men being seen as ďdisposableĒ whereas women were always being spared the most dangerous work (not that they had it easy either). Even today, when most work doesnít require physical strength, you see men almost exclusively doing the dangerous jobs. Oil rigs, soldiers, miners, high altitude work...none of them are dependent on physical strength (or shouldnít be with modern technology) but are mostly done by men, with some exceptions.
Being a soldier in the field does require a lot of physical stamina with boots on the ground for fighting with hand-held weapons close up and personal. Often this also entails precious little sleep and adverse weather and terrain conditions. I was in the army for 7 years. If you have ever marched for 15 miles in sandy, hilly terrain with a full pack and a rifle in hand, you'd understand. With all the space-age technology, wars are still won with old-fashioned boots in the nasty mud.
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post #7 of 143 Old 01-04-2020, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Most, if not all, world explorers were men.
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post #8 of 143 Old 01-04-2020, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
We have a stark divide in my country: horses are ridden by women in the cities and by men in the countryside, which is much more patriarchal. It is still sort of frowned upon by country folk for a women to ride - well, their women - they donít seem to extend it city girls, we are cleared to ride. Strange.
Your country still probably regards the female sex as domestic and fragile while the male sex is adventurous and outdoors-like.
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post #9 of 143 Old 01-04-2020, 12:14 PM
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I think Jon is having fun yanking our chain.

From the thread about teaching a horse to lay down so he can load a deer to this???? Come on Jon.....

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #10 of 143 Old 01-04-2020, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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I have given up on the notion of hunting with horses (unless they are supplied to the client for transportation as part of the price paid for a deer guide offering special low-priced hunts to get rid of surplus does for land management) altogether. I've decided using horses to get venison otherwise would cost more money and be more trouble than I'm willing to spend or put up with. The guide I hire can worry about how to load my game bag on HIS company-owned pack horse should one ever be employed on any hunt I book. The guide usually does the skinning, gutting and quartering for the paying client anyway.

I thought it would be interesting to have a thread as to why American men and boys don't care much for horses anymore. I've heard guys say they hated horses and others say they make good dog food. It seems as the lust for GALLONS (of fossil fuels burned for vehicle use) has largely displaced the GALLOP (pun intended) in terms of the sheer lack of 21st century male enthusiasm for equines. Some men have told me horses are dangerous because one can lose control of them should they spook. Motor vehicles never spook. One guy told me he loved HORSEPOWER, not HORSES.
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Last edited by jonbailey; 01-04-2020 at 01:03 PM.
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