“Girls and Horses”

I am not sure how it is outside of the western United States, but there every girl I knew went through a period of being “horse crazy.” My late sister Patsy, pictured on the right, kept that love up for years. She collected Breyer horse models, rode at a local farm, and read every horse book she could find. Me, not so much. Perhaps you can see that from my somewhat dubious expression in the photo on the left.

We had many opportunities to ride. A friend of my parents owned a large farm and we rode around it. At the Oregon coast we frequently went on trail rides along the beach in a line of other riders. We were assigned quite docile steeds, fortunately, so the experience was pleasant.

My last experience on a horse proved that it is really not my passion. While on vacation in Canyon de Chelly in Arizona, my daughter wanted to have the two of us rent horses from the local Navaho family who kept them. I was clear that neither of us was particularly used to riding. Accordingly the father sent us out on the valley floor on one very old aged horse(me) and one young looking pony (her.) Rather than taking us himself, he sent his 10 year old son as guide. As I plodded along, the boy and my daughter took off at a fast pace laughing and delighting in the speed and distance between them and me. Realizing that she was perfectly safe, I sat on my now even slower horse and smiled.

Do girls love horses other places? If not, is there another animal that they go crazy over?

32 thoughts on ““Girls and Horses”

  1. Yes, they love horses in England too. Though over here, they are a ‘toy’ for the well-off, in the main. When I lived in the suburbs of London after 1967, there was a local riding school. Girls would work there after school and at weekends for no pay, just to be able to ride horses. I tried riding one once, and it refused to move, and just stood still, eating a bush. I felt completely out of control of it, and far too high off the ground. But I was very much a city boy at heart. A young girl arrived to lead me back to the stables. She was only about 12, and I felt foolish. But I was relieved to get off the thing, and get back into my car. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. I have a few experiences of riding a horse when I was young, the most memorable on the beach. But I was forever cured when as an adult I was in a group and my horse insisted on walking on the edge of a logging road that I thought we might go over at any time. An experienced rider in the group said “don’t let him do that.” Sure, uh-huh. My last time on a horse.

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  3. I was a dogs and horses enthusiast – I collected models of them – but I grew out of the horses. Since we lived in London till I was ten, it might just have been the lack of them that cooled my passion. My sister, who was four years younger went on to take riding lessons once we were in the suburbs and loved it. I used to love the donkeys on the beach on holiday, which might be why I thought I loved horses too, but when I actually got on one as an adult it was a terrifyingly long way up!

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      1. We went to Cleethorpes every year to visit a coudin of Mum’s. It’s on the East coast around the middle, but the cold North to us Londoners. I recall Mum shivering in a deckchair while us kids paddled in the sea. Most of the seaside towns had donkey rides for the children though, and Cleethorpes had a carousel on the beach.

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        1. I just looked up Cleethorpes and enjoyed seeing the carousel. The East Coast beach areas look a lot like that, especially down in Delaware. On the West Coast that kind of entertainment was much rarer.

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        2. The sand there is fine and just the way beaches ought to be. One year we went to Eastbourne where my Gran’s friend had a B&B and us kids were really disappointed by the pebbly beach.

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  4. One of the hardest moments of my adult life was when I had to give up riding due to joint problems. It took me another 10 years or so beyond that to give my saddle to my former dressage coach.

    I have an immense collection of Breyer and Peter Stone models, begun when I was about 10.

    I still love horses, but I’ll have to enjoy them from the ground.

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  5. Here in New England, my girlfriend and I were horse crazy when we were about in our adolescence, our tween years. We made scrap books, hung out at one of the local horse farms when they let us, and decided we were both going to be vets when we grew up. The idea of riding was much better than the experience for me, but I absolutely adore being in the presence of a horse, petting and gazing into the marvelous eyes!

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      1. No greater truth told here! Equestrians control 1400 lbs of partner/ally with light fingers and tight thighs … and we don’t take any attitude from those partners/allies when they try to give it to us. 😉 And that’s before you even think about mucking out or hucking hay. 🙂

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