A couple of us are curious about how many guys there are on here and what riding discipline they are interested in. How would you like to participate in a men only group on Barn Mice?
Especially in the various "English" disciplines, it's easy to feel like the only one.

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Tried to look you up on Facebook, but there are over 500 John Freemans. Could you post a link?
When I moved to Stanly Co. NC over 20 years ago most of the local adult recreational riders were MEN riding saddleseat or western. I got plenty of dirty looks from the women because I was over with the men talking horses! When I was in Chile and Uruguay as a child most of the horsemen were males, and when I got back to this country the female takeover of horsemanship was getting going real good, but women DID NOT handle stallions, ride rank horses, etc. etc.. Times have changed.

I hope you get a really good response for your group.

Men may dominate in the top ranks because the ones who get into riding are more in the category of "naturally good riders", the ones who cannot keep themselves away from horses and have the physical ability, courage and boldness necessary to ride at the top.

Come to think of it I have spent most of my riding life trying to prove that I could be as good a rider as any man! At least I did before my MS flared up, now I am just trying to prove I can still ride.
It's amazing how things change and move in cycles and I'm so with you on the last part, Jackie.
At almost 65 and arthritic, riding is still wonderful but not always easy. Actually, getting off at the end of the ride is the hard part. I'm sure it must be way more challenging for you with MS, and good for you that you're still doing it. I'm no doctor or therapist, but common sense tells me that the longer you can keep riding, the better all round.

I'm actually astounded by your description of a male dominated riding scene in NC 20 years ago. I've never experienced anything like that anywhere. In the UK, when I was growing up, the numbers were more equal than they are in North America now. I can see it in South America - such a sexist society.

I also agree with you about the men at the top being the most gifted and most determined. I'm not a fashion person, but I taught in the School of Fashion at Ryerson University for almost 20 years, and I saw the same thing in fashion. If a boy went into it, he went all the way, and men form the majority of successful grads in fashion design.
It probably is still male dominated, I just don't do wagon trains (where mostly men ride and drive and most women are content to be passengers in the buggies.) Still, the most macho men of all seem to be with the Tennessee Walking Horse Big lick show horses. Saddlebred horsemen are a little less macho, but not by much really. The Western guys are secure in the cowboy myth. The interesting thing is, that all these men riding mostly in the ring or in big groups and at quite slow speeds seem to think that men who ride horses cross-country at up to 35 MPH jumping fences up to 5 feet high without slowing down are sissies. Go figure.
Riding hunt seat can take guts. Good for all you guys doing so.
I totally agree, Jackie. Riding English, especially disciplines like eventing and showjumping require guts. It's very different from loping round a sand ring in a giant western saddle with a big horn to hold onto.
I love watching expert western riders do their thing, but I don't enjoy riding western myself as I prefer feeling more contact between me and the horse, and I wouldn't want to jump in a western saddle! Ouch!
thats weird about the greenhawk thing, my friend found EVERYTHING there. He used to be a reiner, now he is a WP, and Hunter Under Saddle rider.

there is alot of men here, most are older though, but the only neighbour that seriously rides besides me is a man.
Greenhawk is great. I guess the thing about being a man and shopping for riding gear is like being unusually short or tall - the goods are there, but there's less variety available and retailers stock fewer items. Where they have 10 different styles in 10 different colours and sizes for women, there's one of each for men. It often becomes a question of timing or luck. I bought my favorite breeches when they were left on the shelf because they were mislabeled and thought to be an undesirable size. I liked them and tried them on anyway and found they fit perfectly when they should have been falling off.
Your comment regarding age is an apt one. I'm retired and so are other guys here. Could it be that men have lacked the time and energy to ride due to their traditional bread winner role, unless their career was horse related anyway? Is it possible that this will change as sex roles in society become more fluid? Statistically, there are more and more women making more money than their husband/partner, and more househusbands than in the past.
When Litauer started teaching riding in the late 1920's he said his students were mainly men, doctors and lawyers, and their kids, both sons and daughters.
He did not teach riding to the working class or lower middle class (in the 1930's, during the Great Depression, he charged $5.00 a lesson, plus 2 hrs. required riding "homework" under supervision for each lesson.) It seems that only professional men and their families in NYC and later Long Island had both the time to ride and sufficient wealth to pay for lessons and, with sufficient experience, horse ownership.
Most of the pictures of Littauer's first three books published in the 1930's show male riders, both adult and teenagers. Back then NOBODY predicted or expected the female takeover of horses and riding. It was assumed that only men became serious riders, that only men were fit for the more extreme horse sports, and that only men could handle stallions (except for some Arabians.)
I know that you guys really need a place to be yourselves.
And I warn you that I am a rabid second generation (1960's) Women's Libber.
I am all for men riding hunt seat. I think that hunt seat has suffered from your absence. (I am also all for men riding dressage by the way.)
Would it be all right for me to join your group?
Hi Jackie,
I think it would be great to have you as part of the group. As a man who has spent the better part of his career surrounded by women, I'm something of a "Libber" myself. The big reservation I had in the first place starting this group was any sense of being exclusionary.
One of the great things about the changing role of women in our society is that it has liberated men, also.
Your description of Litauer's training practices and publications certainly reflects on my pondering on the role of career and status on men riding. Even where I grew up in the UK, horse ownership tended to be the exclusive province of the rich, with the exception of farmers, who I suppose had the land and the feed to support horses without too much extra cost.
When I fox hunted just about everyone was wealthy, or from a farming background. (I was neither, but that's another, long story.) I was luckier in school than many boys who ride. I was teased a bit, but not aggressively, but that might also be a reflection of economic status as I went to school with a lot of very wealthy kids for whom, perhaps, it was less exotic that I rode all the time.
Good, I can add my observations on mares.
Thank you for accepting me into your group.

Well men are for sure in short supply in the ridding world.  I'm one of 3 at my barn.  It's interesting the big trainers are mostly men.  I also have a hard time finding apparel.  Espeically men's full seat breeches.  I'm always afraid to order online because of sizing issues. The stuff at greenhawk is all knee patch breeches.  Men's stuff is defiantly over priced.  We need to get the guys all together and do some group buying that might help.  Any suggestions anyone has would be great.  I'm near Toronto Ontario.



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