Okay, as I was typing a reply, I realized, what do others think?

Male riders seem to be very rare (maybe it's just my area) at Prelude/ Trillium level and yet almost the entire Olympic Equestrian team is male.  Where's the girl power? Is it because the girl's don't pursue jumping higher/ going to the Olympic Trials or is there just a whole bunch of guys hiding somewhere to take over the Equestrian World?! (Don't get any ideas....)

    Many girls/ women are in fact amazing riders, in fact I know a few of them. What is your opinion on this?

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Real life affects women more in adulthood. For most women with enough money to ride horses there is marriage, housework, childbearing and rearing, paid employment, it just goes on and on.  By the time the women have enough experience to become a valid competitor real life often rears its ugly head.  Nothing like pregnancy to through your jumping off.

 

I'm preparing a 'framework' for apprenticeships in organic farming and it occurred to me that almost all teamsters and drivers of drays are men (sometimes known as ostlers). This area of agriculture and forestry is dominated by men. Conversely, in the UK at present, about 85% of students on equine care courses are women. I presume that once I get the scheme off the ground, most of the applicants will be female. This will be a welcome change to the agricultural system. 

I agree with Jackie to an extent. As a pregnant equestrian myself, I am experiencing first hand the restrictions of child bearing on riding. I met a man at the fabric store yesterday who happens to show in the HITS circuit, which was interesting to me because I mostly only know female equestrians around here (other than cowboys).

Food for thought...

Women are always called the more graceful of the two sexes, which could be argued that we make better equestrians. However, I'm sure you all know a girlfriend who 'rode when she was little' and got tossed, bit, kicked or had some other traumatizing incident that effectively ended their horse riding career. On the other hand, nearly all of the trainers I know use a male 'cowboy' of some kind to start their young horses (arguably the most delicate and dangerous time to be on a horse). Why do boys do all the rough work and women like Charlotte Dujardin show all the pretty results?

 

It's because of our babymakers. Yes, blame the womb. Women are more protective of their bodies than men, and it's probably why in the short term, yes we are prolific. But staying strong physically tens of years (what it takes to even sniff the Olympics) is just more suited to a mans body. That's why there is only one Danica Patrick, that's why no woman has ever made it through college football, and that's why when we fall off and it sucks we're less likely to go back for more!

LOL, I am from the dinosaur age.

Ever since I started riding hunt seat seriously 43 years ago I have been surrounded by women who think nothing of breaking a horse to saddle, I've done it myself three times with undiagnosed MS.  I have known women in their 60's who stopped starting horses, but it was because of osteoporosis and the fact that no one bounces well in their 60's, male or female.  These ladies then turn the first mounting over to one of their advanced students, usually female teenagers. 

My riding teacher, Debbie, still breaks horses to saddle.  I've told her if I ever get rich enough to own a horse again she will get to do the initial training, ground work and green breaking to saddle since I don't trust anyone else to do it properly. 

If I did not have MS I'd do it myself though I'm in my sixties and I have a slight case of osteoporosis.  Of course this would have to be a horse I selected for good temperament, and that I had done at least a year of ground work with, not just anyone's horse.  Oh, how I wish I could still do it, but I can't with my MS.  My lack of balance and coordination would confuse the horse too much.

Women can be just as good horsemen and riders as males.  Unfortunately real life often interferes unless the woman's family is extremely well off financially. 

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