My first lecture in elementary school was about Haflinger horses and primarily consisted of placing slides with self-made photos on an overhead projector and praying down which characteristics made up the breed. I didn’t need any notes. My first computer game: Barbie’s “Magical Horse World”. At the time, we didn’t even have a PC at home. I played it with friends whenever I got the chance. Often against their will.
For me, riding has always been a way of finally being able to distance myself from my body. On the back of a horse you don’t think about whether you are sick or “ugly”. There’s no room in your head for anything else. There’s just you and the animal and the brief hope that this moment will never pass.
I like horses that have their own opinions about things. And I believe that the rider is always to blame if something goes wrong. I never saw riding as a competition, but as a team. Nevertheless, I do sports like other people play tennis or go jogging. So why exactly are horse girls like me so popular as bullying templates and memes?
“Have you ever heard that a woman who likes horses and likes to ride them is referred to as an equestrian? No, we are ‘horse girls’ ”
I recently came across a Reddit post that sums up my frustration pretty well: “If a man likes fish and goes fishing every weekend, he’s a fisherman. If a guy hunts deer all the time, he’s a hunter. If someone is obsessed with video games and spends their free time recording YouTube videos on how to play the game through, they’re a gamer. But have you ever heard that a woman who likes horses and likes to ride them has been referred to as an equestrian? No, we are ‘horse girls’. We are crazy’.”
This may sound very Carrie Bradshaw-esk, but I can’t help but wonder if this ridicule of “horse girls” isn’t about the “girls” much more than the “horses”.
I couldn’t remember any guys being approached to play football every free minute and to recognize all the players from their favorite club by their calves. Films that are primarily about equestrian sports or horses are derogatory and dismissed as a silly niche product, but people are celebrating a film series in which Vin Diesel is screwing absurdly ugly spoilers on lowered cars for the ninth time and then flying them into space ?
It also fits that there is exactly one moment when horse girls are suddenly no longer silly – when it comes to dating. If every horse girl would get one euro every time her somebody “Can you ride me like your horse? 😉 ”Slips into the inbox, we would have enough money to defeat world hunger. (The really super-rich prefer to fly into space.)
You don’t have to be a girl to be a horse girl
Not everything has to do with sexism, but I just can’t get rid of the thought that primarily female-coded interests are still being taken less seriously. Incidentally, this does not only apply to horse girls, but also to teenage boys who would like to ride but are afraid of being considered “unmanly” as a result. You can also find these testimonials in abundance on the Internet. I can’t be the only one who thinks that’s sad, can I?
That is why I am calling for a horse girl revolution. Get together, those who put animals above success and would rather scratch withers than bully people whose breeches already have a few holes. Be proud that you have a passion that will help you through times when everything seems hopeless. That you have a hobby that is not only physically and mentally demanding, but also teaches you humility and responsibility.
We are many and we have Kaley Cuoco, Tina from “Bob’s Burgers” and Viggo Mortensen by our side. Because you don’t have to be a girl to be a horse girl. You just have to trust yourself.
The other “ingrown” episodes by Lisa Ludwig at VOGUE
Lisa Ludwig works as a journalist for politics and pop culture in Berlin and is editor-in-chief at Moviepilot. She is single, in her early 30s, and has neither a food processor nor a private pension plan. But there are several game consoles. Is that still young and exciting or is it already an alternative way of life? In her column “(Un) adult”, Ludwig addresses the gray area between a hangover and the desire to have children.