Ladies of the Horse World

 “Growing up in the horse world, I never thought it was weird for women to drive tractors, big trucks, and do a lot of physical labor. But apparently it isn’t normal to the rest of the world. Farm work certainly beats housework though, and I don’t think I could ever not drive a truck. Normal is so overrated, right?”

I posted that on Instagram the other day. People often act surprised that I drive tractors, zero turn lawnmowers, and basically “work like a man” out on the farm. Honestly, I am always surprised that people are surprised. I have witnessed women doing “man’s work” for most of my life. There is more to horses than riding, and wearing cute horse show outfits. There is hauling trailers, lifting hay bales and feed bags, carrying water buckets for what often feels like miles (even though it’s usually just ten feet;)), and doing a ton of physical labor to keep up a farm.

Women are capable of so much.

Women can be physically strong, unafraid of dirt, and willing to work until the sun goes down. Farm work isn’t “man’s work,” it’s just work!

Then there is the competitive aspect. How many sports are there in which men and women compete against each other equally? And not just people, horses too! Mares, geldings, and stallions can all compete against each other equally (except that stallions can’t compete in junior classes, of course). I love that I compete in a sport in which men and women compete against each other equally. Women are held to the same esteem as men. Women are expected to work as hard as men. I have never heard anyone say, “wow, I can’t believe a woman won that class.” Just to clarify, I am speaking on the hunter jumper world (what I have experienced and witnessed), I cannot speak for other disciplines. I actually would love to know what your thoughts are on this. I know some of you compete in other disciplines; are men and women treated pretty equally in your sport? Have you ever experienced or witnessed sexism in the horse world?

I guess growing up in the hunter jumper world sort of put a veil over my eyes on the issue of sexism. Now, I am not offended by people acting surprised by my farm work abilities. However, I do think that our society needs to stop putting women in a box, and making us feel that we must be a certain way and do certain things. We can be strong, yet still feminine. We can drive our tractors and our duallys, and blast Stevie Nicks or Sheryl Crow while we do. We can look pretty and still get dirty on our farms. We can even beat all the boys at the horse show if we set our minds to it!

6 thoughts on “Ladies of the Horse World

  1. You have captured one of the reasons why I love our sport–there is no division between “men’s” and “women’s” in competition & that any equestrian better get used to lifting 50lb feed bags because the horse doesn’t care what you are.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s