Women, Horses and Photographs

Jerry's Take

June 8, 2013 – Jerry Finch

It goes without saying that I could post any one of the 200 articles about the NAS study, or dozens of other stories about Leachman in Montana, horse killings in Florida, horses killed in accidents or penitentiary time for shirt-less Montana horse killers. I could, but it’s Saturday, thus it’s time to turn down the heat and let those things simmer for awhile.

I hope all of you voted in the ongoing HfH photo contest (the link is up there on the right of this page). While we’ve had a lot of votes, I’m seeing something that I didn’t expect to see. The voting so far isn’t necessarily based on the quality of the photos, but on the social media connections of the 12 entries. Of course, “Get all your friends to vote for me!” is one way of winning, but it throws out those who are not strong on social media skills but who have an excellent photo entry.

So I am asking the rest of you to do the 12 entries a favor – tell all your friends about the contest and ask them to vote for the one they think is best. Doesn’t matter who took the picture or what rescue it came from – just vote for the photo that best exemplifies the relationship of the horse with the human.

A lot of those pictures are of women or little girls and their horse. There are a couple of guys in there, too, but the vast majority of entries are ladies. I believe most horse rescue organization would agree that at least 80% of the members, volunteers and donors are women, with very few men truly involved. At our ranch we seldom see a guy volunteering by himself. Usually they are the spouse of another volunteer and were talked into doing “quality time together.”

There are plenty of theories about the disproportionate involvement of women vs. men, but since this is Saturday, I’ll save that for another time. What I would like you to do is read another article, “When ‘Horse Girls’ Become ‘Horse Women,’” by Alexis Swerdioff. Posted in the NY Magazine “Cut.” It provides some entertaining and thoughtful insight regarding the transition from little girls who are enthralled with horses into mature women who find a very special relationship in their horse mate.

To give you an example: Nir recalls a blind date she went on with a guy who was named after a horse, and, shockingly, liked horses just as much as she did. “I thought, wow, it’s the closet thing to dating a horse as it gets. This is great,” until something just felt off. “I love talking about horses with my girlfriends, but talking about horses with him felt like talking about getting my nails done.”

Being a guy, I’m not quite sure I understand or agree. Perhaps there is a giant chasm, but men get into some pretty deep conversations about their relationship with the horses in their life. We get emotional, too, and that’s perfectly okay. We might not wear horseshoe earrings, but it isn’t about what we wear anyway. It’s about what is in our hearts.

On the other hand, “Vive la différence!” Just my opinion, but there are few things more beautiful than a woman that is truly in  tune with her horse.

What are your thoughts?


Habitat for Horses is a 501.c.3 nonprofit equine protection organization supported solely by donations. As of this morning, we have 162 donkeys and horses under our care, plus one mule. Most of them are here because law enforcement removed them from their previous owner. Our ability to rehabilitate and rehome them comes from the financial support of people like you. Please support us by making a donation for the horses we all serve. Click HERE to donate

POST DATE: 06/08/2013