Monday, 8 November 2010

Black Beauty?

Re the rocking horse and girl, I wondered again what is going on between horses and girls, and - without wanting to turn this post into something tasteless - ask a few questions about the fascination that the brutes hold for them.

I suppose most of it is pretty obvious - the subduing of a large creature that is about ten times more powerful than you; the friendship and adventure shared with it after it has been subdued; the horse as a form of transport to take you wherever you choose to go, and - possibly the most important - the overwhelming sense of legitimate power that is bestowed upon the (arguably) weakest and most vulnerable humans in society. There are few situations that carry more responsibility for girl than being placed on the back of a horse, and allowed to wander off alone through treacherous countryside.

I don't want to dwell on the 'Freudian' nature of the whole business (that is too simple and probably more of a figment of other people's lurid imagination) other than to say that it is mainly females who use hacking stables, though not exclusively, of course. You might just as well attach the same sort of connotations to the other sport of shooting, as it is mainly done by males (though also not exclusively), and there are all sorts of simplistic, Freudian interpretations that you could impose on boys and guns, but - once again - I think they would be more to do with personal power than anything else.

I have a woman friend who was brought up here in Bath, and she told me that - when she was about 16 - she was out horse riding with a friend, when a man appeared from out of the undergrowth, and asked them if they would care to take part in an experiment for a well-known watchmaker. He laid out a neat row of wristwatches on the path, and asked the two girls to ride their horses over them to see how the watches withstood the hooves of the horses. (!) A few years later, I was talking to another woman friend (who was not connected to the other) and she recounted the same experience when out riding in the same area, so this bloke was obviously a regular in the vicinity. I suppose - as far as these little foibles go - he was almost harmless, but, my god, what a fetish!

Now, dressage - that's taking it all to another level.


  1. "The (arguably) weakest and most vulnerable humans in society. There are few situations that carry more responsibility for girl than being placed on the back of a horse, and allowed to wander off alone through treacherous countryside."

    What a load of HORSESHIT.

  2. That's the spirit, Raz. Now explain to me why it is horse shit?

  3. Well, I'm approaching this one as an Australin horsey teen. K?

    Perhaps this is a connection with something more primal than a breaking of the hymen via saddle. Doubt it, but anyway ...

    I owned a disgraced racehorse and we galloped out over the coasthills to the ocean cliffs every day. We were a bit of a team, him with his dodgey eggbeater gait that negated him from turf, and me with my total lack of social skills to combat the bitch queen clique. We were a lonely team but quite happy in our own environment.

    He was a gelding, poor bugger. Try to see him as a big dog or cat friend who you could ride away into the hills, out to the middle of nowhere, probably he got thirsty and tired but he'd always let me know. Count of Monte Christo was his name.

    This was three or four years before I found a boyfriend and then suddenly, (probably a few years and a thousand cuts of separation for the agisted thoroughbred) I was with child and had someone else to look after who was totally dependant upon me.

    He died recently.They couldn't sell him for pet meat because they couldn't shoot him. (Sorry Tom. I'm getting there ...) But he was a pivotal, important part of my teenage years and it was to do with my inner wildness. Before I became completely domesticated by my uterus. 'Tis such a brief interval between being a child and being a woman with children and that is where horses fit in.

    And for the record, there was ALWAYS a guy with wristwatches or any other number of fucked up props hovering around. They are like pelicans to trumpeters.

  4. Thanks for that, Sarah T. I sort of suspected all the in between stuff (no pun intended) but thought I would leave cunts out of it. I bet your horses's nick-name at race course was 'Cunt of Monte Christo', anyway. Sounds like a great friendship with a lot of adventure for a young girl.

  5. I doubt that the weakest and most vulnerable of society are riding ponies.

    And if you have to be "placed" on a horse, you're hardly going to be allowed to wander off through trecherous countryside.

    I wonder why no one but Sarah and I have an opinion on your post?

  6. So do I Raz. Perhaps you could answer that as well?

  7. Actually Raz, I have my own theory about that. You seem to have created just the atmosphere that I was trying hard to avoid, with implications about stuff which I was trying hard to transcend. I am a bit fed up with arguments right now, so I almost scrapped this post to avoid another. But then I thought that - by doing so - I would be sort of agreeing with you when you imply that there are certain basic subjects (and all I am talking about is girls riding horses, for God's sake) which I am not allowed to ask questions about.

    Sarah Toa's comment was positive, informative and helpful, if not downright poetic. Yours was just plain rude. Maybe I should carry on with embroidery and cookery?

  8. I never implied anything of the sort. You can question anything you like and comment as you please. I feel that my comment was in keeping with the tone of your blog on occasion, and that of many of your comments. Must have misread it.

  9. Oh, sorry Raz - I must have been paranoid! I quite like contention anyway, but only as a way of asking questions - a bit like a kid.