One of the most common questions asked by parents of horses - Crazy Girls - is: "Why do girls love horses so much? While some girls go through a horsie phase where they can't stop talking about horses and ponies, others are really passionate about them and become lifelong riders. A horse-mad girl may later discover that her best friend has a love affair with horses.
This may explain why young girls like to paint horses in colouring books and stroke ponies, but in my opinion it does not explain the deep bond that a horse - crazy girl - feels with her horse friend. One reason why girls can be obsessed with horses is how beautiful horses are, not because they are horses. After learning how to balance all aspects of life, they can return to equine obsession later in life.
One of the frequently cited reasons why girls love horses so much has to do with the supporting role that girls and women are so often assigned in our society. So why can girls become horses - crazy, boys not, and what does this socialization do to them?
Due to their size, domesticated horses are quite needy animals and require from humans the basics for their care. Despite gender stereotypes that typically state that there is no role for a woman to fulfil, horses need frequent watering, feed, shelter, veterinary care and medical care. In your opinion, how does the relationship between a woman and a horse differ from that between men and horses?
On the one hand, there are those whose trusted companions are horses, and on the other hand, we have young girls up to a certain age who, at a certain age, may feel that the only person who understands them is their beloved pony.
I grew up with three little sisters and have always photographed girls and women, and now through my work women share their bizarre world with other living beings.
Horses have been a phenomenon for more than half a century, and girls who love horses are all over the world. Other girls need horses to escape abusive domestic life, but what about the other way around? These are just some of the questions I explored in my new book Girls Love Horses: Girls, Horses and Girls.
During my research for this article, I wanted to understand what horses and horse dolls are all about, which girls love so much. What is it that makes girls jettison all other interests and become totally obsessed with all equestrian sport? If you discover your love for horses at a young age, will it become a life - a formative experience?
Today, most experts prefer to refer to things like big horses, fast horses, and horses with big tails to explain a child's love of all things equine. But can love of horses transform a directionless child into a horse lover, or can it transform him into a horse fan?
When Freud proposed his hypothesis, women were made to ride with one leg on each side, and they did so with both sides saddled. Indeed, according to Freud, a woman can even ride on one side of a horse while riding on another.
This literal equestrian location, combined with the general sexism of the time, led to this fascination being mistaken and probably merrily gender-specific. The idea of a girl's love for horses veers somewhere between a tendency to pink and hormonal outbursts. This is inspired by the fact that girls "love of horses manifests itself in many ways, from the physical to the emotional.
Finnish photographer Wilma Hurskainen was one of the pony club girls, and Slugoski is an avid rider. I asked Alberta - a makeshift psychologist who specialises in assisted horse psychotherapy , what horses really are and what is the difference between a girl's love of horses and a boy's (or man's or woman's) love of horses.
As an adult, my approach to this issue is much more mature and diverse, and I am a bit more open-minded than most of my peers.
Even girls with access to real horses fantasize with toys and books about taming wild horses and horse adventures. My new book "Women Marry a Horse" highlights the importance of friendship based on mutual respect and the role of horses in the relationship between women and horses. In a series of photos shown in Asia and Europe, I talk about her fascination with animals and how love between a woman and a horse has become a cliché.
For her book, Halley interviewed 25 women about their experiences with horses and their relationships with them. She also interviewed more than 1,000 women in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Highlights include the story of Wild Horse Annie, who helped save wild Mustangs from mass slaughter in the 1950s. Halley also writes about girls and women who work as barn attendants and dominate the rides. This helps to reinforce the idea that horses and ponies are social cues for girls and women.
It's a common question asked by parents of horse crazy girls -- why do girls love horses so much?
While some girls go through a "horsie" phase in which they can't stop talking about horses and ponies, others are truly passionate about horses and go on to become lifelong equestrians.
Horse crazy tween girls may later discover boys in their teen years after years of having a love affair with horses.
They may then return to their horse obsession once they learn how to balance aspects of their life.
One reason some provide for why girls can become horse obsessed is because of how beautiful horses are.
This may explain why young girls like to color horses in coloring books or pet a pony, but in my opinion, it does not explain the deeper connection that horse crazy girls may feel with their equine buddies.
One interesting explanation about why girls can become horse crazy while boys do not has to do with socialization.
Another reason frequently stated for why girls love horses so much has to do with the nurturing role so frequently assigned in our society to girls and women.
Despite their large size, domesticated horses are fairly needy animals and require humans to provide the basics of their care.
Horses need frequent feedings, watering, grooming, and companionship that gender stereotypes typically say are roles fulfilled by females.
Broadly : How do you think the relationships between women and a horses differ from the relationships between men and horses?
On one hand there is the iconic, lonely cowboy whose trusted companion is the horse, and on the other we have young girls who at a certain age might feel that the only one who understands them is a beloved pony.
Having grown up with three little sisters, I have always photographed girls and women, and now, in this work, the women share their bizarre world with these other living creatures.
Maybe other girls didn't need horses to escape an abusive home life, but girls who love horses can be found around the world, and they 've been a phenomenon for more than a century.
That's the question she explores in her new book, Horse Crazy : Girls and the Lives of Horses.
Video interview with Jean Halley about her book "Horse Crazy : Girls and the Lives of Horses.
In my research for this article, I wanted to understand what it is about horses and horse dolls that girls love so much.
What is it about horses that causes a girl to throw away all other interests to become wholly obsessed with all things equine?
For those that find a love for horses at an early age, it can become a life - defining experience.
The love of horses can turn a directionless child and turn them into the next generation's veterinarian, the next horse trainer, even the next top competitor at the Olympics.
Today, most experts prefer to point to regular power -- horses are big and run fast -- to explain children's love of all things equine.
But when Freud proposed his hypothesis, women were just making the transition from riding side - saddle to riding with one leg on each side.
The literal horse location combined with the general sexism of the time caused this fascination to become mistakenly ( and arguably hilariously ) gendered.
The notion that girls love horses falls somewhere between a predisposition for pink and hormonal outbursts.
What is it about horses that inspires the passionate and at times obsessive affection of young girls?
I asked Amanda Slugoski M.A., an Alberta - based provisional psychologist who specializes in equine assisted psychotherapy, if horses were really a "girl thing" or just a popular gender myth.
An avid equestrian, Slugoski is the founder of Equinox Therapeutic and Consulting Services and co - founder and clinical director of Arivaca Nature School in Arizona.
It's a timeless ( if not - totally - accurate ) pop culture stereotype, and Finnish photographer Wilma Hurskainen was one of these pony club girls.
As a grown - up, her approach to the topic is way more mature and diverse.
Her new book, The Woman Who Married a Horse, shines a light on the magic connection between humans and horses -- a friendship based in mutual respect.
We talked to the 37-year - old artist, whose photos have been displayed in Asia and Europe, about her fascination towards these animals, the appeal of tiny ponies, and how the love between women and horses became such a cliche.
Even girls with no access to real horses use toys, books, and their imaginations to fantasize about taming wild horses or horseback adventures.
Halley interviewed 25 women for her book and also surveyed the history of horses, from their evolution as a species to their roles in colonization, farming, industry, and recreation.
Highlights include the story of Wild Horse Annie, who helped save wild mustangs from wholesale slaughter in the 1950s.
Halley also writes about girls and women working as stablehands and dominating trail - riding, show - horse culture, and equestrian sports.
This helps to reinforce these social cues that horses and ponies are for girls and women.