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Why Horses Are Good for Little Girls

Julia Everheart is a 31-year-old who never grew out of her adolescent horse-crazy phase.


Most little girls go through a horse-crazy phase at some point in their adolescence. There are several theories as to why this is; the most famous is the Freudian theory about little girls' repressed sexual desires and need to master something powerful to make up for their inherent weakness. Hogwash, I say, but whatever the reason little girls love horses, it's good for the girls and good for the horses!

Most women can remember clear as day the first time they sat on a horse. Maybe it was an old, arthritic pony not suitable for anything more than the occasional lead line ride. Maybe it was, as in the case of my mom, a hot Thoroughbred racehorse whose trainers were insane to put an 8-year-old on its back. Whatever the scenario, it is a memorable experience because it is markedly different than, well, anything. Horses are big and they offer a whole new view of the world. A little girl all of a sudden gets a lot taller when she's hoisted onto a horse's back. This feeling, along with the feeling of going faster than she could on her own two legs, is very addictive.

Once a little girl gets a taste of riding, she is likely to want more. If you're a parent reading this, I advise you to cough up the cash for some riding lessons. I can almost guarantee you won't regret it. The first reason is simple: confidence. When your 6-year-old can get on an animal that outweighs her ten times, make the animal walk, trot and canter quietly, and maybe even convince it to jump over something, all the while making it look effortless, she will really have accomplished something! Horseback riding, like most athletic activities, is much harder than it looks. What you don't see as the observer is how much muscle control, strength and balance goes into even the simplest of maneuvers. Horses don't naturally move in straight lines and perfect circles. They don't naturally lower their heads and trot prettily around an arena. Your kid is making all of that happen. As your little girl continues to advance as a rider, you will see her confidence grow. Riding is hard and your kid can do it!

I have seen many a timid and shy girl blossom into a confident, outspoken and capable little lady simply by hanging out with horses and learning to ride. When a child rides, they may be able to get away with being a passenger at first, but soon they will have to take charge. There are many naughty ponies to thank for timid little girls learning to quite literally take the reins and take control. In the horse/human relationship, the rider is dominant and has to be for her own safety. Riding teaches kids to lead, to make quick decisions and to trust their instincts. Your kid may think she's taking a riding lesson, but really she's taking a lesson in life.

Horses also teach responsibility. If you haven't noticed, they're alive and have numerous needs. They're a bit like very large, very heavy toddlers--they poop a lot and make a mess when they eat. Horses require hard labor--mucking stalls, hauling water buckets, unloading hay, cleaning tack, repairing fences, cleaning the barn, and the list goes on. All of these chores have to be done on a daily basis. Kids who are involved with horses learn to work hard and take pride in their work- another valuable lesson for life!

In a society where girls are taught that their value lies in how they look, horses teach little girls to place value on what they can do. Would you rather your pre-teen spend her afternoon wandering around the mall looking for a push-up bra or master an automatic release as she flies over a three-foot jump on horseback? Which do you think will instill tenacity, perseverance and confidence in her ability to set goals and reach them?

Horses will also turn your little girl into a tough cookie. Horses are big, and when you fall off them, it hurts. The important thing is to get right back on. Undoubtedly, everyone who rides will fall off at some point and if they love the sport, they will haul themselves right back on and give it another try. There is little time for tears and pity parties.The only way to get better is to get back on.

As little girls grow into teenagers, having horses around can be especially helpful. Your teenage daughter can't get wasted at her friend's party because she has to be up at 5 a.m. to trailer to a show. She certainly can't get pregnant, because everyone knows doctors frown on pregnant ladies trying to ride. If her boyfriend dumps her, so what? Her horse is cuter anyway. Horses give teenage girls something to think about beside boys, parties and all the myriad superficial things our consumer society is selling.

I am convinced that horses give back far more than they cost in ways that are immeasurable and priceless. Many families have made sacrifices so that their kids could ride, show or own horses. The time and money spent on these endeavors has a return that will stretch into the child's teen and adult years. Simply put, horses are good for girls.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


karen on September 20, 2016:

Great read! I bought a horse this year for my 12 yr old daughter. She has been riding for 2 it was time ... she loves being at the barn mucking stalls and working the horse... :) some girls are hanging around down street all evening... :( I know everyone is different but I'm glad my girl loves being with her horse and so do I :) on my days off I go and hang at the barn without my daughter...shhhhh

sugz from No Longer in Quakeville... Christchurch, New Zealand on September 21, 2013:


I was never allowed a horse.. so i leased one when i was 15 and left school, got a job and bought him. Ive never looked back! I never had a lesson other than copper teaching me what i needed tto know, bareback and saddle..

When i gave him away i never owned another horse till i was 21.. and that mare, cindy.. taught me everything copper couldn't. After she got stolen, i wasn't going to get another horse but eventually i did.. during all the time id been around horses, starting when i was 10, sneaking to help at the rasecource.. taking days off school.. and learning everything possible.. and since i was 17.. had been teaching others everything i learnt... and after having my son who used to double on cindy with me, and my daughter who saw many a flying lesson off cindy and hundreds of ribbons in the shows.. had somehow became a riding instructor

Its funny.. i started watching moondance alexandra just before finding this hub :)

Good movie for old an new..

Scroll to Continue

sugz from No Longer in Quakeville... Christchurch, New Zealand on September 21, 2013:

Brilliant hub..

Being a riding instructor and horse educator myself, i found this really amuzing and interesting..

i would like to add.. horses are very good for boys too.

I educated a young pony this year.. i say educated rather than broke because, unlike the old days of 'breaking a horse and its spirit through instense bucking and battles of wills..'.. i believe in

understanding what makes them tick and enhancing their abilities and getting them to understand what's requiired as calmly and quickly as possible without pushing them beyond their learning abilities...

anyway.. this wee pony, her names bonnie, and shes 93cm tall.. almost 4yrs old.. shes still holding out on producing her 4yo teeth...

she's owned by a small lady who iis a bit big for her but bon can carry her occasionally for teaching purposes..

Well she has 4 boys.. they're the normal kick mud n rough n tumble soccer an tennis types... and ALL 4 of them LOVE bonnie.. and all 4 of them get lessons on her twice a week when schools on and 4 or 5 days in row during school holidays...

Until i met bonnie, i hated ponies. But i sure love that wee pony and am hoping to educate her to harness in 2014.. but now.. her education increases and she adores working for the boys.. she has

the softest mouth in the world and shes strong enough to drag me around at the end of the lunge, an im nearly 6'..

she looks after the

boys, and tries to do everything they ask.. at my request of course.

This family, not including their dad.. knew nothing about horses and had this pony pushing and barging, biting and bullying them cos they knew no better.. now.. the boys aged Bernard 4, Theodore 6, Joseph 8 and Oscar 9.. can tell you so much about horses and what not to do.. and oscar has even started learning long reining.. philipe karl style, cos that's the only long reining i use.. and he's learning not to be so shy and is learning control of bonnie.. theo is learning how the bit works and even tho the styrups dont go short enough, has brilliant balance.. bernard is finally talking with words and using correct aids, he no longer needs someone to hold him on bonnie.. he does it all himself and uses the reins.. joseph is amazing.. he adores riding and cant get enough.. they all have learnt, grown and live for riding..

So those who have a shy son.. introduce him to the world of riding. :) the best horse is one that kniws nothing.. find a good instructor who can educatee the horse first.. and teach the kids at the same time. They'll learn what and why and how.. and never forget how to be gentle.

Oh.. and the boys have all been on my 16.2h errr.. not that quiet thoroughbred lol they love all horses, sports and farm work.. and support each other.

Oh.. oscar an joseph have both had big falls.. they understand bout gettin back on.. they've both been off the lead trotting and over trotting poles.. theyv both cantered up the hill and both popped over a wee ditch.. theo is more into helping his dad but when hes not home.. he rides an doing amazing. Another cpl months.. he'll be trottting an maybe even his legs will b longer.. bernard.. will take longer.. the boys are all small enough to be jockeys..

Joseph wants to do dressage.. oscar wants to do jumping.. theo wants to try harness.. bernard wants to be a jockey.

I think each of them will do just that!

Shelagh on May 25, 2013:

The same can be said for any livestock related activity. My kids (boys & girls) are in Beef 4H as well as horse 4H & all the same responsibilities are required. The caring of the animals as well as the numerous benefits of the 4H program grows great, responsible kids that are far too busy to get into trouble!

Diane Nowak on May 22, 2013:

The theroy about girls being up on a horse makes them feel more powerful or etc. ....... not for me... I just loved the horse & didn't really care about riding.... I was forced to ride to be around them..... Had to pay for lessons just so I could be with them. I did learn to love riding eventually, but the main thing for me was to have a relationship with these magnificent animals!!

Kevin Peter from Global Citizen on April 30, 2013:

Great hub. I never thought that learning horse riding has so many advantages. I will definitely ask my friends to teach their daughters horse riding.

Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on May 26, 2012:

You are so correct. Also in comparison to dropping your child with her soccer coach and team mates and leaving, competing with horses creates a great bond between you and your daughter that can not be replaced. As far as sacrafice, I can not afford her horse. As a matter of fact I can't afford anything now that we have her horse. LOL I use to have money now I have horses!

Cherrietgee from Illinois on April 18, 2012:

Thanks for writing this hub! I also went through my love of horses stage, but it ended quite abruptly when I was 8. I was standing next to a horse about to pet it (It would have been my first time touching a horse) when it looked at me and licked it's lips. In my mind, it meant the horse was about ready to take a bite out of me, so I quickly withdrew out of fear. I didn't even attempt to touch another horse until I was 22, and nearly thirteen years later, I still haven't gotten around to riding a day, I will, but it definitely won't be today.

Hannah on March 05, 2012:

I agree. I wish we had the money to own a horse. Ive loved horses for as long as i can remember. Every girl at my school has a horse. There always talking about them, and not even in the way your sopost to. They'll say

" man, my horse bit mu phone and cracked the screen, my horse woke me up at three am!, i have to wake up super early just to feed the horse." it makes me mad cuz they have everything i have ever wanted and treat it like another daily item. They prize their cellphone more than there horses. I just cant wait until i have my own money so i can get a horse.

Colleenmt from Milwaukee, WI on February 24, 2012:

I completely agree. As my sister always said, a man will leave you...your horse never will. I think the "barn girls" I always knew were kinder, more accepting, and way less shallow than the other girls. When I have children, especially if they're girls, I'm going to make sure they are horsewomen :)

LeslieQ on February 22, 2012:

This article explains my life perfectly!! As an adolescent, I went to a "rich" private school where all the lil 10-14 year old girls were into name brand clothes and make-up. My dad was a farmer and struggled to put my brother and I through that school, which in turn meant we couldn't afford the things they could. But, while not having many friends, I had my horses!! I got my gelding as a yearling at about 12 years old and raised him, spoiled him, broke him, and love the heck out of him!! When I got off the bus from school in the afternoons, I would drop my book sack at the door, change my clothes, and head straight through the gate to catch my mare. Being too little to throw my heavy saddle, I would grab a bucket and jump on her and ride her till it was nearly dark, put her back, catch my "lil man" who was a stud back then, and feed him in the yard while brushing him an loving on him. He is now about 13 years old and still thinks he is a baby!! My horses were my best friends growing up!! And I am starting to teach my 5 year old the same things I knew at her age!! Although it scares me to death to think of her being way up there on a horse, she is so passionate about them and it makes me think back to the fun times I had at her age with my dad .. I want her to have some great memories with these same horses!!

This has to be the best article I've read in all my life!!

bmukherjii on February 04, 2012:

Getting on a horse alone is an accomplishment. It is exciting and adventurous. So most girls prefer horse riding ... I think so..

brooklen on January 31, 2012:

i ride all the time im 11 and i reall really want a horse im giting lessons though that's what im thankful for.

TripletsMomma from Ohio on January 21, 2012:

Growing up I never was interested in horses. I am still actually a bit scared of them. During church camp we had to go for long rides on them. Mine would never listen and always take off... he could probably tell I was terrified. I have five year old triplets and they (especially the two girls) love horses. They pretend they are part of the show Horse Land. They love to read books about them. My one daughter will cry because she can not have a horse. She thinks since our back yard is fenced in that you can just stick a horse back there and they will be fine. They are beautiful animals. I look forward to learning more about horses through my children's love for them. Thanks for sharing!

kelleyward on December 26, 2011:

I had two horses growing up and I learned so much from their gentle nature and spirits. Horses are wonderful animals! Thanks for reminding me of their gift!

Tax Gal from New Mexico on October 03, 2011:

Great Article! I begain riding when I was about 2 years old and received my own horse on my 10th birthday. My horse was my best friend. I told him all my troubles. He always listened and was always there for me.

j on October 02, 2011:

Horses are great for big girls too - over 60 and still enjoy riding, showing, mucking stalls, grooming horses. There is nothing as peaceful as going down to feed in the morning with a hot cup of coffee in hand being greeted by 3 of the most wonderful, loving folks I know. My love for them and their love for me is unconditional. My worse days melt away with every smell, sound and touch at the barn.

MerlynLover on July 13, 2011:

Such a great article! I grew up and have always had horses in my life and at 22, I know I will have horses around for the rest of my life at risk of insanity :) I worked at a summer camp one year and having that hour out of my lunch break every day to ride and having him there to cry on was literally the only thing that kept me from getting in the car and driving home. I work for my trainer now and can easily spend 60-70 hours a week at the barn without even realizing it, they are my life. Saint, Joker, Chocolate, Merlyn, Wizard, Sugar, Galloper and Buzz are the only boyfriends I have ever needed.

bailesr on July 08, 2011:

great hub Mandy! enjoyed it very much -

ponygirl64 on July 08, 2011:

My horses helped me survive my childhood and teen yrs without resorting to drugs and other risky behavior. I enjoyed your article Julia. Keep them coming.

HomerMCho on July 01, 2011:

Great and interesting hub! I must take my grand daughter and have horseback riding.This is gonna be fun! Thanks.

laura hutchings on June 17, 2011:

At age 3 my mother found me in the neighbors corral, peting the Horse's knees and feeding them sugar cubes. I announced I was going to be a Jocky when I grew up. I did attempt that but was always 115-120 pounds (lol 1st time I was TOO FAT for anything) so I was limited to exercise rider. Eventually bought my own horse and have shown-trained-bred for 35 yrs. There are horse owners, horse lovers and horse crazies and Im all of the above... I lived in a stall for 90 days with a sick horse (success yes!) and spent 14 horrifying hours in the barn with them during Hurricane Ike (thank goodness for BetterBuiltBarns)and everyone thinks Im nuts... but I have the very best friends a person can have, Im never lonely, and to quote an unknown French Calvary Officer: "I will take a bullet for my horse, because my horse will take a bullet for me... I pity the man who never knows such loyalty and trust..."

Jill Cerveny on June 14, 2011:

Horses and ponies are a little girls best friend. The feeling of a horse is about the most calming and yummy feeling. Horse mad girls never give up on horses. A lot of us just keep being mad with the love of our horses.

Web World Watcher on June 12, 2011:

very cute story, thank you for that

vsedriver on June 12, 2011:

I had a man ask me to find two nice horses for his daughters. I asked why he was getting horses and he said if his daughters were in the barn riding and caring for horses they'd be too busy to worry about boys.

Carolina from Switzerland on June 12, 2011:

My daughter have taken horse riding lessons when she was six years old. It was her dream and she was very happy. Girls loves animals, they are so emotional and sensitive when it comes to animals and their dream of having a pet. Horses are very good creature, it is good for children to take this opportunity getting to know more about Horses. Horsebackriding is not only for normal children but it is also a therapy for disabled children.

Sun360 on June 11, 2011:

and educative and very informative article which i so much enjoyed.

trickyb109 on June 11, 2011:

Thanks for your piece. That brought tears to my eyes. I know my daughter loves her horse that she leases, loves being at the barn and all the work and camaraderie that come with it. And I knew instinctively that it was giving her something that she needed and was so valuable to her but I couldn't put my fingers on exactly what it was doing and why or how it had turned her into this mature confident young lady (at 9 you.) in the last 18 months. Thanks for putting that so eloquently into words for me. I will never complain again about the drive over to the barn even if it is the 100th time in a week. But now it's even harder to figure out how to thank the women that own the farm and who work with her almost every day for what they've done for her (and me).

Chris on June 11, 2011:

And don't forget how much character is developed by shoveling manure! It's tough to take yourself too seriously when you have poop on your nose.

roshall from Ohio on June 11, 2011:

great hub.

Ashtin on June 10, 2011:

i am 7 and my poa is my best friend. And i agree. I love horses, poa's and ponys! I love all of your comments.

Kit K on June 10, 2011:

Thanks so much for this article! Lucky for me, both my aunts are horse crazy owners of a horse and are willing to give me free riding lessons. I agree that they teach so many valuable life lessons. They can even work for therapy, my aunt had broken her leg a couple years ago from riding and was having a tough life until she flew past her fears and got back to horse riding. I certainly agree that horses are something that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime, hopefully more!

Kit K on June 10, 2011:

Thanks so much for this article! Lucky for me, both my aunts are horse crazy owners of a horse and are willing to give me free riding lessons. I agree that they teach so many valuable life lessons. They can even work for therapy, my aunt had broken her leg a couple years ago from riding and was having a tough life until she flew past her fears and got back to horse riding. I certainly agree that horses are something that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime, hopefully more!

Hugh Williamson from Northeast USA on June 10, 2011:

My daughter, now in her 30s, has ridden since age 8. She's a very successful rider but her main reward is - whatever that bond is - between rider and horse.

It also was a college activity that gave her a tie to home when she was far away.

Great Hub.

okiehorseman on June 09, 2011:

My daughter has had a horse in her life since she was 18 mths old. She has gone thru a lot in reaching 12 yrs of age, and has had her horses to lean on thru it all. She now has 4 Show horses and 3 brood mares of her own. She sometimes wants to do fun stuff with other girls, but realises she has a responsibility to her horses before she thinks of herself.

Wish big city kids had the opportunity, and thrill that comes from loving and being loved by a Horse.

Anyway, loved your message.

Drea Williams on June 09, 2011:

You forgot the most important aspect: Horses don't judge!

When it comes to a girl's peers it is NOT the boys that are the problem it is the other girls! Teenage girls are complete Brats to one another and the comfort of knowing a girl can go and be with another living creature that is not going to tease or judge her is one of the most magnificent things about the Female/horse Bond.

Post Script ~ And also: My niece is bi so that bit about boy trouble does not always apply to her. She has to deal with snotty straight girls, and dating another bi or gay girl as well. Throwing all of that into the mix makes me wish that she was started out on horses young. She needs somebody to not sit there in Complete Judgement of her and call her A Slut!

Beeker on June 09, 2011:

Just lost my best friend of 13 years, Sugar, last summer. I read this and look back at our lives together and realize how much truth there is in this post. At 25, Sugar is the only friend that remained a part of my life from the day we met until the day she went to sleep for the last time. She taught me so much and was definitely accepted all of my rants and raves as well as tears.

Connie on June 09, 2011:

Was riding the horses on my grandpa's farm for as far back as I can remember. After being without a horse in my adult life for over twenty years, bought my first one a year ago tomorrow. Once told my husband if I died without owning a horse of my own, my life would not be complete. They are a truly wonderful animal and I always feel so bad for "horse crazy" little girls who have never been able to experience them up close and personal.

Cinch123 on June 09, 2011:

I think that they are great for everyone. I run a small stables with 11 horses and we do riding lessons for everyone from a 60 year old women (and men) to the youngest which is a 3 year old boy. We have all races and both genders. We only charge 20/hr lesson. If you look around you can find places like ours that give lessons on excellent horses just for those kids that really want to ride. We don't do many shows but we make the kids show ready and if they want to do shows we will send them to a local show barn (where the prices will go up). BUT if you just want to learn from professionals who love it too you will find them if you look for them. They do it for the love of horses and imparting the knowledge to the new generation.

Susan from Northern California on June 09, 2011:

Wonderful hub! I rode my first horse when I was about 5 or so. My dad bought my first pony when I was 11. I'm in my 50's now and still have horses. They've seen me through the toughest times in my life. So naturally when I had kids of my own, they too were introduced to horses. The boys wanted nothing to do with them, my daughter on the other hand, well, she was so horse crazy that her favorite game to play as a youngster was pretending to be a horse! She's an adult now and still rides. It's a love that doesn't go away and no man can take the place of - it ISN'T a sexual thing! It's a "connection" thing - and it's a lifestyle. For some, it's a spiritual experience.

Cathie on June 09, 2011:

I invested in horses for all 4 daughters...the time it takes and the money it takes...and I would gladly do it all again. Society has 4 responsible,organized productive young women and horses played a huge part in their development!

Peter Yexley from UK on June 09, 2011:

I think there is often a mutual respect with horses and children, they learn a lot about each other

Randy on June 09, 2011:

I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but they're good for us boys (men) too!

smg on June 09, 2011:

horses are great for little girls, just be prepared that this will be an expensive hobby for the family!

Smay on June 09, 2011:

My life of crime all started with horses, at age 5. I was SO obsessed with my private kindergarten teacher's farm - complete with Shetland ponies - that I sneaked into her barn several times just to touch them. I got caught of course and was mortified to be lectured and have my mother called. Later as a teen living in Upstate NY, still obsessed with horses but not owning one, I would visit several neighbors remote pastures and throw myself up on whatever horse I could catch, bareback, and ride around the fields until they'd dump me. That went on for several years until one neighbor finally realized it, and simply GAVE me the horse. 40 years later, I am still obsessed with horses, and my daughter is well on her way to becoming an accomplished rider...thanks to the little Welsh pony I bought her when she was only TWO! Didn't want HER turning into a little criminal like I was!

Carmen on June 09, 2011:

At 67, the passion for the horse has not waned. After 5 back surgeries, two hip replacements (due to RA, not riding), my horse fills the void created by empty nest, gives me friendship, companionship, a shoulder to cry on, a smile when I need it and all the physical therapy possibly needed. Even though I'm not the rider I was 20 years ago, I am on my way out the back door to tack up, w/t/c and start my new horse over fences. Even though there are choices to be made (buy horse feed or a tasty meal), the purchase of horsefeed takes priority. It benefits me more than anything!

Fiddleman on June 09, 2011:

Great hub and one of my first summer jobs in high school was at a summer camp for boys and girls. The girls as you say developed greater self confidence in the riding rings.

Sarah on June 09, 2011:

I completely agree my horse that I had as a kid helped me through a lot of hard times. If it wasn't for him I honestly have no idea where I would be in my life. I am 28 and I have been riding for 22 years and my life still revolves around horses. The best part is I have a 4 year Old daughter that is just as involved with horses as I am and I love seeing her personality and confidence grow each time she rides. It's the greatest thing to watch

Sierra on June 08, 2011:

My saying for horses when it comes to boys is: he wont talk back, no matter what kind of day i have, he is always happy to see me, and no matter what he will never, EVER break my heart

Crenz on June 08, 2011:

I am that GIRL. I grew up with divorced parents, a mother who was always working. I knew I was Loved and she did all that she could for me. I have no idea how she did as much as she did. I was 'Bitten" by the bug at summer camp. I then moved on to weekly lessons. My work ethic was grown with horses. I worked for the trainer to pay off my lessons. When I started leasing a senior gelding Dandy I worked for the barn to pay off the board. From the first day I started ridding I started working. When I got Tex at 17, I started working at a local tack shop 30 hours a week ridding six days a week and finishing High School. I enjoyed every moment at the barn! I still to this day find comfort and support at the barn with Tex who is now 26 and I 31. We are partners, it is my job to make what is left for Tex as happy and comfortable. He was there to let me cry into his shoulders when I made mistakes in life. He is my gauge of men, he tells me who to keep. Tex has been the best therapy that I have ever had, he listens even when I don't say a word.

Horses are good for a girls soul, good because it calms the he heart and mind. Horses teach her to be the person she is meant to be and shows her how to love more than things but to care and love for another living being that gives that love back three fold. Never question the good a horse can do for a girl just support and cultivate the love.

Aly on June 08, 2011:

As a girl growing up with several disabilities, I took to riding as an escape from the cruel kids at school. My trainer and my pony took no pity on me for my problems... I had so many tough lessons. There were times in class when I would just break down and cry over learning a particularly hard dressage move, or going over a high jump. But you know what? It was all worth it. All those years of riding taught me confidence, patience, trust and matter what obstacle was in my way. Horses are amazing.

Dawn on June 08, 2011:

I was that horse crazy little girl and I got my first horse when I was 9. Neither of my parents knew anything about them and there wasn't extra money for lessons, so I had to learn the hard way. 37 years later, I am still playing with horses. I married a man who was 7th generation of horse persons and he is now a farrier (nice benefit). We made sure our sons and daughter learned to ride, but the bug has not bitten any of them, though they all ride very well. They ride when we make them, but they do have fun when we do an outing. Needless to say my husband and I have 8 horses, 3 are Eventers, 1 in dressage training, 2 have been my lesson horses for when I have students, 1 is my personal Appy mare who is the love of my life (don't tell hubby) and then my Flinger pony who is teaching me to drive. Seems silly that 2 people could possibly need so many horses, but we wouldn't know how to live without them. And yes there have been a few times when we did without just so our babies would be able to have their dinner.

I have the pleasure of watching and learning from these guys and girls, and they have taught me many things about humans, strange how that happens!

Melissa on June 08, 2011:

What about boys....boys need all the same life lessons in order to make good dependable huabands, husbands that are capable and able to take care of their families. I have two boys and they are both horse savy young men. Horses are not just for girls

Jessica Bell on June 08, 2011:

I agree wholeheartedly. I was lucky enough to be raised with horses, but I know many who are not that fortunate. My desire to share my faith and love for horses with people is what sparked the idea just over a year ago to start a ministry called Riding 4 Him. We teach people ages 4 & up how to love, ride, and care for horses. Each lesson also includes a small group bible study and prayer time. Our program is very inexpensive, and nobody is ever turned away due to an inability to pay. We just try to make enough money to pay our bills and tend to our rescue horses. We have rescued 9 over this past year. Horses are just one of the wonderful ways the Lord has blessed us, and I do not doubt for a second that I would NOT be who I am today without them. I am a very strong, christian woman who has Multiple Sclerosis....and my horses keep me moving. Praise God!

jack on June 08, 2011:

I think its that sexual thingy!!

Beth Covert on June 08, 2011:

I had to wait 55 years for the horse I always dreamed of having. She has filled all the voids in my heart...some that I never knew existed. Oh to have had the chance to have a horse and ride when I was younger...but I wouldn't trade what I have now for anything.

Pamela Sarzana from northern Indiana on June 08, 2011:

I always wanted a horse..but lived in the city as a child. I think riding is a great idea. And animals in a childs life tend to bring out the best.

uiop1 from USA on June 08, 2011:

I agree! They help old ladys also.

Mrs Mom on June 08, 2011:

Fantastic piece! And so very very true. If you ask my Dad, he'll tell you I've been "horse crazy" more or less since I had legs. At just shy of 41 now, that "horse crazy" continues. It has even grown into a career for me!

Keep up the good work!

two steps twice on June 08, 2011:

I loved riding when I was younger!

Bridgett (Bridge) Price on June 07, 2011:

I LOVE this. I need to print! People just don't understand why I want to "complicate" my life with animals. I hear "why don't you get a life, and get some REAL companions" (a man, some human friends, ect) or "don't you know you could have a new house and/or car if you didn't spend all your extra money on these animals. I am always told I need a shrink, or I have a screw loose or the best one yet "no man is going to want to share his life with you when all you do is spend your time and money on these useless animals" All that may be true. I may be far NO man has ever wanted anything to do with me in my entire almost 37 yrs llife. LOL I have ALWAYS had animals. lol Bottom line my animals do more for me than any human and ESPECIALLY my mares. I have spent many days, moments and hrs the past 6 1/2 yrs crying into Miss Skylar's mane. Of course half of it was bc I was so frustrated with her, but the other half was bc I just needed her to be my rock....and SHE WAS (and IS) I am on my way to already having the same relationship w/Cherokee too. So I guess if I have to stay NUTS and an OLD MAID so be it. LOL (or is the term old maid just for women who have NEVER been married?) lol

John Finch on June 07, 2011:

I have 3 girls and have had horses for all of them and must admit paying for Tae Kwon Do lessons did more for them than the horses did. The horses cost $400/month but putting them in an arena full of boys competing only cost $100 month for Tae Kwon Do and it was a better workout plus life skills.

Lyssa on June 07, 2011:

My daughter is horse crazy.....and it's all my fault! I take full responsibility for it, and right now, it's killing me because I can't find any place for her to ride. So, she dreams while I search desperately for someone to train her.....*sigh*

Genesis on June 07, 2011:

The best gift I ever received was for my 9th birthday, a year of twice weekly riding lessons. It was AWESOME! :D

Sonjalyn Dickson Rine on June 07, 2011:

Horses Are Great For, Grown Women & Little Ol' Ladies Too....I Can Have A No Good, Very Bad Day....Feel Unappreciated, Unloved, Unwanted.... You Get The Picture....But Groom A Horse, Brush His Mane,,,Climb Up Onto The Back Of A Horse....And I Am Loved, Worthy, Strong....Quite Simply....QUEEN OF THE WORLD...And It's Been That Way For Over 50 Years!

Lisa Hurlong on June 07, 2011:

The problem with this theory is that it is only in some countries. In Spain woman just don't have anything to do with horses. I have been on rides with over 300 men and I'm the only woman. It is starting to change but it is not the culture. Lisa an american living in Spain

Maryah Mangione on June 06, 2011:

Horses are amazing things indeed. I work with a medival re-enactment group that collectivly among all the members have 6-12 horses that we perform with. They did a Fun show for the none-performance-riders (a.k.a. the Squires and ground crew) which I'm one of (Squire) and winning all those ribbons espicially on a percheron cross mare that shouldn't be able to move in tight formation like the smaller Arabians or win the dressage which her rider and one of the other knights were convinced they had ruined her for. Working with those horses, gaining the trust of the rescue horses and learning to handle them on the days they were being pills, and joking around with the other kids of the group will go on to be some of the greatest memories of my life. I will forever love those horses and it just makes me want to visit my rodeo/rancher uncle even more to see what horses he has now.

Trish Andros Carlo on June 05, 2011:

Great insight into the truth of horses and girls! We also operate a ranch for helping at-risk youth with the EAGALA model of EAP/EAL in Ocala, Florida. At Story Book Meadows the horses have taught many teenagers what forgiveness looks like, kindness, gentleness and how to let go of anger. Life skills in an arena. Whether you can spend two hours of twenty years with horses, everyone will learn something from their wisdom. offers all ages the chance to learn from our herd!

rorshak sobchak on June 05, 2011:

I remember my little sister went through a horse phase. We were unable to afford a horse for her. It would have probably given her some independence so that would have been good. Nice write up.

rorshak sobchak

Nathanael Horton from San Mateo, California on June 04, 2011:

my cousin is crazy about horses. Thank you for your insight as to why.

Bud on June 04, 2011:

There is nothing better for the inside of a person than the outside of a horse

FishAreFriends from Colorado on June 04, 2011:

Oh! L-o-v-e this hub! Its beautifully written and totally true! Wow!

Shannon Mariah on June 03, 2011:

Cute shot of your boy btw Julia :)

munirahmadmughal on June 03, 2011:

"Why a Horses are good for little girls"

Courage and fortitude, confidence and trust, proper handling and harnessing in early age encourage to perform great expeditions. Time is changing and many mechanical rides have been invented like bikes, motor bikes, cars, jeeps, aeroplanes and even after half a century sputniks and even other names will come to light. Despite all this the living animals which are blessed with sense of love like human beings and are no doubt favours of God for mankind show many phases of character building.

The hub is excellent.

May God bless all and every where.

KK Trainor from Texas on June 03, 2011:

I am one of those who remembers the first time I sat on a horse - though it was a pony. I was about 4 and I remember that mean little Shetland pony well. I went on the start teaching riding at 15, which I did until I turned 29. I can't ride now because of arthritis, but those were great years. I was very shy and the only time I was really confident was when I was at the barn. Training a horse to jump or for dressage, or teaching a grown man to ride is great for your self esteem!

Karen Gibson Roc from Los Angeles on June 03, 2011:

oh I love your four almost five year old..on more than one occasion has voiced that she wants to be a cowgirl...the first cowgirl in the city:) she was born in NYC so city life is pretty much all she we live in LA and have been toying with spending some time with horses..she had her first pony ride out here in LA and she loves it...she keeps bringing up horses so I really think we are going to have to make it happen...and now reading your hub has made me want to even more!! thanks..great hub...kgr

lovedmygirl on June 03, 2011:

I know my horse literally saved my life as a teenager....suicide was not an option to her.

juliaeverheart (author) from Kennesaw, GA on June 03, 2011:


Yes of course boys and men ride too. But this article is about how horses improve confidence and self-esteem particularly in young girls.

judi on June 02, 2011:

i have reumatoid arthritis, horseback ridding makes you feel whole again and forget the pain

Bob on June 02, 2011:

Horse back riding is not just for girls or women... Boys and men ride too.

Jean Coombs on June 02, 2011:

They help old ladys also. At 71 nothing make me feel whole like a day in the barn with my horse.

Lisa O'Gorman speech Pathologist on June 01, 2011:

Horses are amazing for kids I have witnessed kids who didn't speak or interact with anyone respond to the horses it is life changing, I am where I am today because of them and they still continue to educate me on so many levels but my kids love horses too and I have given up many "things" to have them ride and wouldn't change a thing I may have to work longer but as I have told my husnabd when my oldest started to ride at 3 horse are cheaper then us raising a grandchild for 18 years and a good rehab is at least $8000 a month

Babyblues98252 on June 01, 2011:

Wow, just AMEN! Thank you. It is so very very true.

juliaeverheart (author) from Kennesaw, GA on June 01, 2011:

Thanks for your comments! I'm involved with a riding academy that offers lessons at reduced prices to little girls whose parents might not be able to afford the more expensive show barns. Those are the girls I was thinking of while writing, but I agree- horses are good for everyone!

Christianna Capra on June 01, 2011:

I am so happy to see this blog post. YES agree wholeheartedly - I am 43 and if you ask my Mom - horses helped to raise me and I will admit I was one of those "difficult" teanagers...if I didn't have the responsibility and nurturing from horses who knows where I'd be. On top of that horses have shaped the rest of my life and my life path - Today I run an EAP/EAL program (equine assisted psychotherapy and life-skills learning) in NY/NJ area. We are having so much fun showing that horses are not only good for little girls but also for NYC gang kids, and PTSD Warriors, and folks fighting addictions, and bereavement, and even teaching improved bedside manner to docs and nurses...SO thank you for this conversation. Also wanted to add that while I am a competitive rider and learn so much from that partnership on a daily basis - the work we do at Spring Reins of Hope-Growth is under the EAGALA Model - which is all un-mounted - so no riding is involved. We utilize this because while riding is awesome, the horses are able to be more expressive and physically act out or show the client internal landscape with the use of metaphors...which becomes quite powerful in the healing process when the client experiences these moments in-vivo with the horses. So, we agree, horses are good for little girls and can help them grow up confident, resilient and strong. But we also believe that HORSES ARE GOOD FOR PEOPLE - - - PERIOD!

Roseanna DeMaria on June 01, 2011:

I completely agree. However, horses do not only teach girls about life. I am 55 and my horses are still teaching me with all the rich learning and discovery possible. They are true educators in the deepest sense of the word. All they need is a willing student! Their teaching is truly unique because it is transformational for the learner. That is why they are so effective in EAGALA work (e.g. Www. Horses are transformational educators!

Laura Hout on June 01, 2011:

I agree!!! The cost of a horse in a teen girl's life returns a lifetime of benefits!

Boots on May 31, 2011:

@Shannon Mariah: That's a beautiful saying

Shannon Mariah on May 26, 2011:

And they give a girl someone to trust when they feel their whole world is falling apart. A mane to cry in, a wise eye that will never judge, unconditional love, and a boy that will never, ever talk back.

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