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Horse Girls: Why do Girls Love Horses?

Horse Girls: Why do Girls Love Horses?

What is it about horses that intrigues little girls so much?


Horses are majestic creatures. Though not everyone is a horseback rider, many people appreciate how wonderful they are in terms of speed, agility and beauty.

Little girls, especially, seem to love these amazing animals. Almost every young girl at some point in her childhood asks her parents for a pony—or at least a pony ride at the zoo. And by now, surely you've heard the term "horse girl," coined to describe girls who love horses. Some of the most classic children’s toys have been themed around horses, from rocking horses to My Little Pony to Barbie’s pet horse Tawny.

Research underscores the love girls and women have for horses. Three out of four horse riders are women, with the average horse owner being a married woman in the 35-54 age demographic, according to the Karina Brez website, which focuses on horse charities, information, and equine-themed jewelry.

Why do little girls love horses so much?

Is it their graceful galloping? Their long, flowing manes and tails? What is it about horses that intrigues girls? It might be a combination of things, according to Jamie Baldanza, a wild horse advocate and director of the upcoming docu-series, Wild Lands Wild Horses.

“I think little girls like horses because a horse makes them feel strong and invincible,” Baldanza says. “There's also a certain beauty and elegance that just comes along with them that some little girls can daydream about. But the girls who really, really love horses are the ones who will have them in their life forever.”

Sue Haggerty, 57, of Melville, was one of those little girls who fell in love with horses from the start. She remembers going to visit horses with her father and developing a deep passion for these animals at an early age.

“I have always been intrigued by horses. When I was little, my dad would take me to a farm by the house and we'd feed the horses,” Haggerty explains. “I knew back then that I wanted to ride. My dad was a horseback rider when he was younger and told me when I turn 10, I could take lessons, which I did. I actually rode with my dad quite a bit, which is really nice because I have those memories.”

Her love of horses grew strong out of those early days visiting and riding horses. She continues to ride today and holds a trusting bond with all of the horses she's worked with over the years.

“When you have that connection, it's there forever,” Haggerty says.

Dalia Macphee, CEO of the Dalia Macphee fashion brand, has been riding horses since age 7 and agrees there is a special connection between human and horse. “The connection made between any human and animal is incredibly special, but the bond between horse and human is magic,” she says. “There's a great proverb which says, 'it is the wind of Heaven that blows between a horse's ears'.”

Macphee invented a fully fire retardant horse blanket with built in GPS after her own horse was affected—but is okay—by the California wildfires.

Gabby Wild, a veterinarian and author of the National Geographic Kids book Wild Vet Adventures: Saving Animals Around the World with Dr. Gabby Wild, says horses are a mirror reflection of what many girls feel inside: “free, vibrant, passionate, loving, trusting, beautiful, graceful, and wild,” she says. “We come to appreciate them from afar, and many of us who have the opportunity to ride them learn that we act as friends and partners depending on one another for support, as domesticated horses have come to read facial expressions of people and comprehend loving faces and tones of voice that we give them."

Things to Do in the NYC Area for Kids Who Love Horses

Do you have a child who loves horses? Consider these horse-themed activities and locations throughout the metro area. Just make sure to call in advance for information about COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Take your child horseback riding.

In addition to giving your child the opportunity to be around the animal she loves so much, horseback riding offers many other benefits. Exercise is one: Riding is aerobic, but it also builds muscle strength and increases balance, coordination, visual spatial skills, reflexes, and all-round circulation. It also helps improve self-confidence, self-discipline, and the appropriate ability to take risks. So take your horse-lover for a horseback riding lesson in NYC, Long Island, Westchester, or Rockland.

Visit a carousel in your area.

If your child loves horses but isn’t quite ready to meet a real one, take her for a ride on a carousel, many of which are themed around horses, bears, bugs and animals of all kinds. Children love carousels because of the perspective they get watching the world spin around them. They are also low enough to the ground for children of all ages to enjoy. Go for a spin at one of the many carousels in the metro area.

Consider sending your child to a summer camp that offers horseback riding.

Spending the summer with horses is a dream come true for any child who loves these majestic animals. Children can saddle up for fun at several horseback riding camps located in and near New York City. See if your favorite day camp in NYC, Westchester, Rockland, or Long Island offers horseback riding as an option for campers. Alternatively, these local horseback riding camps are all about caring for and riding horses: Jamaica Bay Riding Academy in Brooklyn; Riverdale Stables in the Bronx; GallopNYC in Forest Hills, Queens; Bethpage Equestrian Center in Old Bethpage; Saddle Ridge Riding Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Watch a movie about horses.

Make family movie night a “mane” event by taking in one of these feature films:

Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story

Recommended ages: 7 and older



Where to stream: Prime Video, iTunes, DIRECTV, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

A heartwarming story about a young girl and her father who adopt a severely injured race horse.

 

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Recommended ages: 7 and older

Where to stream: Hulu, Prime Video, DIRECTV, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

In this animated family film, a wild horse yearns to be free after he is captured.

A Champion Heart

Recommended ages: 8 and older

Where to stream: Prime Video, Google Play, Netflix, Vudu

As a young girl struggles with the loss of her mother, she must also work off her debt to a ranch where she cares for a wounded horse.

Spend a weekend at Rocking Horse Ranch.

Located in Hudson Valley, this family resort has something for everyone. Open all year, the resort not only offers horseback riding and pony rides, but other activities including skiing, zip lining, a water park, dining, and more. Check out our feature on Rocking Horse Ranch to learn more about this local family destination.

Read a book about horses.

There are many kids’ books about horses—both classics and modern—available for children of all ages. A few of these include:

The Smallest Horse

Recommended ages: 5-7

This award-winning picture book tells the touching story of Trixie, a mini horse who worries she’s not big enough to succeed at working on the ranch. A series of misadventures ensue before Trixie realizes how important her role on the ranch actually is.

Black Beauty

Recommended ages: 9 and older

Written by Anna Sewell in 1877, this classic novel tells the story of the horse named Black Beauty and his experiences with different masters throughout his life. Told in the first person by Black Beauty himself, the book teaches children the importance of having compassion for both animals and humans.

A Horse of Her Own

Recommended ages: 10-14

This modern tale is about a young competitive horse rider who is given the chance to care for a troubled, damaged horse.

 

 
 

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Author: Barbara Russo is a freelance writer who holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the City University of New York. She enjoys playing guitar, following current events, and hanging out with her pet rabbits. See More

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