Project Advisor(s)

Dr. Adam Kaul, Dr. Carrie Hough

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Social and Cultural Anthropology

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

Not many people know about the very small yet very dynamic sect of intense sport culture of the American Saddlebred show horse. Even those who do could always learn more, since, like any subculture, it constantly evolves and changes through time. This paper outlines the historical changes since the advent of Saddlebred showing with a focus on female involvement and feminist revolution. Gender has been an important but relatively unseen factor within the community itself—female participants today do not know the history of female involvement. But based on an emergence of women professionals and amateurs in the past 50 years, gender obviously has power in the training and showing aspects of the Saddlebred community. Until now, no one has taken the time to analyze the history or the current changes being made involving men and women equestrians. Stories, quotes, and memories from trainers, exhibitors, and archives alike were gathered and analyzed over a period of nine months. Viewing this data from a historical and feminist lens, the paper analyzes how being an equestrienne has changed over time, and how those who grew up in the horse industry completely changed the way the community worked. In doing so, they have helped pave the way for female equestrians two and three generations after.

Comments

Ability to present a powerpoint presentation.

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May 3rd, 12:00 AM May 3rd, 12:00 AM

Riding in Circles: Horse(wo)manship in the American Saddlebred Community

Not many people know about the very small yet very dynamic sect of intense sport culture of the American Saddlebred show horse. Even those who do could always learn more, since, like any subculture, it constantly evolves and changes through time. This paper outlines the historical changes since the advent of Saddlebred showing with a focus on female involvement and feminist revolution. Gender has been an important but relatively unseen factor within the community itself—female participants today do not know the history of female involvement. But based on an emergence of women professionals and amateurs in the past 50 years, gender obviously has power in the training and showing aspects of the Saddlebred community. Until now, no one has taken the time to analyze the history or the current changes being made involving men and women equestrians. Stories, quotes, and memories from trainers, exhibitors, and archives alike were gathered and analyzed over a period of nine months. Viewing this data from a historical and feminist lens, the paper analyzes how being an equestrienne has changed over time, and how those who grew up in the horse industry completely changed the way the community worked. In doing so, they have helped pave the way for female equestrians two and three generations after.