I read an article in the Equine Chronicle about the absence of young male competitors in the show pen, which included interviews with a few well-known gentlemen…
It’s a valid point. More interestingly to me though, is that larger numbers of men still seem to be found in the “rodeo” type events, cutting, reining, and roping. Even more interesting is the number of male competitors in the fields of eventing. Seeing more (young) men in the western events isn’t as much as a surprise as seeing them in any class requiring the wearing of breeches.
When I showed in 4-H and Open shows, I could probably count the number of male competitors on one hand, and that number often included my dad who borrowed my horse for the “Jack Benny” walk trot classes. Of the family of three boys, and one other boy who competed locally with us, only two of them showed in the all-around type events with me, and they had great horses. They also had the attention of every girl at the showgrounds, which I’m sure they didn’t mind too much!
Showing horses can be a bit like dancing I suppose. For the guy who’s confidant enough in himself to take advantage of odds being stacked ever so much in his favor, it’s like a party being thrown in your honor every weekend. For those not so comfortable in the presence of the fairer sex, maybe even being forced into showing by their parents, days of torture. Ladies love a man who can lead a partner well, two or four-legged!
I’ll ask the questions to any men willing to share their thoughts. Is there a stigma on male competitors in the horse show world? Do you find being the “Lone Ranger” works for or against you? Did you ever use it to your advantage (to score a date, or meet your current partner)? Tell us what we’re missing!