I’ve seen this meme floating around the internet that says something along the lines of “we all had that one weird girl in our grade who was obsessed with horses.” I’ve been tagged in this meme many times, each time laughing along with their joke. It always makes me wonder, though, why is that weird? Hundreds of thousands of rage and hormone-filled teenage boys chase some variation of a ball around for two hours straight at high schools around the world, but I’M the weird one?
I never understood why little girls with a passion were mocked or stereotyped for loving a living and breathing creature while children who joined traditional sports were glorified for loving a round, stuffed animal hide. So what if we read The Black Stallion and it’s sequels for every reading assignment – it was a great story packed with symbolism! Why was it weird for us to bring a horse show ribbon in for every show and tell? We were proud of our accomplishments! What’s wrong with wearing the same sweatshirt with the horse on it a few times a week? You’re lucky we didn’t start wearing breeches to school!
I remember a few specific occasions where the long blond hair I’ve rocked since it started growing was compared to that of a horse. If it was done by an adult, it was in a loving way, usually stroking it and telling me how beautiful it was. If it was done by a child, it usually involved a rude pointing of a finger and some mocking comparison to the actual animal. Of course, as a weird horse girl, I secretly loved my long hair and its resemblance to a horse.
Weird horse girls get to live a dream that many young girls beg their parents for, hoping they’ll cave and allow them to take a series of lessons. They gain valuable skills in terms of mental strategy, teamwork, and body control – ride like a girl! There’s nothing wrong with being a little girl who would rather get dirty at the barn than dance around in a tutu.
I think there’s also something to be said for the commitment and grounding a young girl who loves horses grows up with. I stayed out of trouble through all my years of lessons and summers of horse shows, mostly because I stayed at the barn until my sweet mother could pry me away to make dinner in time. Is there anything better than a well-behaved young lady with a badass passion?
After all this, I just want to say, ‘Rock on, weird horse girls.’ Keep reading horse books every chance you get. Keep showing off those ribbons. Keep wearing your breeches to the supermarket. Keep sharing strange horse facts at the dinner table. And most of all, keep smiling when someone calls you a ‘weird horse girl.’