Women, Horses and Photographs

June 8, 2013 – Jerry Finch

Unknown-3It goes without saying that I could post any one of the 200 articles about the NAS study, or dozens of other stories about Leachman in Montana, horse killings in Florida, horses killed in accidents or penitentiary time for shirt-less Montana horse killers. I could, but it’s Saturday, thus it’s time to turn down the heat and let those things simmer for awhile.

I hope all of you voted in the ongoing HfH photo contest (the link is up there on the right of this page). While we’ve had a lot of votes, I’m seeing something that I didn’t expect to see. The voting so far isn’t necessarily based on the quality of the photos, but on the social media connections of the 12 entries. Of course, “Get all your friends to vote for me!” is one way of winning, but it throws out those who are not strong on social media skills but who have an excellent photo entry.

So I am asking the rest of you to do the 12 entries a favor – tell all your friends about the contest and ask them to vote for the one they think is best. Doesn’t matter who took the picture or what rescue it came from – just vote for the photo that best exemplifies the relationship of the horse with the human.

images-8A lot of those pictures are of women or little girls and their horse. There are a couple of guys in there, too, but the vast majority of entries are ladies. I believe most horse rescue organization would agree that at least 80% of the members, volunteers and donors are women, with very few men truly involved. At our ranch we seldom see a guy volunteering by himself. Usually they are the spouse of another volunteer and were talked into doing “quality time together.”

There are plenty of theories about the disproportionate involvement of women vs. men, but since this is Saturday, I’ll save that for another time. What I would like you to do is read another article, “When ‘Horse Girls’ Become ‘Horse Women,’” by Alexis Swerdioff. Posted in the NY Magazine “Cut.” It provides some entertaining and thoughtful insight regarding the transition from little girls who are enthralled with horses into mature women who find a very special relationship in their horse mate.

To give you an example: Nir recalls a blind date she went on with a guy who was named after a horse, and, shockingly, liked horses just as much as she did. “I thought, wow, it’s the closet thing to dating a horse as it gets. This is great,” until something just felt off. “I love talking about horses with my girlfriends, but talking about horses with him felt like talking about getting my nails done.”

Being a guy, I’m not quite sure I understand or agree. Perhaps there is a giant chasm, but men get into some pretty deep conversations about their relationship with the horses in their life. We get emotional, too, and that’s perfectly okay. We might not wear horseshoe earrings, but it isn’t about what we wear anyway. It’s about what is in our hearts.

On the other hand, “Vive la différence!” Just my opinion, but there are few things more beautiful than a woman that is truly in  tune with her horse.

What are your thoughts?


Habitat for Horses is a 501.c.3 nonprofit equine protection organization supported solely by donations. As of this morning, we have 162 donkeys and horses under our care, plus one mule. Most of them are here because law enforcement removed them from their previous owner. Our ability to rehabilitate and rehome them comes from the financial support of people like you. Please support us by making a donation for the horses we all serve. Click HERE to donate


  • Janet Garcia - Gramas Cottage

    I did notice there were only a few photos of men with their rescue horses. Maybe there will be more next time. Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy rescue lives to hold this contest for every one to enjoy! Looking forward to the winner announcement! Have a wonderful weekend!

    June 8, 2013
  • MorganG

    Disappointed to hear that people campaigned for their photo to win. Was hoping that each vote would be for that photo that somehow touched your heart.

    June 8, 2013
  • Debbie Tracy

    Jerry, Want to thank you again for all you do for the horses and for all of us keeping us informed…..

    One of my horses yesterday was up at our barn for supper and all of a sudden he turned his Big rearend around towards me and I looked and he had a huge horse fly up on his back so of course he was telling me to kill it, now that is just one small thing to show us how intelligent horses are, so then afterwards I thought about all the horses being slaughtered and it just rips my heart out… I so hope this is the time to stop all of this horse slaughter once and for all….. Didn’t mean to go on, but THANKS AGAIN for all your help and kind words and knowledge …. 🙂

    June 8, 2013
  • sherriey

    yes….there is something divine between a girl/woman and a horse. indescribable, but there in the female heart of hearts. a place where we can be who we really are and share our love openly with another being unafraid of it being used against us someday. a secret place…where we can go and be in peace from all the hell in the world….a place only our best friend is allowed…and he has a soft nicker and smells delicious.
    our secret safe place.

    have a great weekend and hug your horses.

    June 8, 2013