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This volume brings together studies from various disciplines of the social sciences and humanities ( anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, history and literary theory) that shed light on the equestrian world as a historically gendered and highly dynamic field of contemporary sport and culture. From high level international dressage and jumping, polo and the turf, to the rodeo world of the Americas and popular forms of equestrian sport and culture, we are introduced to a range of issues that are played out at local and global, national and international levels. Students and scholars of gender, culture and sport will find much of interest in this original look at contemporary issues such as “engendered” (women’s and men’s) identities/subjectivities as equestrians, representations of girls, horses and the world of adventure in juvenile fiction; the current “feminization” of particular equestrian activities (and where boys and men stand in relation to this); how broad forms of social inequality and stratification play themselves out within gendered equestrian contexts; men and women and their relation to horses within the framework of current discussions on the relation of animals to humans (which may include not only love and care, but also exploitation and violence), among others. Singular contributions show how equestrian activities contribute to historical and current constructions of embodied “femininities” and “masculinities”, reflecting a world that has been moving “beyond the binaries” while continuing to be enmeshed in their persistent and contradictory legacy.
'Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders on the Great American Desert' is a Western novel about a character named Grace Harlowe and her friends who went through adventures on horseback around North America, upon their return from Europe. At the beginning of the novel, she encountered a horse, who did not move a muscle for a few seconds, and then, with a sudden turn of the head, made a grab for his rider's leg. Grace, never having taken her eyes from the laid-back ears, gave a quick kick with her left foot, catching the pony fairly on the nose. As he hastily withdrew his head, she took advantage of the opportunity to tighten up on the reins, which brought the animal's head well up. All these preparatory activities were observed with intense interest by cowboys and Overlanders.
The Overlanders observed that their guides now wore heavy revolvers and that the saddle boot of each held a rifle, which aroused apprehension in the minds of at least two of the girls. Jim-Sam, however, assured them that the Coso Valley and the mountain ranges on either side of it were as peaceful as "Sunday meetin'," and, further, that "nothin'" ever happened there. Something did threaten to happen, though, when it came to lashing the packs to the mules, and Jim-Sam instantly became involved in a violent argument as to how the packs should be "thrown," the two men in their anger shaking belligerent fists under each other's nose until they nearly came to blows.