... It's Riding Rainbow!
Welcome to the blog! I've been meaning to do this for awhile. Here's the deal:
1. I love horses.
2. I love BOOKS.
4. I'm openly gay!
Those things don't always seem to go together! There are a whole lot of really awesome blogs out there by other adult amateur riders, and I spend way more time reading them than my dissertation adviser would probably be comfortable with. I love these blogs because the writers are smart, interesting people with cool horses and good ideas. The one thing I haven't found (and the Google searches are... awkward) are blogs written by other LGBTQ people who ride. I know you're out there! Find me!
So this blog will kind of go two directions at once: chronicles of my equine life, and a place to think and talk about the too often invisible issues of gender and sexuality in the horse world. My academic life and my equestrian life aren't totally aligned, but I think there's more overlap than is apparent at first glance. So if you're like, "I like horses and reading about them but I don't know about all that gay stuff," please stick around - I bet you'll find it interesting. This is not just a blog for other LGBTQ riders. It's for everyone - even non-horse people who geek out on queer theory (but be warned, a lot of these posts will be me squeeing about my horse!).
I'm a genderqueer lady in my early 30s, living in Florida and going to grad school. Genderqueer, in my case, means that I don't comfortably fit into most peoples' idea of what a "woman" should be or look like: I wear boy clothes, I have short hair, I date girls, etc. I'm working on my PhD in the history of education, and my dissertation is about the emergence of LGBTQ student visibility in Florida higher education in the 1970s-1980s. I think A LOT about gender, and about gender in equine spaces.
I've also been riding for my entire life. I'm really lucky because my mom rides, too, so I grew up with it. When I was a kid I did events and horse trials. I switched over to the hunter/jumper world eventually (my horse hated dressage but he'd jump anything, so off to the jumper ring we went). It was a marvelous experience. Before I came to grad school, I managed a lovely h/j barn for a woman who is basically my second mother. Unfortunately, both she and my actual mom are in Virginia, and I'm in Florida, but I'm hoping that at some point I'll be able to ride with them again.
When I went to grad school in 2006, I needed a break from horses. My beloved horse, Faust, died tragically when I loaned him to a Pony Club kid. I was, and am, traumatized about that. I needed to focus on my studies, so I planned to take two years off. That turned into five, but thank goodness, I wound up riding again last summer. A chance conversation led to a friend of mine telling me that his girlfriend rides and we'd get along. The next thing I knew, I was at a dressage barn riding two horses regularly. I felt like I'd come home again. No more breaks from riding. I need this.
Next time, I'll fill you in on the equines in my life! Thanks for reading!