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Holmberg, Tora
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Redmalm, D. & Holmberg, T. (2018). Stable Genius?: The making of “good riders” and “good horses” at the riding school. In: : . Paper presented at SANT/FAS 2018 Conference: Vulnerabilities, April 19–21, 2018, Uppsala, Sweden. Uppsala
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stable Genius?: The making of “good riders” and “good horses” at the riding school
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

How do riders valuate human and equine psyches and bodies?  The paper builds on a study in which riding groups are followed before, during and after riding lessons. The analysis shows that early career riders view horses partly as passive tools and partly as threatening adversaries. After a while, riding school pupils come to see horses’ vulnerable position—more experienced riders explain that they try to understand the horses’ perspective of the riding school, which includes long days, difficult pupils and sometimes violent treatment. While riders increasingly come to think of horses as persons, they begin thinking of themselves as human animals—as corporeal rather than cerebral beings. The riding school is thus a place where humans are becoming horse, and the horses emerge as human-like creatures. But while most riders contrast the liberating environment of the riding school to the alienating conditions of the work-week, some also recognize that the riding school requires that the horses are alienated from their own equine selves. Ultimately, “good horses” are the ones seen as willing to accept these conditions. “Good riders” learn to benefit from those same conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: , 2018
Keywords
Animal studies, centaurs, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, horses, human-animal studies, Karl Marx, riding schools
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-45408 (URN)
Conference
SANT/FAS 2018 Conference: Vulnerabilities, April 19–21, 2018, Uppsala, Sweden
Projects
Intimitetens sociala former
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2014-1465
Available from: 2019-10-04 Created: 2019-10-04 Last updated: 2019-11-19
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