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  • 1.
    Redmalm, David
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet, Sweden.
    Holmberg, Tora
    Uppsala universitet, Sweden.
    Stable Genius?: The making of “good riders” and “good horses” at the riding school2018Conference paper (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.

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