If you are a regular reader of this blog or (even better) a regular reader of Mari Manning, you know that I am working on a series of romantic suspense novels that take place in Texas. The book I am working on now — currently entitled Stranger in My House — includes some horseback riding.
Although I have only riden a few times in my life, I have always thought of it as romantic and the girls who do it as pretty darn cool. Also, it seemed like the sort of activity that would impress the boys. But as I look back on my own youth and brief experience with horseback riding, I realize that the boys weren’t interested in horses. They liked cars and sports and swearing and fist-fights. He-man stuff.
So why do girls like horses so much?
From Horse Talk comes a great theory: Guys and girls react differently to this very large, powerful animal. At some level men want to tame or control powerful things so a horse is intimidating to them. Women have “less of a competition instinct and more of a nurturing/protection instinct.” I think they are also more comfortable with creatures who are bigger and stronger than they are.
This explanation seems logical to me, although I suspect some people will find this explanation offensive. It is the sort of information I look for as I plan out my books so I can better get inside my characters’ heads. The heroine of Stranger in My House loves riding horses and is actually part Cherokee. Her half-sister doesn’t like horses, which is a clue to her character.