Equestrian Sport’s Unisex Approach Hides Inequity

Olympic equestrian events have been celebrate for their ability to allow men and women to compete against each other. Is this a win for gender equality or just a sign of the coming together of hooves and hands? Many Olympic sports are gender-segregate because of the assumption that men have an unfair advantage in physical strength. To able to ride a horse well, you need to have the ability to communicate with your horse and use precision, technique, precision, and fine communication.

One argument against sex discrimination is that it reinforces the notion that women and their sports are more important than men and women’s. However, integrating women in sports that were previously exclude from does not necessarily raise their status. For example, increased participation of women in Swedish equestrian sports has seen as a negative feminization of the sport rather than a symbol for gender equality.

Why Is Equestrian So Different?

The big picture of the equestrian sport & recreation sector shows a group of amateur women and a dearth of professional female riders. Women have dominant in Olympic dressage since the 1970s the equestrian dance, which was accept by women at the 1952 Olympics.

They have been underrepresented in Olympic showjumping (the high jump or equestrian hurdles), which was accepted in 1956 Olympics. Team selectors may favor male riders, which could explain the relatively low number of women competing at elite levels of equestrian sports. It is most likely a result of female riders quitting their riding careers to support their children and partners.

2011 was a busy year for me as I interviewed showjumpers on the European Veterans’ showjumping circuit, while they were competing in events in France. After having children, several women had stopped riding. Some women had stopped riding after becoming risk-averse, while others were too busy caring for their horses and raising families to continue competing.

This is not a unique equestrian sport. Equestrian’s gender integration is unique. Is it not time to look beyond the equine experience and consider how this might hinder equal participation by both men and women in all events and at all levels?

Keep It Apart

What if there were separate events in equestrian sports for male and female riders. The Olympic equestrian team would have equal numbers of male competitors and female competitors. In the case of countries that lack riders. There would be equal opportunities for both men and women to get into the Olympic program. Female show jumpers may be more willing to accept family responsibilities. In order to keep their equestrian involvement, if they see more opportunities for success.

Sponsors and selectors may give equal attention to men and women. So participation at elite levels in equestrian events might be less affected by gender bias. It may be possible to reimagine equestrian sport that were once considered masculine or feminine with more freedom.

There could be more opportunities for women and men to show their skills in all equestrian disciplines. From qualitatively-assessed events like dressage to quantitatively-assessed events like showjumping. This would allow them to challenge gender norms in society https://bidikbola.com/.

Male Equestrian Participation

For example, increased male participation in dressage could challenge notions about male ability to communicate and influence subtle forms. But also provide an opportunity for men to express their artistic side through sport. Furthermore, women could be more involved in professional showjumping and challenge the notion. That women are less likely to take on risks or capable of managing a business in a physically demanding industry. The rural leisure landscape of Britain is being challenged by a growing number of female riders.

All changes have unintended consequences. Many female athletes in sex-segregated sport, like golf and football, struggle to get the same recognition as their male counterparts. However, no sport is exactly comparable to another.

The inclusion of equestrian in Olympic programs is being recurrently reviewed because of the high cost of hosting these events. There may a financial return if events double with sex-segregate classes. And there is an increase in participants from both sexes across all disciplines. It is possible to transform equestrian culture as well as wider society.