Equestrian sports and gender: A qualitative study of an equine comic book for horse girls

In Swedish

Janette Skogshus
Department of History, Lund University

The purpose of this paper is to provide equine research with a further perspective on what is the norm for girls and boys in equestrian sports. It investigates what is conveyed to riding and horse-interested children and youth through what they read. This places the essay, apart from contemporary history, into two other important contexts: media, and equestrian sports. Inspired by Anja Hirdman, the author wants to see the essay not least as a contribution to feminist media research. Media affects people with great impact. There has been a lot of research on books on horses and equestrian sports, and therefore another source material that has not been investigated previously has been selected: comic books, mainly for young girls, about horse care and grooming, stable maintenance, and riding.

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JANETTE SKOGSHUS was a typical Swedish “horse girl”. Later, when she as a 40-year-old university student in history wrote her Bachelor’s essay, the choice of subject was obvious. Janette had been involved in adult education for most of her professional career and had had the privilege of focusing on gender issues. Having graduated, Janette is currently working as a specialist in community issues. She lives with her husband and their son, who has abandoned horse riding in favor of ice hockey. There is no time for a horse of her own right now, but the dream is alive, and the fight for gender equality is ever present!

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