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Responsible Doubt and Embodied Conviction

The Infrastructure of British Equestrian Horse/Human ‘Partnership’

Rosie Jones McVey

Horse care practices and equestrian pedagogy are being reconfigured within a contemporary ‘revolution’ in British horsemanship. This is both instigated by, and instigates, horse owners’ attitudes of responsible doubt and self-critique. At the same time, embodied conviction is honed, because the rider’s mindful body is foregrounded as an integral part of the communication channel between horse and human. In this article, responsible doubt and embodied conviction are shown to emerge from, and contribute to, different ways in which horse riders can cut the network in their endeavours to achieve ‘true partnership’ with their horses.

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Vixens of Venery

Women, Sport, and Fox-Hunting in Britain, 1860–1914

Erica Munkwitz

In the years between 1860 and 1914, more women than ever pursued equestrian activities throughout Britain. A study of riding manuals for ladies shows why these pursuits became so popular and how female equestrians used sports such as fox-hunting to revise, but not reject, traditional gender roles. Well before the First World War, many British women practised and encouraged the masculine style of riding astride rather than the traditional feminine style of riding sidesaddle. As women riders worked to make this style both acceptable and respectable, they helped to redefine social roles and ideas about proper feminine behaviour which directly or indirectly contributed to the women's rights movement. In these ways, British women were able to use their participation in equestrian activities to advance strong, independent identities for themselves while also helping to create and reinforce a specifically British national identity through horse sports.