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Boyd Martin - Major League Eventing Podcast

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Benchmark View Post
    I've said this before here, but you also have to consider what it takes to be a young man coming up in this sport before you go saying that men have some advantage. I could not tell you how many times I've had this conversation:

    "Oh, you're really tall and athletic! Do you play basketball??"

    "No, actually I ride horses!"

    "Oh, hmmmm..."

    It is by no means easy or welcoming to be a young male rider in America. Every single marketing campaign is targeted towards "a young girl's love of horses" and we have about 5% of the apparel market, all of which is marked up. And how many times have you heard big name trainers say "we have great girls at the barn that help us out."

    If you don't come from a horsey family, men and boys are fighting an uphill battle with feeling accepted in this sport. Period.

    It is not some cakewalk for men, contrary to what many people seem to think...
    My husband started riding two years ago. He is tall, athletic (a former international volleyball player, triathlete, runner, etc etc). Other then not being able to find mens riding clothes his entry into riding and eventing has been seamless.

    He is good looking, he stands out in a crowd, especially in the equestrian world. When we showed in the jumpers, he was so welcomed, and our coaches adored him, I basically figured I was going to become his groom. As an athletic man, he caught attention and got extras everywhere we went.

    Since we moved, and entered into the eventing world, it's even more pronounced. He has had invitations by people who haven't even seen him ride, to come train with them. Some of the top riders and coaches around, have extended invitations. Its opened doors for me too, but I am "his wife" not a rider in my own right most of the time. I am just another woman in the sport. He is a NEW Male rider who looks like he is going to be talented and athletic. He has been asked to participate and be part of some pretty high profile things too. As a BN who literally only started showing a year ago, really lessoning and trg in September, and only just completed his first 2 HT.

    Yes, I do think there are areas of struggle, especially for young men. But the ones who stick with it, sometimes will get a better go, purely because they stand out in a crowd and get noticed.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Benchmark View Post

      A girls ride horses, not boys.
      That's not where the pain in the stereotype is. The stereotype is girls ride horses, men train them.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by AMWookey View Post

        My husband started riding two years ago. He is tall, athletic (a former international volleyball player, triathlete, runner, etc etc). Other then not being able to find mens riding clothes his entry into riding and eventing has been seamless.

        He is good looking, he stands out in a crowd, especially in the equestrian world. When we showed in the jumpers, he was so welcomed, and our coaches adored him, I basically figured I was going to become his groom. As an athletic man, he caught attention and got extras everywhere we went.

        Since we moved, and entered into the eventing world, it's even more pronounced. He has had invitations by people who haven't even seen him ride, to come train with them. Some of the top riders and coaches around, have extended invitations. Its opened doors for me too, but I am "his wife" not a rider in my own right most of the time. I am just another woman in the sport. He is a NEW Male rider who looks like he is going to be talented and athletic. He has been asked to participate and be part of some pretty high profile things too. As a BN who literally only started showing a year ago, really lessoning and trg in September, and only just completed his first 2 HT.

        Yes, I do think there are areas of struggle, especially for young men. But the ones who stick with it, sometimes will get a better go, purely because they stand out in a crowd and get noticed.
        To play devils advocate, though ... How much of this is due to the fact that he’s male, versus the fact that he’s already very athletic, seems to have a natural aptitude for riding, is likely pretty fearless given his prior experience in competitive sports, and seems to be pretty dedicated to learning?

        Many adult amateurs - especially beginners - are fearful, or out of shape, or inconsistent with their practice due to other ‘adulting’ responsibilities ... so in that way, he’s already far from a ‘typical’ amateur who’s new to the sport, whether he’s a man or not.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post

          To play devils advocate, though ... How much of this is due to the fact that he’s male, versus the fact that he’s already very athletic, seems to have a natural aptitude for riding, is likely pretty fearless given his prior experience in competitive sports, and seems to be pretty dedicated to learning?

          Many adult amateurs - especially beginners - are fearful, or out of shape, or inconsistent with their practice due to other ‘adulting’ responsibilities ... so in that way, he’s already far from a ‘typical’ amateur who’s new to the sport, whether he’s a man or not.
          A ton of his opportunities have come from people who have literally never seen him ride. He volunteered a bunch, and was obviously all the things you said, however- so am I, and the opportunities came to him and not me.

          All of the above are very true, and the reason why I am not bitter about it, because he does truly work hard. At the end of the day though, he got most of these opportunities before anyone saw him go.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post

            To play devils advocate, though ... How much of this is due to the fact that he’s male, versus the fact that he’s already very athletic, seems to have a natural aptitude for riding, is likely pretty fearless given his prior experience in competitive sports, and seems to be pretty dedicated to learning?

            Many adult amateurs - especially beginners - are fearful, or out of shape, or inconsistent with their practice due to other ‘adulting’ responsibilities ... so in that way, he’s already far from a ‘typical’ amateur who’s new to the sport, whether he’s a man or not.
            He is also a cool enough human being to feel sheepish about it, because he believes its partially based on his gender as well. Part of it is based on the fact that in 6 mths, he volunteered over 150hrs with eventing, which is why I fully encourage him to take advantage of every opportunity. I just appreciate that he recognizes a gender bias. He recognizes it in our careers as well.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Impractical Horsewoman View Post
              Jealoushe Above all else, that was what struck me about Boyd's personality--the mad faith that he has absolute control over what happens to him. I've known professional athletes in many disciplines, and I have to say that's one of the connecting personality traits I've seen in all of them, male and female.

              Now, I personally think that many environmental and social factors do affect one's success in life. BUT (if this makes sense), even if it's not really, factually accurate, I think that attitude is very helpful for success in athletic endeavors. To go in, assuming that success is likely, no matter what.

              It was very interesting in terms of sports psychology.

              The negative flip side to that attitude, though, is that it can sometimes leave certain issues that do need to be addressed once the competition is over--like sexism, economics, safety--overlooked.

              THIS!!

              He puts bad events or losses behind him quickly. He does not dwell. He moves forward. He accepts and believes in sucking it up and going forward. He believes in gratitude and rode the crap horses on the way to the better horses.

              soooooo many boys and girls quit. They see it's hard and they quit. I can't answer why women aren't at the highest levels in greater numbers. I'm guessing many bail on it given that there aren't that many role models. Some yes, but not the the field the boys can seek out for mentoring, working student slots, or just emulation.

              Comment


              • #67
                TMares Dwelling on what I can't control (and still lugging around emotional &#&^^! from my past) has always been my worst psychological trait, both as a rider and as a human being, so I definitely need to channel a little bit more of Boyd Martin's attitude in that regard!
                Check out my latest novel, Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements!

                Comment


                • #68
                  There's freedom in "well **** , next". You have to kick on and learn along the way. Navel gazing cuts your wind off. Chin up!

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Larksmom View Post
                    How many top wins are women and how many wins from men? Besides the one thing that might hold some younger women back is the possibility of childbirth. If you DO make it to the top, just as Roz Canter, this is gonna put a wrench in her career. There are just no two ways about it. The Brits did put up an all women's team at the WEG, and they won it all.
                    Poor Tom McEwen

                    With regard to Ros Canter, I can't understand why their hasn't been more of a campaign for women to hold their world ranking points while on maternity leave in eventing. They changed it in showjumping a few years ago.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      AMWookey you’re not imagining it; it is real. I have lived a version of it as well.

                      I saw the same when my ex started riding. Tall, good looking and charming. Top level coaches would come volunteer to help him warm up at events. Sit with him to explain things and follow him out grazing to talk through strategy.

                      It wasn’t because he was athletically more talented or gifted than me. I competed still and compete at a much higher level. I’ve always been athletically gifted in all sports - but in eventing I was just one of a mass of women bidding my time. He was the special annointed one who needed to be coddled, encouraged and ushered to the top.

                      I say this with no malice. I don’t care - there is a reason he is an ex and my life better for it. But to see everyone bending over backwards for an uncoordinated newbie was eye opening. I can see why boys, if they can get over the awkward start of being a boy in a female heavy sport, enjoy the quick ride to special status. To be honest, I’d probably enjoy it too if all the attention was lauded on me.

                      PS I met Roz last year. She is tiny !!! Probably about 5 feet tall? I’m 5’4” and felt like a giant. Though apparently she played hockey at uni so clearly her height has been irrelevant! What a talented, gracious and wonderful person. Really enjoyed seeing her success.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by AMWookey View Post

                        My husband started riding two years ago. He is tall, athletic (a former international volleyball player, triathlete, runner, etc etc). Other then not being able to find mens riding clothes his entry into riding and eventing has been seamless.

                        He is good looking, he stands out in a crowd, especially in the equestrian world. When we showed in the jumpers, he was so welcomed, and our coaches adored him, I basically figured I was going to become his groom. As an athletic man, he caught attention and got extras everywhere we went.

                        Since we moved, and entered into the eventing world, it's even more pronounced. He has had invitations by people who haven't even seen him ride, to come train with them. Some of the top riders and coaches around, have extended invitations. Its opened doors for me too, but I am "his wife" not a rider in my own right most of the time. I am just another woman in the sport. He is a NEW Male rider who looks like he is going to be talented and athletic. He has been asked to participate and be part of some pretty high profile things too. As a BN who literally only started showing a year ago, really lessoning and trg in September, and only just completed his first 2 HT.

                        Yes, I do think there are areas of struggle, especially for young men. But the ones who stick with it, sometimes will get a better go, purely because they stand out in a crowd and get noticed.
                        I agree with you on this. I was primarily referring to the stigma outside of the horse world that tends to have the biggest effect when you're young. Did your husband ride growing up or is this something he's gotten into because he knows it's something you love? Have you ever asked him if he considered riding as a kid?

                        It's not my intention to ruffle any feathers, just trying to provide a different perspective. This is a tough sport for anyone, regardless of if your male/female. tall/short, attractive/plain, white/black, etc and we all have our unique experiences that we probably see in tunnel vision.

                        In my opinion, you still have to start with horses at a young age to have any hope of making it to the top and I think working to bring more boys into the sport and helping them feel accepted is needed.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          I just finished this episode while mucking out and cleaning the tack room. The comments about women are I think maybe a little unfair. It seemed to me that Boyd thinks women are not at a disadvantage simply by being women, but that the decision to have kids has a huge effect, for him and even more so for Silva. He clearly acknowledged that. The discussion of how much having children impacts your life came at even a different part of the podcast than the discussion of men v. women in the sport.

                          I think he has a valid point there. Many studies show that most of the disadvantages women face in the workplace hinge on whether or not they have children, which disparately impacts women over men. Childless women do not go "off track" in their careers, statistically. Men actually benefit from having kids. But mothers get the short end of the stick.

                          I have been around a lot of pros and when asked what how to become successful in the horse world, more than a few are blunt enough to say what we all know -- work hard, watch, always be learning and DON'T HAVE KIDS.

                          I speak as a parent of two whose career and horse success has been completely derailed. I knew it would happen and it's OK. It was a choice I made, and I'd seen it happen to so many others so at least I knew what to expect. It's fine to be realistic because I cannot imagine how distressing it would be to go into it thinking nothing would change. You really cannot have it all.

                          The interviewers did a great job and I look forward to more podcasts. I loved hearing about Boyd's compulsive work ethic. That should be the takeaway -- that is what it takes to be successful. In anything but especially in horse sport.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Benchmark View Post

                            I agree with you on this. I was primarily referring to the stigma outside of the horse world that tends to have the biggest effect when you're young. Did your husband ride growing up or is this something he's gotten into because he knows it's something you love? Have you ever asked him if he considered riding as a kid?

                            It's not my intention to ruffle any feathers, just trying to provide a different perspective. This is a tough sport for anyone, regardless of if your male/female. tall/short, attractive/plain, white/black, etc and we all have our unique experiences that we probably see in tunnel vision.

                            In my opinion, you still have to start with horses at a young age to have any hope of making it to the top and I think working to bring more boys into the sport and helping them feel accepted is needed.
                            Never even knew horses existed as a kid lol. When we met he didnt think it was important to meet my horse, and we almost broke up over it. It wasnt until he watched the pan am games, realised it was a real sport, that he got into it. My old mare, a 30 yr old clyde cross, made him fall in love with horses. Now he is one of the most passionate horsemen I know.

                            I was in pony club with guys, and unfortunately they are no longer riding. Maybe you are right, and guys need to give other young guys more attention to keep them into the sport. I am happy that my husband is being mentored by some of the best in the business, it's far more fun to share a passion.

                            I met a couple Male eventers who started in their 40's and are competing in FEI (David Vos). My husband has lofty goals as well. I think there is a better chance of athletic people in general to pick it up later in life, and do well.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              This has been an interesting read and I learned about a new pod cast.

                              There absolutely is a stigma attached to male English riders. Even from within the horse community. I witnessed a lot of it at college. For men, especially straight men, it’s not until they hit the UL that it stops. Women face gender bias, men face questions and ridicule about their sexuality.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Benchmark View Post
                                In my opinion, you still have to start with horses at a young age to have any hope of making it to the top
                                This is, of course, an exception, but Jock Paget started riding at 18, starting jumping at 20, and rode on his first team (Kentucky WEG, where he finished 7th individually) at 27.

                                https://www.reuters.com/article/us-o...-idUSKCN1012OC

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by kt View Post
                                  I love the MLE podcast so much that I will only listen to it on my housecleaning day so that I actually look forward to cleaning the house!
                                  Brilliant!
                                  "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

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