More guys on horse

Getting more boys on horseback - how?

The amazingly simple answer to this seemingly difficult question is: let's not leave the boys all alone among girls.

According to Maria Schierhölter-Otte, boys prefer to be among themselves and are more willing to experiment. Normal riding lessons are too boring for them, she says. In Berlin-Brandenburg at least, however, there are not yet any boys-only groups. In other regions one already made good experiences with it. For example, on the Rherhof in the Lüneburg Heath near Amelinghausen. Boys would have at the latest after one year the nose full of riding, tells riding teacher Sabine Reifenrath. After some time they already come with a soccer, she knows. At the latest now it became clear to Reifenrath that boys need more action. She offered this to the boys: Instead of mucking out the so-called paddock, she allowed them to get wet with water, forget caps and crops. While more discipline is demanded of girls, boys should be spared this, because they would have little to do with department riding and seat corrections would overtax them. Sabine Reifenrath thinks it's funny when the horses run away with the boys, so to speak, and the boys are allowed to enjoy involuntary ground contact: An afternoon with girls is much more boring, she says, because it is more planned and concentrated. But the boys must first be made palatable with more freedom before they can be expected to do a concentration exercise with the horses, then they would also "stay on the ball," says Sabine Reifenrath.
Monika Tilger has had another experience with her boys-only riding group, which she has been running for some time at her riding facility in Stahnsdorf together with her husband. According to her, this is a pure nightmare, because she has never experienced anything more mulish and unambitious than these boys. But the picture changes abruptly when girls are also present. Monika Tilger knows that this spurs the boys on and they go along with it. She sees the problem that boys give up more quickly if they don't see immediate success. To motivate the boys, Tilger relies on playful elements in riding lessons. For example, she plays "musical chairs" on horseback or tries slalom riding as a team, which can be turned into a competition between boys and girls.
This is because a strong need for competition can be seen in boys, regardless of the sport. This view is also confirmed by sports scientist Nils Neuber. However, competitive equestrian sport is only enjoyable for boys to a limited extent. Especially in the beginner's competitions, they are exposed to competition from girls. These look prettier on horseback. Just think of the mane, which is elaborately braided into pigtails in a partner look with their own hair. Girls are also motorically superior to boys at certain ages. For the boys, this quickly becomes a frustrating experience. In the meantime, attempts are being made to evaluate boys separately, for example in lead rein classes and riding competitions. Maria Schierhölter-Otte thinks this makes sense and regrets that this practice is not yet more widespread. In her view, jumping competitions and skill competitions should also be advertised for boys alone.
The further approach in the promotion of the boys as a new generation in the equestrian sport are the instructors. As always in education, whether kindergarten, elementary school or even family, it is primarily the women who are responsible. In riding it is no different. Sports scientist Nils Neuber knows that boys do not have a positive male role model here, which they urgently need for orientation. He is referring to a development that is not only noticeable in equestrian sports and is increasingly becoming a problem. A dramatic surplus of women can be observed, especially in the area of instructors. The portion of the main occupation lies with well 70 per cent. In the amateur area even over 90 per cent women are represented. The logical consequence is that basically only girls and women are attracted to equestrian sports.
Then the vicious circle closes and the boys separate themselves because they would not see a place for themselves there.

Boys and horses - the first contact

It is actually not particularly difficult to make contact with the horses palatable to the boys, once they have made contact in the first place. But the first question is how to establish this contact in the first place. Neuber thinks the way via the schools is promising. Schools that offer riding as a subject can register greater interest among boys. Greater, at any rate, than that sparked when boys have to make their way to the stables on their own. In the meantime, there are more and more schools that offer equestrian sports as a subject. Uniquely in Deutschlang is still the subject riding as in Neustadt (Dosse) as Wahlpflichtfach. The boy portion lies also there only with ten per cent, but the tendency is. Seven years ago, when the project began, there was only one boy, but now there are five boys aged about 13 who, together with eight girls, have chosen the elective subject of riding. Riding instructor Hendrik Falk also points out the differences between girls and boys in terms of demands. Boys are more competitive, girls have more patience, diligence and are generally more frugal. In the lessons, they have to try to do justice to both, which is why the groups are separated from time to time. However, boys can also cuddle with a horse and be sensitive and warm-hearted if one
give them the time to develop a feeling for the horse.

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