International Women’s Day: Strong Women Aren’t Born, They’re Made

Every year, March 8 is designated as a day to recognize the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. So we’re taking a moment to spotlight female equestrians at all levels and niches of our industry.

Strong women aren’t born, they’re made. That’s why this International Women’s Day, we want to take some time to recognize some of the strong women who’ve helped to shape the equestrian industry. These are the women whose hard work and determination have helped to fuel them and inspire others. 

This montage, released today by the FEI, spotlights female equestrians in all disciplines — the headliners, the medal winners, the record-setters, odds-defiers and champions showing the world that on the back of a horse, truly anything is possible.

Did you recognize and of your favorite riders in the montage? We’re proud as equestrians that men and women compete equally across the board in our sport, regardless of discipline — the only Olympic-level sport to boast such a statistic.

But there’s a lot more to the equestrian industry than just these top riders in the world — and while we’re not seeking to take anything away from them (like, let’s be real, I’m never going to rein like Mandy McCutcheon, jump like Beezie Madden or shoot like Kenda Lenseigne —  more power to you ladies!), we feel that it’s time to celebrate ALL women in the horse world.

So take a moment and think about the women working at all levels of the equestrian industry: the instructors; the coaches; breeders; trainers; grooms; exercise riders.

The list goes on: veterinarians; farriers; chiropractors; saddlers; equine shippers.

We should also remember the designers who styled this year’s hunt coat or horsemanship top; the small business owner who designs and sells her own custom fly bonnets or grooming tools; the equine authors who inspire us; the equine artists who recreate our beloved horse in film, painting or sculpture.

The horse industry is far larger than it might appear when you’re watching a flawless dressage test or clear round over cross-country. I’m lucky enough as managing editor of Horse Nation to work with some of the funniest, most creative and dedicated female equestrians I’ve ever met, and while our corner of the horse world might not be the cornerstone of equestrian sport, we’re so happy to count ourselves as part of this industry.

On this International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate all women in the equestrian world, at all levels of the sport, working in the spotlight or behind the scenes.

Here’s to the strong women who chased their goals, paved our history and will change the future.

Go riding!