Saturday, October 22, 2005

Of Horses and Boys

It's Saturday so I took the day off.

Didn't accomplish a darn thing, although I did go to see the movie "Dreamer" with a friend. If you're not familiar with it, the film is based on a true story about a filly that broke a leg, but went on to win the prestigious Breeders Cup race. Dakota Fanning stars as a little girl who loves the horse.

Made me think about little girls and horses. It's almost a rite of passage; pre-teen girls fall in love with horses right before they fall in love with boys.

I don't want to get all Freudian here but, by now, most people know that Freud considered guns and horses phallic symbols, especially when they appeared in dreams. In a recent article, Today's Parent says, "Sigmund Freud's theory was that girls' love of horses was related to sex." Gosh, ya think?

Trying for balance, Today's Parent also states that, "equestrian sports are one of the few areas where girls compete equally with boys."

I can remember filling my notebooks in seventh grade with sketches of horses. My junior high library had all the Walter Farley "Black Stallion" books, which I eagerly devoured. Two of my friends collected the Breyer horse models. I remember envying them; the expense of the models was beyond my family's reach.

The horse-crazy stage didn't last long, maybe a year or two. By eighth grade, we'd all outgrown it; our attention was firmly fixed on boys.

Most of the young people in the audience today were pre-teen or early teen girls. Tonight I heard that Kurt Russell bought Dakota Fanning a palomino at the close of the filming of "Dreamer." That's about right. She's eleven years old. I'd say nothing has changed.

Just musing . . .

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