Riding horses, friendship, and chivalry…a sexy modern-day warrior code for a happy “beta”

And by “beta” I mean quiet strength, being grounded, knowing myself, and always treating women with respect

One of the amusing stereotypes of little girls is how much they love ponies and horses.  As a child, I observed this real-time in the classroom, and have also seen it played out amongst extended families—the favourite toy is very often a horse.  Especially a horse with doe eyes and a long, brush-able mane and tail.

My mind takes me back to 4th grade when the prettiest girl in my home room class by far brought her toy pony to class for a show and tell.  I remember some of the boys making fun of her, and me defending her to them in front of her, meant a friendship last for our time in school together.  But I loved horses too.

I wonder what it is that makes a horse so lovable to a young girl.  If you know, please drop me a line.  Is it their beauty and majesty as animals?  Is it their noble strength?  Is it their loyalty?  Is it their skittishness, or sensitivity to the mind and body of their rider?  Is it the feeling of their muscular power underneath you, obedient to your guidance, as long as you are a good and patient Mistress?  Or their smell, or how soft they are to the touch, or how they love being petted, or how they call out to you when they see you coming?

It may be all of these things.  It is for me.  I have loved riding horses since I was a child.  Confession.  To hang around with a bunch of very attractive girls, wearing the same clothes as them, being sweaty with them, smelly with them, mucking out stalls with them, knowing that I was surrounded by beauty, and being able to show affection to these majestic animals with them was one of the greatest pleasures of growing up.  So many crushes, and the closest I have ever felt to being “one of the girls”.

Indeed, wearing those wonderful long leather boots and a pair of skin-tight riding breeches, and just a plain white t-shirt is my idea of hot—for myself and for a woman.  It just is so gorgeous.

Not surprisingly, I was an avid horse-rider growing up.  I went to riding camp and spent entire summers on horseback.  I went on amazing trail rides through the mountains of the American West.  But with all that time in the saddle, I never really became a “formal” rider.  I never wanted to learn dressage (beautiful but also felt mean to the horse), jumping (too formal and too serious about lessons), or other competitive aspects…instead I just wanted to ride.  So, while I am not formally “good” I remain deeply comfortable in the saddle, feeling my way, trusting my instinct.

My recent rediscovery of chivalry and chivalric love has reminded me of my lifelong passion for riding.  The importance of horsemanship in the feudal days was paramount.  A knight’s measure was often his prowess on horseback, and this was measured on the battlefield, but also in jousting tournaments and other competitions. Receiving “favours” from the presiding lady, perhaps a bow or ribbon tied around an arm, were symbols of service.  They were also a public recognition of submission and chaste love.

While getting my MBA, the desire to ride came back to me at the same time as a chaste love for the most beautiful woman in the program.  She was engaged to be married, and so was “safe” but her beauty spoke to me–as it spoke to every male in the program.  She latched onto me almost immediately, as other women have, because she also knew I was “safe”.  I don’t know what I do to give off this vibe, but many women pick up on it, and as a result, I have been able to have some very cherished and close friendships with women that I think I would never been able to have otherwise.

I had a massive crush on this woman, but I would never have so much as reached out to touch her as it would betray a self-created role of being her companion, her chevalier, her protector, and her servant.  None of that has really changed over many years.  Based on her choice of men, I know I was not her type, and she is one of the three people in the world that knows me as non-binary, as trans, and as a “little”.  

She and I went horse riding together after school several times a week. I was her “escort” at parties, her dance partner, and while everyone assumed we were “together” the truth was that I helped make it possible for her to live normally without being hit on by everyone.  We talked about that a lot–what it is like to be a beautiful woman, only seen for the surface, and not your insides.  And we became very close.

We moved in together after the program was over…and shared one bed—just never on the same nights.  I travelled a lot for work in those days, still do, and so did she, and for over a year, we managed to have the same apartment almost without seeing one another.  As you can imagine, sleeping in a bed that someone else has left, tunes you to them in many ways, not least through smell.

She and I have stayed close over the years, through children, her broken relationships, and now that one of her children is showing signs of being rather like me in certain ways, as a person who can help her understand what “he” may be going through.

And this in part is what troubles me about the “alpha male” or “beta male” narrative.  She loves “alphas”, physically and emotionally, and chooses men who dominate her.  But she is herself totally dominant and succeeds every time in dismantling the man she is with.  She and I got to spend some time together recently and over late nights and chats in the forest next to a roaring fire, explored what was going on.  She wondered why we had never gotten together, and I said that being her friend was a far greater privilege…

Horses, chivalry, chaste love, service.  Know yourself.  Know how to love and revel in it.  And make giving the means through which you attain fulfilment.  Oh, and be sexy.  That’s my formula for life.  What’s yours?

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