What is a Horse Girl? Polygon’s definitive collection of horse books, horse movies, horse TV shows, and horse toys will answer the question.
Now you can probably recognize one: Her equestrian posters, her unicorn folders, and her dog-eared copy of Black Beauty or Saddle Club or maybe The Black Stallion. Defying the somewhat reductive, if serviceable, label, Horse Girls come in all genders. What bonds these kids is a longing for the Romantic Ideal of the equine. This Platonic horse represents a refusal to be tamed, an inherent beauty, and a superhuman strength; and anyone who proves themselves worthy of a horse’s trust takes on those traits by proxy.
“Horse Girl” can be used dismissively by folks outside the subculture — it’s certainly been memeified. But we know the truth is more complicated. There are all kinds of kids who long to be best friends with a one-ton animal with metal feet. The irony of it all is that horse-loving kids are more united by stories about horses than actual horses. But which stories?
The Horse Girl Canon explores the media that make up the foundation of so-called Horse Girl life. Join us as we look back at the essentials, from Black Beauty to My Little Pony to Lord of the Rings, and spotlight a facet of culture that’s gone overlooked and underappreciated for decades.