Stories Photo essay
We're going country, for all the Horse Girls out there

From traditional English equestrian style to cowboy hats, low-rise jeans and chaps, Horse Girls are here to stay.

Gigi Hadid for Vogue CZ, 2019

By Tara Young

I went on my first horse riding lesson in a long time recently. I found myself looking for a hobby and longing for that type of 'sun on your face, wind on your back freedom' that comes with horse riding. I grew up on a horse so naturally I thought a hobby I was familiar with was a good place to begin.

Let me tell you, it was a workout. Impressed that I still knew what I was doing after 15 or so years but an hour-long lesson, in Margiela riding boots made for streets, not stables, had me walking like a Yellowstone cowboy for three days afterwards.

Once upon a time being called a “horse girl” might have been a derogatory term for girls, or anyone I suppose, with an obsession with horses and a distinctive look that set them apart from the rest; the waist-length hair or French plaits, jodhpurs and boots, very good posture, seemingly blissful in a world that collided somewhere between The Saddle Club, Spirit and My Little Pony.

IMO, the obsession is valid because taking care of a horse, shovelling shit and carting a horse float to pony club and competitions requires an above-average level of commitment from everyone involved, especially when the aforementioned horse girls become teenagers and taste freedom in a different light.

These days the girlies can’t get enough.

Quintessential cowgirl, Bella Hadid with pigtail braids and tasselled leather chaps.

With the rise of “trad wives”, cooking videos with soothing voiceovers, chickens and gardening, is this lust for a real Simple Life? Would you be the Y2K, Paris and Nicole version with a Dior Saddle Bag wearing boot-cut denim, chaps, and cowboy boots or the elegant more traditional horse-girl, like the royal family's Zara Tindall in matching tweed and a button up with knee-high boots?

From Kendall Jenner’s nudey Stella McCartney campaign, Bella Hadid’s rodeo getup with a cowboy hat and cute braids, Lana Del Rey’s 2024 country album tease and most recently Beyonce’s album, Country Carter, making room in the country music genre one leather tassel at a time. We have Bianca Jagger's iconic Studio 54 era, Miss Dolly Parton, and of course, the UK rural girls and likes of the British Royal family who elegantly clop around an equestrian arena winning medals and colourful rosettes.

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, The Simple Life.

Sleek and shiny or roll-in-the-hay texture, shop Horse Girl Hair:

In light of recent Horse Girl appreciation, Beyonce’s country album and memories of hair-pulling French braids as a child, we’re turning the spotlight to celebrity Horse Girl style and taking a trot down memory lane.

Whether it's a Bianca Jagger reference on top of a crystalized horse or country music iconography on the cover of her newest album, Beyonce is a high-key glam Horse Girl. Wearing Louis Vuitton for W Mag.

Bianca Jagger riding a horse at her 32nd birthday party at Studio 54, 1977.

Kendall Jenner for Stella McCartney, 2023

Charlotte Casiraghi in full equestrian garb riding a horse down the runway at Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2022 Haute Couture.

The original Horse Girl, Queen Elizabeth wearing a headscarf and matching yellow mustard button-up with camel blazer and jodhpurs.

Princess Anne by Norman Parkinson, 1969

Horse girl chic, Mary Kate Olsen in a classic white equestrian look.

Life-long horse girl, Jackie Kennedy with a voluminous blowout.

Dolly Parton is from Tennessee, of course she rides a horse and owns a ranch.

Top form Elizabeth Taylor, as she hops on 'King Charles' in 1947

Princess Diana looking very English Countryside in her black parka and helmet.

Edie Campbell; face of Hermès, Celine, Chanel and gold star Horse Girl.

With a voluminous low ponytail, Rosie Huntington Whitely is poised, prim and proper.

Martha Stewart swimming with horses. Is there anything she can't do?

Material Girl, Madonna

Photograph/ Irina Werning

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