In the UK, Being a Horse Girl Isn't an Energy – It's a Way of Life

Everyone Knows a Horse Girl.

by Lauren O'Neill
01 August 2018, 8:45am

Photo: Pixabay

The sun rises and sets, the tide rolls in, out, in, out, ceaselessly. Children are born, people die; the world marches on. And as day turns to night, and then back to day again, another life cycle just as crucial to the structure of our existence spins around and around. Memes. I'm talking about memes.

Twitter thinks of a new meme every ten minutes and you only ever remember a handful, this we all know. But for its latest trick, the Twitter hive-mind has simply given a name to something you have been aware of since you were very small – probably in primary school, aged six or so, when you found yourself scowling at a girl called Emily waving a rosette about at the front of the class, for reasons you felt very strongly about but were too young to properly articulate. That name is "Horse Girl Energy".

Though the exact seed is hard to pinpoint, Horse Girl Energy has been posited by US tweeters as a sort of gentle companion to Big Dick Energy, the concept first proposed by Twitter user Kyrell Grant (@imbobswaget) in relation to the late Anthony Bourdain (Bourdain, along with Christine Baranski and Rihanna, remains its best and most comprehensive example). In their view, Horse Girl Energy is wearing transitional lenses, watching Glee and basically sincerely doing or enjoying stuff that most people think is corny or uncool (by this definition, you might say that dads have quite a lot of Horse Girl Energy).

However, *courtroom voice* I would like to argue that here in the UK, Horse Girl Energy means something different.

A Horse Girl. Photo: Pixabay

The differences between the UK and US iterations might be to do with the fact that horses as a class signifier mean something different in Britain than they might in the US. Here, historically, they’re the preserve of the at-least-comfortably-well-off (see: polo; Ascot) and of those who have access to the countryside. The former, at least, is probably a bit less true of the US. For this reason, British Horse Girls feel less like they possess a specific energy, per sé (unless Telling The Teacher is a specific energy) – it's more that they share a general, overarching mode of existence.

You have known UK Horse Girls (UKHGs) all your life: in primary school, while everyone else rocked up to the first day of term with new fluffy pencil cases and metallic gel pens (the latter would be banned in October, following what a letter home termed "a swallowing incident") from Woolworth's, the class Horse Girl had All Pony Everything, horses all over the gaff from backpack to lunchbox. By secondary school, the Horse Girl was showing you photos of her literal own horse (always, always, always called "Charlie", and referred to so often that some people thought he was a boy she was going out with until corrected) on the computer in ICT while you were trying to get onto MySpace via a proxy. In uni, she had a blond boyfriend from somewhere like Herefordshire, to whose very flesh a Jack Wills gilet was fused, and once after two (2) wines, she actually said that she thought her horse was more important than some people (though she says she's "not political", the Horse Girl is always, inevitably, quite Tory). She has had perfect teeth for her entire life.

Her current Facebook profile photo is, of course, her posing with her horse. Perhaps she is brushing it. More likely she is hugging it. In another life, Georgia off Love Island was a Horse Girl. Somehow, it seems lazy to say that the Horse Girl loves Taylor Swift, but she really does love Taylor Swift. She is scared of every insect; she likes wearing a blazer and jeans with knee-high boots over the jeans. And she will, of course, evolve: the Horse Girl cannot remain as such forever. One day, she will reach her final form, which is Berghaus and Waitrose Mum (joined in holy matrimony with Ale and Shorts In Winter Dad), and perhaps she herself will birth a Horse Girl or two.

Another Horse Girl. Photo: Pixabay

Horse Girls in and of themselves are mostly pretty nice (other than the insidious Tory-ness, of course), and they are also a fascinating constant in most of our lives. Most people are not Horse Girls, and the ways of the Horse Girl – the outdoorsiness, the real just sheer and unabated adoration of horses, or indeed of anything – are alien to us, though it's true that you probably know a Horse Girl and have done for years.

In their love of something that the rest of us just find sort of weird, UK Horse Girls are fundamentally in keeping with the US Twitter's idea of Horse Girl Energy, and it's in this regard – rather than, like, the canvases of horse photos hung up above their fireplaces – that we could probably learn from them.

Horse Girls just really like horses. Imagine if you acknowledged loving anything that sincerely? Imagine if, one day, you just said "fuck it" and put a picture of you doing a painting, or swimming, or dancing as your Facebook photo? Or talked earnestly to new people about your wholesome crochet hobby instead of bonding with them over your last real bastard of a hangover? Wouldn’t be seen dead myself, of course, but I reckon that’s probably a lovely thing to do. Horse Girls have none of this inhibition, and this is why they're almost certainly loads happier than the rest of us. Fair play, to be honest.